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TRUE STORIES

Surviving the Elements

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My husband is a police officer in a small town, and he got himself a SureFire flashlight for his duty belt. Well, he was so impressed with it that he bought a small handheld SureFire for me to keep in my car and take on camping trips. Recently, my six-year-old son and I joined some friends on the Clinch River for a weekend camping trip. We set up camp on a small strip of land next to the river and enjoyed a day full of fishing. As we prepared to lie down for the night, it started raining, so we all took shelter in our tents and waited for it to stop...but it never did.

Around 3:00 a.m. I started getting worried with our location and the rising river. I departed my tent with my SureFire flashlight and grew even more concerned when I lit up the river to see it was only a few feet from our tent. The river had risen dramatically since we set up shelter, and the little path we drove our trucks down was now completely flooded. I got everyone out of their tents and shared my concern for our safety, especially the children. I remembered seeing a little farm up the road, and we needed help fast, so with SureFire in hand we quickly gathered our belongings and got the children and adults to high ground, then headed down the flooded road toward the farm. Thankfully, the farmer was willing to come out in the horrible weather with his tractor and pull our trucks out of what I now call the pit.

Thank goodness for the SureFire light my husband bought me. It enabled us to escape a property- and possibly life-threatening event that night. Thank you, SureFire, for your strong, bright, and enduring product. Everyone was duly impressed with its ability to give us the vision we needed to evade Mother Nature!

Melissa C.
Gray, TN


In the winter of 2011, my friend Craig and I were caving in an advanced caving system in West Virginia. The cave, known to many as Norman Cave System, is a wet cave system that boasts 14 miles of passages, and Craig and I were deep into the cave that night. I always carried my SureFire E1e with me (since discontinued and replaced by the E1L) as another light source in case my main beam went out. Well, while crawling through a keyhole, I dropped my E1e into a deep, 20-foot crack. As I looked through the crack, I could see my light was submerged in icy cold cave water. We were running low on battery life and had a long three-mile hike back through the bowels of the cave, so I sucked it up and left my little SureFire behind. I was legitimately sad, because I really loved that little light, and it had been such an important part of my caving gear for so many years.

In fall of 2012, Craig and I returned to the same cave. As I neared the point where I’d dropped my flashlight nearly a year ago, I reflected on that piece of equipment and how it had served me so well for so many years. Farther into the cave we found a small passage that we figured would lead to a lower level. As we descended down the 200-foot-long passage on our bellies, we came across the very hole where my E1e had fallen back in December. There, at the bottom of the hole, still submerged in cold cave water, I could see my light. I literally screamed with joy! As I pulled the light out of the water and washed the mud off, I gave its tailcap a click. To my surprise, the light immediately turned on—I was even able to use it on the rest of my adventure! Although this time I tied some 550 paracord to it first.

Great light, SureFire. You’ve got a customer for life.

Stephan P.
Palmyra, VA

See the E1L Outdoorsman flashlight:
          E1L-A

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It has been three days since Hurricane Sandy, dubbed the "Frankenstorm,” rampaged through the Mid-Atlantic. For three days my family of four has had no power and no running water. With only five gallons of drinking water available, we had to gather rain water from the gutters to shower and to clean our dirty dishes. We have been eating what little canned foods that remain in our pantry for dinner. The cold, empty darkness can easily bring a sense of hopelessness and depression to even the mightiest of men. It is only by the bright beams of our SureFires that we've found our comfort, warmth, and sanity.

Currently, we have been using two Surefire Minimus headlamps and our trusted E2DL to navigate around the house. Although the sight of an 84-year-old grandma waddling around with a Surefire Minimus on her head may be hilarious, knowing that our grandma won't trip in the darkness and injure herself has brought the family great relief. Our E2DL has, thus far, served us the most by providing a bright 200-lumen beam in the middle of our living room. By standing the flashlight upright on its scalloped tailcap, the E2DL has been our beacon of hope and security. Our family has been gathering around the beam of light every night to share stories of our fondest memories. Although we are still freezing, SureFire has brought our hearts great warmth and confidence.

Thank you, SureFire!

Alex C.
Woodbine, Maryland

See the E2DL flashlight and Minimus headlamp:
          E2DL   HS2-A-BK

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In the dark a flashlight is a priceless commodity your senses can't do without. This is especially true when your house is enveloped in darkness for days. Our house was one of the 260,000 homes in Northern Illinois that lost power for days after a torrential rainstorm. And for those powerless days, my U2 Ultra was the most valuable part of our household. My U2's adjustable light feature was invaluable at night because we used the 100-lumen setting to read, then the two-lumen setting for household tasks--because the batteries lasts for 40 hours at this setting. Days of living in the dark demonstrated why the variable-output feature of the U2 makes it the ultimate personal flashlight. I've used the U2 Ultra's powerful 100-lumen beam in low-light shooting courses with my handgun, and now it has proven itself as a finely adjustable instrument for surviving a long-term power outage. Its balance between battery consumption and high-intensity brightness proved absolutely crucial.

