When you’re wild camping, the obvious option for lighting is the usual head torch. But we find that head torches are just too bright for providing a bit of illumination in a tent. That’s where a camping lantern comes useful, and here’s our quick low down on the best choice of camping lantern for you.
1 – Battery powered – The obvious choice are battery powered lanterns. They come in all shapes and sizes, so make sure you don’t buy an oversized lantern designed for heavy car camping.
However – there’s a growing set of USB powered camping lights available that plug into power banks and are as powerful as a traditional 60w bulb. It also looks like one! These are both cheap and make an ideal choice if you bring a power bank on a wild camp, and useful to have around the house in case of powercuts! If you don’t take a powerbank camping, then battery powered ones are also available.
2 – Solar Lights – The idea of a solar torch used to be a bit of a joke. However, with advances in technology, solar lighting is everywhere from our gardens to our tents. Devices like the LuminAid have a built in solar panel and battery, providing a free source of soft lighting. This is really our tent light of choice as the light is soft, long lasting and weighs next to nothing. Of course, you can also use solar to charge up a power bank and use it to power up a usb light.
3 – Candles – This is tried and tested technology, but one that’s fallen out of use in recent years. They can pose a fire hazard, but anyone who’s tried keeping a tea-light lit for any period of time might find that hard to believe. You can however get camping candle lanterns, and we recently reviewed the UCO Micro Candle Lantern which provides an alternative. It still depends on tea lights, but you can also get a larger one that runs on proper candles. We love the light these produce, and the dancing light of a candle can’t be beaten.
4 – Light sticks We’ve seen some recommend these for camping, and they are always for sale in camping shops, so someone must find them useful. They may be adequate for some background illumination and handy to be able to identify the tent zip all night – but we think that they’re of little use for much more than that. Actually, we think they are much more useful for something like light painting like this!
5 – Gas or Liquid fuel lanterns – These also keeps you warm! However, we find that if you’re going for gas then the mantles can be fragile. Liquid fuel (petrol, white fuel) are an ideal winter choice when a stove using the same fuel becomes essential, but perhaps a bit of a faff the rest of the year.