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Thread: Flashlight for Camping

  1. #1

    Lightbulb Flashlight for Camping

    Hello, i've been searching for a flashlight for camping with some friends, some people already recommended me the Convoy S12 and Sofirn C8F, and i want to buy both of them, you guys think they are good? if not which one you guys recommend, also the convoy has various designs (sst20 5000k, 219c etc..) i don't quite understand much about that, what i choose?

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* RetroTechie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flashlight for Camping

    Welcome here, Hyiuu!

    You may want to fill out the Flashlight Recommendation Checklist. Just copy & paste answers here.

    A lot will depend on how you define "camping", specifically: mode of travel, access to electric power source(s), what type of batteries you intend to use & how / when you intend to recharge those or (in the case of primaries) buy replacements. Personally I prefer rechargeables for everything these days (very, very few exceptions). Even if on a camping trip 'in the middle of nowhere' as even then, finding an AC outlet, 12V socket from a car, solar charging options, or high-capacity cells that last for weeks are (imho) easier and/or preferable over locating stores & buy replacement batteries while travelling.

    For outdoorsy uses, AA's are on the low-capacity side. So chances are you'd go through a lot of primaries, or (in case of rechargeable) need to take a lot of spares, recharge often, or be content with lower output levels. Also there will be situations where you need light for extended periods of time. So it's about weighing useful output levels vs. battery capacity with required runtimes as a given.

    The popular 18650 Li-ion is a good option here. But going that route means bringing a charger, and needing access to a source of electricity. If for example you go by car, and bring a 12V powered charger with cable that plugs into the cigarette lighter, then you have essentially unlimited power in 18650 increments. If you're travelling on foot or bicycle, maybe a pack of spare 18650's or a solar powered setup works better. If you're a person that can do with low light levels, an AA based setup is both smaller & lighter.

    Almost forgot: a HEADLAMP is also very useful on camping trips, as it leaves your hands free to fix your tent, do rock climbing, prepare food, and all those other activities that usually require 2 hands.
    Last edited by RetroTechie; 07-08-2020 at 09:56 PM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Flashlight for Camping

    Quote Originally Posted by Hyiuu View Post
    Hello, i've been searching for a flashlight for camping with some friends, some people already recommended me the Convoy S12 and Sofirn C8F, and i want to buy both of them, you guys think they are good? if not which one you guys recommend, also the convoy has various designs (sst20 5000k, 219c etc..) i don't quite understand much about that, what i choose?

    Thanks in advance
    welcome! The convoy s2+ and sofirn are good choices. For camping my first choice would be a lantern. The sofirn blt LT1 is the undisputed champion there. Next i would want an edc all around use light. For me the d4v2 in e21a is a perfect choice. Small, plenty bright, and provides nice color rendering. Next id want a thrower. The acebeam e10’s are really small and fun, but there’s a lot of competition here. the thrunight catapult v6 is another common option, or the emisar kr1 are good too. Eventually you’ll want to upgrade to malkoff or hds but that will come later.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  4. #4

    Default Re: Flashlight for Camping

    Quote Originally Posted by jrgold View Post
    welcome! The convoy s2+ and sofirn are good choices. For camping my first choice would be a lantern. The sofirn blt LT1 is the undisputed champion there. Next i would want an edc all around use light. For me the d4v2 in e21a is a perfect choice. Small, plenty bright, and provides nice color rendering. Next id want a thrower. The acebeam e10’s are really small and fun, but there’s a lot of competition here. the thrunight catapult v6 is another common option, or the emisar kr1 are good too. Eventually you’ll want to upgrade to malkoff or hds but that will come later.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Yes a lot of flashlights to choose, honestly i think i might buy the ones i said originally, they are cheap, good and easy to ship in my country (portugal), since there isnt any physical store here selling good flashlight, i've been researching and i'm going to choose the SST20 since it goes further, about the color what you guys recommend, i prefer cold/white colors, but the 6500k might be too much no?

