I wouldn’t blame you if you rolled your eyes after I told you that I had found the most fantastic flashlight (the COAST HP7R.) And I certainly wouldn’t blame you if you thought all flashlights were basically the same. In fact, I thought the same thing, too... before I went camping last weekend at the Rocky Neck State Park.

And before I knew about the skunks.

I’ve had the COAST HP7R for close to a year now and it’s spent most of it in the waist pocket of my Gregory Mountain Zulu 30L hiking backpack. I seldom used it, but never removed it because it was compact—it would only come out when I had misjudged how long it’d take for me to finish a day-hike.

So I never fully put it to use until this past weekend when ambient light was scarce and I had to rely on my flashlight to see.

Of course, it wasn’t until it got dark that I caught wind of the Mephitis mephitis and their predilection for the food and garbage of campers. And from years of conditioning (via Pepé Le Pew cartoons and that one episode of the Rugrats,) I was panicked.

While my friends regularly checked for skunks with a shared four-pack of budget flashlights, I was the one who spotted one. Thanks in large part to the HP7R’s long-range beam, I was able to keep an eye out for the skunk. Suffice it to say, I felt empowered.

Better still, this particular flashlight can transition between a super wide beam and a focused spotlight by rotating the head of the flashlight, which was super convenient, as was the lower brightness setting when I needed to see where I was going without blinding any of my fellow campers.

The flashlight can also run on rechargeable and alkaline batteries, which is super helpful if you need extra battery life, but don’t have a charger handy. (Sadly, the rechargeable battery charges through microUSB, which isn’t ideal.)

To be clear, spending close to $90 on a flashlight isn’t something that everyone will be open to doing. But if you do venture outdoors often and want a well-built, feature-packed flashlight. This one is the one to get, especially if you’re going to be sharing a campsite with skunks.