The heart and soul of a trail camp.
The Stonebridge Lantern; a classic, lightweight, packable candle lantern that was very popular once upon a time in the U.S. The Stonebridge is an ingenious piece of design work as it folds almost perfectly flat for travel; like origami in tin. Weighing in at only 11 ounces (.31 kilos) without a candle it’s a camp luxury without much sacrifice to weight. The downside, it only delivers one candle-power of light, assuming a very clean and clear window. I’ll be honest, we like this stuff just because it’s clever sometimes; and who doesn’t need a bit light on a dark night?
The body is held together by rivets and hinge pins and the windows are comprised of clear mica. There is a handy hole punched in the back, reinforced with a grommet, so that the lantern can be hung on a nail against a wall.
What kept this little piece of genius from vanishing into the obscurity of time was the continued enthusiasm around classic wilderness gear expounded on by Horace Kephart and other classic campers throughout the century. Before I owned this one, it obviously saw years of hard service either in the wilds or, as often happens, as a kid’s toy. A couple reset rivets and a little cleaning went a long way to make this lantern great again.
I have to admit, I don’t really need this gizmo in the wilderness, but I like it enough to pack it along when I can. If nothing else, it keeps a candle lit in nearly all weather and provides a little warm, cheery light on a dismal night.
I am considering replacing the mica windows on my lantern as they have been a bit abused over the years. From scanning around the web it seems that mica is fairly cheap and easy to find for crafters. If it seems feasible, I’ll try to document the process to help others who may need to undertake this.
Garret Wade Tool Company sells a copy of the lantern. Click the image below for the link.
This is a re-post from an earlier entry. Say what you will about British imperial policy of the 19th and 20th centuries. They certainly worked out minimalist travel with a fair amount of style and comfort on a very personal level. These old catalogs give some great ideas for camp living.
From The Army and Navy Co-operative Society Store, London 1907
There are some excellent items here that should give some inspiration for fabricating some classic and classy gear. From an era before the activity of “camping” was fully segregated from “regular living”.
Much more of this to come…