Outdoor Camping and Hiking Light Review

By Shaggy Outdoors Team

July 11, 2020

Camping Lights; from Lanterns to Flashlights 

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Camping is fun, but only if you take your time to ensure that you have everything needed. However, whether you are exploring the backcountry, car camping, or camping in your backyard, lights should always be in your camping gear.

Perhaps, you already know the problems people encounter when setting up their camp after sunset and searching for items in a poorly lit tent. In the past, we were only limited to bulky flashlights and kerosene lights, but today, you have many options to try. Here are some of them.

Camping Flashlight

A flashlight should never be missed in your camping gear. People prefer LED lights because they last long, and are ultra-bright. The standards of purchasing an LED flashlight are more like those of the standard incandescent lights. Here are the factors to consider when buying the best-LED camping light.


Manufacturers measure the brightness in lumens. The intensity determines how far a beam can travel. If you need a powerful torch, you must choose one with a high-lumen number.


A torch with a high lumen number will be a great choice. However, a weak housing unit can diminish power. The housing should allow you to focus or distribute the beam appropriately. Choose a flashlight or torch with a more efficient head unit.

Handle Feel and Weight

No one would want to drop an expensive LED flashlight into a deep crack when camping. Unfortunately, most torches come with heavy handles and a knurling finish, which increases grip and feedback. Choose something that you can hold comfortably.

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GearLight LED Flashlights - Mini Camping Flashlights with 5 Modes, Zoomable Beam - Powerful and Bright for Outdoor Use

Camping Lanterns

Campers have unique needs, and they will, therefore, choose different camping lights. The available types of camping lanterns include fuel, electric, and candle burning. Electric lights use LED lighting to provide high light output. They run quietly, and they do not produce any heat, meaning that they are the safest to use around children.

Fuel-burning lights run on butane or propane. You can attach the canisters when using the lantern and refill them when empty. When using butane canisters, you will have to dispose of them. Due to the large amount of light these products provide, they are an excellent choice when lighting large areas. Never use them in small spaces because they require adequate ventilation. Moreover, they get extremely hot, and you should avoid using them around kids. They also run noisily.

People rarely use candles for camping lights. The light sources need candles for fuel, and they emit a soft, soothing glow. They only produce a small amount of light, meaning that they will only light up a small space. What’s more? They can be dangerous when used around children due to the burning candle.

When choosing a camping lantern, consider the amount of light you will need. Also, consider the weight. Some people prefer something substantial, while others will go for lightweight lights. Compare the prices before buying.

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This is a LE Rechargeable Camping Lantern and power bank. These multi-use lanterns can fulfill several needs. 



These products were initially developed for miners, and therefore, you might feel like someone walking in a cave after wearing them for the first time. However, the best searchlight will make your work more comfortable at night. You can set up our camp or participate in trail running at night.

Almost every searchlight in the market today features LED bulbs, meaning that they last longer and are energy efficient. They also boast adjustable straps so that the user can have a perfect fit each time. Here are some of the factors to consider when shopping for a camping headlamp.


The output of light bulbs on headlamps is measured in lumens. A headlamp with a high number of lumens will provide brighter light. Some other factors that determine the brightness include the type of beam produced and the color of light. The light sources offer a cool or warm light color. Choose a headlamp with a lumen output between 100 and 200 lumens.

The Type of Beam

Headlamps offer two types of beams – the spot beam and the flood beam. Flood beams are an excellent choice when completing some up-close tasks, including setting up the campsite and cooking. The spot beam will be more helpful when spotting wildlife or trail running. Most headlamps provide both spot and flood beam settings.


Most headlamps offer various settings such as red light and strobe settings. The two modes are essential as safety features, and the former is a better way of using the searchlight without having to disturb others.

Beam Distance

Manufacturers indicate the amount of usable light the searchlight can produce. The amount is usually displayed in the form of beam distance measurement. The best-LED camping light offers a long beam distance.

Run or Burn Time

The run time or burn time refers to the number of hours the searchlight will offer usable light before the batteries die. The number of hours varies from one headlamp to another. So, choose wisely.

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Hanging String Lights

With hanging string lights, you will never worry about tripping in the dark when finding the bathroom. The hanging lights will also allow you to sneak and eat a delicious midnight snack without waking others. The lights are composed of small light bulbs connected to coated string wires. Most campers call them the party hanging lights because they are perfect for home decorations and events too.

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Solar Camping Lamps

A portable solar light is another great alternative for people who love eating or cooking in the dark. Solar rechargeable lights are a great replacement for battery-powered, butane, and kerosene lights. They are no longer oversized and unreliable. Here are the factors to consider when shopping for one.

Light Output

Among the essential factors to consider when shopping for solar camping lamps is the light output. For most activities, you will need a light output between 50 lumens and 100 lumens. If you need one to light up a picnic area or for night hiking, you have to go for one offering 150-200 lumens.

Battery Runtime

A solar lantern that serves you for only one or two hours after the sun has gone down is not the right choice for overnight trips. If you plan to use the light for only a short time, it should not be a problem, but if you want to stay up throughout the night, you have to choose something that will last for many hours. Choose a lantern with low or low brightness settings because high lumen levels provide short battery run times.

Recharging Sources

Ideally, you should use solar light to recharge the solar camping lantern, but alternative methods will be more helpful during those rainy days. Most of the available solar lights allow direct plugging into the main power outlets. Choose a lantern that can charge through a USB port when planning for a long trip. A solar bank rechargeable by a hand crank will work best in emergencies.

Size and Portability

Consider the weight and size of the lantern because the two factors will affect how you use it. Some of the available options are ultra-lightweight and fully collapsible, which makes them ideal for backpacking. However, that will limit the solar panel size. The market also offers semi-collapsible options and others that do not fold at all. If you are using your van, car, or RV, then the weight should not be a concern.


The best solar camping lamps should withstand short drops and hold up to heavy rain. Search for those made of durable materials like ABS plastic, silicone, and PTU. Keep in mind that not every lantern is waterproof. Check the IPX rating before you purchase any. The manufacturer’s warranty should be above one year.


If you need a multifunctional portable solar camp light, you should opt for products that function as power banks to recharge your mobile device at night. Search for lanterns with many brightness settings or unique lighting modes such as red light, flash, and SOS.

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Your camping gear should be sturdy, reliable, and fit your camping style. Experiencing the natural darkness in the woods is awe-inspiring, but you must see for your safety. The best camping lights include battery-powered, solar-powered, string lights, and headlamps. Choose what will work for you.