This is a collaborative post.
Camping is one of life’s great pleasures—nothing but fresh air, trees, and water. No annoying work emails and a break from artificial lighting and screens? Yes, please. Of course, camping can turn out to be a real mess if you’re not prepared for the trip. Have you ever tried setting up a tent in the rain and the pitch dark because you got lost on the way and arrived well after nightfall? What about trying to find something important that’s been lost—like allergy medication—in the middle of the night in a field where you can’t see more than a few inches in front of you?
When camping, there are countless things that you need to bring in case of emergencies or inconveniences. Today we’re going to talk about just one of these things—a source of light. You might not think you need one, but you don’t want to wait until one of the above scenarios strikes to realize how wrong you were, when it comes to having consistent and reliable light while camping, solar lanterns are one of your best bets.
Can’t I Just Use My Phone?
Most of us have come to rely on our cellular devices for a lot—directions, connection, work, and fun. Our phones have become part of our life, our culture, and our relationships. Yes, these devices are wonderful things, but they also need to charge in order to keep up with your daily needs. Relying on a phone to get you out of a situation can be tough if there’s nowhere to charge it. You don’t want to be stuck way out in the middle of nowhere with a dead phone.
What About A Lighter Or Bonfire?
Fire is also an excellent source of light. Humans figured this out thousands of years ago. This being said, you can’t move a bonfire around to see something in another area, and lighters only provide a very small range of light when they’re clicked on. Relying on fire can limit what you’re capable of seeing and doing. Plus, if it’s raining, you might not be able to count on the fire staying lit at all.
What Are Solar Lanterns?
Solar lanterns are light-giving devices that charge every day using the sun and can be used to emit light after dark. Many of these devices also have a battery backup system in place in case it’s a particularly cloudy day. These lanterns are superior to lanterns only operated by batteries because you don’t have to worry that you’ve brought enough batteries or deal with batteries dying super quick because of the cold. You know that, right? That cold drains batteries much faster?
Solar lanterns come in many different shapes and sizes, some of which are even designed specifically for camping. Many have options for different light settings (wide, narrow, soft glow, bright, extra bright) and can work well with other camping equipment. This could mean hanging the lantern within the center of your tent to light the entire space or setting it on a nearby rock while everyone goes night swimming (which if you haven’t done before and you’re going camping is something we can highly recommend).
Solar lanterns are so effective that many members of the prepping and homestead community choose them over the other options available on the market. People who have had to live off the land or are preparing for a day they might need to live off the land tend to do a lot of research and select products that will work whether or not other modern technologies are functioning.
How Does Solar Power Work?
The sun gives off enough light in an hour and a half to handle the entire Earth’s energy needs for a whole year. Having discovered the power of the sun, researchers and engineers are constantly working to figure out how to harness this free, unlimited energy to help families all over the world. Solar technology works by converting sunlight into electrical energy. This can be done in one of two ways. The first is by using photovoltaic panels (PV panels)—these are probably what you think of when you picture solar panels. The second is by using mirrors that concentrate solar radiation. In both cases, the energy is then used to create electricity or stored in batteries or thermal storage systems.
These technologies are used both on large scales (fuelling entire cities through electrical grid systems integration) and on smaller scales (charging a lantern or home). Solar power is particularly favored by those who want the world to have energy without causing damage to the planet.
Solar Energy Is Highly Valuable
As humans discover more about our technological needs and figure out solutions that can solve our problems without causing bigger problems, solar-powered devices are gaining popularity. Out of all energy sources, the solar power industry is expected to grow the fastest between now and 2050. This is because the costs are low, and the rewards are high. More and more cities are turning to solar energy, creating thousands of safe, high-paying jobs in the process. You can expect solar options to continue to go and be more available, not just for your camping needs, but for other areas of your life as well.
What To Look For When Shopping For A Solar Lantern
When you’re looking online or in store for a solar lantern, there are a few factors you want to keep in mind. The length of the charge is probably one of the most important differences between a great lantern and one that’s just okay. Some of the best lanterns can emit light for 24-hours after being fully charged.
You also want to think about how long the lantern takes to charge. For a full battery, anything over six hours of sunlight needed is probably pushing it. Yes, that wouldn’t be a big deal if you’re stationary—you can just leave it outside all morning. But if you’re moving around, you might want something that can charge a bit quicker than that.
The above information has hopefully shown you the potential benefits of solar lanterns. They can help you stay safe and comfortable on camping trips of any length. Of course, regardless of the gear, you have with you—if you feel unsafe for any reason, alter your plans or situation. Always trust your instincts when far away from civilization.