My fondest camping memories from when I was a kid involve this old green lantern my parents always set on the picnic table. It used kerosene and mantles to produce light, and I have vivid memories of my dad telling us kids to “Stand back!” every time he lit the lantern for fear the thing would unintentionally explode.
Camp lighting solutions have come a long way since then (and I’m not even that old!). These days, kerosene lanterns are practically extinct, or at least, selling for a lot of money on Amazon as a #retro gift. But now that there are newer and better-functioning options to add to your camping kit, which lights should you consider? Check it out.
These adaptable lights add a touch of ambience to any camping situation. Line the perimeter of camp, hang them from the ceiling of your tent, or bundle them into a bunch to create a useful lantern. Plus, they’re cheap, so you really can’t go wrong!
Especially designed for hammocks, this string of 20 lights stretches from end to end on a hammock so you can enjoy a little visibility while reading or relaxing. The lights themselves are water resistant and come in four different multicolor light modes (green, red, blue, or six-color fade) as well as multiple white light options.
Sometimes you don’t need fancy twinkling lights; you need a standard lantern. When that happens, why not reach for the Lighthouse 400. Its adjustable LED light can go up to 400 lumens, and the entire thing is rechargeable via the USB port. Added bonus: The USB port can also charge your cell phone.
Big Agnes knows camp solutions, and this 100-inch-long string of LED lights proves that they also appreciate the finer things in life. Three light modes (off, on, and flicker) illuminate camp or your tent, and the four plastic clips make it easier to customize where and how you want the lights to hang. Simple, basic, and oh-so-luxurious.
It’s not a lantern or a headlamp, but it is a light and an eco-conscious one at that. The SunLight Solar Portable Light uses an integrated solar charging panel to recharge, providing up to 50 hours of light time. It offers a range of colors in case you want to turn your campsite into a disco party, but our fave feature is the kickstand: Prop it up on your picnic table, tent floor, or a rock, and let the magic happen.
It is the simplest lighting solution on the list, but that’s why the Moji Lantern shines after years in production. It is efficient and affordable too, making it tough to beat for car campers or backpackers alike. LED lights emit 100-lumens worth of glow, and the three AAA batteries can last up to 70 hours (on the lowest setting). For reference, I bought mine five years ago and have yet to swap out the batteries. And, it’s lightweight: At a mere three ounces, there is no reason to leave it behind.