Covid-19 has turned the world upside down, as social distancing is a significant factor in determining the spread of this disease, so we are ordered to stay home. Amid closed borders and canceled flights, international travel is heavily restricted, camping, staycations, and inbound tours have replaced trips abroad.
Besides hand sanitizer, a surgical mask, an EDC flashlight is one of the essentials for my inbound tours. It may seem like a trivial item, but I find it useful as it allows me to respond to any number of possible scenarios. Below are some examples I’d like to share with you.
1. Personal Safety
Whether you are walking in the park or discovering street art and local bites, having an EDC flashlight in your backpack or purse will always be a good idea once the sun goes down. Once you leave an area with good lighting such as the shopping mall in the city or a restaurant, you will be sensitive to the dark, and having a flashlight on hand can keep you from falling or tripping.
I must clarify that I’ve never been into binge drinking, but you know, over the holidays, it can be challenging to manage alcohol, and having a few drinks after dinner is one of my favorites. Having a flashlight prevents me from falling under the influence of alcohol and allows me to stay aware of my surroundings when walking back to my hotel room.
Though you can’t see the flashlight as a self-defense weapon, light out of 70-100 lumens is sufficient to cause flash blindness, which means it can be used to temporarily blind an assailant or stalker.
2. Power Outages
I’ve learned from real-life experiences that we should always be prepared for emergencies when we are traveling. 5 years ago, I traveled to Chiang Mai, Thailand on my own, and I stayed in a Bungalow. I remember after my dinner I came back to the hotel and the lights were completely shut off. I was horrified as there was no emergency flashlight in the room and my phone was dead, I couldn’t even see the hand in front of my face.
Fortunately, a lady next door with a flashlight offered to help, with her powerful flashlight, we were able to navigate the dark hallways to the front desk.
I subsequently found out that Power outages in Chiang Mai tend to be a regular occurrence, since then, I’ve been carrying an EDC flashlight in my bag wherever I go. I don’t trust my cell phone flashlight and it’s not powerful anyway. The EDC light I’m having only weighs 63g, it is easy and convenient to carry around.
3. Driving/Walking at night
Canada is where I live, and I love this country, except for the ‘effective lighting’ policy for Toronto. I live in the Fort York neighborhood and the streetlights in our community have not been working properly for years.
The reasons behind this is a ‘mystery’ to me, I’m not sure if there is anything to do with the budget cut proposed by Toronto’s city council, the only thing certain is the streets and expressways are completely dark after sunset, and when you’re walking by your neighbors or friends, you can’t even see them and say hi.
The situation is quite bizarre to me, I believe energy saving is important, but street lights are necessary too. So, a flashlight is one of my everyday items besides my house keys, my wallet, and cell phone.
4. Inspect For Bed Bugs
There is another thing I’ve learned to do from a recent staycation. I visited Prince Edward County a couple of months ago and stayed in a 4-star hotel. I arrived around 10 pm and was allotted a premium room. Everything seems to be perfect, and I went straight to bed as I was exhausted.
However, I woke up in the middle of the night with itchy red welts, so I took out the UV penlight in my bag to check for bed bugs and I found that there were tons of bed bugs hidden around the bed frame.
Since then, the first thing I do upon entering a hotel room is to pull the blanket and linens off the bed and check for bed bugs. Bear in mind that bed bugs can be present in any hotel no matter how luxurious the place may be; a UV penlight in my pocket allows me to show evidence to the hotel if any dispute arises.
The pandemic is far from over, and things remain uncertain. I’m still learning to cope with stress in a healthy way, taking breaks from watching news stories is one of the solutions that I came up with, and inbound travel has become another stress relief outlet for me.