Lost in the woods - which light would you pick?

Let’s say that you are lost in the woods at night and you get to have one light.

Which light would it be, and why?

Some limitations:

- You have to walk yourself out, e.g. your light won’t be used for signaling purposes and should be small enough to carry.

- Your destination is just a few miles away and you have to reach it ASAP, i.e. hunkering down and waiting until sunrise is not an option.

- You have a map and compass to help you navigate, but there are no trails. It’s all cross country.

- The woods consist of a mix of dense forest and open areas.

- It’s a clear, moonless night.

- The only set of batteries you have are the ones in the light.

Remember, you only get one light.

Thrunite TN30 XM-L2.

Has moonlight mode which is handy for reading the map and compass, is compact enough to be comfortable to carry for that length of time, has adequate throw, has huge flood output and can light up a significant amount of area if necessary. Runtime is more than adequate to get “a few miles”.

still h600w :slight_smile: or the mk2 version… headlamps are so much more useful walking in the woods, reading a map and leave your hands free if you fall or need to hold a branch out of your face

Of my lights, a modified HD2010. Huge throw for spotting the surroundings to try to figure out where the hell I am, low low for in-tent use, adequate spill for hiking, has a big battery for long battery life. It's not a light that I'd have with me while backpacking though since it's too big and heavy.

What I'd realistically use is what I'd be likely to have with me while backpacking in the woods. So either an Armytek Wizard Pro or the ZL H52w on pre order.

Probally my P25 Smilodon ( has moonlight mode) and is has great run time on low and medium.

I know the question kind of sounds like a backpacking question, and the real world incident that inspired it actually was a backpacking incident, but for the sake of this thread, you don't have to factor in having to carry the light around for multiple days. The weight only matters for one night.

Having a hand free or dropping the light isn't a big deal if a lanyard is used. I'd rather hold my light in my hand so that I can see the texture of the ground and be less likely to trip and fall in the first place. A right angle light means I can put the light on my head when I need to use both hands, like when I'm digging through my pack or eating.

That's what I figured. I'm very unlikely to end up in the woods unprepared, so I'd be carrying one of those headlamps. For this discussion, I just listed what I'm likely to carry on a night hike on a city trail I know very well. The HD2010 with some mods is a very nice light for that.

cnqg extreme runtime host, qlite driver hi cri xp-g2

compact, throwy as a c8 huge runtime

I have many throwers and throw-a-like, but even if those would be nice to have to search the better path in the distance, they are not that good for walking due to low spill and concentrated hotspot.

I'd say the old Fenix TK-35 would be a good candidate. 4 nicely spaced levels, Low enough for a map reading, good spill for walking and smooth transition with hotspot, good throw if necessary, not overly large or heavy, really waterproof, and batteries last long enough (it's a 2x18650)

Not the most fancy one though, and by design many would consider it plain ugly

Of the lights I have, probably my Convoy M2 build: qlite driver with the 4-mode option (+moonlight), and XM-L2 5B1 emitter. It has a long runtime on the lower modes, 800 lumen on high, and is very robust.

(I really would like to have my 4amp dedomed xpg2 49mm reflector thrower as well if I could choose two lights)

While there are many answers, I suspect you’d struggle to top something like a p60 L2M with a 3 mode XM-L.

Reason being:

-small enough that you might have it in your pocket unlike a C8 or larger options
–18650 battery which means high capacity and long run times unlike any 14500, AA or RCR lights
-despite being small has a large enough SMO reflector to offer up more than enough throw for outside use
–3 mode because you could extend runtime massively by using a lower mode

Of the lights I have, the SP03 wins for its combo of run-time and throw.

i also vote for h600 mk2…although i still haven’t received it yet i will go with this one (cutting edge temperature regulated max and a whole bunch of other modes in incredibly small package, i have h51w and it is great but it runs on AA and i can only imagine what the new h600mk2 will do…last week we took a night hike with a few friends and we had two zebralight h51w and one nitecore tm11 and as my friend used to say tm11 is overkill for what we need (but i think it is nice to “light up the whole mountain”…

eagle tac tx25c2

Wouldn’t matter if I was lost or just ‘getting home’ late, I would have one of my SolarForce lights in my bag, maybe two. And at least an extra battery. Or two. (edit - MTG-2 w 2x 18350 batteries in the tube)

DBCstm introduced me to the shorty SF L2M w 18350 batteries (1 or 2) which is all of 4 inches long but packs the punch of a E-1320 modded XML emitter.

I also carry (thanks again, DBCstm) a second one with a modded K-3 MTG-2 head which with x2 18350 batteries in the tube is a pocket rocket w great flood, great tint, great throw, great manageable size… and keep the bigger accessory head in the backpack - just returning from two weeks in the North Country where I did just that. Worked out great.

Fenix TK75 with as many extenders as allowed in this fantasy scenario.

Fenix tested it up to 22 carriers = 88 batteries.


A shock/water/dust proof wind up torch.
No worries about it breaking or running out of batteries :slight_smile:

Unless the wind up mechanism breaks. :P

Probably a Fenix TK35 because of it's long run times. 1 hour and 37 minutes on turbo at 860 lumens, 6 hours and 48 minutes on high at 365 lumens, 23 hours on medium at 120 lumens, and 130 hours on low at 15 lumens. More than enough time to get out of the woods. It's small size makes it easy to carry for extended times.