When the Fellowship of the Ring leaves Rivendell they are given various items and weapons to guide them on their journey and protect them when things turn bad, as they soon do. Bows and arrows, knives, rope and a light. Not being able to carry (or effectively use) a bow and arrows, being only minimally skilled with a knife to the degree of not endangering myself or others, not packing a rope, that only leaves a light.
Yes, a light can serve as an effective self-defense carry tool. I'm not very interested in those "tactical" lights with the scalloped bezels meant to be used as a striking weapon. That might come in handy as a last-ditch defensive weapon, but I'm not building my tactics around that. Instead, I'm suggesting you consider carrying a quality, dependable, high-output flashlight as part of your EDC (every day carry) gear.
Why? Because one of the most important tools in anyone's self defense carry inventory is awareness. The best way to defend oneself and others is to avoid dangerous or potentially dangerous situations. To do this effectively means that one must cultivate awareness to see and acknowledge potential threat situations. This is much easier to do when potential threats or threat environments are readily visible, but not so easy in low light conditions or in the dark. However, if you carry a good flashlight it is a simple matter to click it on and take a look around.
In the larger town near out little village, Walmart is a popular place. It is busy day and night. It has a very large parking lot that is not well lit the further one gets from the building. The parking lot is always at least half full, and frequently more than that. There have been, and continue to be, incidents in which people are accosted, items stolen and people robbed. Panhandlers and sometimes drug dealers, or people looking for money to buy drugs, are in the lot at night. Walking to your car it pays to be alert and shining a very bright flashlight beam around does two things: spots potential trouble in your area, and alerts anyone who might be interested in trouble that you are aware, alert and looking out for yourself.
Any time you are out at night, especially alone, you should have a good flashlight with you and be ready to use it liberally to check out your surroundings. If you see something suspicious, you can retreat and call for help on your cell phone. You do carry a cell phone, don't you?
Obviously, if you are armed and must resort to your weapon for self defense at night, having a reliable, high-power flashlight at your disposal is a critical component of being successful in stopping a threat. Not only will it illuminate your threat, but if it's truly a bright light, will make it very difficult for that threat to see.
When I will be out and about at night, I carry the Fenix you see at the top of this post. Otherwise, I carry a small, but bright, Fenix light clipped to my pocket for that and general purpose use, like not tripping on my way to the bathroom at night, finding little things I drop in dark places and looking for my lost keys...
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