Choosing the right kind and variety of lighting is essential for having a prepared emergency survival bag. Without light, you are basically shutting your family down once it gets dark, and leaving yourself vulnerable – not only that, emergencies are scary enough without being in the pitch dark! Fortunately, we have a number of options for our emergency kit, other than the camp fire (though it is quite lovely).
Having a variety of lighting options increases the usefulness of your emergency bag, and, in the event of an emergency, provides added comfort. While you want to keep your bug out bag on the light side (recommendations are less than 25 percent of your body weight), be sure to think through the scenarios you’re planning for, and incorporate multiple types of lighting into your bag. Today, we’re going to talk about 5 basic types of lighting you could include in your bug out bag.
Long-burning Candles for Emergency Light
Long-burning candles are a great lighting source for your emergency bag. You don’t want to choose a standard candle, instead you want a candle specifically designed to burn for at least 8 to 12 hours like these. Candles are great because they don’t require anything other than a match to use them, and they are reusable (until they are gone.) Candles also have a downside:
- Candles mean open flames, which means more risks (burns, fires, etc).
- If it’s really hot, candles are going to soften or melt, which will render them useless or very difficult to use.
- Candles are also completely useless when it’s windy or raining.
On the other hand, candles do take up very little room and are very lightweight, so, with in the right conditions, candles are an excellent resource to have.
Light Sticks: Flame-Free Light for Emergencies
When you see light sticks, you typically think of the emergency flares that are placed in roadways and such to indicate there is a problem, or the lights kids play with on Halloween – those types of light sticks are typically good for a short amount of time. We’re actually looking at Emergency Light sticks that can be used for up to 12 hours (although, a pack of kids’ Halloween light sticks from the Dollar Store isn’t a bad idea either.) These emergency light sticks are extremely light weight and compact, and are also reasonably priced. These emergency lights work through a chemical reaction, and offer a 12 hour light which would be great during storms. The downside of these light sticks is that once they’re gone, they’re gone – and they also tend to fade in brightness with prolonged use. But, in a pinch, an emergency light stick is an excellent tool to have in your arsenal.