Action shot of a headlamp being used in the wild. Notice how both hands are free to cook that glorious camp meal and the light automatically travels to where the wearer is looking. The only con while camping is when someone is wearing one and looks directly at you. Beam of light straight to your face.
The 4 Primary types of lanterns on the market are: Propane, Battery Powered, Solar Powered and Crank (manual) Powered.
Each lantern has its Pros and Cons. Propane is extremely bright and a staple in camping for decades , but you need to purchase propane tanks and mantels in order to use it. Battery powered lanterns are good, especially with more advancements in battery technology to store more energy. Solar powered lanterns are getting better as well, but with any type of manufacturing you need to review the craftsmanship of the product you buy. I would steer clear of the manual crank powered lanterns. Maybe to stow away in case of an emergency situation, but there are better lighting options out there.
Having a flashlight is always great to have, especially as a backup. Grab a few of these small flashlights to stow away in your car or camping bag. Under $4 with shipping and extremely bright. Cree 7W 300LM Mini LED Flashlight
A great addition that adds ambiance and mosquito repellent to any campsite. A couple of tiki torches and a big bottle of citronella oil should last you your whole trip. Just screw off the top of the tiki torch canister, fill the canister with citronella oil and screw the top with wick back on. Pull the wick up and down so it get coated in the citronella oil. Light it up.
If you go down this route, make sure you purchase good/premium Glow-in-the-Dark Paint that’s durable outdoors with a high brightness rating. Use it on things you don’t want to lose (axe, tent stakes, lighter, car keys, call phone cover) or things you want to be able to see at night (tent guylines. garbage bags, small shovel).
Just like the Glow-in-the-Dark Paint, use Glow-in-the-Dark Tape on things you don’t want to lose, like the handle of your axe or small shovel.
Put a glow stick into a bottle full of water for ambient light. FYI: Don’t drink that water.
String Lights (LEDs)
While definitely not a necessity, it does add ambiance to your campsite. We usually run it hanging along the perimeter of our canopy. It’s solar powered and it automatically turns on at night.
LED UFO Lighting
I’ve use the LED UFO lights for a long time. They run on 4 AA batteries and usually last for 1-2 camping trips. They’re bright, relatively cheap and are best used for lighting up the inside of a tent or canopy. Just hang it from the ceiling.
Use the flashlight App on your cellphone as a backup.