Owning the night is important to humans. Seeing is believing and dark makes us afraid. When we started camping, years ago, candles and campfires were the ticket. If we were lucky, we had a heavy c-battery flashlight. Somehow, they always failed at the worst moment.
Open flames were always a safety concern. Old canvas tents would go up in flames in an instance. Any fuel fed lantern could do the same. In Boy Scouts, we were not allowed to use them.
Later, Kerosene lanterns were allowed outside only. Their dim and stinky flame needed constant attention and cleaning. 120 years ago, Coleman lanterns evolved. These white gas lights were vital in making dark into light. Every war movie shows these old lights in bunkers and tents.
These gas lanterns have ben around for years. The fragile mantles made them a challenge. The slightest bump or drop meant new mantles had to be added. On a trip to the Madison River, I was getting a bucket of water. I sat the lantern on a rock and was gathering water when the light slid into the river. Amazingly, it was still on! I grabbed a long stick and fished it out. The glass had cracked but it was still on!
Eventually propane cannisters made these lanterns even more reliable. Refilling the small canisters or adding a large propane tank pole and attachment allowed the lights to last all night. They also could heat a tent up in a hurry.
Today we are in the LED era. These energy saving bulbs last a long time, are super bright, and come in a variety of styles. You can wear them on a headband, in a hat brim, stick them where you need them or… LED’s are safe and illuminating.
Solar lights are also coming on strong. Hanging them around your camp means all night light for free! It also helps to keep the Bigfoots and Bears away!
For more Montana Grant, find him illuminated at www.montanagrantfishing.com.