Monday, February 3, 2014

A Basic For the Bug Out Bag

Having adequate light is a concern in any potential power outage situation or out in the elements after dark.  Candles can cause fires (and those little "tea light" candles have all the illumination of a Reese's peanut butter cup). Lighting sources can get wet and be unusable. Batteries can accidentally be left home.  There's water and wind. There are times you want enough light to find your way or find a certain item without being obvious to predator OR prey.

I got this nifty little item from a dear friend for my birthday. From uvPaqlite, it's a square piece of hard plastic-like material, quite bendable when warm to wrap around something, mountable on the wall, and easy to tote and carry.  It's their UVMatliteWhat does it do? With no batteries, no power source but light, no chemicals or radiation, it glows in the dark. And I mean GLOWS. It's bright enough to light your way out of a dark place, place a piece of paper over it for writing, or place near where you may need to find your way  in the dark of night when the power is out. 
Of course, when I first opened it in sunlight I was tempted to stage it on my counter with my giant Ginsu knife and some sliced tomatoes and send  a photo of it to M. with the note "Thanks for the cutting board" as a joke, as I recognized what it was.  But honestly, I don''t think you could hurt this thing too badly even with a knife.  It seems to be pretty durable though I tried neither the .45 round or any lab test on it (here Barkley!)

It utilizes DILITHIUM Strontium Aluminate crystals blended with a rare earth called uropium (strontium is actually found in some toothpastes).  It doesn't produce heat, radiation or any known side effect toxic to human or pets.   The one pictured below had been inside a briefcase all day and still produced enough glow to take this photo.
It can use any source of light to "power up"  - sunlight, LED lights, Flashlights, halogen, fluorescent, blacklights, etc. and within minutes (about 10 in the sunlight) it will glow all night long giving you some light in a power failure, or to keep you from bumping into something.   For a natural disaster, it always works, even after the battery supply runs out. Unlike batteries, it won't expire, this should glow in 30 years like it glows today. Plus, it even works underwater (forensic hot tub findings are classified, however).  Try THAT with your decorative candle.

The uses around the home are many.  Open a safe to get out items you need to take out in the event of a natural disaster or Zombie Apocalypse. 
Find that one item  for which someone would be totally lost.
Prevent panic.

What about hunting?  Put it up in your blind (photo from their website.)  Have it handy to find ammo in a moonless night before dawn without spooking the game with the spotlight or  "click!" of a flashlight.   I can see the size I was given easily working in a small tent. The Matlight is one size, but the less durable but just as effective Paqlites in the smallest size can be had for less than $4 and can be used as trail markers.
Even better, it's made in the USA.

My birthday Matlite is in my briefcase which goes with me to airplane and hotel.  Another one went on the dash of my vehicle when I leave it in airport parking (very helpful in finding the Bat Truck in the giant sea of long term parking when I roll in on the red eye) and then stored in the car emergency kit. There will be another one  in the home emergency kit. It's not so bright as to keep you awake in your bedroom, but it will give you the light you need to be safe and aware.   Having such tools for emergencies is essential.  If you are new to survival supplies there's lots of information out there, including a brand new prepping blog for folks who are neither flush with cash or experts, folks that want to read and learn at the basic level, on a shoestring, as they say.. Go check out the Erin and Evelyn, David, Lokidude and Chaplain Tim at Blue Collar Prepping for what is shaping up to be a great source of information..  Click on the name to go there, or visit them from my Folks Smarter than the Average Bear Sidebar.

I like this little addition.  Ob dark and story nights when predators abound, it will provide an illuminated platform for things I need close at hand when things go bump in the night. That's sleeping peacefully, in my book. 


  1. Pretty dang cool.

    I'm a fan of those cheap tactifool 3 AAA LED flashlights, like the Duracells at Costco. On special, they were less than $5 a throw, with the batteries. (Guess what the whole extended famn damily got this Christmas?) I bought a bunch for us and scattered them everywhere.

    Wife thought I finally flipped when she found a couple in the fridge's low humidity crisper. Took me a while to convince her that the cool temp preserves the batteries, and we will always know were two flashlights will be. Plus, I can (and have) found the refrigerator in the dark.

