Finding you way with off grid lighting. Being a Prepper, I am always looking at new and different ways for lighting my world. My wife swears I have a fetish for flashlights, guns and knives. While I’m not sure that it is the term that I would use to describe it, the truth is that I really do like them. I am constantly amazed at all of the new flashlights that are always coming out and at the prices of some of them. The trouble is that when TEOTWAWKI comes, I have a feeling that those batteries they need will be in short supply and the stocks of them may even disappear someday if things stay bad for a long period of time. Today we will take a look at alternative sources of light that are sustainable, at least to a certain degree because nothing last forever. Right?
Lighting to try to avoid are chemical lights and flash lights with odd battery sizes, for example, as their use is extremely limited. Now don’t misunderstand me, I have some of both of these in my preps but they are for emergency use only and not for every day. Look closely at flashlights before you buy them and be sure that they can be ran on batteries that can be recharged and that you have a means of charging them in SHTF situations using a solar charger of some type.
Let’s start with solar lighting, as it seems to hold the most promise for Preppers needs. At one time, solar lighting was hard to find and expensive, but that is no longer the case. There are literally thousands of solar lights on the market and they have also become very affordable. From small landscaping lights to large spot lights. they are a great way to light your world at night. Now, because space is a consideration we need to be careful what lights we choose. One of my favorites for campsite use is the solar bag light. They have a built in solar cell that can be charged quickly and all you need to do is inflate them and turn them on when you are ready to use them. They are very small when deflated and can be attached to the outside of your bug out bag to charge during the day. Many people buy the solar yard lights and only use the top part of the light and throw the stand away. This way they take up very little room in a bug out bag. You can get 8 of them for about $30 and if you place them on the top of a clear glass of water and you have a wonderful light to use all night in your tent or camp. Another great solar light for Preppers are the solar spotlights that have gotten very affordable too. I particularly like the ones with the motion detectors built into them because they can also be used as a security measure by placing them around your camp or your bug out location to warn you if something or someone comes snooping around. They are a great deterrent for unwanted guest and can ruin a person’s night vision in a hurry if it is pointed at them when it comes on. This can quickly give you an advantage in a fight. Make sure these lights are pointed away from your camp, and not toward it.
My personal favorites for bug out situations are the LED Head lamps that take “AA” or “AAA” batteries that can be recharged. You can get a small solar charger to recharge the batteries. I keep 2 sets of rechargeable batteries for each one. That way I always have a set charged batteries all of the time. The advantages of these are the ability to have the red light so you do not lose your night vision, when you are trying to see where you are going. If you are bugging out at night, the last thing you want to do is to lose your night vision and make yourself susceptible to a surprise attack. I actually have several of these in my bug out bag, just in case the batteries die in one unexpectedly. They also have the white light for situations where light security is not needed. Like I said, these are my first choice.
Another option is the crank type flashlights that can be found today. They reduce the need for batteries and can be made ready to use in short order when needed. Some of them can be expensive so look around and get the best deal because it is well worth having a few of these in your preps as well. I have also seen an crank LED Spot light that while have never used one, I have been told that they work very well and may be something you might want to look into.
There are candles of all kinds that can be had very cheaply and come in a myriad of designs. I know I have a few emergency candles in my bug out bag just in case I need them. There are also what is called 100 hour emergency candles that use a liquid instead of wax. They weigh a little more but the tradeoff is that they last longer. The choice is up to you, just be sure you have some candles of some type in your preps for those times when nothing else works.
Of course there is always the old Kerosene lantern light as well. These are good for a permanent setup such as a house of cabin, but not really practical for bugging out because of the weight of the Kerosene and how fragile the globes are. However if you are setup for off grid living and have a few barrels of Kerosene stored up then these become a viable option in the winter. The reason I say in the winter is because they give off a lot of heat. I would recommend the solar lights during the summer if you have no air conditioner which is likely. There are also Coleman Lanterns that some people like but they also produce a lot of heat and use a liquid fuel as well. If you decide to use these or candles, just be careful not to let them start an unwanted fire as that could ruin your whole day!
Well, that is going to do it for today and if you know of any I missed, then please by all means, add them in the comments below. I hope you may have had a few new ideas and maybe been entertained a little while you were reading this. If you have any questions on this or any of our other post, please let me know. If there are any subjects that you would really like to see on here, then by all means let me know that as well and I will see what I can do about covering them on here for you. Until next time, just remember that Prepping is a direction of travel and not a destination!
-The Sargent –