Over the past few years I have been trying to stock up on those hand crank flashlights and lanterns. But instead of having a bunch of them at my home (which I do), I have been bringing some of them to “the camp”.
When my family and I go to the camp, sometimes its after dark when we get there. After we arrive, I will grab a flashlight to go turn on the propane. I do not want to have to worry about dead batteries in the flashlight.
There have been a few time that thunder storms have knocked out power at the camp. I do not like looking around for extra batteries in the dark – especially when we have mouse traps set out.
Its very convent to grab a flashlight, shake or give it a couple of twist, and you have instant light.
Here is one of the issues, it might be 2 – 4 months between trips to the camp. That gives the batteries in the flashlights a long time to go dead.
Also, if you leave those cheap batteries in your flashlights -the ones that leak acid – your gear can be ruined before you know it. Just the other day I found an AM/FM radio that the batteries had leaked in and ruined the device. The radio was a cheap one, so its not a lot of money lost, but it is a piece of equipment that will need to be replaced.
I have heard of long term storage batteries, ones that you can keep stored for decades,,,, but why? I see no real reason to invest in stuff like that. They are going to go dead after you put them in the flashlight anyway.
The crank flashlights make good hand outs to the kids. If the light gets set down and the batteries go dead, just give it a few shakes or twist. This past weekend while on a camping trip with my daughter, I gave her a twist flashlight to keep in her tent with her. I told her to twist the end to charge it up, and she was like “ok, no problem.”
Over the years I have tried a bunch of different lighting solutions for the camp – everything from rechargeable lights that you plug in, to buying high quality batteries.
One thing about batteries – they all go dead sooner or later.
With a place that a family shares, you never know who has gone there and how much the lights were used.
One example – my brother could have gone to the camp and used the flashlights a lot. A couple of weeks later I go, and the batteries are almost dead. I did not know that my brother had used the lights, and he did not tell anyone.
To keep things simple, I think having some hand powered flashlights are the best way to go. They may not be as bright as a regular flashlight, but they work when you need them.
Besides flashlights, I also like the crank powered lanterns. These provide a wider range of light as compared to a flashlight. Where a regular flashlight puts out a beam, a lantern lights up an entire area. Which would be good for loading wood in the truck, looking around a shed, putting in the middle of a table,,,, stuff like that.
When the power goes out, a lot of people use gas powered lanterns, like a coleman lantern. These can get very hot and can cause serious burns. Handcrank lanterns do not require fuel and put out a lot less heat then regular lantern.
Please post your comments in the handcrank flashlight thread of the forums.