The Best Type of Flashlight for Emergency

It would be nice for emergencies to happen in the very best locations. A well-lit ER is a great place to have an emergency if you happen to be in one at the time. But Emergencies don’t happen like that. Usually it’s cold, wet, and dark, and with no help available.

Emergencies are especially scary because, you’re “it.” The casualty might be relying on you because no one else is willing or able. And if it’s dark and you don’t have help, it’s nice to be able to use your hands AND see what you’re doing.

We’ve probably all been there, trying to get something done in the dead of night can be especially frustrating because you’re trying to hold the light in your teeth.

Head lamps are my favorite accessory item to add into my medical kits, just in case. I’ve been in low light conditions with no flashlight, and while a great medic can turn even that situation into a win, it helps to have a light to see what you’re doing.

When it comes to selecting a good headlamp, it comes down to what you are anticipating. If this is a light that you’re planning to stage in your trauma kit, I don’t recommend a rechargeable.

I love rechargeable flashlights because I hate buying and changing batteries. It’s extremely convenient and my EDC lights are all rechargeable. But when you are storing a light for a long time, rechargeables lose power too rapidly, and when you need to break out the light in an emergency, it might be dead.

Not a huge deal if you are good about remembering to check your gear and keep everything charged on a regular basis, but, I’m not. (I still recommend checking all your gear at least 2 times a year to make sure things are looking good)

Here are 3 options I think will work well for hands free illumination:


Price: $70

This is one of the most popular headlamps on the market. Used by military members, back country backpackers, and hunters. This is the best of both power worlds, since it’s rechargeable AND will also take AAA batteries. The small size means it will pack well into your vehicle trauma kit.

  • Features two beam patterns (wide and mixed) to meet your need for high-performance lighting for outdoor activities.
  • The red lighting preserves night vision and prevents blinding other members of the group.
  • Featuring a max autonomy burn time of 160 hours.

Mountain Man Headlamp

Price: $20

While the Petzl is an excellent light, it’s not priced well to keep in a trauma kit only to be used for the random emergency, especially if you’re trying to supply multiple kits with lights.

The Mountain Man Medical light cost point to makes it easier to get a light into all your kits. It runs off 3 AAA batteries and has 5 modes, including a red strobe option so you’re easier to spot on the highway of that rollover you just witnessed.

Black Diamond Astro 175 Headlamp

Price: $28

This light is another good option, if a little more expensive then the MMM Lamp. This light doesn’t have a red mode option, but it does have a strobe to make you easier to spot in the dark.

  • Compact, low-profile design uses three AAA batteries.
  • Settings include full strength, dimming and strobe.
  • Brightness Memory allows you to turn the light on and off at a chosen brightness without reverting to full power.

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