Empowering The Bicycle Traveler

Tactical Flashlights and Survival Kits

Ever since I read “How To Use A Flashlight Tactically” on the Art of Manliness (yes, that’s for real) blog I have wanted a tactical flashlight. A tactical flashlight is not much bigger than the palm of the hand, has a bright LED beam, is made of impact resistant material, is waterproof and has a robust, shielded on/off switch. Technically a tactical flashlight would have “striking” bezel, a hardened aluminum piece which is scalloped or shaped in such a way that the flashlight can be used as a tool or for self defense. OK, I admit that if faced with the situation, I’m not sure I would have the wits or the skill to use the flashlight to temporarily blind and disorient an assailant long enough for me to get away or to punch him out. But the thought that I could is somehow comforting.

tactical flashlight fits in the palm of the hand

Maybe I can punch my way out of a wet paper bag with this!

My new flashlight is small enough to conceal in my fist with only the bezel sticking out and the on/off switch cradled against my thumb. And it has a metal clip to secure it to the pocket of a bike bag for quick access, or to attach it to the brim of a baseball cap so I can use it as a headlamp.

This flashlight weighs about 2.4 ounces or 70 grams. I don’t think I would want one much heavier.

On a related note:
Brother David Sunshine (pretty sure that’s his given name) posted on the Surly Bikes blog an article about his survival kit. While we’re not necessarily preparing for the apocalypse….we’re just going bike touring…..there are some good ideas for what to take with. And the specifics will change for each person depending on where they are going; a trip around the San Juan Islands in Puget Sound is different than riding the length of the Baja.

Items included in survival kit

From surlybikes.com

I can see that my own survival kit needs some work. For backcountry touring I want to get a signal mirror and a compass. And my fire starting skills could be improved. I should carry a fire steel and learn how to use it. When I was in Boy Scouts we spent a lot of time building fires. If you couldn’t start a fire with only one match and without paper, it could be embarrassing. So much of the fire building process was in the prep…plenty of dry tinder, several stacks of dry twigs in graduated sizes, then larger sticks and logs…and in the structure….making a teepee shape over the tinder out of the smallest dry twigs and slowly adding bigger twigs as the flame grew. What I did not know until I read this is that inner tubes will light on fire pretty easily. So having several strips cut out of old inner tubes means I will always have fire starter. Not sure that would have qualified in the Boy Scouts but, oh well.

Most of the items talked about in this post we won’t be stocking in the Bike Touring News store, but we have an affiliate relationship with Campmor. If you click on the banner you will go to their site and if you buy something from them we will make a few pennies which will all go towards keeping Bike Touring News afloat!
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9 comments… add one
  • Peter January 7, 2013, 1:02 pm

    There is a good local source for knives and other useful items, and they sell flashlights, too. Check out http://www.cutleryshoppe.com.

    • Bike Hermit January 7, 2013, 5:08 pm

      Peter, thanks for the link. I was unaware of this local business. But I will be keeping them in mind.

  • david reuteler January 9, 2013, 3:01 pm

    now you just need a tacti-cool pen (eg http://www.tuffwriter.com/). good to see you’re still on top of things, tho!

    • Bike Hermit January 9, 2013, 5:45 pm

      I definitely need one of those! Glad to see you’re still kickin’ too.

  • Mike Irish February 14, 2013, 8:23 pm

    I have a few friends who carry a snack sized bag of Doritos or Fritos in their emergency kits. They are in a waterproof, airproof sack and are extremely flammable and work great for tinder in an emergency situation.

  • mike November 30, 2013, 1:49 am

    I didn’t know doritos bags were flamable. I just knew you can’t recycle them.

  • researching flashlights January 24, 2014, 12:38 pm

    Awesome break down! thanks for the help with putting together the survival kit!


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