Three Things to Consider Before Buying a Hunting Flashlight

How to find a light, bright, durable flashlight you’ll never want to venture outside without.

From navigation to meal prep, a compact flashlight is one of any sportsman’s most critical accessories. Pitching camp at sunset, locating stands in the dark, and even emergency signaling are all safer and easier with dependable lighting. After an evening hunt, the ability to track game in low light or at night is essential. The only thing more disheartening than realizing you left your light back at camp is learning that you bought the wrong one to begin with. Keep these pointers in mind when searching for the right light for your hunting adventure.

These models are water-resistant and virtually indestructible. GearLight

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The most important trait of any flashlight is brightness, which is usually measured in lumens. The more lumens, the brighter the light. A light that produces anywhere from 200 to 1,000 lumens is plenty for any outdoor application. But remember, a light that is too bright can cause glare and reflection, both undesirable traits in tracking situations. Color temperature (Kelvin) is also important. Avoid lights with a very high or “blue” Kelvin rating. Lights with more of a neutral or “white” color temperature will better serve the specialized needs of hunters while trailing game.

This model is weather and shock-resistant. GearLight

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When it comes to everyday use, there are two flashlight choices for hunters: hand-held or headlamp. Each has its advantages, with a headlamp perhaps offering the greatest versatility combined with hands-free operation. Most headlamps also feature a red-light setting useful for entering and exiting stands without spooking game. No matter your choice, look for a light featuring multiple brightness settings. Adjustable output not only gives you just the right amount of light for any given task, but it also saves battery life.

This model has a deep parabolic reflector to project a concentrated beam. Streamlight

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While a hunting flashlight doesn’t necessarily have to be 100-percent submersible, any all-weather sportsman quickly learns to appreciate gear that can stand up to a good soaking. Carrying a waterproof light adds a margin of safety in wet environments, and that reliability can spell the difference between a good day outdoors and a bad night left in the dark.