Try not to be in a situation where you’re without a light source. I’m certain a good many of us have been on a dusky road, walking in darkness. And there’s that sinking feeling that things are pretty bad or going to get worse. You might have a candle in your car but you might not have matches. Glow sticks are a good way to see in to the darkness and let others know you want to be seen.

You don’t have to spend tons of money for the most expensive items. For good, cheap lighting at night try a glow stick. Lots of people know about them, but here’s more good info:

For those that haven’t used them, a glow stick is a lighting device that gets its appearance because of a chemical reaction. The reaction which occurs inside the glow stick is called chemiluminescence and provides the user with a temporary, yet inexpensive form of lighting for night visibility.

These things are light-weight, easy to store, simple to activate and safe to use.

By snapping the stick you break the ampoule housed inside a plastic sleeve and then shake the stick to mix and activate the two chemicals within it to create your light source.

Many uses for this safe product

Used by the public and government groups, glow sticks are a good, cheap form of re-lighting your area following night vision loss. FEMA, the police, the military, and the Red Cross use them regularly. On a clear night, some of the best models can be seen for up to a mile away and this makes it an alternative to using road flares for marking a road accident.

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Because there isn’t an open flame or electrified components to initiate a fire or an explosion, glow sticks are safe to use after a disaster. For example, you may not have access to a working flashlight, and using matches during a potential oven gas leak or gasoline spill could have a very dangerous outcome.

I keep plenty in my house just in case my batteries fail in anyone of our dozen flashlights stored in the home. There are cheap flashlights available for under $2.00 from China sold at Wal-Mart but it’s likely to stop working or not operate as well as a quality light.

Because glow sticks are submersible, they can be used by recreational divers. I’ve been told that fishermen use these as a night-time lure, but I haven’t been able to verify how well that works. As a hiker and camper, I can tell you how great these are for securing to your back pack and clothing because there’s nothing worse than getting separated from your traveling party.

I still do a lot of night-time trail running. If my Petzl light happens to tank on me, I carry one of these sticks. In high school cross-country we spent a lot of time running to the crest of a low-mountain and then tried to catch the switch-backs all the way down before the dusk turned to dark. Glow sticks would have been great to have back then.

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(Featured image courtesy of glowwithus.com)