What’s the most important item you should carry every day? What’s the one item that you literally have no excuse to leave behind? One would think since our domain says “everyoneneedsagun.com” we’d quickly accept the answer “my gun!” While we strongly advocate for carrying a gun where you legally can we believe the flashlight is the most important part of your everyday carry arsenal.
What? A flashlight? Yes, a flashlight. Criminals like to use the element of surprise and darkness helps create that element. By carrying and using a flashlight to illuminate dark places before you pass through you take away a bad guy’s (or gal’s) advantage. A quality flashlight with high lumens can also blind an attacker giving you the advantage if you need to fight (hands on or with a gun) or it may even give you a chance to get away. Going beyond the light itself, many lights have bezeled edges which makes them a great striking tool if it’s ever needed.
Along with the advantage they bring in “tactics” they are also permissive in pretty much any environment. Personally I’ve never had one confiscated at a security check point. They also help in day to day tasks when illumination will make a job easier.
I cannot answer the question “how many lumens do I need?” because it varies for everyone. I suggest carrying the most you are comfortable with. Personally I carry the Protac 1AAA from Streamlight. While it’s only 70 lumens, it does the job I need it to do and it disappears in my pocket. For those who’ve never carried a light before, it is a great place to start. Olight also makes some quality lights at a reasonable price if you want to step up to something with a little more power.
Weapon mounted lights are also a great option, but should not replace a handheld light. You don’t want to have to pull your gun every time you need a flashlight.
If you’re serious about safety, self defense, and overall situational awareness then a flashlight should be at the top of your EDC list.