Prepper Forum / Survivalist Forum banner

1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Mod Squad
Joined
·
2,260 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I haven't seen this topic discussed, but light discipline is an important consideration in some survival situations.

I'm bringing this up now because I just got a new LED flashlight. I bought it because it said it's 85 lumens, but wow, 85 lumens is a lot brighter than I thought it would be. For my intended use, it's too bright, and I'm looking at ways to add a green or red filter to it.

If you're on the move in a SHTF situation, light can get you killed fast.

To me, the ideal light would be just bright enough to read a map or check a compass. I would close my aiming eye to maintain night vision, use the light as little as possible, and then only in areas of good concealment. When possible, it's just as easy to navigate by the stars so you only need light to check your map now and then.

Building any sort of traditional campfire is out of the question for me. Any fires I build would be done in the daytime and be very small. I like to cook over coals, not flames, so this works well for me. Lanterns are out of the question too, at least as far as I am concerned. I wouldn't even risk a candle. I would be moving at night anyway, and doing it in the dark like all good ninjas. :)

On the other hand, it's not terrible to have a bright light in most home defense situations. There I would turn it on, scan quickly, turn it off, then quickly and quietly move a few steps right or left. If I saw an intruder, I would shine it right into his (or her) eyes to dazzle him, then do what I'm gonna do before they can recover.

So what else? I would love to read your ideas on the subject.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,068 Posts
Although it is tangential to the topic, I do carry a small Surefire 500 lumen flashlight on my person (or in my briefcase during the day) when I travel. A lot of states I have to go to, it is just too much of a hassle to carry a pistol (in some it is not even possible). I figure a small, very bright flashlight in the eyes might buy me just enough time to escape a difficult situation.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,616 Posts
I have a big, heavy LED flashlight that can reach from our deck to the play lot in the park out behind us. Wonderful to scatter the noisy teenagers hanging out - "Cops - run" being my favorite response.
For on the move light - I would love to have a night vision scope (maybe Christmas Inor?) my father used to use electricians tape to cover the flashlight and make small pin holes so that one or two very small beams of light would show. This was many, many years ago when he would be looking for some stupid lost soul in the Montana mountains and didn't want to lose his night vision.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,616 Posts
Can't restore what is lost if you aren't around to restore. Light discipline is one aspect to getting yourself and loved ones to a safe place. When the SHTF there will be gangs and all sorts of bad people looking to take and take and take. When the dust clears then rebuilding can occur.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,028 Posts
Even a lit cigarette is a dead giveaway at night.

While the red flashlight filters may help in laboratory studies or whatever, I've been out in the woods at night on to many **** hunting trips to think they fool anything well in real life. Several guys tried them, and even the dogs and ***** would turn their heads and look at guys using lights. Colored filters or not. For real! I've seen a **** in the tree respond to where the red flashlights were being shown. The filters may help in some circumstances, but I wouldn't ever bet my safety on it!

Need to use a light at night without people seeing it for miles? Carry a large black trash bag to slip over you, your map. and light. Better yet since its MUCH more durable, the military teaches cover yourself with your rain parka and stay low just in case. If your in a group have the others sit in a circle around you so they can see and cover any "leaking" light.

Traveling at night is just a BAD idea anyway. Your not going to get as far as you think before twisting an ankle or far worse. Plus there's less cover noise at night, and sound travels better.

Don't believe the myth about needing to hear two shots fired to zero in on somebodies location either. MANY times I've been deer hunting with one or several other people that were scattered out all over the place at plenty of distance. Yet anytime someone fired a shot we all managed to walk RIGHT TO that persons location to see the kill and help drag it out of the woods.

If your just determined to be mobile at night I agree with needing a GOOD night vision setup being the only real option. Their NOT cheap though, and aren't exactly thrifty with the odd size batteries you feed them.

At SOME point you and your group are going to HAVE to sleep. If your sleeping during the day the chances are A LOT HIGHER somebody is going to discover you at the worst possible moment (when your out cold snoozing) than if your sleeping at night like most of them will be, and you have the cover of darkness to hide you.
 

