There are few things in camp more disheartening than discovering that your light source is dying and realizing it’s going to be a long, cold, and very dark night. It’s best to always have redundant lighting, even if your backup is just a glow stick or a candle. Beyond that, there are many great options for keeping the lights on in camp.
Lanterns have gotten smaller and smarter since the days of the gas-fired mantle contraptions. Now there are lanterns that will keep mosquitos away, cool you with a built-in fan, or run off solar power while also charging your cell phone. The future looks bright indeed!
If you only have one light source, make it a headlamp. In addition to multiple beam strengths, some models offer a red-light mode for sneaking into your tree stand, a blinking mode for signaling, and all the advantages of a standard flashlight with hands-free operation. They range from just a hundred or so lumens for emergency use to thousands of lumens suitable for everything from blood trailing to spelunking.
The traditional handheld flashlight has gotten so powerful that the performance once found only in cumbersome plug-in beams and metal batons requiring a stack of D-cell batteries now comes in a package about the size of a candy bar. Whether you choose battery operated or rechargeable, brightness is still mostly about the lumens. All other things being equal, opt for the highest “candle power.”