  2. Didn't you do a post on these already, a few years back? I swear I've seen those pictures before; they're what caused me to look up the company and buy some of their products. I have the UVO and the medium PaqLite in my bug-out bag and the Tooblite in my get-home bag. Ooh, and I bought a Scooblite for my brother!

    And it looks like they have some cool new stuff on their webpage now. I'm going to have to give it another look.

    Thanks for the link love, Brigid!

  3. They are pretty neat, got a couple when you mentioned them a while ago B...perfect emergency lighting.

  4. Nice addition to multiple bags... :-)

  5. Cool item, Brigid. My problem is I hate bright things in my room at night when I'm trying to sleep. Having an assortment of Glo-paint and powder from Glo-Inc, I know how annoying I find them at night.

  6. Flashlight Geekery Alert: California Costcos now have the above 250 lumen flashlights for 3 for $17. They also have the Duracell 500 lumen 3 C cell LED lights for 2 for $20. Both are great values IMNSHO.

  7. Aha - uvPaqlite! This time I saved the site. Stay warm over there!

  8. Uno Mas - the cool temp is a great idea that not enough folks know. Thanks.

    Erin - I did a short post when I first got them, but now that I've found different uses for them, I figured it was time to bring them out again. I'm glad I bought a couple more.

    immagikman - glad you liked them!

    Monkeywrangler - they're not near as bright as the display of a clock, I find it doesn't bother me.

    mikelaforge - you too, and be safe.

  9. I'd love to be able to have a BOB with a 1911, a long arm with side-folding stock, and a couple of blades. But I work on a military installation so no firearms or blades longer than 3 1/2" allowed here. I can only imagine the reactions from the gate guards if I had my kukri. The only thing that might be worse would be a claymore (either 17th or 20th century versions).
    Take care and stay safe, the weather looks to be sloppy and treacherous. I very much enjoy your writing, it makes me think.


  10. Just purchased their trial pack on their website, can't wait to test these out for myself. I plan on posting my own review on my blog and give a h/t to your original post (with your permission of course) ;-)

  11. james - I've a friend that works in a manufacturing plant where they had similar rules. Everyone had to show what pocket knife they had and it was classified either "allowed" or "not allowed" with a little sticker put on it that stated. One day a package arrived that NO ONE could get open with their "allowed" knives. That was pretty funny.

    Mark Jewell - please link and I do appreciate you asking first. Enjoy!

  12. Brigid, I just broke down and bought one of the trial packs. They seem like a great idea, plus, with a growing herd, I won't have to worry about batteries going out on flashlights.
    --Matt R.

  13. I am with Uno Mas - I have cheap versions of various "tactical" flashlights stashed around the house and in the autos. The Costco "Duracell" things (they were something else until recently). I also found some others (can't remember the brand) so I have everything from simple 6 or 8 LED lights for basic moving around, or reading and on up the scale to 1000 lumen "burn through the neighbor's fence" lights. Lanterns also. Gotta have lanterns. The GE things they are selling these days at Costco seem very good but I've got some old Coleman CFLs as well. And a windup thing the kids gave me.

    Gotta look into these mats.

    In defense of the tea lights... they aren't much for illumination but I've slept quite comfortably through a darned chilly few nights with a dozen of them lit around the bedroom. I estimate them at roughly the warming equivalent of a 60W light bulb and if that's all you have, well.

    Trying to keep pipes from freezing - drop 2 or 3 into small glasses and put them under your sinks. They are a whole lot easier to control than stick candles.

  14. Brigid,
    That's one nice toy. My ace-in-the hole for last ditch light has always been a couple real-live, not consumer grade chemlights. Unfortunately, they have short shelf life (in BOB years) and I haven't tried to fly with any because they're liquid.

    If my Surefire dies and my little Photon keyring light goes missing, this may prevent me from being eaten by a Grue.

  15. Brigid,
    My sample kit arrived today. One medium paqlite, a keytag, and a glostik. I tried it out and was more than impressed, which, as my wife will tell anyone, is very hard to do.
    The medium is easy to see with, and might be enough to read my when it gets charged up.
    Are the 'chopping block' mats some sort of clear acrylic type and stiff, or are they flexible?
    --Matt R.

  16. Rogue Aviation - glad you like them! The "chopping board" style is stiff, but with a little heat (say sitting out in the sun) they will flex slightly, not enough to really wrap them around anything though.


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