Size: Especially important if you’ll be doing any sort of hiking to get to your camp site, don’t pack a bulky, outdated flashlight that will take up unnecessary room in your backpack and add weight you could probably find better uses for. Fortunately, LED flashlights these days offer some incredibly powerful outputs while still fitting in the palm of your hand.
Output: 100 lumens? 1000 lumens? How much light do you actually need is often a matter of preference, but in general we recommend a flashlight that runs between 700 and 1000 lumens. That’s more light than you’ll likely need for general campsite lighting and night time treks but can be used for when something goes bump in the night or for emergency searching.
Waterproof rating: Until we figure out a way to control the weather, making sure your flashlight is rated for splashes and rain will keep you from getting caught without a light at the worst possible time.
Batteries: Your flashlight is only as good as the battery inside powering it. Although there are some fantastic AA/AAA flashlights around, if you want to get the best power density from your cells, look for something running li-ion batteries. If your flashlight offers USB charging, consider bringing a power bank or solar panel to take advantage of on-the-go charging. For flashlights with removable batteries, carrying a spare cell or two is always a great way to ensure you won’t get caught in the dark.