Be the Light: Choices in Nighttime Backpacking Gear


When 5:00pm on Friday hits, I’m usually punching the clock and heading into the woods ASAP to go camping. Most of the time however; after changing, grabbing my pack, stopping by the grocery store and then picking up a quick bite to eat on the way to Pisgah National Forest–the sun has set. And that’s fine because as long as you have the proper lighting, hiking in at night can be fun!




Classic and essential. These hands free lights vary in quality and settings. High quality headlamps will enhance your camping experiences for sure. Most come with three different brightness settings, a red light setting, and a flash setting you can use in emergencies.







caplightAre you the one who’s always wearing that same ol’ baseball cap? These are also particularly great for hunting and fishing because they clip on and off so easily. Generally cheaper than headlamps, the hat clip often comes standard with many of the same settings as the headlamp.






LED Pocket Work Light

penlightThought to mostly be used by handymen who keep them in their tool boxes or in their front pocket, these make fabulous flashlight substitutes. Even if you hike in with a headlamp, always plan to have a backup light for safety. These last a long time, provide a wide span of light and feature a handy clip to attach to your shirt or pocket!







Kerosene Lantern


If someone in your camping crew hikes one of these in their pack, they are awesome. It may seem lavish at the time but if you’re only hiking in a few miles the extra weight is totally worth the glow of light provided. Playing cards, prepping food, and organizing your campsite are all a cinch with proper lighting. Especially if you’re camping in a wildlife preserve that doesn’t permit campfires.






Mini Battery-Powered Lantern


These are super handy as well. Especially if you’re not into the big gas lantern. Powered by several batteries (which is always sort of a pain, but hey) this kind of light usually comes with three dimness settings. Easy to hang on the ridgeline of your hammock as well. This one pictured is only about five and a half inches high and has a long battery life.









Nothing beats the ambiance these little guys produce!! Powered only by three batteries, the 23 LED string lights will shine for 72 hours continuously. Especially if you’re not into any of the other campsite lighting, this 4 ounce option is a great alternative to bring some visibility to your campsite. Not to mention the mood!