A Light in the Darkness
Day and night, we can see with just the flick of a switch. Or In our house, it’s “Hey Alexa or Siri, turn on the lights.” These are convenient luxuries that serve that necessity of light.
Before the days of electricity, night brought darkness. An oil lantern or candlelight provided basic light to use the bed pan located under your bed, needlework or to read a book. Camping takes us back to those former ages of total darkness. Darkness can shut down a good time very quickly. It can also bring danger, uncertainty and fear. Our lives are full of convenient luxuries, so to many it doesn’t make sense to leave them behind.
To get something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done. ‘Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the “backcountry” is going home, that wildness is a necessity.’ John Muir.
Wild backcountry living isnecessary to bring our heart beat back into a rhythm with our Creator. Getting away from life’s distractions and problems allows our minds to clear, get our bearing, focus on what really matters and then come back to civilitiation with direction.
One thing I find no focused time for at home, is reading. I have shelves of books I’d love to read, but with so many situations vying for my attention, these books collect dust. Gerrit and I went camping for our 6th anniversary and I brought along book called ‘Facing Your Giants’. The time of year we chose to go was fall; sunset was by 7pm. That’s when light becomes such a necessity. I took the opportunity to read this personal growth book which subsequently required a light.
Camping adventures become much more interesting and safe when a source of light is brought along.
Some must have lights when we go camping are; the BioLite base Lantern perfect in the kitchen tarp area, a small Nite Ize Lantern that we clip on the ridgeline in our hammock and a ThruNite Headlamp. We like to bring along the Nite Ize Moonlit and Spotlit which glow or flash. Thankfully these lightweight, compact lights are water resistant and have replaceable batteries, so they make sense for our budget conscious family. We use them when walking to the commode, clip to a line under the kitchen tarp or secure to the ridge line of our hammock. They can also be put on a dog collar or hung in a tent. Mood lighting can be set with disco, red (which doesn’t affect your night vision), blue for a soft romantic light or white so you can read or prepare a late supper or evening snack.
We bring our 5 kids on most of our camping trips. What kid doesn’t love to play with a light! After the flashlight they have been playing with has blinded you for the tenth time and has drained the battery, the flashlight is now useless at the time of true necessity. We plan for this by bringing the red LED mini glow stick. Red won’t blind you,
charges lasts 60 hours, batteries are replaceable and best of all, it’s both water resistant and floats! Inevitably, kids are drawn to water, subsequently anything they have in their hands or set down on the shore, ends up in the water.
As I think about how much light is a necessary part of camping, would you and I still go backwoods without it? Since we bring light, we want it to work, be easily portable ( hands free is even better) and survive inevitable water contact.