Maximise The Light And Stay Outdoors All Year

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Now that the clocks have gone back and November has come at us full force, there’s not a lot of light to be found. Between waking up in darkness to coming home from work in the dark there are only a few precious hours of sunlight. And between now and December those hours become increasingly fewer, but when it comes to a Mother Nature vs Milestone Camping light off we’re all in for putting up a good fight. Nature may have the upper hand, but we have tricks — and torches — to keep ourselves outdoors even on the darkest of days.

By the shortest day of the year we will be limited to less than 8 hours of daytime, with sunrise after 8am and sunset before 4pm. Not a lot of time to pack in a day of winter walking and get your tent pitched before the long night draws in! Even so, we still think there’s plenty of fun to be had if you have the right kit with you…

Confused by specifications of our lamps and torches and not sure what to go for? Let us help break the jargon down into simpler (and more practical) terms.

LED: Light Emitting Diode (where the light comes from). Very commonly in use due to their lower energy consumption so your battery lasts longer, and they’re easier to dispose of at the end of their life. We call those environmental wins!

COB: Chip On Board. Another type of LED, but more advanced with an increased light output without impacting the energy efficiency. So that’s more light for you without needing more bulk or battery power. Pretty good, right?

Lumen: Lumen is a scientific term for the amount of light emitted by a source (e.g. a bulb, LED etc), so the higher the lumens the more light you get. A standard household bulb for lighting up an entire room is usually about 450 lumens, so keep light pollution to a minimum outdoors and stay around the 250 lumens mark with torches and lamps.

Night Vision: Sounds pretty advanced doesn’t it? But think about it, you know when you first turn the light off and it takes a while for your eyes to adjust to the sudden decrease in light? Night vision aims to reduce this to an almost unnoticeable level by using red LEDs instead of bright white light so your natural night vision is preserved.

Battery powered vs wind-up: Most torches and lanterns are battery powered (usually AAA or AA), and although improvements in LED technology means fewer battery changes are needed, there is still a need for spares and there is an environmental impact even with recycling. Wind-up obviously removes the need for batteries, but you also have to be prepared for a little physical exertion before you have light, so there’s a trade-off

Image Credit: Rohan Makhecha

Image Credit: Rohan Makhecha

So…what do you need?

Even if you don’t plan on still being out when darkness starts to roll in, sometimes even the best made plans don’t quite work out as expected. At this time of year we would encourage anyone heading out on a walk or hike, even if it’s just a day trip, to take at least a good head torch with them. Why a head torch? Hands free! And even though they’re not always the most attractive looking piece of kit they get a 10/10 from us for practicality and convenience.

If you’re staying put in one spot for any length of time then a freestanding or hanging lantern is a great addition to your kit bag. A decent lantern and a head torch give off enough light between them that you can easily prep dinner, pitch your tent, get your campfire going and be able to see your own breath when you exhale from a cold day in the wilds.

The last source of light which is an absolute necessity at this time of year is, of course, the campfire. There’s nothing quite like that feeling of sitting in the toasty warm glow of a crackling fire, basking in its light and reflecting on another great day in nature.

Image Credit: Tegan Mierle

Image Credit: Tegan Mierle

One final note…

Milestone Camping asks you to be aware of the natural habitats in which you’re residing, recycle where possible and leave no trace of your visit as you head off home. Happy environments mean happy camping.

Thought of something else you need? Check out our extensive catalogue of Milestone Camping products on Amazon, here.