Touring - camping lanterns
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06-23-05, 07:31 PM
Are there any camping lanterns out there particularly suited for touring? Or are your standard camping lanterns just fine? I'm about to buy one, but I don't want to miss out on something smaller or more lightweight if it's out there.
An LED headlight is the lightest, most versatile light. The batteries last a long time. If you really want a 'lantern', look at a Candle Lantern, sold by REI and other outdoor stores. It's pretty lightweight and packs very small. There is a variation that uses tea candles (smaller but available everywhere) that might be a good option as well.
The 'standard' Coleman mantle lantern would not be a good choice for touring. The mantles would not likely take well to rough roads.
06-23-05, 09:17 PM
I have a very small lantern that uses a mantle and fit on my stove gaz tank. The brand is Primus but I can't tell which model it is. The weight and size is minimal but I rarely carry it... not because I think it is fragile but because it is by adding small things that you end up with a heavy and bulky load. If travelling in a group, I'd say it would be a good idea otherwise, using your bike lights is a good option.
06-23-05, 09:58 PM
I like the LED models, I just saw one at WalMart, it was an LED Flashlight like a mini-mag, but had an lucite stick that you could attach to the front, oh guessing about 6 inches long or so, that helped diffuse the light, make it more of a "Lantern" than a spotlight. It was in the Fishing Stuff if memory serves me.
I'm with the rest of them on the mantle style, they are bulky, fragile, and just not a good fit for me with touring. I use my bike light, but always like to have at least one other source of light. The Headlight style are good, expecially since they keep your hands free while you're trying to pitch camp in the dark.
It's better to light 1 candle than to stub your toe and scream and hop up and down.
06-23-05, 10:45 PM
I like my AAA or AA Mag Lite as a lantern. The head/lense removes completly to expose the small bare bulb. It will either stand in that head/lense assembly or it can hang from a string as it has a hole in the tail section for that.
If I were to get a touring specific lanten it would probably be a candle type as mentioned already.
06-23-05, 10:46 PM
I'll second the LED headlight, I have one I have used frequently for over a year and still haven't replaced the batteries. For inside the tent I use a small AA flashlight with a biner that I hang from the ceiling of the tent.
K-mart ( and likely Walmart) also has a LED headlamp by Garrity that sells for $12 that works quite well. it has 3 LED's with HI-LO-Flash functions. I just used one of these to go on a 20 mile hike 1/2 of which was in the dark while raining and the light worked great
06-24-05, 05:59 AM
I have a windup LED flashlight with a small hand crank. It is small and light enough to carry and a full windup gives a couple of hours of illumination.
The latest models can also be used to recharge mobile phones and PDAs
06-24-05, 12:19 PM
I can see that all of you swear by LED... but my mantle lantern is not much bigger than most LED lights, is quite solid (I never had any problem in about 8 years, i only had to change the mantle twice) and produce much more light... I never carry it when travelling solo but I would not carry other lights than my bike lights either. If you have lights on your bike (many use LED technology by the way), you have the perfect multifunction light that allows you to ride early morning or at night AND set up you tent. I'm not a big fan of headlamps when biking but I am sure they can be as versatile for those who are comfortable wearing them.
I tried the Mag lite flashlights (mostly when backpacking) but two of them failed in less than a year (one due to corrosion the other one simply lost its front lense)... I really liked their system which allows you to transfrom your flashlight into a lantern but I find it hard to trust their product again.
As for the candle lantern, the light produced is minimal but they are extremely lightweight and it can be useful to have a bit of extra wax to start a fire in wet condition. I also like the fact that you can use them in the tent a few minutes before going to bed in order to chase some of the humidity away.
I have one of the Garrity headlamps just like the one above (got it for Christmas). Yep! the batteries last a long time and it does give quite a bit of light. I'm trying to become 'modern'.
Before that I carried (and still do) a candle lantern as also mentioned above. They work great.
Before that? For almost 10 years I carried an emergency candle. I'd either look for a pop can or buy a can of pop. The inside is fairly reflective. Just cut a hole in the side, make a few small X cuts in the sides, and hang it from a tree using a bungie. The next day, just deposit the aluminum can in the nearest trash can!
Of all of them, I use the candle lantern the most.
06-24-05, 12:32 PM
Have a look at this mantle free lantern:
Or the modern version of my own Primus lanter:
I think the LED lanterns are a good thing for the future and would try to demo one before buying the small gas lanterns like the ones by Primus or Brunton.
Re: The Brunton lanterns:
Something cheaper than the Brunton Liberty which is a $109 mantleless lantern is the Brunton Lamprey which is about $80 retail but STP had it on sale for $40 recently so I picked up one. They are able the size of a candle lantern but put off a lot more light.
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