I have a tactical tool that I use just about every single day. It’s small, handy, useful and relatively inexpensive. It comes with me everywhere I go as part of my EDC. This tool helps me in the simplest of situations, but I know that it could assist me in an uncomfortable or even dangerous encounter. And it’s something that anyone — from kindergartners to granddads — could find useful.
What is this amazing little item? It’s a flashlight.
In my humble opinion, everyone needs a durable, tactical flashlight. A flashlight is fundamental for so many reasons. It can assist with getting that key into the lock on a dark evening, help illuminate that stubborn splinter dug into your big toe or help you navigate through the minefield left in the yard by your German Shepherd. A flashlight is a significant part of the gear you should have with you at all times. In fact, a quality little hand-held flashlight can be useful for many things. Here are just a few.
Can’t clearly see the environment around you? Well, get an extraordinarily useful assist by shining your light on the path or in dark areas. It’s amazing how much light these little tools can throw out! I keep one of my favorites on a convenient lanyard I can wear around my neck if I need it. Then I just click on the light and my hands are free to grab kids, a dog leash, my purse, my keys or bags.
A tactical flashlight could also be a helpful device to guide people to you. If you are ever injured or separated from a group, or if you need to get people’s attention, you can use the light to alert others and reveal your location.
Someone getting too close to your personal bubble? If you ever feel uncomfortable or wonder what another person is doing in low-light conditions, just aim the light toward his or her hands so you have a clear picture of what’s going on. It’s a simple, unobtrusive way to announce ”I see you” without even speaking a word. You can also use your flashlight to warn others to back away. A bright light or strobe shone in someone’s eyes (even indoors or in daylight) is a huge deterrent that could temporarily stall or delay an advance or attack and help you make a quick escape or get to another self-defense tool.
Though it’s small, you could use your tactical flashlight as a blunt weapon if needed. Just be sure to get some training in the best methods and tactics for this. For starters, look for a flashlight that features an easy push button that you can access quickly with one hand, and be sure to keep your flashlight in a location that’s easily accessible to you. A strong-side pocket would be a good place, for instance. This way, it’s the first tool you can get to and use with your dominant hand, but it can easily be passed to your non-dominant hand if you also need to access a knife, OC spray or a firearm.
A flashlight can also be used to divert attention or cause a distraction if you need to get the focus toward something else. Aiming the beam or strobe away from you can cause some disorientation, which can be very useful to buy some time, even if you have to toss the flashlight or leave the tool behind.
Since Christmas is right around the corner, you might want to consider a tactical flashlight for you or for others. It makes a great gift. There are many quality options from which to choose, with many different price points and with a variety of features and specifications — from slip-proof and heat-resistant to zoomable and rechargeable. Just be sure to look for something durable and lightweight with long-running LED technology.
Consider these past blog posts for further reading:
- “Smith & Wesson M&P Night Terror 12,500-Lumen Rechargeable Flashlight,” by Scott W. Wagner
- “Tactical Flashlight: Streamlight ProTac HL 5-X USB,” by Scott W. Wagner
- “The Streamlight Protac 90 Right-Angle EDC Flashlight,” by Scott W. Wagner
- “5.11 Response XR2 Dual Power Tactical/Utility Flashlight,” by Scott W. Wagner
- “An Everyday, Everywhere Flashlight,” by Mark Kakkuri
- “Streamlight ProTac HL-X USB Dual-Fuel Tactical Flashlight,” by Scott W. Wagner