3 Lamps and lights perfect for camping


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Erin Lawrence

Lighting is important when you’re out in the wilderness. Flashlights are a must, and headlamps are handy, but you need options that aren’t just burning-the-eyes-out bright.

I tested three new lighting gadgets on a recent road trip through the northwestern US and found each of them handy.

Brunton Lightwave Amp Speaker & Lantern

When camping, you need to minimize gear, so it helps if you have gadgets that do double-duty. The Brunton Lightwave Amp is both a lantern and a portable speaker. The lantern part of it has a fully bright or dimmed white light, plus it connects to your smartphone so you can also change its colour to any hue you choose. The free app is also used to connect to the speaker that’s built into the base of the lamp. The audio quality isn’t what you’d call pristine, but for something you’re taking on the road or into the woods, it sounds just fine to my ears.

The lantern part is a good sized device; it’s abut the same size as a ‘standard’ Coleman lantern. I really liked the colour changing abilities of the lantern and often put it on a subtle purple, or red or blue, which seemed not to draw bugs. The brightest setting was enough to cook or even read by, while the dim setting cast a subtle glow.

NiteIze Mini Glowstick

This tiny light resembling a light sabre from Star Wars is light, portable and provides enough light for tasks that need more subtle illumination.  I found it infinitely handy for taking night photos, as it lights up the camera body well so I can read the buttons, without the bright eye-searing glare of a traditional white flashlight. The Glowstick base twists to turn it on and off and it has a long lasting LED bulb, so it won’t drain the battery too quickly. I used it on a two week roadtrip nightly and it’s still going strong. NiteIze says it’ll run 60 hours on the 4 included AG-3 batteries, which you can replace when they die. They come in several colours and for the whopping $3 they cost, you can get a set and hand them out to the family.

BONUS! I also was able to use these sticks to do some interesting night photos.  If you’ve ever heard of the steel wool light trick, you can do something similar with the Glowstick; just clip the included caribiner on one of these to a rope and spin it  for some fun photo opportunities!

Biolite NanoGrid multi-light kit

This genius device is two lights on one… well, maybe even three.  The nerve centre of the gadget is the small lantern. It has a soft rounded shape that distributes light evenly and without bright spots.  Then, in the flat base of the lantern, a directional flashlight that casts a bright beam over a good long distance. You can even have both ends of the lantern on at the same time.

The other part of the light that I absolutely love is a pair of overhead lamps that you can string on a clothesline or a tree to provide overhead light easily.  I found this section and its long braided cable very handy for suspending over a picnic table during food prep. It give you more of a flood of light as opposed to narrower glaringly bright areas with some camp lanterns. The NanoGrid is also available from Best Buy .

Biolite Campstove

Biolite’s super-versatile CampStove lets you cook, generate heat, or create your own portable power all with sticks, twigs and biomass that you can find at any camp spot.  The ultra-portable stove can boil water in about 6 minutes, and with different adaptive pieces (not included) you can even grill on it.  A handy light on a flexible gooseneck shaft helps you see what you’re doing in the dark, and it’s powered by the heat generated by the stove. It’s great for backpackers, or campers who aren’t ready or willing to invest in a big heavy Coleman-type stove yet.

Need to see for yourself how it works? Watch the video!
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cLLEy6r1jpk]
Do you know of a camping gadget or lighting option I should check out on my next visit to the forest? Let me know in comments below!

Follow Erin on Instagram and Twitter @ErinLYYC


  1. Travis Stewart on July 14, 2016 at 10:54 am

    Can’t wait to maybe be *Airborne* with a new mini drone!

  2. Travis Stewart on July 13, 2016 at 6:47 am

    AIRBORNE! Would love a chance to win this drone for my son!

