Fire and Light
Fire and Light are very important when it comes to survival and preparedness. Although not as important to have in an emergency kit as medical or self-defense items, light and fire will make the difference when its cold and dark outside. Having been in the woods at night many times when camping, it gets very dark and may be almost impossible to navigate during a cloudy night when the moon isn’t out at all. Even during a blackout in a building, it can get very dark. A flashlight, no matter how small can illuminate a path and be a good mental booster to boost hopefulness in the dark. Fire can also produce light, but fire is good for warmth and keeping animals away. If a fire is hot enough, it can heat an entire campsite even in the dead of winter. Animals enjoy warmth, but their primitive instincts keep them fearful and away from fire.
Items for Light:
- 1-2 Flashlights- having multiple flashlights is always a good idea. This is because its possible to break one of the flashlights, especially when it’s during an emergency situation. Also, depending on the group size, its good to have the person in the front and back being able to see where they are going if they need light.
- Flashlight options- This is important due to the amount of different flashlights available. The main things to look for are run-time and brightness. A run-time of 5 or more hours is deal, along with a brightness of at least 150 lumens. This will give enough light even in the middle of the woods and will last long enough for a lot of mild emergencies.
- Batteries-Having two sets of batteries is a great idea. This allows the flashlight to be used for a long time and is ideal if you have two flashlights.
TIP: Flashlights can get heavy so getting some that run on AAA batteries can save money and be lighter to carry. Remember, every ounce counts when you have to travel far distances.
Items for Fire
- Matches- Matches are great because they don’t need much to work. As long as you strike it on the box, matches almost always work. Matches are cheap, and are now available in wind and waterproof versions.
- Flint- Flint is important because it lasts a long time, can be stored in a backpack without fear of breaking, and works generally when wet.
- Lighter- A lighter is a good idea too, because it produces an instant flame that can be used at will. The only downside is that a lighter can run out of fuel or break.
- Fire Starter- Having a fire starter is very important to ensure that your flame or spark has something to start with. Without a fire starter, a spark or lighter wont be able to light branches or wood on fire without a good base to begin with.
TIP: A cheap alternative to an expensive fire starter is petroleum jelly and cotton balls. This burns when wet and is very cheap to make. If you’re looking for a little more pricey options, there are waterproof fire starters that burn even when completely soaked.