Swiss Army Knives
Flashlights As An Indispensable Tool
In an age when even our cars are sending us e-mails about needing oil changes or spark plugs, something like the flashlight just doesn’t really impress us. Much like it did for our grandparents, a flashlight just shines light and eats batteries like there’s no tomorrow. You don’t see any flashlights with digital LED readouts or Internet access—so what’s the point? Even in this brave new world of wireless technology, the flashlight remains an indispensable tool. At the end of it all, a flashlight simply produces illumination. That’s it—no more and hopefully no less. Simple yet completely functional even in our technological age, the flashlight remains as needed as ever.
Power outages remain a constant threat and Hurricane Katrina certainly taught everyone how useful a flashlight can really be. Getting the attention of helicopters, especially at night, is no easy feat for someone stranded on a roof. But give that person a flashlight and they will have no trouble getting the attention of people in a rescue helicopter. Of course, Hurricane Katrina was a rare event and it is not every day that someone needs air lifted off of their roof. But even in the common power outages caused by blizzards or heavy storms, a flashlight is usually the first thing people go looking for.
Candles may be great for producing ambient lighting in a room, but they are useless when it comes to helping you navigate through dark rooms. If they don’t blow out when you’re walking, they still don’t produce enough light at your feet to avoid stubbing your tow or really getting hurt. A flashlight is the preferred tool when it comes to walking in dark conditions. If power outages are the primary reason to keep a flashlight around the house, then flat tires make them indispensable in the car. While we would love to believe that some roadside assistance or AAA will save us immediately when we have a flat tire, the truth is that we can be waiting for hours before any help arrives. Even in this digital age, it sometimes is necessary to change a flat tire—at night. You need a flashlight just to be able to find the jacking point on the car, let along find the lug nuts lying on the ground after you take the tire off. Without a flashlight, just prepare to sit around and wait for the tow truck or roadside assistance tech—however many hours later that might be! Since a flashlight is still a very necessary tool today and you want it to work when you need it, plan on buying a good one. Don’t waste your time with a flashlight that has a plastic casing. Aluminum or metal alloy frames are the best and most durable.
You will drop the flashlight from time to time so buy one with a solid frame so it can take the abuse and keep working. Also, make sure you buy a flashlight with a bright bulb and preferably a spare bulb stored somewhere on the frame. That way, you never have to worry about your flashlight failing you when you most need it.
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