Our Tips for Choosing a Tactical Flashlight for Your Outdoor Adventures

By Steve George

September 26, 2023Camping

When you’re preparing to tackle the great outdoors, you’re likely eagerly packing your essentials and ensuring you’re ready for anything. While the classic hikes and campouts are always fun, spending nighttime in nature can present its own unique set of challenges. And since many of us like to continue our outdoor expeditions beyond the sun setting, we need to have the right tools to facilitate a safe and successful experience.

As far as lighting goes for the natural nocturnal environment, there are few tools better than a tactical flashlight. Sure, you could probably make do with a headlamp or regular flashlight, but a tactical variety has the features necessary to truly optimise your vision in the dark. As such, they’ve become part of the essential tools for outdoor adventures, with consistent brightness and increased durability making them a go-to for explorers of all levels.

Why Carry a Tactical Flashlight?

So why should you opt for reliable and purpose-built tactical flashlights? How do they actually differ from regular models and what are their benefits? As it turns out, there are plenty of advantages to having one in your arsenal, including:

tactical flashlight
source: thesoldiersproject.org

Enhanced Vision in the Dark

While the natural beauty and uncharted territories of the outdoors can be incredibly awe-inspiring during the day, nighttime expeditions can be a whole different ballgame. From the slick surfaces of a cave to the unpredictable terrain of a forest, there are a bunch of dangers that lurk in the dark and need to be prepared for.

When you have proper illumination, these threats can be avoided or at least detected in time in order to take the right action. So while traditional flashlights provide good light, tactical options are usually brighter with a focused beam that gives you greater visibility when engaging with the night.

Easier Help Signalisation

Tactical torches are also incredibly useful when it comes to signalising for help. In the event of an emergency, it can be difficult to attract the attention of any nearby rescuers or responders. Whether this is because of dense foliage or low visibility, we may not have the means to make our voices heard. That’s why these flashlights are equipped with special SOS and emergency signals in order to alert potential saviours with ease.

They normally feature specialised modes that send out consistent, recognisable patterns of light to alert first-aid personnel and others to our whereabouts. When you need help, they can alert nearby people from a distance and get you assistance in no time.

Convenient Inspection Tool

If you’ve ever found yourself in a remote location with a seemingly broken down vehicle or piece of machinery, you may have had a hard time examining the issue in the dark. Even if you’re not too fond of tinkering with engines, it can be of vital importance that you inspect the problem and ensure your safety. That’s where a tactical torch comes in handy.

tactical torch
source: wired.com

Thanks to its increased brightness, focused beam and zoom feature, you can make out the fine details of your issue even in the darkest of environments. In this way, you can quickly detect what went wrong and save time trying to figure it out from afar.

How to Choose a Tactical Torch

When it comes to choosing a tactical torch, there are a few key factors that make up the structural foundation of a reliable product. While some may have a greater emphasis on certain qualities than others, these four main criteria normally indicate a powerful and consistent performance:

Brightness and Lumen Count

The brightness of the torch is determined by its lumen count, which refers to the amount of light it can emit. Generally, a higher lumen count means greater brightness and visibility in dark environments. When there’s a greater need for illumination, opt for models with higher lumen counts. A good rule of thumb is to look for models with 1000 lumens or more since they’re considered the industry standard and are more versatile than lower options.

flashlight lumen and brightness
source: stkrconcepts.com

Beam Distance

The beam distance indicates how far away the light can reach in meters or yards and directly impacts the useful range of the flashlight. If you’ll be travelling in areas with greater distances between landmarks, opt for a torch with a higher beam distance so you can easily detect your next destination from afar. You don’t necessarily have to buy the brightest one on the market, but if you need extensive visibility and coverage, it’s probably a good idea.

Durability and Water Resistance

The construction quality of a particular model certainly determines the strength and longevity of its use. Many tactical flashlights are water-resistant, meaning they can withstand heavy rain as well as submersion up to a certain depth. Be sure to look for their dedicated IP ratings, which indicate the degree of protection they provide against water.

Battery Life and Type

How well the device holds up in terms of battery life can have a tremendous impact on your outdoor experiences. While most models come with built-in rechargeable batteries, others may make use of replaceable ones. The former is generally more sustainable and cost-effective in the long run, while the latter can be more convenient for last-minute adventures.