I never go camping without this tiny $10 gadget, and it's the perfect Christmas gift

Olight mini flashlight on wet log
(Image credit: Olight)

Sometimes the smallest gifts are the best ones, and a really carefully chosen $10 stocking-stuffer could mean more than something showy and extravagant. 

Last Christmas, my family decided to only do token gifts for everyone except my baby niece and nephews. It made life a lot simpler, not to mention less expensive. Chocolate and books were the most obvious options, but my father-in-law decided to choose something a bit more practical, and gave everyone a tiny keychain flashlight instead - the Olight i3E EOS, which can be found on Amazon for the princely sum of $9.95.

I attached mine to my keys and occasionally used it to find the keyhole to my front door at night, but didn't think too much of it until disaster struck during a camping trip the following spring. After returning to my tent in the dark, I pulled off my hat and headlamp, accidentally pushing the power button and switching it off. Feeling for the switch in the dark, I pressed it again – and nothing happened.

Not to worry, I thought, feeling my way through my daypack for my flashlight. Eventually my hand hit its cold metal body and I pressed the rubber button on the end. Again, nothing. Now things were a bit trickier. I had spare batteries in the tent for both lights, but couldn't see to find them.

Flash of inspiration

Frustrated, I resigned myself to the idea of just going to sleep early, teeth unbrushed, and dealing with things in the morning – then I remembered the little light on my keys. I wouldn't go hiking with it as my main light source, but it was more than enough to help me find my spare batteries, confirm that my main flashlight was in fact broken, clean my teeth, and find the zipper for my sleeping bag.

The Olight i3E EOS has a runtime of just 45 minutes from a single AAA alkaline battery or 70 minutes from a NiMH battery, so I wouldn't use it for dog walking or night fishing as Olight suggests, but in an emergency it's ideal.

Olight i3E EOS: $9.95 at Amazon

Olight i3E EOS: <a href="https://target.georiot.com/Proxy.ashx?tsid=110017&GR_URL=https%3A%2F%2Famazon.com%2FOLIGHT-i3E-EOS-Flashlight-Flashlite%2Fdp%2FB017R560WC%3Fth%3D1%26tag%3Dhawk-future-20%26ascsubtag%3Dhawk-custom-tracking-20" data-link-merchant="Amazon US"">$9.95 at Amazon
This tiny flashlight could be a lifesaver if your main flashlight kicks the bucket, allowing you to find batteries or just get yourself somewhere safe. At only $10, it's a small price to pay for extra peace of mind.

A full-size Maglite or Knog flashlight is great, but a little backup like this is so helpful, I strongly urge everyone to carry one just in case. Quite possibly the most useful gift you can buy for under $10.

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 15 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better), usually wearing at least two sports watches.