Light Your Trail With a Carbide Lamp

Eclipsed for a time by battery-powered and propane lanterns, the clean, economical, and efficient carbide lamp made a comeback among campers in the 1970s and 80s.



065 carbide lamp - Justrite plastic lamp
Justrite manufacturers a sturdy plastic lamp (shown here "wearing" its detachable hang-up handle) which can be fitted with different sizes of reflectors.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
065 carbide lamp - Justrite, disassembled
The smaller lamp made by Justrite has a buit-in plastic handle.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
065 carbide lamp - lamps in use
The carbide lamp in action! These devices offer efficient, carry-along lighting for all kinds of outdoor activities. Mixing water with calcium carbide crystals inside the burner produces acetylene gas, which in turn produces light when ignited by a wheel flint. A valve on top of the lamp controls light intensity by controlling the flow of water.
PHOTO: MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
065 carbide lamp - sitting in camp
Backpackers find the small lantern produces plenty of light for campsite chores (But, for safety, the open-flamed device should be operated only outside your tent... and should never be left to burn unattended.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
065 carbide lamp - Safesport's brass lamp
Safesport's traditional brass model features the standard 4"" reflector and a clip-on wire hanger that allows it to be fastened to a belt or cap. 
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