Monday, January 6, 2014

Practactical 101: Light it up

For the better part of two decades I've carried a flashlight everyday in my pocket. To the point that I can honestly say that if one where to count the hours in a race per se the flashlight would very well trump both the pistol and knife in my carrying. If only for the sake of being separated from two of those articles due to legal constraints (court rooms and airplanes).

I've walked through burned out buildings, crime scenes, tied flies to a line, read a book, cleared more than a few buildings and done all those "neat" tactical moves like they do on the t.v. , all with a flashlight between my fingers or teeth. Yet it was a power outage a few years back that taught me something really useful to do with a light.

Point it up.

If you're in the dark, inside, and not doing one of those uber cool room clears (you should practice that by the way) but, just trying to maneuver through the dark point your light straight up. This working especially well on ceilings 8-12 ft high.

What does it do that pointing it out in front of me doesn't do?

Well for starters it places your feet inside a ring of light as opposed to a shroud of darkness.

The secondary advantage is given the high lumen output on so many lights one can end up blinding others if you turn without thinking, putting your light on them. When pointed in the traditional method you get light only where the cone goes and how the beam is focused. Bounce it off the ceiling and you get the same effect of a floor lamp....wide spread illumination.

Lastly, it does one other thing. Brings about a calm to other people with you who don't have a light. The guy with the light gets to calm his heighten concerns first because the flashlight goes wherever thought's tell it to, anyone else by default is forced to observe whatever the torch bearer observes leaving them literally in the dark. With the light pointed up and three hundred and sixty degrees of illumination  provided everyone else can look where they so choose.

It may not sound like much, but moving through some dark place with a child clinging to your pant leg crippled with a fear of the dark can be at most a real problem and at the least a frustration. Thus causing your freedom of movement to be semi-impeded.

"Tactical" lights as we call them now days are phenomenal for blinding an aggressor but, day in and day out you are going to be called to use that light in everyday occurrences.

The better the illumination the safer and calmer anyone (and everyone) is going to be in an already trying and tense situation.


abnormalist said...

A few years ago I found these little guys

Claimed 400 lumen with the right batteries, also runs on a single AA with diminised output, three modes (High, low strobe) and an adjustable focus making it a lot nicer than most tactical lights. Add in that its dirt cheap, and I ordered a half dozen of em.

Not on anyones payroll for this, just a nice enough cheap light for normal pocket carry. Not claiming its a surefire, but you can buy 10 of these for the same cost as 1 of those :-) Means you have a much greater chance of finding one when you need one, or having one on you.

abnormalist said...

My bad, 300 lumen claimed. No idea how accurate

Sasquatch said...

Matthew, excellent that you are posting again. I only discovered your exceptional blog a week ago. In that time I have read every posting and recommended SFIACW to multiple people.

Your blog offers sound advice that is absent in other interweb preparedness discussions.

I really appreciate your tutorials, gear reviews, and perspective. Your blog is a valuable resource.

Many thanks to you, and please keep up the good work.

Gon2Fish said...

Welcome back!

Gisle Johnsen said...

Joining the welcoming committee here :) I also started following this blog a few weeks ago. Read a lot of posts, great reading.

I'm from Norway, and not all the gun posts are that relevant. But still good reading. Keep it up.

TerriLiGunn said...

I also found that it makes seeing the sights on some pistols easier to see, and makes you less likely to muzzle someone you don't want to when clearing a dark house.

Anonymous said...

I've used this technique more than once while sitting on a shitter when the lights went out..

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