    Thanks again for answers

    PS: Yes we camping for 3 days, we are thinking in taking some extra batteries since there isnt any built in charger in those

  5. #5

    Default Re: Flashlight for Camping

    I agree with RT with some suggestions: First try and get an good idea of how much light you will need and for how long of runtime at what lumen levels. Once you get these figures then you can decide how many batteries is needed to suffice in AA format and explore 18650 format also. A single 18650 can perform as well (or better) than 3-5 AAs. A headlamp is highly recommended and a right angle removable headlamp can also work as a flashlight too. I've personally made 18650 my primary battery type transitioning from all other battery types as much as possible as I've gotten used to the slightly larger size over AAs and a lot less time charging a lot less batteries with not having to analyze batteries now and then when runtime drops to find the weak cell in a set that alone is a huge advantage to me.
    It is quite possible that on a short camping trip you won't need any spare 18650s if you choose that format as low and medium modes on 18650 lights can equal the medium to high modes on AA lights greatly extending runtimes. It is a lot easier to carry a larger single 18650 than a handful of AAs.
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  6. #6

    Default Re: Flashlight for Camping

    I agree with RetroTrechie. Camping flashlight = headlamp. Only decision is Zebralight 18650 or Zebralight AA.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Flashlight for Camping

    Quote Originally Posted by JimIslander View Post
    I agree with RetroTrechie. Camping flashlight = headlamp. Only decision is Zebralight 18650 or Zebralight AA.
    I would agree with a good headlamp AND a good flashlight both... as with us flashaholics 2 is 1 and 1 is none and 2 lights with the same battery means you have 1 light and 2 spares (spare light and spare battery).
    Fenix Split rings 1400+ sent, SWIVELS now available also!
    Psalm 112:4 Light shines in the darkness for the godly. They are generous, compassionate, and righteous.

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* RetroTechie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flashlight for Camping

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Arc View Post
    It is quite possible that on a short camping trip you won't need any spare 18650s if you choose that format as low and medium modes on 18650 lights can equal the medium to high modes on AA lights greatly extending runtimes. It is a lot easier to carry a larger single 18650 than a handful of AAs.
    ^^^ As an example: an 18650 powered light here using 1.05A driver and 5%, 30%, 100% modes, when paired with say a 3200 mAh cell:
    low: 61h, around 16 lumens (plenty for closeup / in-tent activity)
    med: 10h, around 100 lumens (plenty for most everything else)
    high: 3h, around 300 lumens (nice to have, but personally I hardly ever 'need' that much light)

    There's only 72h in 3 days and most of those hours are in daylight. So you can see where this is going: go easy on the high mode, take a high capacity 18650 + one or 2 spares to be sure (all fully charged before leaving), and this would easily do the job. Situations like this are THE reason I'm normally much more interested in how lower modes are spaced on a light (moonlight mode jay! ), and whether highest mode puts out a useful amount of lumens, vs. having a 1000+ lumen pocket rocket that steps down from turbo 3 minutes in. Such turbo modes are just pointless gimmick imho. Useful low modes + long runtimes is where it's at.

    As for color temperature: cool white LEDs are everywhere. So if you have the choice, pick a neutral white! If only to experience the difference. If you prefer cooler tints, color temperature in 5000...5500K range might be just right for you (but even 'warmer', say around 4000...4500K wouldn't hurt). Warm tints <3500K are nice for indoor use but not ideal for outdoors.

    For those lights you're eyeing: any driver choices for those? (links to seller's page would be nice). "More lumens = better" only holds for flashlight collectors NOT for real-world use.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Flashlight for Camping

    I'd say a headlamp is going to be a must for camping. Highly recommend the Princeton Tec. EOS model. Have had mine for many years. Never let me down, yet. Uses very common, very easy to find batteries.
    "The World is insane. With tiny spots of sanity, here and there... Not the other way around!" - John Cleese.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Flashlight for Camping

    Quote Originally Posted by RetroTechie View Post
    ^^^ As an example: an 18650 powered light here using 1.05A driver and 5%, 30%, 100% modes, when paired with say a 3200 mAh cell:
    low: 61h, around 16 lumens (plenty for closeup / in-tent activity)
    med: 10h, around 100 lumens (plenty for most everything else)
    high: 3h, around 300 lumens (nice to have, but personally I hardly ever 'need' that much light)

    There's only 72h in 3 days and most of those hours are in daylight. So you can see where this is going: go easy on the high mode, take a high capacity 18650 + one or 2 spares to be sure (all fully charged before leaving), and this would easily do the job. Situations like this are THE reason I'm normally much more interested in how lower modes are spaced on a light (moonlight mode jay! ), and whether highest mode puts out a useful amount of lumens, vs. having a 1000+ lumen pocket rocket that steps down from turbo 3 minutes in. Such turbo modes are just pointless gimmick imho. Useful low modes + long runtimes is where it's at.

