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Hand powered flashlight

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by Zyni, Oct 10, 2014.

  1. Zyni

    Zyni Novice Camper

    I would normally consider tools such as a hand crank flashlight or radio as disaster preparation tools, but they could certainly be useful for camping as well. They would be especially good when you're way out or out for a long time. Are there any other types of hand crank tools that don't require batteries to operate? Do you use any for camping?
     
    campforums likes this.
  2. campforums

    campforums Founder Staff Member

    Well I have a sort of multi device that is crank powered which I bought from Canadian Tire that has a flashlight, radio, and USB charger. To be honest I don't really use it that much because it is kind of bulky and it takes a very long time and lots and lots of effort manually cranking it to get it to full charge which then doesn't last very long. I prefer to just use rechargeable batteries because they are reusable but also they can provide more power, last longer, and easier to replenish if you remember to bring spares! So basically you get the best of both worlds.
     
  3. Profit5500

    Profit5500 Novice Camper

    I do not try to get to the point of a flashlight. If I feel I the called the PMC's I would have a middle size I would give up camping.
     
  4. campforums

    campforums Founder Staff Member

    Also, I would love to see how you get around your camp site in the dark without a flashlight! All the rocks and stumps and uneven terrain that is typical when you're out in the woods can be pretty dangerous to walk on if you can't see where you are going.
     
  5. Profit5500

    Profit5500 Novice Camper

    Getting around in the dark with no light sounds like a challenge. I would not want to be in that circle when disaster hits.
     
  6. weekender

    weekender Newbie

    A hand crank flashlight would be a good auxiliary tool for camping to function as an emergency light in case the main flashlight stops working. I remember giving these types of flashlights to each camper attached to a lanyard during one of our family camps. It's something you would want to have in an emergency tool kit as well. I would not recommend these as the main camp flashlight because these are not really durable perhaps due to the moving parts.
    no-battery-flashlight.jpg
     
  7. Zyni

    Zyni Novice Camper

    I didn't mean don't bring a flashlight at all. I just meant the hand crank one is usually reserved for emergencies but could be useful in camping as well, especially if things didn't go according to planned (which I have found happens when camping ;)
     
  8. campforums

    campforums Founder Staff Member

    Especially since since young campers can be prone to leaving their flashlights on all night and draining the batteries before the trip is over...
     
  9. happyflowerlady

    happyflowerlady Survivalist

    We always took flashlights, and made sure the batteries were good, and probably had extra along, just in case. Usually, we didn't have to use it a lot at night, but it was good to have it when we did need one. It was one of those big spotlight ones that would shine quite a ways, so we could shine it out into the woods if we heard an animal moving around out there, or just needed to walk out into the woods to go to the bathroom. I now have one of those radios that work on either batteries or a hand crank, and if I went camping , I would certainly take that along. Also, my iPhone has a flashlight accessory, so when I just needed a little light for something, then that would work fine.

    As was mentioned, the crank radio/flashlights need a lot of cranking for not much playing time; so having good batteries in them is definitely the best plan, and use the crank when necessary.

    We didn't have any of the fancy knives with all of the blades; but my dad and grandpa always had their pocket knives along, and they were kept sharp. We also had a good hatchet, hand saw, or even the axe along in case we had a big tree limb across the road, and had to cut it in order to get through and out to the lake.
     
  10. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    I stay away from gadgets that need cranking. It really is a matter of choice though. I have an excellent head lamp and a flashlight that hangs in a holster. I do have solar power for base camp and use two different lighting systems. There are so many excellent choices in the market place you have to decide what you need and how you intend to use them. I've been amazed at how powerful they have become. You don't have to go expensive either - it all depends upon what you need. And then again - there's always candle power.
     
  11. campforums

    campforums Founder Staff Member

    It seems that most people don't really like the hand crank ones. Personally I think they would be great for young kids because they don't mind spending some time cranking and also it is okay if they waste/drain the battery keeping it on all night.
     
  12. happyflowerlady

    happyflowerlady Survivalist

    Actually, you younger folk probably don't remember it, but when I was little , and we went camping, even the one flashlight that we brought along was innovative. What we usually used in camp was an old kerosene lantern, one that looked like they used to use when walking along the railroad tracks back in the days when railroads had people that did that.

