Friday, April 7, 2017

Reliable camp lighting.

We've been through many interations of camp lighting over the years, The experiments were
  1. Propane lanterns
  2. Flashlights
  3. Mag lights in lantern mode
  4. Headlamps
  5. kerosene lanterns
  6. White gas / Gasoline lanterns
  7. Butane lanterns.
  8. Candle lanterns
  9. and most recently. The Tac Light lantern. Those super bright LED lanterns.
All of them have their advantages, and disadvantages. And just like the liquid fueled / gasoline / white gas stoves, we come back to white gas / gasoline every time.

Simply put, While the tac light lantern is a good lantern, there are many imitators, and the light, well, it's too stinking bright close up to be anything but blinding, but does not disperse well enough to make a good area light.

Propane has proved over the years to be expensive to use with any frequency, especially with the fuel consumption that we deal with in propane lanterns. 

Kerosene works well, but produces too limited of a light be to useful beyond a small camp kitchen, or a tent / cabin room. And considering the fuel isn't used on anything we own other than the lantern, it is a bit hard to give serious consideration to use... Having said that, if I could re jet the stove to use Kerosene, it would be a GREAT option for international travel. And with a stove like the MSR XGK you can do just that. Kerosene is readily available pretty much anywhere so you would never need to worry about fuel but...

As we prep our gear for the spring camping season that is almost upon us here in Texas, we are getting the gas lanterns ready White gas is hard to find outside of the US and Canada, but unleaded gasoline is readily available. SO a dual fuel model makes for great fuel availability. 

Our prep work as you might recall includes testing for leakage, and doing a pre burn at home to insure that the lantern lights and operates. We have two of them, one of which had a failed pump seal that was easily replaced with parts from our local big box retailers sporting goods section, and it simply took a few starts to clear the cobwebs out.

It should be mentioned that we stocked up on fuel a long time ago, thinking white gas would go through fairly quickly. We did not find that to be true.

In real world use, we would burn up 2 1lb propane cylinders in a 24 hour period in the lantern. We could fill up the white gas lantern 8 times with a 1 gallon can, and each fill up lasted for 2 days. 

The results in fuel usage are similar with the stove. Have we made our point clearly enough on why we chose gasoline / white gas over propane yet?

So now that the lanterns are ready to go and stuffed back in their cases, we await delivery of our replacement packings for the stove, and we get that leak fixed, and we are ready to go.