Whether you’re a dedicated backpacker or a studious bookworm, the fact is that the sun sets every night and darkness is imminent (unless you live within the polar circles), so having your own source of light is a must. A flashlight can be a small investment that can save many future headaches of straggling about in the dark.
Maybe you’re just trying to get across your dark bedroom or perhaps you’ve stumbled into a dark alleyway. It really depends on your circumstances, but a source of light can range from being helpful to being a lifesaver. In this article, I’ll be demonstrating how to carry a flashlight in a way that best suits your needs.
Why Carry a Flashlight?
A flashlight is one of those things that’s hard to go and get when you need it. For example, if you’re trying to find your way from your car to your house, you could just run in and grab the flashlight in your kitchen, but then you’d already be inside. However, if you carry a flashlight around wherever you go, you can make sure you’ll never find yourself in one of those sticky situations.
As for needing a flashlight in general, you might argue that you never really find yourself in dark situations and have gotten along just fine without extra light. But I say if you’ve ever dropped something behind the couch or needed something at the back of the cabinet, it’s worth it to have a source of light at the ready.
Why Not Just Use a Phone?
This may seem like an obvious deal-breaker when it comes to carrying a flashlight. After all, almost everyone carries a phone and nearly every phone has a flashlight, so why bother hauling around a whole other device? Although it has some merit, there are a few problems with this philosophy:
Problem #1: The light on most phones isn’t very focused. It’s a flood light, which is great for taking pictures, but not so much for seeing something on the other side of the room.
Problem #2: Your phone wasn’t designed to be a flashlight. Using the built-in light is going to drain the battery in your phone—and that’s assuming your phone isn’t dead by the end of the day.
Problem #3: Butterfingers are a lot more likely to occur when you’re holding a big, flat phone than when you’re using a device that was made for pointing at things. And dropping a flashlight is probably better than dropping a phone.
The flashlight on a phone can sometimes get the job done, but having a device exclusively for lighting up the dark is a more reliable solution. That said, let’s get into how exactly one can bring a flashlight about their daily lives.
How to Carry a Flashlight
There are quite a few factors that go into deciding how you carry a flashlight including what type of flashlight you have. It also depends on your attire, like whether you have pockets, a belt, or a jacket. Below, you’ll find some different methods of adding a flashlight to your everyday carry.
In Your Pants Pocket
This is the most obvious answer, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best one. When you carry a flashlight in your pocket, you may prefer to clip it to the edge of the pocket so it stays in place, or you could just leave it loose at the bottom if it’s a smaller model.
If your flashlight is rear-switch activated, clipping it to the edge of your pocket could result in accidental power-ons, so that’s something to take into consideration.
All-in-all, your pockets are a good spot to put a flashlight when you don’t know where else to put them.
Flashlight Length: ~4 inches
Type of Flashlight: anything with a clip
-many flashlight options
-harder to access while sitting
-likely to be uncomfortable
A Flashlight to Consider: Hatori LED Flashlight
In Your Shirt Pocket
If you happen to have a pocket on your shirt and don’t have anything in it, a flashlight would make great use of the space. You could use any flashlight with a clip, but a penlight would be the best option as they aren’t usually that heavy.
One problem with this method is that the flashlight is a lot more likely to fall out, so try not to do backflips off your kitchen table.
Assuming you’re not some sort of ninja, your shirt pocket would be a good spot for a flashlight if you want to go for style points (or just feel extra nerdy).
Flashlight Length: ~5 inches
Type of Flashlight: penlight
-easy to access while sitting
-can be stylish
-more likely to fall out
-flashlight needs to be lightweight
A Flashlight to Consider: NEBO Rechargeable LED Penlight
In a Belt Holster
If you want to carry around a bigger, heavier flashlight, then putting it on your belt is a good way to haul it around because it won’t bulge in your pockets. The holster is also easy to customize as it’s not a part of your pants.
Unless your flashlight is relatively small, this method will add a lot a bulk to your belt and could make it awkward to sit down or run around, so keep that in mind.
If you don’t mind the extra volume, a belt holster is an ideal flashlight location, especially if you want to carry the biggest, baddest, and brightest flashlight around with you (within reason, of course).
