By Will Dabbs, MD
With an adjustable bezel and the capacity to run on AAA batteries in a pinch,
the HP3R is a great all-around utility light.
At least one third of the time it will be dark. With a light, you’re viable. Without one, you’re dinner. Having some way to displace the darkness can mean survival.
You need to be able to make a fire. This is likely not as important in a modern bugout scenario as once might have been the case, but you still don’t want to be without. Vehicular cigarette lighters used to be an option, but many modern vehicles don’t include them. A ferrocerium striking bar will last forever and is impervious to weather. A handful of disposable cigarette lighters have a variety of uses beyond lighting cigarettes (which you shouldn’t be doing anyway).
These things will keep for an age if left unmolested. They also make splendid improvised distraction and incendiary devices. Wrap a thin piece of wire around the lighter lengthwise to depress the actuating button. Suspend the lighter upside down from something handy, strike the striker, and move away vigorously. The flame will wrap around the body of the device and, within a minute or so, cause the lighter to detonate. The resulting boom is impressive enough to divert attention in a pinch.
A handful of glow sticks will keep for years in a cool dark place. You can buy them at any supermarket or department store. Then there’s the flashlight option — my favorite survival flashlight is the HP3R penlight from Coast.
The HP3R is about the size of a writing pen yet provides volumes of light. It charges via a USB port or uses standard AAA batteries. I charge mine up every 6 months or so and it has never let me down. No matter your circumstances, proper boots along with a bag, gun, water, knife, and light make for a good start for survival.
HP3R Rechargeable Penlight