·
Mod Squad
Joined
·
2,260 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
If you're on the move in a SHTF situation, light can get you killed fast.
Let us all take a good look at that, shall we?
Yes, let's. As a matter of fact, that was the reason for starting this thread.

IMO, being a city slicker and all, isn't that the kind of mind set that got us into a case where we preppers are "to trust noone", but we are to "mass in numbers"?
Sorry, I have no idea what you are asking here. If you trust nobody, how can you mass in numbers? I can only speak for myself, but in a survival situation, I wouldn't trust anyone I don't know.

Is it not a fix what is broke as a "team" to redeem our nation for what it once was?
I'm not sure what you mean by this either, but to rebuild, you have to survive, right?

Why is there so much hiding, selfishness, killing AFTER shtf when we preppers are suppose to be above that and restore what has been lost? Maybe I have subscribed to the wrong place?
I would be hiding to avoid confrontations which could easily turn deadly, and to avoid having to kill anyone. Is this selfish?

"we preppers are suppose to be above that" Sorry, I never got that memo. Sure, my eventual goal would be to return to some sort of normal civilization, but as I said, one has to survive the initial few months in order to rebuild anything. IMO, MacArthur had them in the right order when he talked about Duty, Honor, & Country. It's my duty to survive, and do so with honor, in order to rebuild the country.

I'm a warrior, not a savage. I live my life according to a strict personal code of honor, and I hope that code would remain more or less intact in a SHTF situation. I say "hope" because better men than me have strayed off their chosen paths, regardless of their original intentions. In hard times, hard decisions sometimes have to be made, and the moral path isn't always that obvious.

I started this thread to talk about light discipline, not the morality of survival. <shrug>
 
  • Like
Reactions: inceptor

·
Mod Squad
Joined
·
2,260 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
BigCheeseStick, I want to filter my light to reduce the amount of light, not really to fool anyone. I would prefer a dark green filter, but any color filter is better than no filter, in my opinion. Then again, maybe I'll just find a dimmer flashlight.

My unit routinely moved at night, and I fully intend to move at night myself. It's not that hard once you have done it enough. The only time I ever twisted an ankle was when I was using gen 1 night vision. Maybe it's just me, but I can't tell how deep holes are with night vision and end up walking into stuff I would have avoided. I wish I could justify (afford) current state of the art thermal imaging, but I can't.

Sound may travel farther at night, but it's also harder to see what's making the noise. If you walk a little and stop and listen, you can keep out of trouble.

If by yourself, hunker down and camo up in the daytime. If in a group, keep a lookout. Most people walking through the woods make more noise than a herd of elephants. I'll hear them long before they see me, if they ever see me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,643 Posts
Infantry we own the the night.
LED and modern lights are amazing , the ones on our weapons go from 120 lumen to 220 . At night it is a locating beacon for sure.
Even laser sights can get you into trouble, my green ones will paint over 1/4 mile at night and can be traced right back to the weapon.
Start bight type scopes can use a very small amount of light to turn night into day .
 
  • Like
Reactions: retired guard

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,820 Posts
I know the red filters were preferred for years and have a rep as the go to filter, but two blue filters doubled up is the way to go to have useable light that is the least intrusive.

A high lumen LED light is a very useful tool, but like a sledge hammer, it isn't the right tool for every situation.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,373 Posts
If you are simply looking for something to read a map or see a compass. Why not look into the nite eyes buttons, I think that's what they are called. They are smaller than the pinch type LED light for key rings or EDC carry.

They are small enough you could put half a dozen (or more) of them in an altoids tin. They have elastic so the can be looped through a button hole or the eye of a zipper pull. They are very low light and I believed are marketed to runners and cyclist as marker lights.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,028 Posts
BigCheeseStick, I want to filter my light to reduce the amount of light, not really to fool anyone. I would prefer a dark green filter, but any color filter is better than no filter, in my opinion. Then again, maybe I'll just find a dimmer flashlight.

