What I Shed Today

lightening up a little at a time

coleman fuel lantern

on April 5, 2014

When Nimue and I were newly in love, we were certain we’d enjoy camping together. Sojourns in the outdoors were a passion of mine; I needed to get out of Chicago every month or so to keep my spiritual sanity. Family camping vacations on the Gulf coast provided some of Nimue’s warmest memories. It seemed another affinity between us. So off we went to my favorite park in downstate Illinois—and didn’t have much fun at all on our first trips together.

Our LED-lit tent last night at Heritage Park, Madison, Georgia

Our LED-lit tent last night at Heritage Park, Madison, Georgia

I had backpacking equipment, experience, and expectations, so even when car camping, I cooked, ate, and slept like I was on the Appalachian Trail. (“What’s for supper?” “Dehydrated potatoes.” “We had those last night.” “Uh-huh … they’re easy to make on the Svea 123.”) Nimue, for her part, remembered whole days spent reading in a hammock, nights sleeping on an air mattress, and delicious meals supported by coolers full of ice and a complete camp kitchen. Gradually she won me over to her point of view. I’d wanted to keep it light, but in fact we weren’t backpacking; we were car-camping, and weight and bulk didn’t matter so much.

That’s how we came to obtain a Coleman lantern. When the sun goes down after you’ve carried a third of your body weight up and down mountains all day, you go gladly to bed, even if it’s just 8 pm. That’s awfully early to turn in, though, if all you did was take a short hike on a state park “nature trail.” We needed to extend the day, and the gaslight made that possible, brilliantly. With reasonable care, the things just work.

A couple years ago, though, my father gave his daughters-in-law LED Coleman lamps for Christmas. And what a gift ours has been! It’s silent, doesn’t smoke nor get hot, and can be safely used inside the tent. The gas lantern is still really good 100-year-old tech: effective and reliable. But for us it’s been supplanted. We’ll try to sell our Powerhouse 295 on craigslist.

Coleman dual-fuel lantern, ca. mid-1990s ... uses fossil fuels, but nevertheless might be one of the great inventions of the 20th century

Coleman dual-fuel lantern, ca. mid-1990s … uses fossil fuels, but nevertheless might be one of the great inventions of the 20th century

shedding style: resell
destination: craigslist

Comments welcome … do you have beloved-but-superseded old tech to pass along to someone who’ll both love and use it ?

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One response to “coleman fuel lantern

  1. […] Georgia tonight and tomorrow and welcome a chance to sleep outside. I don’t want to set up Nimue’s palace and I shed the 1-person tent earlier this year, so I need the Timberline back in service. It was […]

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