Until you have become customary to it, one of the biggest questions people ask is why carry a flashlight every day? It’s not an uncommon question and until you come into that time of need. It may never have been a thought until you needed to change a tire at 2am and didn’t have a light in your car. Unfortunately at that time, it’s far too late.
Everyday Commentary is a website that focuses on those little things you should always have on you in those times of need. They give some great points, starting with what was normally used and needed for a month to see exactly what was needed to be carried everyday:
The way I determined what to keep was uber nerdy and very rational (to me at least). I kept a list of everything I carried and for one month I documented what I used each day. At the end of the month all of the things used were tallied and the things that averaged out to once a week use were kept. There were exceptions–my AAA card, for example, but that was part of the wallet so it was not tallied the same way. Like I said, UBER-NERDY. But if you do it once, you’ll quickly see what you use and what don’t.
It hit me a few weeks ago why it is handy to carry a flashlight now. It is always been handy to have a light source with you, but it has not always been practical to do so. Anyone carry a torch around? Anyone want to carry around a massive 2 cell plastic POS? No and no.
He then goes into how carrying a flashlight these days is actually much easier and far more practical:
But the flashlight has undergone a revolution, much in the same way that cellphones have. 30 years ago no one had a cellphone. Some people had a car phone. I remember them being called that. “Oh, well Herb has a carphone” someone would say in a Thurston Howell III voice. That was as mobile as you could get because even though it was smaller than a home phone it was not exactly what you’d think of when someone says the word “portable.”
Then there was Motorola brick phone. Again, not exactly what I would describe as portable either. But then they shrank and got cheaper and cheaper and cheaper. Then they started being able to do more and stay powered up longer. While all of the technology was changing and getting more portable designs were catching up too. And suddenly, bam, you get the iPhone–a small, convenient, and imminently portable device. Nowadays I feel weird leaving the house without a cellphone.
Flashlights have changed in the same way. They can do more with less for longer. They are designed for everyday use and carry.
And finally, the reason:
It is really a matter of opportunity cost. With lights being so small, cheap, and capable you really can’t complain about carrying and owning one. When the next best alternative ranges from “oh darn where is my favorite pen” to “oh sh!* the plane’s lights all went off” there is a good justification for carrying a small capable light. Furthermore, this test seems to draw the boundaries on a lot of things. The lighter was small but not terribly cheap or easy to carry. Finding butane is not that easy. It can’t be carried into secure locations. It can cause problems if there is a leak. And the chances that I am stuck in the wilderness with an acute need for a fire are VASTLY smaller than running into darkness, which seems to happen, predictably, about once a day.
You can check out the entire article here. We agree that having a flashlight on you is invaluable