Camping lamps can be extremely useful during camping trips when the sun goes down. This is especially true if there is no moon in the sky or the clouds have obscured any moonlight. This makes finding firewood or lost items much easier. Camping lamps have been around for a very long time. This is especially true of fuel powered lamps like kerosene and gas lamps. Today there are more high tech options such as LED lamps, rechargeable lanterns, and battery powered lanterns. Each of these options have their own pros and cons that should be weighed before deciding which one is best suited for your purposes.
The first thing to consider is whether or not you already have a camping stove or another camping device that uses fuel. If you do, it might be a good idea to buy a camping lamp that uses the same type of fuel. This way you will not have to use two different types of fuel when you go on a camping trip. There are also some camping lanterns that can accept more than one type of fuel. Always make sure that you are using the right type of fuel when you are setting up a camping lantern.
Fuel powered camping lamps come in two different varieties. Some of them use glass to protect the flame, and others use a wire mesh. The glass options are brighter because they let more light through, but glass is of course somewhat fragile. Mesh is much more sturdy, but is not as bright as glass.
Any time that you buy a camping lamp you should make sure to buy spare parts in case something breaks. These include fuel or bulbs and batteries as well as mantles. Make sure that you not only own these but bring them with you on your camping trip. There is nothing quite as frustrating as needing a lamp during a camping trip, and having a lamp with you that does not work but could be easily fixed if you only had the right parts at hand.
Candle lamps are a newer option. A candle lamp is much more lightweight than most options, weighing in at about four ounces or less. These are basically just a candle that is protected by a sheath that prevents the wind from blowing them out. They are also a little safer to use than a candle because there is no open flame. While lightweight, they do not provide very much light in comparison to other types of camping lamps.
It is a good idea to have flame-less lanterns available because they are safer. Unlike flame based lamps, they can be safely used inside of your tent, which is useful when you need to find a spare pair of jeans or something in your backpack. Flame based lamps are very dangerous to use inside a tent. If you knocked one over in your sleep you would put yourself at serious risk. There are plenty of battery based, rechargeable, and LED lamps available.
LED lamps put out a great deal of light, although they are not quite comparable to the amount of light that can be produced by a flame lamp. Butane, propane, and gas lanterns are better for use outside. They put out more light than most light bulbs used in the home. Butane should not be used in situations where the temperature falls below freezing. Propane is good for temperatures above zero degrees Fahrenheit.
Unlike white gas, which needs to be filled up with a funnel, propane is easier to fill up. The downside is that propane must be transported in heavy tanks or canisters. Quality can very quite drastically for propane lamps. Some provide light for as little as four and a half hours, while others can stay burning for as much as twenty four hours. The amount of light that they provide can get as low as thirty watts or as high as two hundred and forty watts.
Electric lights do not provide as much light. The light is adjustable, which saves electricity, but the strength of the light is between ten and forty two watts. 8 D batteries will provide about fifteen hours of light. The convenience of an electric light is that it can be turned on instantly. They are a little heavy, weighing in at about five pounds.