The Best Home Emergency Kit Gear (2021): Flashlights, Stoves, Chargers, and More

The thing about emergency gear is that once you need it, you won't be able to get it. Even if you resign yourself to a soul-sucking panic run to Walmart with the rest of the hordes, you'll be in stiff competition for the limited remaining stock. So plan ahead so you have everything on hand in advance. We've rounded up a few essentials for your emergency kit. Special offer for Gear readers: Get a 1-year subscription to WIRED for $5 ($25 off) . This includes unlimited access to WIRED.com and our print magazine (if you'd like). Subscriptions help fund the work we do every day.

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A Flashlight Fenix E20 V2 ($40)

Fenix E20 V2. Photograph: Fenix
The Fenix E20 V2 is my top pick for an affordable emergency flashlight, but the ThruNite Archer 2A V3 ($30) is another solid choice. At 350 and 500 lumens, respectively, they're bright enough while remaining compact, and last long on lower-light settings—200 hours at 5 lumens for the Fenix and 51 hours at 17 lumens for the ThruNite. Both use two AA batteries, and in an emergency, your main concern is to have a steady supply of replacement batteries.

If you're using alkaline batteries, remove them from the flashlight if it's going to sit unused for a long time, otherwise they'll leak and cause problems. Still, store them near the flashlight so you can easily find them. Try taping the batteries to the flashlight barrel.

Pro Tip: The best-performing flashlights are built specifically to use lithium-ion batteries or have non-removable rechargeable batteries, which won't do you any good if your power is out for days. Rechargeable NiMH (nickel metal hydride) AA batteries hold a charge longer than disposable alkalines, so buy some Panasonic Eneloops ($39). They're better for the environment, but if they run out of a charge you can still use regular alkaline AAs.A LanternColeman Divide+ Push Lantern ($22)

Coleman Divide+ Push Lantern. Photograph: Amazon