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Options Available to Meet your Camping Lantern Requirements

Jan 21, 2008
When camping, one activity that may enjoy even less than putting up a tent in the rain is putting up a tent in the rain in the dark. Anyone that has been a part of that memorable challenge will fully understand the implications. A quality camping lantern that will support you in good conditions and bad will potentially turn a bad situation into a bearable situation.

Typically today, the best options may be either a gas powered camp lantern or an electrically powered lantern. Which of these options best suits your needs depends primarily on what type of camping you engage in , the dollars you can afford to spend and the space allotment for the gear you plan to take along.

Gas camping lanterns usually provide greater lighting capabilities when comparing these two options and the intensity will likely be adjustable. You can physically adjust the lighting level down when maximum lighting is not required thus saving fuel. Gas lanterns maintain peak power even under cold conditions. There are a number of fuel options that include propane, butane, dual fuel, and kerosene.

If often find yourself in an area where common compressed fuels in steel bottles is not readily available, dual fuel lanterns are probably the best option because they allow you use of the traditional liquid gas formulations that have been available even in the days of gas lighting and cooking in the home. I would wager most people today don't even know what I'm talking about on that subject.

However you will understand when I say that is most convenient if you choose a lantern that uses the same fuel as your camp stove. As when handling fuels in any application it should be noted that all of these fuels are extremely flammable. Whenever you change or refill tanks you should maintain a safe distance from any open flame or source of combustion.

Another important note on safety, obviously gas camping lanterns can become very hot, and when determining proper placement you should remember they need to be kept out of reach of small children. It is recommended that you always include a couple of spare mantels and a water resistant source of ignition for your gas lantern. Necessary equipment besides the lantern and fuel includes spare mantels and a way to light the lantern.

Newer lantern styles have incorporated with electric igniters. With these camping lanterns additional lighting sources are not required. Matches or a gas lighter are still valid items on your check list. You may need them to ignite a campfire or cook stove.

A protective carrying case will ensure a longer life for you camping lantern and most lanterns and is usually optional equipment. Other optional equipment that you should consider includes a lantern reflector to redirect light that radiates out of the back of the lantern, and a hanging post to hang your lantern in a central place in camp. Due to the bulk of required components gas camping lanterns may not be the most practical option if you'll be hiking to your campsite.

The convenience of battery powered camping lanterns may outweigh the shortcomings in other areas. Research will show battery operated camping lanterns that use every size and type of battery. You should be able to find fresh batteries at even the most remote small convenience store. Though not as bright as gas powered camping lanterns, battery powered lanterns will still provide enough light to satisfy most requirements.

Many models of battery powered lanterns will permit adjustment to accommodate various levels of lighting. One of their biggest advantages is that they are much safer when used inside tents, cars, or other enclosed spaces. It is not recommended that you take a gas-burning lantern into a tent or car due to the risk of fire. Depending on the type of light bulb, battery-powered lanterns will not get hot to the touch and are much safer to use around children. They usually will not function as well in the cold as gas lanterns. If you're planning any cold weather camping trips, you may want a gas camping lantern as your primary source of light.

Battery-powered camping lanterns, though sometimes less bulky than gas lanterns may still prove a bit too bulky for hiking expeditions. Some flashlights feature a lantern like option that will make them good choice when hiking. Other accessories you should have on hand include extra batteries, spare light bulbs, and optionally a lantern stand that will allow you to place your camping lantern in a central location.

The brand of lantern you should require is really a matter of personal taste. Factors such as cost and quality should be considered. There are a number of quality camping lanterns available. The decision rests on the type of camping you plan to engage in, the dollars you can dedicate to this need and the fuel sources that are most practical.

You will always find the very attractive deals online, though retail stores and outdoors warehouses also run special promotions if you watch carefully. In this day and age you can still function comfortably even when it is dark.
About the Author
Tom Henricks enjoys camping and fishing and manages a few small websites.
For more information about camping and outdoors please visit Outdoors, Boating, Fishing and Camping
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