  3. Kristin Kaluta on July 13, 2016 at 6:45 am

    ERIN! Second entry! Pick me, pick me, pick me! 🙂 My son would be in heaven to win a drone. AIRBORNE! Thanks Erin! 🙂

  4. June on July 12, 2016 at 12:54 pm

    Amazing how fast technology changes and advances

  5. Dianne Shearer on July 12, 2016 at 9:16 am

    The tech was very interesting

  6. Christine Shearer on July 12, 2016 at 9:14 am

    Would love a drone

  7. Ed Shearer on July 12, 2016 at 9:10 am

    Loved the bio light

  8. Trevor Goodliff on July 12, 2016 at 7:54 am

    My son AND I would have fun taking AIRBORNE photo’s with this Parrot Drone. Thank you Erin

  9. Olunda Dorward on July 12, 2016 at 7:48 am

    Didn’t leave Airborne word in my last reply…

  10. Rosella Poirier on July 12, 2016 at 7:47 am

    Would love to win those drones.

    AIRBORNE is the word your looking for. A better weather forecast is what I am looking for.😊

    Happy Stampede
    Rosella Poirier

  11. Kristina on July 12, 2016 at 7:46 am

    Good morning my son loved your tech talk this morning and even had me pause live TV while he went to grab something. Thanks for the ideas.

    Airborne 😃

  12. Greg G on July 12, 2016 at 7:45 am

    Saw you on the news this morning. Would like to enter the contest… Airborne !

  13. Emma Rolfe on July 12, 2016 at 7:45 am

    Airborne…looks like fun! Fingers crossed I can win this for my daughter who would absolutely love it! We plan on camping lots this year!

  14. Mike on July 12, 2016 at 7:44 am

    Airborne. Great article about camp lights! I real like the BioLite Nanogrid, great option for hanging in a tent.

  15. Rosella Poirier on July 12, 2016 at 7:42 am

    I loved all the gadgets you showed about the technology available when camping.

    Now I would love to win the drones…..so here is the answer you are looking for.

    Wait for it…..wait for it….😊


    Happy Stampede
    Rosella Poirier

  16. Laura Lloyd on July 12, 2016 at 7:41 am

    AIRBORNE! Would love to win these for my family to enjoy! Thanks for showing us all the camping gadgets!

  17. Mike on July 12, 2016 at 7:41 am

    Airborne. Great article about camp lights!!! Real like the bio lite nanogrid.

  18. Laura Lloyd on July 12, 2016 at 7:38 am

    Camping is one of my favourite summer activities. I am excited to do it this summer for the first time with my young kids. It will be the first of many summer camping memories! I enjoyed learning about the latest lighting gadgets from you!

  19. Jeremy on July 12, 2016 at 7:37 am

    All great products, impressed by battery life and ability to charge cameras and phones.

    Keyword: AIRBORNE

  20. J. Noble on July 12, 2016 at 7:36 am

    AIRBORNE! Those drones look like so much fun! We still camp the old school way. Can’t believe there are so many cool gadgets to make our lives easier for our next camping trip. Appreciate your great segment!

  21. May Larkin on July 12, 2016 at 7:35 am

    Airborne. Great segment, would love the drones and any of that other cool camping equipment.

  22. Jessica on July 12, 2016 at 7:34 am

    Thanks for the great camping ideas! I really liked the lights that you could plug in and hang overhead – great idea when you’re trying to cook and need your hands free. The drones were cool, especially when you showed it airbourne!

  23. Stacy Walton on July 12, 2016 at 7:33 am

    Really like that colored light to keep the bugs down.
    Key word Airborne

  24. Drew Galipeau on July 12, 2016 at 7:32 am


    Segment was awesome! Well presented and makes me want every gadget shown!!

  25. Lindsay on July 12, 2016 at 7:32 am

    Love tech talk!!!

  26. Richard Sherry on July 12, 2016 at 7:32 am

    Airborne critters are a fact of life at a campsite. I love the idea of that lamp with the different colours that does not attract them. Great idea!

  27. Marie Lorne on July 12, 2016 at 7:31 am

    Great show this morning.. Would love to win an AIRBORNE gadget 🙂

  28. Travis Stewart on July 12, 2016 at 7:31 am

    Thank you for the tech ideas! AIRBORNE!

  29. Kristin Kaluta on July 12, 2016 at 7:30 am

    AIRBORNE! 🙂 Would love to win! 🙂 My 9 year old is in love with drones and we go camping next week! 🙂 Loved your segment. Thanks Erin!

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