has come a long way from the days of two-man tents and candles or
campfires for lighting. Compactness is another technological advantage
we have today, especially with outdoor lanterns used for camping, as well as any
outdoor activities. Excellent liquid fuel lanterns are still available,
as well as pressurized gas lanterns and battery-powered lamps. Todays
innovations have also given us hand-cranked solar lanterns with extended
life built in. Let's discuss a few of the different lanterns available,
as well as their good and not-so-good points.
Battery powered electric lanterns
lanterns are available in three different types; LED, which gives the
user a good light output and long battery life. They also stand up to
rough use. Fluorescent lanterns, while having a higher light output pose
a problem with disposal of the tubes. The incandescent lantern has good
light output, but only a so-so battery life. The bulbs are more fragile
The only negative issue with these lanterns is
battery usage and disposal. On the positive side, they are quiet, and
have no exhaust to worry about. No heat is produced, making them safe
around children and safe for use inside a tent.
Fuel burning lanternsThese
lanterns run on several different fuel sources. Refillable white-gas
tanks contain a liquid fuel that gives off a powerful light. They are
also fuel efficient. Refillable propane gas tanks are also very fuel
efficient and give off a powerful light. Disposable butane containers
are compact, easy to use and store, but have only a moderate light
On a positive note, all the fuel-burning lanterns give
off more light than most electric models. On the down-side, they are
noisy, and they must be in an area with good ventilation. They can pose a
danger in small, confined spaces, and they do generate heat, making
them dangerous around children.
all else fails, or there is nothing else to use, a candle in the
darkness is better than nothing, or so we are told. Candles provide a
soft, ambient glowing light. They are not noisy, and are fairly good for
close-up work. Reflectors can be purchased, and they will increase the
light output by reflection.
Candles are to be used with extreme
caution. They are dangerous in a tent, and of course, fire and burns are
a big hazard when using them.
type of lantern purchased will depend on several things. Light
intensity, or wattage and battery duration. Size and weight are also
important factors to consider. How the lantern will be used is another
consideration to take into account before making a final decision.