Brian B.
Warrenville, IL

See the U2 flashlight:

          U2-BK-WH

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About 0030 hours, my wife woke me, saying the disaster sirens were going off and that a tornado had been spotted and was getting close. I placed my wife and daughter in the safest room in the house and grabbed my "disaster kit," which included a SureFire E2L Outdoorsman. We called to warn my father-in-law, who lives about 25 miles away. Ten minutes later we called him again, on his cell phone, and he told us that his farm was no longer there. "It's all gone," he said.

I immediately headed out with my E2L. I could only drive within a half mile of what was left of the farmhouse, so I got out and walked, in the driving rain, my E2L in hand and my spares carrier around my neck. Moving through the terrain, I had to avoid needing rescuing myselfâsome of the downed power lines were still live, and the possibility of being punctured from debris was a real threat. As I maneuvered through, I found three other people in the dark, trying to search for anyone who needed assistance. One of them did not have a light source, and two of them had dead flashlights that were no longer usable. None of them could see well enough to safely navigate their way out of the debris. Using my E2L, we all managed the terrain safely and made it to the farmhouse. If it hadn't been for my E2L, four people could have sustained injuries or gotten hypothermia. Luckily, my father-in-law was okay and everyone was safely accounted for. Now every member of my family has a SureFire flashlight. Thanks, SureFire.

Kelly J.
Springfield, MO


See the E2L flashlight:

          E2L-A

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I purchased my E1L Outdoorsman about six months ago. The E1L is indeed an excellent light with small size and great output. I always carry it with me. There was a snowstorm a few nights ago in Ontario, Canada, and while I was driving home, I had a flat tire. I had to pull over and change the tire in the snowstorm on a small countryside road, surrounded by complete darkness. I clipped the E1L to the brim of my baseball cap, so I could light up the tire and have both hands free. The whole process took about half an hour, and the E1L performed its duty perfectly. It really saved me. Thanks for producing such dependable flashlights, SureFire.

Yu-Jen C.
Ontario, Canada


See the E1L flashlight:

          E1L-A

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I work on a drilling rig in Northern Canada, and I experience some pretty harsh weather sometimes. I started off my last rotation at work with a rig move in -40° C weather. At that temperature pretty much everything freezes and starts acting up. My watch and cell phone were the first items to freeze up and stop working. The next item to fall victim to the cold was my folding knife, which froze shut and proved extremely difficult to open. But, when it came time for my SureFire E1B Backup® to perform, I was pleasantly surprised. After I cleared the frost from the lens and pressed the tailcap, the light came right on, which made me very happy. I used my E1B a fair amount that day, and, even in the extreme cold, every time I needed light, it fired right up. I've tried many different pieces of gear at work, and nearly everything fails in these extreme conditions—but not SureFire. Thanks for making such a great light, one that can stand up to extreme, real-world conditions.

Cody H.
Ladysmith, BC
Canada


See the EB1 flashlight:

          EB1-Models

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In NYC we've had a pretty brutal winter so far. Snow, negative wind chills for weeks at a time, pretty bad. I have a SureFire E1B Backup®, which I bought in October. After about a month of using it I became very accustomed to having it with me all the time. One day, I reached for my handy-dandy, bright-as-hell little friend and it wasn't there. A strange feeling, since I carried it religiously. I felt lost without it. The very next day, after searching high and low, I went out and purchased a new Backup. I started using my new flashlight without a though of the old one, figuring I'd never see it again. Two days ago, three months later, I'm walking my dog and there, lying in a puddle of mud and ice, is my original Backup! I couldn't believe it. I hit the button, and it was a bright as the day I bought it. For over three months in subzero temps, wind, snow, rain, dirt, and water, this little flashlight laid there patiently, covered under a pile of snow and ice, just waiting to be found and used by its owner. I put the newer one in a drawer, and now I carry my original, and amazing, little Backup.

Paul C.
Yonkers, NY


See the EB1 flashlight:

          EB1-Models

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I purchased a G2® LED [superseded by the G2X Tactical--Ed.] at the recommendation of my brother, a retired military officer and army pilot, a few months before Hurricane Ike hit. I'm sure glad I did. I'd been using Mag-Lites for decades and, frankly, never really owned a proper flashlight. When Ike hit, my G2L was literally my best friend. The storm rolled in, and I hunkered down. I used my light liberally to check my windows, doors, attic, and everywhere else water and trees might have breached my home as the storm waned down. My area had no power for six days, and my G2L's batteries lasted for five days without replacement, an amazing feat, considering how often I used my light.

