If you love to camp, you know how important it is to have a good, dependable source of light handy every time you go out on a trip. Still, many campers and newbies overlook this importance.
Some would grab a plastic convenience-store flashlight and consider it their camping light. Others would have a good quality one at home but the batteries wouldn’t have been charged since the last blackout; so you shake it a few times at the last minute and the light barely comes on – you still bring it out to camp.
Lighting is an essential part of your camping gear. While there will be a blazing bonfire and you’ll be under the stars, these will not be enough to help you navigate through the campsite at night. You need a portable light source that you can easily carry with you for tasks such as cooking, eating dinner, going the bathroom or even exploring, hiking and fishing.
As important as flashlights and head lamps are, we will be focusing on camping lanterns in this guide. Lanterns have long been used by campers and are a key piece of outdoor equipment. Today, there are more varieties to choose from apart from the classic gas lantern.
What are the different types of camping lanterns?
Gas-powered lanterns have long been used by outdoor enthusiasts and many still use it to this day. Fueled by gas (butane, propane or liquid fuel), these lights are known for providing the brightest light among all the types. It can easily illuminate a large area of a campsite. Gas lamps are also easy to use and mostly are fuel-efficient.
However, they are relatively bulky, heavy and noisy, they’re hot to the touch and should be used with caution inside or near a tent.
Some campers choose a candle lantern mainly because of the pleasant ambiance it provides. With soft, natural lighting, it’s perfect to use for close-up tasks like reading a book or as a night light, adding to the fact that it also doesn’t make any noise.
Similar to the gas type, this is ideal for anyone who’s looking for a source of light that lasts the entire night – as long as you have candles to use for the lantern, you won’t have a problem.
Again like a gas lantern, the candle type should be used with extra caution. It does generate heat, therefore hot to the touch. It’s also not ideal to use inside or near the tent, and away from flammable materials.
Electric lanterns are the newest craze among both amateur and experienced campers. Out of all the types, battery-powered camping lanterns are the most portable and versatile. They come in different sizes, with larger ones fit for a campsite and smaller ones ideal to carry for hiking and backpacking.
They do provide a good light output (often with a variety of light modes to choose from) and is the safest one to use around kids for they don’t make noise and generate no heat.
Although good quality LED lamps generally have a long battery life, one downside could be the power source, especially if you’re camping out somewhere with no electricity. Just be sure to bring more than one set of extra batteries to keep the light going.
What factors should I consider when choosing a camping lantern?
Function and Usage
All three types of lanterns have their own strengths and weaknesses. It all boils down to how you intend to use yours. If you’re always on the go like a hiker or a backpacker, you need one that is compact and easy to carry. A LED lamp is ideal, which you could conveniently hang from your backpack. If you’re staying in camp and need a light for personal tasks, a candle lantern would suffice. If you’re looking to light a larger area like your campsite, opt for a gas lamp.
The outdoors are tough and the weather is unpredictable, so you will need a light that will last long and can power through, especially with electric lanterns because they are often used in and out of the campsite.
There is a wide variety of LED lamps out there, with many designed for the tough conditions of the outdoors. Do some research about different brands and models and find one that suits your needs, preferably one that will last for many years.
A camping lantern shouldn’t just provide bright light but should also perform flawlessly even in times of emergency. Does it have a long battery life? Is it easy to use? Are the buttons easy to navigate?
A good quality camp light should be affordable and should be able to deliver performance in terms of lighting, ease of use, longevity – things that will contribute to an ideal overall user experience.
Electric camping lanterns come in all sizes, shapes and features. If you’re looking to purchase, consider what other features that the lantern has to offer apart from sufficient lighting. Some of these features include emergency light modes, waterproof and shockproof, rechargeable and many more.
Set a budget to spend and don’t be swayed with a model that offers a dozen features – choose one with features that will be helpful to you and you will actually use.
Out of the three types, electric lamps are the most versatile. While the gas-powered and candle variety are great on the campsite, LED lanterns can be useful for just about any outdoor activity – camping, hiking, fishing, hunting or even just exploring and sightseeing.
Many models can be used on a table, hanging from a backpack, on a boat or inside a tent which offers much-needed convenience.
A great choice that has all the above-mentioned factors checked is the OutBright Camping Lantern, perfect for both new and experienced campers. Click here to find out more.
Ultimately, the biggest thing that you have to consider when buying a camping lantern is your own personal needs. Will you be trying camping just for fun or are you a regular camper? Do you mainly stay at the campsite or do you hike or climb? Do you pitch a tent or do you prefer car camping?
The best type of lantern for you depends on your answer to these questions. Once you know what you need, you’ll know what to look for.