Lanterns (Camping Lights)

When the sun goes down, you can't rely on the campfire alone for illumination. An extra source of lighting is necessary not only for late-night potty breaks, but emergencies as well. You can also use your lanterns for in-home use when the lights go out during storms and hurricanes. Your purchase will be practical and well worth the money. There are several common types of camping lanterns that will suit your purpose and we'll go through them here.

Candle Lanterns

Traditional candle lanterns emit a soft, flattering light that can be used for small areas and romantic evenings. Although not near as practical as propane and battery lanterns, you can find very cool ones that look exotic. Many of them are made of brass or light metal and can hold up to three to five candles. Those that hold multiple candles often come with a stand for easy placement. When making your purchase, look for long-burning candles specifically designed for this purpose. Candle lanterns don't burn for near as long as the alternatives, so another source of light should be brought.

Battery and Rechargeable Lanterns

These lanterns are probably the most convenient and safe when camping with children. You can find lanterns that run off of disposable or rechargeable batteries. Most of them come with tube bulbs and a small lever or switch to adjust the intensity of the light. Look for a night feature that dims the lantern and helps preserve the batteries. Some of these even come with a remote control. Rechargeable ones should be able to be plugged into a 12 volt cigarette lighter or a 110 home outlet to recharge. Overall, I think battery operated lanterns are the best value and safest option inside of a tent or when hiking and backpacking.

Propane and Liquid Fuel Powered

Propane and fuel lanterns offer perhaps the brightest light for a campsite. They're pretty cost effective, but you'll need to spend money for expendable fuel. Because of the flame and fuel, you will need to be extra careful not to upset one. These lanterns also make a loud noise when lit and can emit a strong smell when burning. This can be irritating to both the ears and nose. Most have an adjustable flame to adjust the brightness.

Buying Tips

Traditional candle lanterns emit a soft, flattering light that can be used for small areas and romantic evenings. Although not as practical as propane and battery lanterns, you can find very cool ones that look exotic. Many of them are made of brass or light metal and can hold up to three to five candles. Those that hold multiple candles often come with a stand for easy placement. When making your purchase, look for long-burning candles specifically designed for this purpose. Candle lanterns don't burn as long as the alternatives, so another source of light should be brought.

“Come forth into the light things, let nature be your teacher.” - William Wordsworth