Safety is always a priority with me. Whether it be when hunting the backcountry, around my home, or in dealing with my car, I want to be safe. Before I left for Colorado, I thought about the likelihood of shooting an elk and marking an area, beside using my GPS, to find it again. That's when I found the PowerFlare and gave them a call. One product in particular caught my eye - The PowerFlare® PF-200 Safety Light.
The PowerFlare® PF-200 Safety Light is made right here in the U.S.A. It is lightweight, has a 10 year shelf-life and won't leak in extreme hot or cold temperatures. It offers ten (10) flash patterns to choose from just by clicking a button to cycle through them. The best parts are that they are virtually indestructible and waterproof (up to 300'). Pretty sweet, right? It gets better! Each one has a feature built in that includes the Coast Guard "SOS" Morse code for rescue. Plus, these can be spotted by helicopter from ten miles away. They come in a variety of colors, and because I hunt where there are yellows, oranges, and greens...I chose a pink one so I wouldn't lose it.
The PowerFlare® Safety Light was invented by an officer from a municipal police department in Silicon Valley with the objective of eliminating the danger, pollution, difficulty of use, and needless cost of old-fashioned road flares.
Per the usual, I was skeptical when it came to some of the claims. When I spoke with Adam at PowerFlare, he shared that he ran his over with his car and it remained intact. Right. It turns out, he was telling the truth! I tried it, too and the light stayed lit, intact, and surprised me. So I dropped in on concrete. A few times in fact. Then I literally jumped on it, attached it to my pack and allowed my heavy pack to fall six feet with it attached. Still worked and had hardly a scratch on it. That was due to the outer protective cover (the colored part) that can withstand a beating.
The lighted portion of the field-test was fun. I played with all of the settings and they worked flawlessly. I didn't go up in a helicopter, but I did go a half mile away, by car, and the PowerFlare is VERY easy to spot. I am sure this will an excellent alternative to a flare and will last much longer. In an emergency situation, these work much better than flares. Simply put, flares burn. They can burn you, they give off smoke, and leave debris on roadways. The PowerFlare does none of that. Additionally, you can have your kids turn the PowerFlare on and off, whereas you wouldn't want them touching a flare.
The transportable pouch (shown above) holds two (2) PowerFlare units and extra batteries. The pouch is a little on the big side for one unit. It seems to have extra space inside that you don't really need for just one unit. A caribiner attaches the PowerFlare to a backpack, length of rope, or can hang from a branch. The case does come complete with belt loop attachments, too. You can attach the case in a few different ways. It's all up to you.
When I went hunting in Colorado, I thought it was a great idea to pack one in at the time, but I am not sure I'll bring one on my next trip. It was extra gear that I really didn't need and it took up valuable space. It all depends on where I am planning to go. My problem was that I packed the case and everything. When I hunt or hike on my own, I'll probably keep one in my pack (without the case and extra batteries) for my hunts.
Prices range anywhere from $54-68 each, depending on the style/ light color you choose. Keeping one or two in your vehicle is a great idea. I'll be getting another to keep in my wife's truck and this one will stay in my car. Knowing these are a great alternative to flares and can be used over and over is excellent and peace of mind. Used in an emergency situation, these can help warn motorists of your location or in the backcountry mark where you are at for rescuers to find you in the dark. Either way, I recommend these and would rather have them and not need them, than be stuck without them.