If you ever meet someone who doesn't understand the difference between a $10 flashlight and a $100 tactical flashlight, you're probably looking at someone who thinks that each item only has one use - illumination. Sure, having a flashlight around is great should the power ever go out or if you're traversing through the woods at night on your own. But the real power of a flashlight goes far deeper than that.
In truth, there are actually a number of terrific ways to use your flashlight that you probably didn't even realize were options to begin with. Once you take a minute to learn about them, though, they're tips and tricks that you won't soon forget.
The Power of Signaling
One of the most important little known uses for your flashlight involves signaling, a concept that has actually been around for about as long as the lights themselves. Solders, for example, have long used flashlights as a way to send information - sometimes in the form of Morse Code, other times to just give their position to allies or attempt to get rescued in a particularly hairy combat situation.
Many modern day flashlights even have filters on them that allows you to turn the color from standard white to red or green depending on the situation you find yourself in. If you're in danger, you might want to use a harsher color like red. If you're just trying to let someone know that you're out there, you might use something with a little less urgency like green. Regardless, always teach your travel companions any signal habits you've picked up so that you can relay essential information without using any words at all.
The Force of a Blunt Object
Another great way to use a flashlight has to do with its capacity to act as a blunt object - something that is valuable if you ever need to defend yourself or if you're ever in need of a good, solid tool and don't happen to have a hammer laying around.
Many modern day flashlights are high quality products, manufactured for use in extreme conditions by members of the military or law enforcement. The solid, often heavy base of the light can act as the perfect object for clubbing an attacker and getting yourself to safety and it can also make a great way to smash windows, glass or other objects in emergency situations, too. This is one of those uses that is truly only limited by your own strength and is also another reason why it's always a good idea to keep a hammer by your side.
The Importance of Blinding Threats
Speaking of threats, we arrive at another critical use of a flashlight that would also fall under the category of self defense. Imagine that you're in the middle of the woods and somehow, for some reason, there's an attacker coming at you. It's pitch black outside and you don't have any place to hide, but you DO have your trusty light by your side.
A solid, directed beam at that attacker can seriously blind them - impairing their night vision and reducing its full potential for minutes at a time. Now, nobody is saying that you should then use this to gain a competitive advantage over this person. Instead, you should use the time you've just bought to get out of there as fast as possible. Any high intensity beam is a great way to give you and your loved ones enough time to make a safe escape from any dangerous situation like this one.
In the end, it's important to understand that a flashlight is more than just a way to illuminate a dark space. It's an investment in your own health and safety, the same as anything else. Whether you're concerned about your own self defense (or the safety of others) or just want to make sure that you've got a solid, blunt tool by your side in the event that you should ever actually need it, your flashlight will proudly serve you in far more ways than one.