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Shelters The Shelters forum is for the discussion of backpacking shelters (tents, tarps, poncho-tarps, bivy sacks,...).

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Old 01-27-2015, 10:12 PM
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Reality Reality is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Oregon
Posts: 4,954
Shelter Light / Lighting

What do you use for light in your shelter?

I like the nifty LED lanterns that are available, but I've always either used my headlamp (on lowest setting) or a Photon Freedom Micro LED Micro-Light (using dimmer setting), Fenix E05 85 Lumen LED KeyChain Flashlight, or the ThruNite Ti3 (in firefly mode).

On a clear night, I've even used moonlight (while cowboy camping or using net shelter).

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Old 01-27-2015, 11:10 PM
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FirstRWD FirstRWD is offline
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Backpack: Detours 40L or Bike Panniers
Sleeping Gear: Homemade Synthetic Quilt
Shelter: North Face Mica FL 2
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: WI
Posts: 85
I also like to use my headlamp on the lowest setting. On a long, particularly wet trip down the coast this Fall, I ended up rigging a para-cord clothes line inside the tent from one end to the other. It helped a little with drying things overnight, but also proved a great place to hang my headlamp. I just have the headlamp angle adjustment part straddle the line. It was convenient enough that I left the line in the tent after we got into dryer weather. I just leave my headlamp hanging from it at night too(off, of course), so that if I awaken for a bathroom break mid-night or something happens and need the lamp in a hurry, the strap is hanging right above my head. Very convenient. A tent specific light might well be a nice luxury, but for me personally, the headlamp works fine and I don't think I'd bother carrying the extra weight. Maybe someone will post something really nice and light-weight that will change my mind.
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Old 01-28-2015, 01:22 PM
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Grandpa Grandpa is offline
Practical Backpacking­™ Associate Member
Backpack: GoLite Pinnacle
Sleeping Gear: Moonstone Lucid 800 w/Neo Air pad
Shelter: Tarptent Sublite Tyvek & Tarptent Double Rainbow
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Texas
Posts: 430
I got a Luminaid a while back and I'm quite impressed with it as illumination for the tent. It lights the whole thing up. In the past, I'd used my headlight but I can hang the Luminaid in there and have the headlight handy for other uses.
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Old 01-28-2015, 06:47 PM
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dsuursoo dsuursoo is offline
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Backpack: Mountainsmith Maverick 65
Sleeping Gear: ALPS +20 mummy
Shelter: Kelty Noah 9x9
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,482
I got a snow peak mini hozuki for christmas. I'm very impressed. I've only tested it so far in very controlled conditions but its very slick. The light can be controlled even with very heavy gloves, is surprisingly bright at high and is pretty good even at the bottom end settinng. The control being single button is simple though I have set it to disco mode a couple times by accident(emergency strobe mode).

For the price it was a solid bargain. I'll be testing it in depth out in the field in a month or two.
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Old 01-28-2015, 09:42 PM
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GGervin GGervin is offline
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Backpack: Gregory Shasta, Deuter ACT Lite 65+10
Sleeping Gear: REI ThermoPod +0 mummy, MH 3D +40 mummy
Shelter: SD Superflash, GoLite Hut 1
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: California
Posts: 436
I've tried a Luci lantern and almost found it satisfactory. It's light enough (4oz.), the solar recharging can work o.k., and inflated it's a great shape and size. What I didn't like is that the light is a lot harder to direct in a tent than you would think. The most intense light is straight down under the bottom of the lantern, and I found that if I wanted to read, I would have to direct that bottom light onto the page. The other thing is that it's a scream to go to deflate it in the morning, and realize you can't deflate it without inventing some sort of deflating tool on the spot. It's dirt cheap, so maybe that should be overlooked. It might appeal to some with little money and some time for planning on how to hang it and how to deflate it.

I've also used a GAZ Bluet lantern and a Coleman F1 Lite lantern inside the tent. I liked that they heated the tent in the cold. I also liked that they ran on the same cannisters I used to run my stove. But that was when I was young, and thought 80lbs was a fine pack weight, and didn't care about fuel weight. As age, pack weight, and fuel weight have become an issue, I've been less happy with a lantern that eats up cooking fuel. -Also I was unaware of any carbon monoxide poisoning issues. I'm still here and probably sane, so I guess there was no lasting damage. There's also a real fire risk if you knock a hot one over in a nylon tent.

But with the advent of regulated LED headlamps and lithium batteries, it's pretty hard for me to use anything else in a tent these days. My favorite is a Princeton Tec Quad. (I like it well enough I just bought a Quad Tactical as a backup.) I do miss the extra warmth of the butane lantern on a cold night. I don't miss the dangers, the LED lighting is bulletproof simple, and the headlamp is far more versatile than any single duty tent light.
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