The 9 volt battery seems to be the redheaded stepchild in the battery family. Beyond the common smoke detector and remote control car the 9V battery is rarely seen. One unique item that preparedness-minded folks should be interested in is the 9V battery powered flashlight.
Several years ago I came across the Pak-Lite flashlight and read many stories of users who used it to hike literally thousands of miles as well as utilize it during hurricane induced power outages. I ordered a Pak-Lite and have used it periodically ever since.
The Pak-Lite LED flashlight is a tiny light that mounts directly on top of a 9 volt battery and has a lever-switch to select either of the two illumination levels. In a world of high performance flashlights the Pak-Lite may be considered meek and under-powered however there is more to performance than just lumen-level.
As stated the Pak-Lite is a tiny LED flashlight approx 1/3rd the height of a standard 9V battery. It snaps directly on top of a 9 volt battery so the “body” of the light ends up being the battery itself. I do not know the lumen-level for the low and high setting however they are very low. The huge benefit of the Pak-Lite is the extreme life of the battery.
On low setting a standard alkaline will provide up to 600 hours of light. Switched to the high setting upwards of 30 hours of light per 9 volt alkaline. There are hikers that have completed the Appalachian trail using only the Pak-Lite for their entire trip.
Above: Low setting on lawn
Below: High setting same lawn
Below: Corner of garden on High setting
The beam sent out in both low and high settings is a wide-angle flood. The low setting is excellent for reading, maneuvering inside a tent, or looking nearby for something. The low setting is barely bright enough to reliably walk around in total darkness. The high setting is considerably brighter and is plenty powerful to even go for a jog in total darkness. In no way is this a “tactical” light to light someone up at 100 yards – but it works for general moving around.
So – why would having a few of these Pak-Lite’s be a good thing to do? First off the battery life is flat out fantastic. Second is if a hurricane is coming and you head to Home Depot to pick up some extra batteries there is a good chance 9V batteries will be found while all other sizes are sold out. Lastly – the operation is extremely simple. Choose the brightness level and it is a simple On and Off.
Many describe the Pak-Lite as the perfect survival light. Those that have used it through hurricanes and hiked thousands of miles with it would probably agree.