Flashlight Length: ~4 inches
Type of Flashlight: tactical
-more space to work with
A Flashlight to Consider: Streamlight 88061 Tactical LED Flashlight
On a Jacket Zipper
This may seem like a recipe for disaster, but if you have a really small light, it could be a very convenient option. Since the flashlight will be hooked onto the zipper, it’ll be almost impossible to lose without losing the jacket itself.
The only problem with this method is that you have to be wearing your jacket to be able to use the flashlight (unless you just carry the jacket around).
If you’re good at misplacing things (or just losing things), then try sticking a flashlight on your zipper.
Flashlight Length: ~1 inch
Type of Flashlight: keychain
-very easy to access
-near impossible to lose
-useless without jacket
-flashlight needs to be small
A Flashlight to Consider: KeySmart Nano Torch
On Your Wrist
This is a great way to carry a flashlight if you don’t want to worry about what you’re wearing. You can stick a flashlight on anything that goes on your wrist, but I’d recommend a watch so that you can make the most of the space. The flashlight also has to be pretty small and light and be able to attach to a wristband with a clip or by some other means. If you do attach a flashlight to a something on your wrist, make sure to fasten it by sewing it on or gluing it on.
Although this is probably the most convenient and accessible way to carry a flashlight, it’s really hard to point the flashlight since it’s attached to your wrist (unless you take it off) and there’s a small chance it’ll get caught on something and fall off.
If you want to master the flashlight quick draw and summon light faster than you can say “electroencephalography,” then putting a flashlight on a your wrist will definitely serve you well.
Flashlight Length: ~2 inches
Type of Flashlight: keychain
-super convenient and accessible
-independent of your clothes
-hard to point at things
-can get caught on objects
A Flashlight to Consider: Aurora A3 Rechargeable LED Keychain Flashlight
Some Useful Pointers
Now that you know some techniques for carrying a flashlight, I’d like to share some general tips that wouldn’t quite fit anywhere else.
Brightness Isn’t Everything
It might be tempting to get a flashlight that clocks more lumens than the year A.D., but I’m here to tell you that you’ll rarely need more than half a thousand lumens for anything besides signaling life on Mars. A light that can emit 100 lumens is about all you’ll really need and is even enough to temporarily blind someone (or at least disorient them).
It never hurts to get a light that’s capable of a crazy bright beam, but be sure to gauge other factors such as size and runtime, especially when you’re going to be carrying the thing around all the time.
Carry Multiple Flashlights
If you’re not sure the best way to carry a flashlight, try carrying more than one. It wouldn’t do to use a little keychain flashlight during a long walk because the battery would probably die, and if you had a flashlight at the bottom of your pocket, it would be a hassle to have to get it out every time you walk through a dark room.
To circumvent this, you could clip a small flashlight to your jacket zipper for a quick beam of light and stick a bigger one in a holster for more prolonged usage (of course, that’s just one option of many).
Duct Tape It Up
A nifty little trick to make the most of your space is the wrap duct tape around the body of your flashlight. You can put as much or as little as you need and it’s easy to put more on when you run out.
Not every flashlight will be compatible with this technique because they all differ in size and specs. For example, if your flashlight has a power switch on the side of the body, the duct tape would likely cover it up and render the flashlight unusable. But if you have a flashlight that can take a little bit of tape, it wouldn’t hurt to stick some on. After all, you never know what you could need duct tape for.
Don’t Take My Word for It
None of the flashlight-carrying methods I’ve listed here are set in stone and they certainly aren’t the only methods out there. It would be a good idea to take a few creative liberties when you need to.
For example, you could take the jacket zipper idea and stick a flashlight on a necklace, or maybe even attach it to your shoe (just don’t put it on the bottom of your shoe because then you’d step on it, and that’s no good). It’s not like there’s a right way to carry a flashlight, it just depends on, well, what you need.
It Was a Dark and Stormy Night. . .
With this knowledge at your disposal, you will surely never be in want of a light source again. No matter how dark and stormy it is or how many times the power goes out, you’ll always have your trusty flashlight at the ready. A flashlight is also good for self defense, in case you need to disorient somebody that tries to steal your lunch (especially if you’re having peanut butter and jelly).
Hopefully you found this article helpful. If you have any creative ideas on carrying a flashlight or want to share where you keep your own trusty torch, then be sure to leave a comment below.