A proper flashlight for camping will make you happy.


A quality flashlight for camping is a must have item.


A cheap flashlight will fall into pieces if you drop it. It’s very difficult to find the spring, bulb, batteries and other parts on the ground, in the dark while in the woods. Then you still need to put it together. Good luck with that!

And, usually once it's put back together, it won’t work anymore! Not only that, with the cheap variety, there's a good chance it will turn itself on while in your gear bag and the batteries will be dead by the time you need it.

A light with a push button on/off switch is more reliable than the sliding type.


Most everyone that has gone camping, including me, has said this:

I just put new batteries in it…..why doesn’t it work? Usually about this time you are staring into the light-less end of the flashlight while flicking the switch.

And that, my camping friends, is why you should buy a good flashlight!


I have several flashlights.

My favorite is a small and very powerful LED Lenser flashlight. It fits perfectly into a headband for hands free use.

I like this one because I can recharge it at home or in the car.

As a second flashlight for camping I’ve been using a mini mag for many years. This one uses a halogen type bulb, which, for it's age, puts out a very bright light.

Both of these light have an adjustable beam.

One feature I always liked about it is that the front can be unscrewed and used as a base for a candlelight.

The mini-mag light is still going strong after many years. Still a great light for it's size. On the right the mini-mag converts to a candlelight.

Above is the LED Lenser light and all the assorted items. At 4-1/4" it has lots of brightness.

Before buying a flashlight for camping, here are a few things to consider. 

  • Is it rechargeable? My LED Lenser came with a home and car charger. The pouch is nice too.
  • Would a headlamp type light work better for you instead of a handheld type? 
  • The newer LED flashlights offer a brighter light and longer battery life.
  • Rechargeable flashlights cost more but there's no need to buy other expensive batteries in the future. 
  • USB: The newer flashlight can also be charged from your computer's USB port or solar charging devices. 
  • Solar power and hand crank flashlights are also available at very low prices.


Another alternative for those of you with smartphones:

Smartphones can be also be made into flashlights for camping!

Can't be bothered to buy a flashlight for camping? Download a flashlight app instead. They're free apps and are available for both android and i-phones.

It even makes a "powering up and down sounds."

Be aware that this app may use a lot of battery power.

Check out the link below as an example of the app for Android users:

Brightest Light Free

Yes, there's an app for that!

This photo was taken inside the Lehman Cave while camping at Great Basin National Park, with a camera phone and no flash. Only the LED Lenser Flashlight was on in almost complete darkness.

Kids and flashlights.

Important: If you have kids and you’re taking them camping, make sure you provide a flashlight for each child. Toys and games are great to have along on a camping trip, but the number one item they need is a flashlight. Kids love flashlights when it gets dark. (Usually to make scary faces while sitting around the campfire.)

To make for smooth camping with your kids, here are some helpful pointers:

  • Again, each child must have their own flashlight. (If they need to share a flashlight, one child will be left in the dark….in the forest, guaranteed. If you hear screaming from the darkness you'll know what happened.)
  • Each flashlight must have the child's name written or inscribed on it.
  • Each flashlight needs to be the same size and type. (That way they can’t argue who has the better light.)
  • The colors should be different to make them easily recognizable from a distance. The "earth will shatter" if one child picks up the other's light.
  • With kids a waterproof, submersible flashlight is better. (How else can they find crayfish underwater in the dark?)
  • Impact resistant is helpful. If there is such a thing for kids.
  • It’s a fact. Kids like to shine the light in your eyes while sitting around the campfire when they want your attention. My advice…. don’t get them the high powered mega lumen LED type flashlight, or, you will be blinded....permanently.

Other flashlight for camping thoughts.

If you have a light that uses standard batteries, take some extras along. Batteries are difficult to come by if you’re out camping in the middle of nowhere.

One more camping tip.

Always take a hammer or hatchet along on your camping trip. Otherwise you may feel compelled to use your cheap flashlight to pound in the tent stakes.

Click here to go from the flashlight for camping page back to the things for camping page.


You may also be interested in reading more about......

How to choose the right camping tent for you.

What to look for when purchasing a sleeping bag.

Some basics to consider before buying a sleeping pad.