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Alternative uses for your flashlight

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Nowadays there are an incredible variety of torches in the market, especially since LED technology made its appearance. We are talking however, here of the common old torch (referred to as flashlight by the uncouth world outside of South Africa) with 2 batteries, three volt globe, reflector, switch and a spiral spring in the back part. Yes, the type of which you easily turn one of the batteries around if torch not in use so that it cannot, per accident, switch on making your batteries flat.

There are a couple of alternative uses for this torch:

  • A red glass or red cellophane over the existing glass is handy if you want to do map-reading at night and still be able to see without torch causing night blindness.

  • In spite of modern communications, a torch is still a reliable tool to send a signal of distress. Three short, three long, three short, is the well known Morse code signal for SOS or three flashes followed by counting three without light

  • Take a piece of the steel wool and fluff it out. Take the globe, reflector and glass out of the torch, switch it on and short circuit the contacts in front of the torch softly with the steel wool, which will then catch fire .

  • The shining reflector also works well to start a fire. Take it out as well as the globe and point the reflector towards the sun. Hold a piece of rolled up paper in the hole where the globe has been, in such a position that the focused sunbeams will ignite the paper

    Dr Wallace Vosloo is an Engineer and Scientist by profession. His family has lived in Africa since 1696 and he has a deep love for the continent. He is a practical outdoorsman and loves traditional hunting, axe and knife throwing, longbow shooting, black powder rifle- and cannon shooting, salt and fresh water fly fishing and tracking. The art of survival is Wallace’s main field of interest and his passion is to transfer these old forgotten skills to young hunters.

    Still another method to start a single fire in an emergency is to take the glass off the torch, take the globe out and very carefully break the glass without harming the small filament. Roll a piece of paper in cylinder form and place it carefully around the open globe.

    Place also fine tinder in the reflector around the paper cylinder. Put powder-dust from a shell in the paper cylinder, switch on the torch and you have your fire


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