Light isn’t an “absolute necessity” in many scenarios; one can survive just fine in the dark or by moon light. But sometimes you’re going to need to find your way around for various reasons, whether it’s to locate food supplies or simply find your way back to camp and using the environment around you to do so. Here, we list some great light sources that do not require electricity.
Non-Electric Light Sources
Flashlights (with extra batteries) – One can make the argument that batteries are, in fact, an electric source, and they’d be right. However, they’re an electric source that is freely available if you’ve brought plenty of extra batteries. Any good emergency kit comes with the prepper basics like flashlights and batteries. This is a good option for the short term. You can even utilize a small solar panel to use for charging the batteries or powering the light if you’re a do-it-yourself kind of prepper.
Flares – Flares, in particular road flares, are another good short-term light source. They burn for a short time, but do put out quite a bit of light. The flare also doubles as a way to start a fire if needed.
Glow in the dark items – Some might laugh at this one, but these actually work quite well, though they do first require an external light source to get started. Items like glow-in-the-dark bracelets, necklaces, and decals can be used to provide some temporary light if you have them available. They’re also quite useful to wear if you have a group of people out and about and you’re trying to keep track of one another. You can even find glow in the dark duct tape!
Glow Sticks – These are not in the same league as the previous glow in the dark items, which is why they’re listed separately. Glow sticks are tubes filled with a chemical with another breakable tube inside that contains another chemical. These sticks are activated by breaking the middle of the stick and shaking it, forcing the chemicals to react and create a glowing effect. This effect can last for hours. Keep in mind that the higher the temperature, the brighter the light, and the lower the temperature, the dimmer the light will be. This could add some potential limitations to their use in your particular environment.
Candles and Fire – Depending on your particular location, you can use either emergency candles or a roaring fire for light (or heat). They can be placed around a room and provide enough light for you to be able to read and see clearly. If you have a fireplace, you can use this as well. By that same token, an outdoor fire is a great way to provide you with plenty of light.
Oil/Kerosene – Whether it’s a tiki torch or a kerosene lamp, you can use these sources to provide some fuel-sourced light. These particular light sources often provide better lighting than other comparative sources, so these are good to use if you’re lost in the wilderness and waiting for the search party to arrive.
It’s always a good idea to utilize as many of these light sources as you can in order to be fully prepared for a longer term if needed, particularly if the U.S. power grid is lost.