    As for color temperature: cool white LEDs are everywhere. So if you have the choice, pick a neutral white! If only to experience the difference. If you prefer cooler tints, color temperature in 5000...5500K range might be just right for you (but even 'warmer', say around 4000...4500K wouldn't hurt). Warm tints <3500K are nice for indoor use but not ideal for outdoors.

    For those lights you're eyeing: any driver choices for those? (links to seller's page would be nice). "More lumens = better" only holds for flashlight collectors NOT for real-world use.
    I agree that outdoors a more neutral to warm tint often helps because of more accurate color rendition instead of washed up cool whit bluish tints. Again instead of take one spare buy a decent second 18650 light even a cheaper one to use as a "battery carrier" that can also be used as a light too. Turbo modes I agree have limited usefulness only a few minute blast but at times at work my Wowtac A2S on Turbo I can see more at a distance than high mode so Turbo could be handy in some instances just have to remember it is more of a "tactical" mode than an operating mode. I also find moonlight and eco type modes less useful but do have a use as more of a 'find me" mode as you can put your light down operating in that mode and wake up and find it or if there is more than one of you leave it on when you don't need your normal light like when you are in camp and have an area lantern with your dim headlamp on when you get out of range of the lantern some people can still locate you from the light at a distance and the power usage is so minimal it might as well be a "free" power mode.
    I think that with 18650 format you get the batteries and carry a very few spares (2 in a power bank case is a good choice) and no need to "find" batteries.
    Fenix Split rings 1400+ sent, SWIVELS now available also!
    Psalm 112:4 Light shines in the darkness for the godly. They are generous, compassionate, and righteous.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Flashlight for Camping

    Quote Originally Posted by RetroTechie View Post
    ^^^ As an example: an 18650 powered light here using 1.05A driver and 5%, 30%, 100% modes, when paired with say a 3200 mAh cell:
    low: 61h, around 16 lumens (plenty for closeup / in-tent activity)
    med: 10h, around 100 lumens (plenty for most everything else)
    high: 3h, around 300 lumens (nice to have, but personally I hardly ever 'need' that much light)

    There's only 72h in 3 days and most of those hours are in daylight. So you can see where this is going: go easy on the high mode, take a high capacity 18650 + one or 2 spares to be sure (all fully charged before leaving), and this would easily do the job. Situations like this are THE reason I'm normally much more interested in how lower modes are spaced on a light (moonlight mode jay! ), and whether highest mode puts out a useful amount of lumens, vs. having a 1000+ lumen pocket rocket that steps down from turbo 3 minutes in. Such turbo modes are just pointless gimmick imho. Useful low modes + long runtimes is where it's at.

    As for color temperature: cool white LEDs are everywhere. So if you have the choice, pick a neutral white! If only to experience the difference. If you prefer cooler tints, color temperature in 5000...5500K range might be just right for you (but even 'warmer', say around 4000...4500K wouldn't hurt). Warm tints <3500K are nice for indoor use but not ideal for outdoors.

    For those lights you're eyeing: any driver choices for those? (links to seller's page would be nice). "More lumens = better" only holds for flashlight collectors NOT for real-world use.
    Ok i see i need a headlamp as well, it makes sense but im on a budget (100€) is it possible to get a good flashlight and a headlamp with 100€? here are the links btw

    *links removed by Admin

    i live in Portugal so some of those flashlights you guys mensioned are hard to get here
    Last edited by Greta; 07-09-2020 at 03:35 PM.

  12. #12
    Unenlightened
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    Default Re: Flashlight for Camping

    I normally like to have 3 bases covered for light when it comes to camping.

    1. Lantern - I currently use a Coleman propane lantern for the ease of using propane cans between light and cooking. Although, I'm now looking at the sofirn BLF LT1, previously mentioned in this thread.

    2. Headlamp - I'm looking to upgrade my primary headlamp to something nicer, but cheap single AA no frills headlamps off amz have done the job for quite some time now. I'm only looking for a nicer headlamp for more power, higher cri, and better spill.

    3. Pocket Light - this could virtually be numerous options, but I typically stick to AAA or AA torches with pocket clips. Spare batteries kept in my pack or car.

  13. #13
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Flashlight for Camping

    For a 3 day camping trip, it wouldn't even cross my mind to pack spare cells except out of paranoia. Carry a headlamp and a flashlight that use the same cell. Don't use your headlamp any brighter than 30L and it by itself will last the whole trip (assuming you sleep at night). Use the flashlight for short term higher output distance use if you need to, but really, it's primarily to protect your spare cell.
    Last edited by flatline; 07-09-2020 at 10:15 PM.

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