Prepping on $20 a Paycheck – Part 3 of 24

Posted: February 1, 2013 in $20 Prepping, Prepping, Urban Survival
Tags: , , ,

Flashlight The Ready Center

Article submitted by Brian S. Kiefat @ The Ready Center
You already have water.  You have a knife.  So what’s next on the “to buy” list?  We recommend you go out and buy yourself a heavy duty flashlight.  Maybe two, depending on your family.  The truth is, you can get a flashlight just about anywhere now days.  Department stores, grocery stores, sporting good stores, toy stores, and even gas stations have them on hand.  And you can purchase one for as little as a few dollars or as much as a few hundred dollars.  Yep, I said it: a few hundred dollars.  The crazy thing is, people actually buy them…

Office Flashlight The Ready CenterWell, for the sake of keeping you prepared (and on budget) we suggest you head to your local department store and purchase a Maglite brand flashlight.  Lately the lowest prices for these have been found at Walmart.  Depending on your family needs and requirements, we have two recommendations if you plan to stay within the $20 budget.  Our first recommendation is to purchase a Maglite flashlight that powered by 4 D-cell batteries.  To see what this flashlight looks like, click here.  This option is great for a number of reasons.  Not only does this  flashlight brighten up a dark room, but it has a beam distance of 265 meters!  And if you leave it on by accident, it will run for a full 10 hours before the batteries run out.  Another benefit of having this flashlight versus another: it runs off of 4 D-cell batteries, which means it has a long handle and has some weight to it.  In the event that some tried to attack you while you were trying to find your way in the dark, you could use it as a defensive weapon.  And a good one at that.

Woman Flashlight The Ready Center

Our second recommendation is to purchase a two Mini Maglite flashlights that run off of two AA-cell batteries.  To view this style of flashlight, click here.  These generally run around $8, so you’ll be able to afford at least two of them this pay period.  One of the nice things about this option is that not only will you have a flashlight for your self, but you will have one for your significant other or roommate as well.  And if you have children, I suggest you bight the bullet, purchase a total of 3, and deal with the fact that you’re $4 over your $20 budget.  Having three lights shining in the darkness in way better than only having one.  The only downside of this style of flashlight in regards to the first option is that these hand sized flashlight cannot be used as a defensive weapon, and meaning that defense is not the primary goal of this purchase, that’s not much of a down side at all.  Some of the upsides to this style of flashlight are that they usually come with a belt holster and Energizer batteries.  They are compact to the point that they are perfectly hand-sized, they are extremely light weight, and easy to operate.  Regardless of which model you choose, Maglite hit the ball out of the park when they designed their products.

Family Flashlight The Ready CenterLike always, it must be stressed that it is a terrible idea to go out and buy a piece of junk just because you can get it for a low price.  Generally, when you buy cheap products you end up with problems.  When you buy cheap flashlights, you usually end up with batteries that won’t last through the night, a sub-par bulb that will burn out almost instantly or cease working upon the slightest bump, extremely low light output, and a poorly constructed plastic body that will shatter or crack if ever dropped.  This is not the quality of gear you’d want if/when the SHTF.  Spend the extra buck and get what you and your family deserves.  Maglite is a solid company with years of reliable service to it’s customers.  At The Ready Center, we choose to recommend Maglite for the following reasons:

  • High-strength aluminum alloy case and Diamond knurl design will not crack or shatter if dropped
  • O-ring sealed for water resistance
  • Produces a high-intensity light beam
  • Shock resistant
  • Can be adjusted from a spot-light to a flood-light by simply turning the bezel half a turn
  • Spare bulb is included and safely stowed in the tail cap
  • Vented tail cap reduces chance of gas build-up
  • Anodized inside and out for improved corrosion resistance

If you are unable to purchase the models that we recommend, we suggest you get the closest thing to it.  If your local department store only has Maglite flashlights powered with C-cell batteries instead of  D-cell batteries, buy it.  The important thing is that you purchase a quality product such as Maglite or another well built product that will provide you years of reliable service.

Until next time,

The Ready Center

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  3. MommyK says:

    Any thoughts on the shakeable flashlights? They seem like a lot of work, but if you’re looking at extended power loss (obviously weeks as opposed to days) and the risk of running out of batteries is there, they seem like the next choice on the market – along with the crank ones also recommended… thanks!

  4. Great post. I have to admit, I am one of those people with a couple expensive lights, like my 4sevens maelstrom, but I fully expect it to outlast me. I have several of the maglights in different sizes. I have started buying the ones that have led “bulbs” on them for their durability. Thanks for this series, I have been doing something similar with buying a few things here and there every week on a trip to the dollar store.

    • Homestead Dad, I am slowly becoming a “flashlight snob” as well. There are a ton of great light production tools out there if you are willing to pay the buck. The two new lights that I acquired recently are a Pelican and a Streamlight. So far I’m very impressed with both. However, due to these articles keeping it under $20, I couldn’t mention them. Keep up with your preparations and keep us posted! We look forward to hearing from you again!

  5. B-Radical says:

    About 2 years ago I purchased the AA-cell Maglite flashlights that you are currently recommending. My wife and I purchased 7 of them after dealing with blackouts in the area due to blizzards knocking out the power. We’ve placed one in every room so that if the power goes out again, we can easily find our children without them getting hurt or scared in the process. These Maglites are crazy durable. Our son knows where we keep one of them and seems to think it’s his toy. He’s dropped it on our hardwood floors and the cement floor in our garage more times than I could count! He even likes to use it as a hammer now and then. The thing keeps working though, scratches and all. I can’t speak for the LED type, we bought the regular kind and have used them more than a few times. I give them 2 thumbs up only because I don’t have 3 thumbs. Thanks for the article!

    • Ha Ha! Thanks for your support of our recommendation B-Radical! And thank your son for all the “durability tests” as well! We hope to hear more about your other preparations in the future!

  6. Another good option if you’re willing to spend a little more is a crank powered flashlight. For christmas we got a two-pack of full-sized Lightgear hand-cranked LED flashlights. The pricetag of $45 was still on it. Split one of these with a friend and you have a light that never needs new batteries for $23, and LEDs last a LONG time. They are the opposite of maglights in that they’re only a few ounces each so the weight is litterally negiligable. My house keys and key rings weigh as much. They are a great investment on the opposite end of the spectrum!

    • Great suggestion QuarterAcreHome! Quality LED flashlights are a fantastic alternative if you can get past the hefty price point! Thanks for the comment. We look forward to hearing more from you in the future!

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