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Five Flashlights We Wouldn’t Go Camping Without

There’s no arguing that a flashlight falls into the category of “must-have” equipment for any camping trip, but when it comes to which flashlight to take, the answer isn’t necessarily obvious.

There are very few (if any) flashlights we’d say are terrible for camping, but there are definitely some features you’ll want to be on the lookout for. Here are a few considerations to make when selecting a camping flashlight.

  • Power Source: Without a power source, your flashlight is useless so making sure you can stay powered throughout the entire trip is vital. Some people prefer “traditional” AA or AAA batteries which can easily be found in gas stations and stores whereas others might prefer a rechargeable li-ion battery that can be paired with a solar panel and/or powerbank for extended runtimes.
  • Size: Ultralight campers and backpackers are likely already paying close attention to gear weight, but even if you’re going car camping, sticking to a slimmer/more compact flashlight will make it easier to carry in your pocket/bag and increase the likelihood you’ll be ready should an emergency strike.
  • User interface/mode shortcuts: Nothing is more frustrating than having to remember a complex series of button presses to get to the mode you need. Look for a flashlight that defaults to your preferred output and has easy to remember shortcuts to other popular modes and you’ll thank us.
  • Secondary options: If you’re trying to maximize the utility of your gear, look for flashlights with secondary color outputs or other multi-task features. You may not always need these things, but when the situation arises, you’ll be glad you did.

With the basics covered, here are 5 flashlights we’d highly recommend to take on your next camping adventure.


Brightness: 1000 lumens
Dimensions: L-5.04″xD-1”
Weight: 2.72 oz (without battery)
Key Features: As far as flashlights go, the NITECORE EC22 appears to be a pretty basic one at first. The beauty of this flashlight, indeed, lies in the simplicity. NITECORE omitted fancy extra modes like Strobe and SOS and instead gave users 100% control over output brightness. The innovative rotary switch design means the EC22 will always start on the lowest mode possible and increase up to 1000 lumens with a twist.


Olight S2R II

Brightness: 1150 lumens
Dimensions: L-3.94″xD-0.91″
Weight: 3.47 oz
Key Features: Many flashlights boasting 1000 lumen+ outputs tend to have a very bright center that creates glare at closer distances. The S2R II Baton is Olight’s solution, incorporating TIR optics to create a smooth beam that’s easy on the eyes. This upgrade to the S2R has an improved grip texture, more compact body overall and includes a magnetic tail cap. And because this flashlight is USB rechargeable, it’s a great choice for pairing with a solar panel on longer treks.


Fenix UC30

Brightness: 1000 lumens
Dimensions: L- 5.1” x D- 1”
Weight: 2.72 oz
Key Features: The Fenix UC30 2017 Edition pairs a slim, compact body with a 1000 lumen output rated for 276 yards of throw distance, giving it the longest throw of the flashlights on this list. Fenix also included several features we find to be nice touches for camping such as tailstand capability, 3 different color switch boots to make it easier to find your flashlight in your gear, and of course, USB charging.


Olight M1T Raider

Brightness: 500 lumens
Dimensions: L-3.58″xD-0.83″
Weight: 2 oz
Key Features: For those of you looking to keep your gear as slim as possible, the Olight M1T Raider is a flashlight to consider. This EDC-style flashlight uses a tactical-style tail cap to offer access to two modes: 500 lumens or 5 lumens. The minimalist approach means you can carry the M1T in your pocket and always have a useful beam at your fingertips — something you’ll definitely appreciate as you go about your daily camp activities.


Fenix LD15R

Brightness: 500 lumens
Dimensions: L-2.76″xD-0.75″
Weight: 1.41 oz
Key Features: The Fenix LD15R will make you wonder how you survived without an L-angle light in your gear before. Don’t let the small size of this light fool you! The LD15R offers both a 500 lumen white output as well as a secondary 4 lumen red output set into an L-angle, rechargeable body with a magnetic base. This means you can clip the light to your bag or pocket or stick it to metal objects and have hands-free light directed exactly where you need it.


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