Being in the market for camping lights usually means that you are either,
- replacing damaged or worn out camping lights
- upgrading to a newer model of your old lantern
- you are new to camping and are needing to establish an inventory of camping lights
- you need to establish proper camping lighting for previously untried camping activities
- the camping lights purchased before your trip were found to be unsuitable, inappropriate, or just plain “bad”
(Of course there are many other reasons why someone would want to purchase camping lights, but the examples listed above would cover a large part of it)
When new or replacement camping lights are needed, it begs the question:
What is the Best Way to Buy the Right Camping Lights?
If you are replacing worn out lamps, or are upgrading to later models then you will already have a good idea about what to expect from that particular brand and type of camping light. This would also apply to a seasoned camper who has a wealth of experience with different types of camping lights and camping experience.
However what if you are new to camping or have very limited experience with the various camping conditions that you may face? How then do you go about making a wise and informed decision when shopping for various camping lights?
Here are a few tips that may help you find the right camping lights:
- Make a list of all the camping activities that you may participate in. For example, bush-walking and hiking, orienteering, cooking, setting up a dark camp, fishing, spotlighting for nocturnal animals, hunting, and so on…..)
- Match the type of camping lighting that may be needed for each of your anticipated activities. Floodlights, spotlights, hand held flashlights, headlamps, etc, can all have very specific functions and might be better suited for some activities an not others.
- Often the camping lights that you need will dictate the style of the lighting and the type of camping fuel or power these lights will require. For example nocturnal spotlighting will require high powered 12v or battery operated spotlights, headlamps will require batteries, hiking will require lightweight camping lights with a long-lasting fuel supply, efficiently lighting a common area might require a bright light source with a cheap and long-lasting fuel supply, battery powered camping lights may be the safest option for inside tents.
- Make a camping checklist that itemizes all of your required camping equipment. This will help you in calculating the room and weight allowance that you have for your camping lighting. Remember to allow for the extra weight and storage space of the camping fuel in question, be it batteries, gas canisters, or liquid fuel.
- Think about who will be camping and the related camping safety. Some types of camping lanterns and camping fuel may not be safe around younger kids.
- Research on the net and read plenty of reviews. While many website may be affiliated to certain brands and product, it’s not hard to find honest and valuable reviews of camping lights.
- Ask your friends and relatives of their experiences and reviews. Even contacting local camping clubs can be a useful source of advice and information.
- If you can, visit a few camping stores and ask heaps of questions. The staff should be knowledgeable in the various aspects of camping lighting, and you also can get a feel for the actual weight and physical dimensions of the various camping lights.
- Generally you can trust in the bigger and more established manufacturers. Sure at times they can release dud products, but generally speaking they have a great manufacturing history and experience to work from. Overall my favorite manufacturer for camping lights is Coleman. They have been around forever and have a great track record. I’ve always found their products to be well made, durable, and reasonably priced.
Of course this list could go on much longer, but I’m sure you’ve got the idea. Some camping lights are better suited for certain activities, and some aren’t. Make use of the experience of others, do your research, and make an informed buying decision. Of course, at-the-end-of-the-day, as your experience grows, so to will your ability to pick and choose the right camping lights for your requirements.