Add Some Light To Your Campsite With These Hacks

Whether you're looking to mix it up a little, you forgot your regular camping lights at home, or you want to set up some mood lighting in the great outdoors, these quick and easy hacks will add extra functionality and pizazz to your campsite. All of these light sources will work great for rifling through your cookware at dinner, lighting the path to the bathroom, or tucking into a good novel before bed.

The easiest trick in the book is to grab a clear 1-liter water bottle, like a trusty Nalgene, and simply put a headlamp around it. Bonus points if you have different colored water bottles, as each will glow with a different hue. Wrap the strap around the water bottle with the lamp portion hugging the bottom. Also make sure the light is facing up and inward, lighting up the water a bit like a lava lamp. Secure the strap around the top of the water bottle and that's it. You now have a must-have item, at no extra cost to you.

Firefly lights and faux candles

Firefly-inspired lights are another popular option and a fun DIY activity to do with children. While live fireflies in a jar may look pretty for pictures, we found a more sustainable, forest-friendly option. One of the Leave No Trace principles for camping is to respect the wildlife and observe it from a distance, notes the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. Instead of capturing live animals for a night, gather some twinkling string fairy lights and stuff them inside a glass mason jar. Even better if the lights are solar, as you won't have to worry about batteries. Set them up around your campsite and inside your tent for a rustic, Pinterest-worthy glow.

If you're looking for a romantic getaway with a partner, candles are the ultimate way to set the mood. Unfortunately, they can also pose a risk for wildfires while camping, especially if the candles aren't monitored at all times. Not so romantic, after all. But if you still want to use candles, make sure they're contained inside a lantern, says the National Park Service. Another worry-free option is flickering, battery-powered tealight candles. Not only do some of them look incredibly realistic, but they'll last up to 100 hours with just a couple of batteries. And, hey, if you fall asleep without turning them off, no worries, right?