Camping Lantern

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Camping Lantern  


Camping Lanterns have a number of uses in the field.  It is great for allowing you light to setup camp if you arrive at your campsite after dark.  It is also helpful to setup a fire and your dinner after the sun goes done.  Of course, it can help allow you to get in some late night reading going over the next day’s hike, the camping itinerary, or enjoying a basic paperback.  Finally, it can help in an emergency at night when a child or person goes missing.  We will take a comprehensive look at all the lanterns and offer tips to help you find the best camping lantern possible. 


There are essentially three types of camping lanterns: battery operated, candle, and gas lanterns. 


Battery operated lanterns 

These are the safest lanterns available because they are the least likely to spill and cause a fire.  Also, they provide a good basic range of light that is better than candle lanterns but not as good as gas lanterns.  However, these do not work well in extremely cold conditions and weigh a decent weight because of the additional need of batteries.  These are preferred by hikers and those going on relatively short trips. 


Candle Lanterns 

These are the lightest of the three lanterns, but give off the least amount of light.  For this reason, backpackers favor these over other lanterns because they are light-weight and give off enough light to be able to read at night. 


Gas Lanterns 

Gas lanterns give off the most light and are the heaviest.  They are also the most dangerous regarding spills and possible fires. 


Weight, Prices & Manufacturers 

Camping lanterns vary in weight but most weigh anywhere from 2 to 5 pounds.  These weights take into account the energy source as well.  Generally, you can find a camping lantern in the price range of $10 to $90.  The higher end ones tends to be more durable and safer.  Finally, the common manufacturers of camping lanterns include: Century Software, Coleman, Snow Peak, Brunton, UCO, Texsport, Authentic Models, and Century Tool.  


Common Camping Lantern Buying Tips 

1.  Expect to lose your night blindness with a camping lantern.  I was told an interesting story as a kid in scouts about my scoutmaster who slipped by some Japanese soldiers washing dishes on the bank of a river by the light of a camping lantern who could not see him floating by.  This was because of them losing their night blindness to the lantern they used. 


2.  Choose the same fuel as your camping stove.  If getting a gas lantern, choose one that uses the same fuel as your camping stove. 


A solid camping lantern can help buy you a little extra time while camping.  Whether you spend this time reading, setting up the camping site, packing up items for tomorrow, or going over the map, a good camping lantern can help provide a steady source of light where a mere flashlight cannot.  By picking out a good one from the start, you ensure your camping party will be better prepared to adapt to whatever comes each day while camping.


*To find out what to look for in camping cooking equipment, check out Camping Cookware.


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