I work for the largest chemical fertilizer plant in Texas. We sustained tens of millions of dollars in damages, as we are directly on the Houston ship channel and endured massive storm surges. Our plant had eight feet of water over 30 acres of offices and plant production rooms. While our staff and half dozen security officers used heavy, foot-long flashlights while we surveyed the damage, none shined as bright as mine. They had these $300 flashlights that wouldn't even last four hours without recharging, and they could not recharge without sticking them on a generator. I was always one of those people who thought a $10 flashlight from a big box store was enough. I was wrong. As a gun enthusiast, I intend to also supply myself with your tactical lights. Anyone who lives in an area with extreme weather, as I do, should have a SureFire. Thanks for making an outstanding product.

Kevin L.
Missouri City, TX

See the G2X Tactical flashlight:

          G2X-A

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I was disappointed when I lost my SureFire L4 LumaMax while I was moving some items into an outside storage area in early winter, and I gave up hope of ever seeing it again...until today. When I returned to the storage area this spring, there was my L4, frozen in the ice. The flashlight had survived being frozen under snow and ice in -50º C weather in the Canadian arctic, and it worked perfectly when I chiseled it out. When I looked inside of it, it was dry, and the batteries were in great shape. I am now wearing it on my belt again.

Troy H.
Yellowknife, Northwest Territories
Canada

See the L4 flashlight:

          L4-HA-WH

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I was camping out in Northern Minnesota, and one night there was a severe thunderstorm. As I was sleeping in the tent I was sharing with four other guys, I woke up suddenly to an unidentified object hitting me in the head. Dazed and confused, I noticed that the tent wall was starting to sag. About a half second later, the wind picked it up and threw the tent across the campsite, trapping one of the campers under 800 lbs. of wet canvas. After putting my boots on in record time, I grabbed my G2® LED [superseded by the G2X Tactical--Ed.] and woke up the rest of the guys. Two of them grabbed their SureFires, and we all got to work rescuing the trapped camper. Once he was out, we gathered up our important gear and made for the nearest shelter, about a quarter mile away, where we built a fire to fight off the beginnings of hypothermia. Having those SureFires at camp helped us get out that much quicker and avoid any serious injuries. Thanks, SureFire.

Joseph S.
Eden Prairie, MN

See the G2X Tactical flashlight:

          G2X-A

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I gave my son a SureFire U2 Ultra flashlight for his 36th birthday. He carried it with him at all times. Sadly, my son disappeared in the mountains near San Cristobal, New Mexico, in January of 2008. Nine months later, his remains were found. Beside him, still in working condition (except for dead batteries), was his trusty U2 flashlight. I'm sure that flashlight helped protect my son from the wild animals living in those mountains. Unfortunately, the extreme weather he encountered was simply too much for his own survival.

Susan W.
Portland, OR

SureFire extends its deepest sympathy to Susan and all of her son's family and friends. It's our privilege to publish this story, which we know must've been difficult for her to share.

See the U2 flashlight:

        U2-BK-WH

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It was after 3:00 a.m., and I was behind the wheel of a 48-foot 33-ton tugboat. The weather was rough: heavy rain joined by a 25-knot winds gusting to 35 knots. The all-steel tug was swaying back and forth as if it weighed 33 pounds, not 33 tons. It had been a long day, and now a long night, as I was on the last leg of a voyage that started in Charleston, South Carolina, and was set to end in Tarpon Springs, Florida.

Navigating on the water at night presents a challenging set of circumstances for any captain. Throw in the wind whipping the sea into a frothy mess of turbulence, visibility of near zero, no crew, and the level of difficulty increases exponentially. My concerns were many, but mainly that the tug's draft was five and a half feet, and I was about a mile outside the port of Tarpon Springs, on the Anclote River, and it was a dead-low tide—the kind of dead low you normally only see in the winter, when it looks as if a giant sponge came down from the sky and sucked up all the water. Parts of the bottom I didn't even know existed were totally exposed, which meant if I didn't stay within the channel, running aground was a certainty.

Normally, flashing green and red channel markers point the way, and you simply stay within them to navigate, but not on this night. The only way to find the channel markers was to shine my LX2 LumaMax® in the direction I was headed. The light was so bright and so penetrating that it would bounce off the markers' reflective exteriors, allowing me to maintain my bearings—and sanity. The light's 200 lumens shot through the murky, heavy darkness with a beam that consistently found the next marker, sometimes literally hundreds of yards away. If the conditions I was in were hell, the pure white beam radiating from my LX2 must've been the path of light to heaven. Thanks, SureFire, for getting me home safely.

Josh S.
New Port Richey, FL

See the LX2 flashlight:

        LX2-HA-WH

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