Lighting. Simple right? What do you need to worry about? You've got a few of those stinky candles you girl/boyfriend brought over for date-night, and there's probably a box of old birthday candles around somewhere, oh and besides, your smart-phone has a light so what's the problem?
Well...for starters lets remember that there is likely no power going anywhere, so all the lights you have come to depend on and don't even think about normally are going to be bye-bye. Have you ever been way-out of town, so far away that there is no light pollution? On behalf of those that have let me tell you, its dark out there at night. Like, really, really, dark.
Can't see your hand in-front of your face dark.
So you need to have plenty of bug out bag lighting options, and backups for your backups. Another thing to keep in mind: try not to be completely reliant upon batteries. Read our Portable Power article about charging your devices on the go. They should certainly get you through 72-hours, but its not a bad idea to think about other options like propane lanterns and candles.
IMPORTANT: Each family member should carry at least one headlamp, one small area light, and emergency glow sticks to maintain visibility of each other while on the move or for use in camp.
Petzl Tikkina Headlamp
80 Lumen, 120 foot reach, long battery life, water resistant. Low-light eco mode. This is one of the most important items in your Bug Out Bag. DO NOT pull this in and out for any reason, you may forget to put it back. Buy 2 and make sure you always have one in your bag at all times.
UST SplashFlash LE
We love this little guy. It's got everything you want: its cheap, its bright, its IPX7 waterproof, and it lasts a long time. Attached is a little carabiner so you can clip it wherever you want. If you are using MOLLE, these slip right into a single strap. Also comes in a plethora of colors....
Energizer LED 360 Area Lantern
Nice and quite bright (300 lumens) in a fairly compact footprint. Can light 360 or 180 degrees for 100 plus hours at the lowest setting. Capable of using either 4 or 8 batteries which is a really neat feature. Its also weather resistant. Your local Home Depot likely carries these.
Black Diamond Voyager Lantern
Price: $24 See our Review here
Got this lantern on the advice of a sales associate from REI. Its compact and compresses down when not in use. It has two lights on it, the lamp and a spot-light on the bottom. Both are dimmable. Has a built-in double hook hang loop. Great as a tent lamp or small table lamp.
Going Old School
UCO Collapsible Candle Lantern
These guys only use UCO Candles, but they can burn from 9 to 12 hours. Citronella, beeswax, and paraffin. These do need to be handled somewhat gently but the light they provide is nice and relaxing. Some people get mixed results with these so practice using it if you decide to give it a try. Good for those romantic get-aways...
Coleman Compact Propane Lantern
The de-facto standard for many years now, these propane lanterns are incredibly bright, and easy to use. You can connect them to the little tanks, or use the 25 gallon tank from your BBQ. Probably a little large for a Bug Out Bag, but certainly should be part of your larger INCH or camping kit. Uses #51 Slip-On Lantern Mantles.
Cyalume SnapLight Light Sticks
Price: $11 for 10
Each Bug Out Bag should have 2 of these in them. They can be used to keep track of your family and pets in dark places, and they also throw off just enough light to be used as an area or tent light. 5 year shelf life. May cause spontaneous fist-pumping.
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