LED flashlights are the ultimate accessory when you go camping. In addition to illuminating your way, flashlights bring a sense of comfort when you are away from home and surrounded by unfamiliar sounds. With a bit of creativity, an LED flashlight can help turn the everyday camping experience into one that’s so memorable that the family can’t wait to venture into the great outdoors again.
LED Flashlight Hacks
Instant, Safe Lantern
Old-school lanterns that use fuel are dangerous to use inside tents and other enclosed areas because carbon monoxide can build up to dangerous levels.
If you forgot to pack an LED lantern or don’t own one, reach for a jug full of water. Strap an LED headlamp around the jug and point the light so it faces the container. When you turn on the headlamp, the jug of water will glow and fill the tent with ambient lighting.
If you don’t have a headlamp, position an LED flashlight so the head is next to the jug of water and the light shines into it. Alternatively, place a smaller flashlight in a clean jar, such as an empty peanut butter or pickle jar, to make a portable lantern.
Communicate via Morse Code
Morse code was how people texted before the days of cell phones and LOLs. Some LED flashlights come with a Morse function that lets you communicate with dots and dashes. Check out the instructions that come with your light to see if it has this feature and learn how to use it.
Tape a Morse code key to the flashlight or hang it from the wrist strap so you can use it to communicate in an emergency. Alternatively, have fun with the kids and send each other Morse code messages. In addition to having fun, they’ll pick up an important skill.
Animate Your Stories
Campfire stories are an essential part of the camping experience. Use an LED flashlight to give the stories more life.
Extend a light-colored sheet between two objects, like trees or volleyball net poles, and shine a light toward the back of the sheet. The light should be at least 6 feet away from the sheet. When a person steps between the light and the sheet, you’ll see their silhouette projected on the other side. Have the campers act out narrated stories or campfire songs.
When you go camping, a pet off its leash may wander. Keep an eye on your pooch at night by making a simple collar light.
To make a collar light, you need a mini LED flashlight such as a keychain light. Ensure that the flashlight stays on or off when you push the button or twist the end. Slide a binder clip through the small hole at the end of the flashlight (where the wrist strap or keychain attaches) and secure the clip to your pet’s collar. Turn on the collar light when the sun sets.
If you prefer glamping over camping, use LED flashlights to give you the elegant touch you seek by turning them into small lamps.
For this task, you need a small lampshade that sits well over the flashlight’s head. Alternatively, use wire or tape to suspend the shade over the light.
The lampshade should have a hole at the top. In this hole, secure a mirror so it faces down. The mirror will reflect the light downward. Otherwise, the flashlight will direct the light straight up, which isn’t useful.
Depending on the type of flashlight you use, you may need to construct a base so the flashlight doesn’t fall over when you prop it up on its end.
If the campsite’s terrain is safe, adapt daytime games for nighttime fun using LED flashlights. For example, play a game of flashlight tag. Another game idea is “firefly,” which is like hide-and-seek in a designated area.
In the game “firefly,” some people are catchers (“it”) and others are fireflies (hiders). Fireflies use the flashlight to turn it on and off several times quickly so the catchers can see them. Catchers don’t use flashlights. Instead, they use stealth to sneak up on fireflies and tag them. If a firefly notices a catcher approaching, she may turn off her flashlight for 20 seconds as she finds a new place to hide. The object of game is for the catchers to find the fireflies in a certain amount of time.
LED flashlights can help make your camping trips safer and more fun. COAST offers a selection of LED lights to meet all your outdoor needs. Check them out before your next trip.