    My grandfather was one of those people, and one of my earliest memories is of waiting in the car (47 Nash) with my mom, and seeing that lantern in the distance as my grandfather came walking back down the track. Later, my folks got "hi-tech", and we had a Coleman lantern, and even a Coleman camp stove for making coffee in the mornings, and cooking breakfast. That made for a lot faster breakfasts than having to wait for the campfire to get going good enough to cook on it!!
     
  13. campforums

    campforums Founder Staff Member

    Thanks for sharing your story. You are right that it is hard for me to imagine camping without a flashlight since I've had flashlights since as long as I can remember even as a little kid.

    I still do all of my cooking on the camp fire though, but you are right that it takes a long time to get going. Especially the first meal of the day you need to build up the embers and in order to get any real heat needed for cooking. I remember whenever I go camping everyone is always waiting around anxiously as whoever it is, is working to get the fire going. Usually still looking a bit sleepy from the night before and wearing their sleeping clothes and maybe a blanket or two.

    That's true, the biggest markdowns usually happen right before the new models get released. Have you gotten any nice bargains for black friday?
     
  14. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    I didn't allow myself to be tempted as I was last year. I have in mind only one piece of equipment but I'll wait to early spring to make a final decision. I feel a bit guilty on occasion when I check out the inventory - how did I accumulate so much? I'm needing to go easy and make due with what I have - and I have a lot of it. My rationalization, if I was called to testify against myself, this is the only thing that I really do. :angelic:
     
  15. campforums

    campforums Founder Staff Member

    Where do you store it all? Camping equipment can take up a lot of space if you have a lot of it. Does you garage hold it all? I usually try to sell or trade or discard things as I get new ones so that I don't end up with too much clutter. Sometimes that can be hard to do though!
     
  16. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    I usually give away stuff at the All Sections Scout Camp in the Spring. [I have a no money auction with items put aside for different groups including leaders.] One year I had a camp supply store give me three new backpack tents to give away. I asked why they did that, I quote, "Because you are one of our best customers."

    Actually - I have two basement rooms - one for bagged equipment - tents, cots, sleeping bags, and other items that come in containment bags. The other room has all the small stuff - dishes, kitchen stuff, flashlights, batters, food stuffs, pots and pans, grills & stoves, lanterns etc. etc. etc. There are items in the shed too - grill sets, campfire rings, and so on.


    I know I know...it's a bit much. I didn't accumulate all this overnight.
     
  17. campforums

    campforums Founder Staff Member

    I see, sorta like a "buy half the store, get a few for free" kinda deal ;) That is one of the benefits of shopping at independent stores, I doubt anything like that would happen if you were buying from Wal-Mart or Bass Pro or something because at those places the employees can't really just give stuff away even to their best customers.
    Nice, as long as it is organized! I have seen so many people with basements that look like disaster zones. I think shelving is the most important thing for making an efficient use of space especially for those smaller items you mentioned. We recently put in massive ceiling-to-floor closets in one room in our basement and it made a huge difference in the amount of space. Our basement feels almost empty now... I guess that means we can start collecting more junk haha.
     
  18. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    I'm organized don't you know. Things are on shelves that are well marked, [dishes, pots and pans. stoves etc.] tags are on all larger pieces of equipment like tents with the date last checked, tents are stored off the floor, and I have an inventory list that is seasonally divided. I even have a shelf for do equipment. :)
     
  19. kevinkimers

    kevinkimers Novice Camper

    I hate anything hand cranked. We had a radio and flashlight, first off... the charge did not last very well. Had to keep cranking until our hands hurt to keep it working, and the handle kept breaking off of them. So finally I went with solar and have been trying to create a small wind turbine to attach to one. I'm not very technical so it is slow going. I'll get there though. I'm making the turbine to be water proof too so that if you have one nearby you can dip it into flowing water to power it also.

    :shame: That would be me. No matter how hard I try, I just can't keep it organized. I know where everything is at though... does that count??
     
  20. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    I agree with you. The reality there are so many products out there it really isn't necessary to crank much. Though - I have gone into some solar systems and they have worked well for me as well.
     
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