Emergency Bug Out Lighting


Imagine a situation where your entire town or city is out of power for weeks. It happens quite often. You should be prepared for it.

You should have backup lighting for your home and a few battery operated lanterns.

In each of your emergency bags you should have:

  • A Headlamp
  • A Small Lantern/Flashlight
  • Identifying lights: glow sticks or bracelets

Each family member should have their own, even the kids. Especially the kids if we're talking about the glow-sticks, at night it can be hard to keep track of them in a crowd of people without them.

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Lanterns are what you want to have to light up your house when the power is out, or to light up your base camp should you have to be on the move. They are indispensable tools that you need to have.

Some of these lamps are bigger than you would put in a backpack, but we have included them here because we own them and have found them useful.

There are great multi-units that have both lanterns and flashlights built-in in the list below, consider them for your bug out bags.

House / Camp Lamps

These are the larger lamps which you should have around the house, or in camp.

Fenix CL30R USB Rechargeable Camping Lantern

Typical Price: $110

This is our favorite lantern at all time, and we have a detailed review of the Fenix CL30R here. Can run on 1, 2 or 3 rechargeable 18650 batteries (comes with 3) with up to 300 hours of runtime in Eco mode.

Has a built-in USB charger to backup as a power source for portable electronics. Waterproof. 5 light modes + SOS flash. Just an awesome lantern that really stands out from the crowd.


Coleman Propane Gas Lantern

Typical Price: $40

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.


Packable Lanterns / Flashlight

These are our favorite choices for lights that you should put in your Bug Out Bags and Get Home Bags.

Streamlight Siege X Rechargeable Lantern

Typical Price: $40

This is the perfect lamp/light combo for a bug out bag. The Siege X is a 2-in-1 lantern/flashlight combo which provides 360° of lantern light and a directional flashlight. Battery level indicator.

IPX7 waterproof to 1m submersion - 2m impact resistance. High for brightest light: 325 lumens; runs 4. 5 hours! You're getting really great run-times and output with the 18650 batteries.

Diameter: 2. 12" - Height: 4. 35" - Weight: 6. 8 oz. with batteries.


Goal Zero Lighthouse Mini Lantern

Typical Price: $40

If you are looking for a little more area light output than the Lighthouse Micro can provide, then take a look at the Lighthouse Mini. It's dimmable lantern can put out up to 210 lumens at 3500k and run for over 500 hours in its lowest setting.

It has a USB charging port for your other electronics and is powered on the 18650 rechargeable battery like the Micro. No directional lamp on this one, but if you already have a good flashlight or headlamp you're using for that purpose than this is a very good choice.

$40Goal Zero$40Amazon

Goal Zero Lighthouse Micro Lantern

Typical Price: $30

This little lantern is great, and it does three things at once: area & directional lighting + USB charging for portable electronics.

Powered by our favorite rechargeable 18650 battery, it has a multitude of different lighting brightness and run times thanks to two internal lamps and the flashlight LED. At its lowest setting you get 170 hours of light in single lamp mode. IPX6 weatherproof and 120 lumens of output.

$30Goal Zero$30Amazon

UST SplashFlash LE

Typical Price: $10

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....


UCO Collapsible Candle Lantern

Price: $20
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...



If you have work to do or you are on the move, you will want your hands to be free. That's where headlamps come into play.

They provide directional light that gets put right where you need it to be, where your eyes and head are turned towards.

Fenix HM65R Rechargeable Headlamp

Typical Price: $95

Had this lamp for a year now and it is just the It's like carrying a lighthouse on your head. Spotlight modes and floodlight modes allow you to shoot a hot beam a long way or a nice dispersed light for up close work. Waterproof and dust proof.

1000 lumens with 6,677 candela in Turbo mode. Up to 300 hours runtime in Low floodlight mode. It's a little bulkier than other headlamps but it's not uncomfortable and once you get used to the light this thing puts out it's hard to use anything else!


Fenix HL15 Headlamp

Typical Price: $30

Powered by two AAA batteries, this headlamp id designed to be light-weight and comfortable for long-term wear. Equipped with a reflective headband that directs sweat away from the eyes, a neutral white LED for better color rendering and two red LEDs for night vision.

IP67 dustproof and water resistance.


BioLite HeadLamp 200

Typical Price: $45

Very light-weight and very powerful. This headlamp delivers excellent fit, versatile lighting modes, and USB rechargeability so you can easily charge with a small solar panel. Max Output: 200 lumens. White + Dim , Red + Dim, White Strobe & Red Strobe modes.


Light Sticks / ID'ing Lights

It can be difficult to keep track of people in your group at night, especially kids! The little ones run around all over the place and have a tendency to not want to wear their headlamps or turn them off when you don't want them to.

Attach a couple of these to their waistbands and backpacks so you can keep tabs on them.

Nite Ize LED Mini Glowstick

Typical Price: $6

Reusable LED glowstick - this bright LED Mini glowstick is battery-powered and reusable. Fully waterproof and durable. Fresh batteries will keep the light going for 60+ hours.


Nite Ize LED Micro Lantern

Typical Price: $8

Clip to a zipper or key chain for 360° lighting. Weather-resistant and durable. Available in white or Red LED's.


Cyalume SnapLight Light Sticks

Typical Price: $13 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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