The 5 Easiest Ways to Light Up Your Campsite

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Outdoor camping can be such a fun activity. Up until it is dark and you are wondering what to do with the lighting situation. See, the campsite, especially the natural settings have a way of getting scarily dark at night and if you don’t have a reliable lighting option, it can be quite tricky. We thought about ways that one can enhance their camping experience and felt the need to share ideas and tips on how to put up an adorable lighting setup at the camp. We shall be covering the ways that you can light up your camping area.

Lighting Campsite

5 Ideas for Lighting the Campsite

For the longest time, people have known flashlights, headlamps, and bonfires to be the go-to lighting options for outdoor camping. Well, the truth is there are lots more lighting options if you are looking to camp outdoors in a natural setting. Despite being the most common and obvious lighting source in a campsite, bonfires are considered more of a must-have rather than just lighting ideas. And, for this reason, people would always think about electric lighting ideas to spice up the scene at a campsite.

  1. String Lights

    Camping string lights are usually more appealing when it comes to outdoor lights. Although they are mostly used during holiday occasions, you can attest to the rapid increase in the use of string lights in the camping scenes. This is probably because of their ability to influence different moods in the environment. Also, string lights have much less dependency on mains electricity. Unlike the ordinary light bulbs, string lights have a much less power consumption rating, which makes them ideal for outdoor campsites given their deficiency of power sources. Power sources like USB chargers and solar energy can easily power string lights in the outdoors.

    If you are planning to spice up your camping trip with other activities like games and group activities. The best part about string lights is that they spread across a wide area unlike bonfires, which can only light up a small area surrounding the fireplace. If you are in a natural setting that is characterized by lots of darkness, then the string lights will come in handy. This is because apart from beautifying the area, they also allow you to fearlessly move around the campsite without the campsite.

    Setting up the string lights is super easy. All you need is a bunch of hanging tree branches to support the strings. Connecting the strings to a power source is as simple as it gets. One end of the string has a USB connector that connects directly to a power source.

    One thing about string lights is that you need to be mindful of other people in the camping area. The lights are quite bright and they can easily cause light pollution. To prevent that from happening, you might want to consider buying string lights with low voltage bulbs. Buying string lights with low voltage bulbs make even more sense because it means they are more energy saving.

    String Light Setup
    The following are light sources that we shall be looking at alongside the string lights as options for lighting ideas at the campsite:

  2. Lanterns

    These are fairly popular lighting ideas that you can implement on your next camping trip. The good thing about camping lanterns is that they are not reliant on electricity at all. All you need is a couple of propane cylinders in your packing list and you’re good to go. Propane lanterns are great especially if you intend to camp for a couple of days. This is because a typical cylinder, usually 16.4 ounces, can last you for up to 14 hours. What is more, lanterns are usually weatherproof, which means you can use them under any kind of weather. Furthermore, the cylinder is designed to offer great stability when standing even on rugged surfaces.

    If you are in the company of kids at the campsite, then you need to take certain precautions when using propane lanterns to light the tent. First, avoid keeping the lantern inside the tent during sleeping hours. The lantern’s flame can be too bright and this will interrupt the kids’ sleep. You do not want that. Alternatively, you can have LED lanterns instead. They use batteries and are super easy to use. What is more, you can easily find an LED lantern that also doubles as a flashlight.

    The only downside of lanterns is you will have to buy several if you need to cover a wide area at the campsite. They are usually ideal for backpackers or small groups of campers. However, the good news is that buying lanterns in packs is a lot cheaper than buying one. So, if you are camping as a large group, then you can buy them as a pack and take advantage of the bargains.

  3. Solar Lights

    Solar lights can be a great complementary lighting option for your outdoor camping trip. They come to mind with ease given their affordability and ease of access. Since they draw energy from the sun, solar lights can be quite cheap to implement. Furthermore, you do not need to have special skills to set up the lights. All you need to do is identify a location with sufficient exposure to sunlight and mount the solar light. A fully charged solar light will run for approximately eight hours of continuous use.

    The problem with solar lights is their low light intensity. The bulbs are not bright enough to take up the role of being the primary source of light in your campsite. In this regard, you will have to settle for solar lights as a secondary source that complements other lighting options at the campsite.

    Nevertheless, solar lights can still work as perfect primary lights at pathways and markers of entrances and exits around the campsite. You can place them strategically along the path leading to the bathroom and this will make it easy to locate it without the need to use a flashlight. As long as you are using the solar lights as a secondary source, you are going to be fully satisfied with its performance. Plus, you will not break a sweat operating the lights. Everything is super easy from installation to usage. The fact that solar energy is free and the installation of solar lights is easy makes implementing this lighting idea something worth trying.

  4. Glowing Sticks

    Glowing sticks are also another popular lighting option for outdoor camping. However, just like the solar lighting option, glowing sticks cannot take up the role of being primary lighting sources at the camping site. Instead, the work to enhance the aesthetics of the campsite more so if you go for the multicolored options. Glowing sticks are both non-intrusive and inexpensive, which makes them the right choice of complimentary lighting options for those whose interest is in a funky theme.

    You can set up the glowing sticks inside the tent and do away with LED lanterns to make the tent habitable for kids at night. Remember LED lanterns can be too bright in a way that interferes with the sleeping process of the kids. In addition to that, you could also make use of the glowing sticks to remember different paths at the campsite. If you are fond of going camping with your pets, you can tie the glowing sticks on the collar of your pet, and this way, you can keep track of it even in the dark. The pricing of glowing sticks varies greatly depending on their quality. Standard quality glowing sticks are fairly cheap and easily available at the local stores whereas the industrial quality is a bit pricier.

    Installation of glowing sticks is relatively easier and they do not require any energy source to work. This makes them both cheap and convenient for use in outdoor camping sites.

  5. Rope Lights

    These are just string lights that have been enclosed inside a transparent rope. They offer the advantage of flexibility since the rope is sturdy and weatherproof. For this reason, you can use the rope lights in just about any kind of weather without worrying about damage from water, winds, or any other weather elements. What is more, you can find both solar powered and battery powered rope lights. Their power consumption is usually on the lower side but this does not mean the light is. Like the string lights, rope lights can also be used as primary light sources at the campsite and they can cover a wide area. You don’t have to possess special skills to set up this type of lighting as you only need to hang them on trees or other raised objects.

See also: Headlamp or Flashlight

Campsite Lighting with String Light


The choice of camping lights can either make or break your overall camping experience. So, make it a priority to select lighting options that will increase the odds of you having a good time. Using string lights can help you a great deal with coming up with a lively campsite. Apart from that, we have seen that lanterns, glowing sticks, and solar lights can come in quite handy when it comes to implementing lighting ideas.

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