My unit routinely moved at night, and I fully intend to move at night myself. It's not that hard once you have done it enough. The only time I ever twisted an ankle was when I was using gen 1 night vision. Maybe it's just me, but I can't tell how deep holes are with night vision and end up walking into stuff I would have avoided. I wish I could justify (afford) current state of the art thermal imaging, but I can't.

Sound may travel farther at night, but it's also harder to see what's making the noise. If you walk a little and stop and listen, you can keep out of trouble.

If by yourself, hunker down and camo up in the daytime. If in a group, keep a lookout. Most people walking through the woods make more noise than a herd of elephants. I'll hear them long before they see me, if they ever see me.
A green filter could be the ticket, never tried it. Strangely, the LED bulbs with a little blue tint to them blend in really well, in the woods anyway. Mixes with the natural moon light.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
9,513 Posts
A green filter could be the ticket, never tried it. Strangely, the LED bulbs with a little blue tint to them blend in really well, in the woods anyway. Mixes with the natural moon light.
It probably changes the color temperature to daylight. In a small amount it could appear as moonlight, not a flashlight.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,308 Posts
Infantry we own the the night.
LED and modern lights are amazing , the ones on our weapons go from 120 lumen to 220 . At night it is a locating beacon for sure.
Even laser sights can get you into trouble, my green ones will paint over 1/4 mile at night and can be traced right back to the weapon.
Start bight type scopes can use a very small amount of light to turn night into day .
+1`I have seen people careful with their white light who seemed to have no clue about their laser.
 

·
Mod Squad
Joined
·
2,260 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Another aspect of light discipline involves your home or BOL. This can work 2 ways and I'm really not sure which would be the best way to go.

On one hand, observing strict light discipline by limiting your use of light and/or blacking out the windows would make your location harder to detect. If your house or BOL is spotted, however, it would make it look abandoned and maybe increase the odds of someone coming to see if there is anything worth scavenging.

On the other hand, showing light would make your location much easier to spot at night, but it would be fairly obvious someone is there. I would assume that someone who had the equipment to run lights in a grid down situation would also have the firepower to protect their stuff, but this might not be the case with many would-be looters.

So, what do you think? Lights off or lights on?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,643 Posts
+1`I have seen people careful with their white light who seemed to have no clue about their laser.
Flip your PVS 14 mono up without turning it off you may as well put a beacon light on your hear.
I think latter version shut down as soon as you flipped it up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,308 Posts
Flip your PVS 14 mono up without turning it off you may as well put a beacon light on your hear.
I think latter version shut down as soon as you flipped it up.
Mine was a night shoot on the range with CT etc hand held held and weapon mount lights what your talking about is a galaxy away.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,595 Posts
I like the sidewinder made by streamlight for the reasons mentioned above. I have two of them one has a ir bulb instead of the red that can be used with the pvs-14. It has 4 separate bulbs for just about any lighting condition necessary. I do not suggest using red anymore out side as NV picks it up the best, I would use low level blue as it seem NV doesn't pick it up that good and it has the same effect of saving you night vision eyes as red.

http://www.amazon.com/Streamlight-1...lating/dp/B003GXF9HM/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

Another advantage of NV gear like the PVS-14 is power use, 1 AA battery last 40 hours. So instead of using a 1000 candle power light that eats up batteries a PVS-14 amplifies the existing light 60,000 time so even in a cave with out any light a very small red light will light up the whole area.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,368 Posts
Light discipline was sure beat into all of us that trained between '68 and '72.

I'm surprised it does not come up more often.

There is nothing more deadly than a high, quiet, sniper looking for a light to put out. You can be sure he is not where it came from.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,086 Posts
If you are in a highly populated area no lights is a good idea. Add to that throwing a bunch of trash in the front yard to make it seem like the place has already been looted and your abode is just one more "empty cup" that most will pass by to look for something more "promising".

If you are more than ten miles away from population then you can decide if your topography will conceal your lights from those looking for "provisions" and a spot to rest at is up to you.

I figure if there are no lights then there is no reason to go in that direction especially at night.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Prepadoodle
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top