Let There Be Light
There is just something creepy about the forest at night. All those sounds around you and you can't quite see exactly what's headed your way. But, by God, it always sounds like Bigfoot, doesn't it? Sure, a crackling campfire can do a lot to get rid of some of those shadows but having a portable light source is just good planning. You never know, you might be in a position where having a roaring fire won't be the best idea but you'll still want a way to make sure you're not peeing on your shoes.
For my money, nothing beats a good headlamp. It keeps a light focused on what I'm doing while freeing my hands to do the task I'm trying to complete. Long gone are the heavy and hot old incandescent headlamps of years ago. Today we benefit from using LED bulbs. A brighter, cleaner light that draws very little power from the battery. These new headlamps are very light and comfortable to wear even for extended periods. If you've ever tried working on a car repair in the middle of the night with no one there to hold a flashlight, you'll immediately recognize the need for a headlamp.
Second to a headlamp is a bright flashlight. Again, we're dealing with LED bulbs rather than incandescent. They don't get hot, they are more durable, last longer, and use much less battery power. Because of this, we can use a much smaller flashlight to get the same amount of light as with a large old fashioned flashlight. This means less weight in your pack and less bulk in your pocket.
A new player in the realm of portable light is the WakaWaka Solar Light. This is a rather ingenious contraption. It is about the size of two decks of cards laying side by side. Let it suck in solar rays all day long as it rides on the outside of your pack. At night, you have four levels of illumination available to you, from bright enough to light up an entire room to something akin to a nightlight. There is also an automated S.O.S. feature that you can let run all night long if need be. On a single charge, this light will run for many, many hours. It is very portable, easily moved around with one hand. But it also has a built in stand so you can rest it on any flat surface and direct the light where you need it the most.
Another option for long lasting light is a chem light. Simply bend and shake it to activate the chemical reaction and you have a soft light that will last for hours. These are great to use in a tent as ambient light. At that distance, these chem sticks give off enough light to read by.
Another bonus with these is kids love them! If you're in an actual survival situation, giving one of these to your child will help reduce their anxiety as they'll feel better with their own light source.
Remember the Rule of 3s and have at least three ways to light up your life out in the field.