When you plan to go on a hike, there are many essential things that you should bring with you such as food, water, first aid kit, compass, rain gear, extra clothing, sun screen, and more. But aside from those things, there’s another important thing that you shouldn’t forget to bring, most especially when you’re planning a night hike and that is a flashlight.
Bringing a good flashlight on a hike can help save your life because it is a tool applicable to a lot of situations, even survival. It is something that can keep you safe if you go hiking at night. It is also useful when setting up camp when the sun sets faster than expected. It can also be used for emergencies as a signaling device to draw the attention of rescuers if you’re in a rough situation.
Types of Flashlights for Hiking
Flashlights come in different types and they are useful and different situations as well. To give you an idea about the available flashlights you can find, here are some of their types that can be used for hiking.
This is the most popular choice when it comes to hiking because they are compact and easy to carry. They are cylinder flashlights that use common batteries. They usually have LED lights which can provide long battery life and solid illumination.
Backpack Clip-On Lights
There are also backpack lights which clip a flashlight to the shoulder. They also leave the hands free, however, this type of flashlight requires a bit more planning and arrangement because they mostly draw power via a coiled cord running to a battery pack. But they can work well on backpacking hikes especially when you plan on spending lots of time hiking at dark.
This is a hands-free version of the basic flashlight concept. It is a headband and over-head strap which puts the flashlight directly on the forehead, giving forward illumination while leaving your hands entirely free.
This type of flashlight is designed to light a broader area compared to small headlamps and flashlights. These are great sources of light but they are not ideal for long hiking distances but can work well for hikes with a camping component.
Things to Look Into
Before purchasing a flashlight for camping, there are some considerations you should look into for you to select the best one. Here are some of the features that you should consider when choosing a flashlight for hiking.
Size and Weight
Since you will be carrying it for a longer period of time, it’s important to choose a smaller and lighter flashlight. There are a lot of options on the market from handheld size to keychains. Make sure that the size and weight of the flashlight you’ll buy will be comfortable for carrying.
Usually, larger flashlights hold batteries that have longer lifespans. Therefore, you need to find one with the right balance of size and battery life. Also, those that use common batteries such as AA and AAA are the most economical when you’re considering both weight and cost.
Features and Material
The best feature that you should look for a flashlight is waterproofing. It’s because when you go hiking, your flashlight is most likely to get wet either because you get caught in a pop-up shower or dropping it into a puddle. Aside from that, you should also know the housing material of the flashlight you will be purchasing. There are usually two types of housing materials for flashlights which are, titanium and stainless steel.
Titanium is the strongest and lightest housing material for flashlights but they are the most expensive as well. Stainless steel, on the other hand, is durable, rust-resistant, and cost less, however, it is heavier.
You should also keep in mind that a good light requires a good investment. But it does not mean flashlights with higher cost have better performances. You just have to put your money for a good device.
The Best Flashlights for Hiking
Now that you know the different types of flashlights you can bring on a hike and the things to look for when purchasing one, we’re also going to help you pick the perfect one by giving you a list of the best flashlights for hiking.
This is a compact flashlight that operates off of one AA battery or one IMR 14500 battery. When you use an IMR 14500 battery, it is able to produce up to 900 lumens for 30 minutes and can reach a distance of more than 620 feet. For an AA battery, on the other hand, it will be able to achieve 160 lumens for 45 minutes.
The great thing about this flashlight is it’s only 1.87 ounces. It also comes with a reversible pocket clip, allowing you to carry it in your pocket or flip the clip around and turn it onto a headlamp. It is an IPX8 waterproof flashlight that is very convenient to bring on hikes. It can be expensive but it can give an impressive performance.
This is the best flashlight for long distance hikes. Its lamp is 300 lumens which can illuminate a path up to 500 feet. It has adjustable zoom and position and its battery can last up to 25 hours which is a great choice for headlamps.
This is a durable and waterproof headlamp which body is made of aluminum. The only drawback of this light is it’s quite heavy. But if you will be taking on a long hike at night, this is a great and affordable headlamp. Plus, it has a lifetime guarantee.
This flashlight only requires one AA battery but its light put out up to 105 lumens. This is a reasonably light and adjustable flashlight which can also be clipped to the shoulder strap or hat brim, making it perfect for hiking. In fact, you can even set it on the table or hang it in the tent.
The light of this flashlight can be used either angled or straight. It only weighs 2.3oz. It is a very simple looking flashlight but it can cover many of the essential needs of hikers. One of the great features it offers is it can run for 100 hours on a single AA battery. This is because it has three power saving modes, allowing you to adjust your battery use to fit your needs when hiking.
This flashlight is great if you will be hiking in the dark for a longer period of time because it can output up to 1100 lumens over 300 meters. It also has three separate programmable switches and one of them can be used exclusively for strobe mode.
This flashlight comes with a rechargeable battery and a USB wall and car adapter, allowing you to recharge it in your car. It has an LED light that can run up to a maximum of 260 hours.
This is another great flashlight for hikers and backpackers. It features an adaptable Velcro rig which allows you to securely place the flashlight on the shoulder strap of a hiking backpack.
This flashlight uses only one AA battery for power but can provide a 300 lumen light for up to 200 feet. It is a great choice for hikers because it leaves the hands and head both free. It also comes at a very affordable price.
These are the best flashlights for hiking that we can recommend. We hope the information and products we shared will guide you through selecting the perfect flashlight for your next hiking adventure.