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Elk Camp Solar Lanterns + Provisions

July 08, 2012 35 Comments

Elk Camp Solar Lanterns + Provisions

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Welcome to Elk Camp on the Grey's River in Wyoming.
The elk hunt in Wyoming is a big deal.  We rely on elk for its clean meat throughout the year. Mike's already knee deep in topo maps, lists, gear and more lists.  We spent last weekend scouting elk camp sites...in June!  There's just so much to plan and organize because you never know if it's going to be warm in Oct. or snowy (ewww).  Needless to say, the gear involved borders on ridiculous.
This year I have a crafty contribution to Elk Camp that will ease the burden of old, out of shape guys chasing elk and, reduce some of the gear.
 Solar lanterns!
Let's face it, gas lanterns are SO yesterday!  Make your guy several inexpensive solar lanterns for his burly adventures and bask in his clueless wonderment.  Picture this welcome sight, a few lanterns lighting up camp as the guys stumble in after a long day of hiking.  No worries of flame or fire and, the lanterns start to glow at dusk without being told :)
These are the basic provisions, one solar stick and a wide mouth mason jar, any size.
Remove the stick and the clear plastic shade so you're left with the solar disk...that's all you're going to need for our project besides the jar.
I suggest making at least 3 lanterns for camp.  Two small and one larger jar filled with essentials like a box of matches, a few firestarters and a candle for quick access if needed.
Basically, the solar disk fits up through the ring of the jar, no use for the lid here.  I highly suggest that when you go to purchase your solar stick, take the wide mouth ring with you to test the fit. Push the disk up through the ring almost to the point of pushing it all the way through.  After you've done that, twist the ring back down on the jar.  You might have to muscle this a little because it's an airtight fit.
Suggestions:  put one on the camp table outside, one in the tent and one in the wall tent (camp kitchen).  At the end of your trip, keep the lantern with the emergency provisions in your car! When not is use, disassemble and remove the battery for storage OR, put the extra lanterns in the backyard for a pretty wintery glow on those long nights ahead.  They're so pretty in the snow!
Rebecca
campwander.com



35 Responses

Leighton
Leighton

July 31, 2017

This is the most awesome idea ever. So simple to make. It took me literally 5 minutes to make. Had a stash of Mason jars and a solar light in the back yard. My light fit loosely in the jar lid so I used a dab of silicone caulk around the rim of the jar lid to secure the light. Also tossed in some stips of aluminum foil to reflect light. The grandkids love it! Thank you for the idea.

Susie Q
Susie Q

May 10, 2017

This is great. Where did you get the solar sticks?

joy morris
joy morris

May 10, 2017

AWESOME!!!!!! I am going to try this!!

Linda Nielsen
Linda Nielsen

May 10, 2017

Great idea! I’m going to try this one! Thanks for sharing.

DELADE SHOP
DELADE SHOP

May 10, 2017

Thanks for this great tutorial – I’m making this! Pinned it: http://pinterest.com/pin/261208847108929692/

mbc energy
mbc energy

May 10, 2017

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Rebecca
Rebecca

May 10, 2017

Sorry about all the tromping :)

Rebecca
Rebecca

May 10, 2017

I’ve found them at Ace Hardware and Walmart too. Casper has to have an Ace Hardware, check there!

Wyoming Woman
Wyoming Woman

May 10, 2017

This is a neat idea! I spent the afternoon tromping around smokey Casper, Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Menards, Big Lots, Dollar Store, Natural Grocers…no luck finding a solar stick that would work in the wide mouth jar ring. Where did you buy yours?

Rebecca
Rebecca

May 10, 2017

Thanks cory :))

cory - falling star lane
cory - falling star lane

May 10, 2017

The candle is for another time – it doesn’’t light the candle. The light is a tiny bit up on the underside of the lid, powered by the solar panel in the top of the lid…..she just made a lit up kit with the candle, matches, and fire starters in it, to make it easy to find in the dark.

Suzanne
Suzanne

May 10, 2017

Ok…I think I’m slow..but how does this work? And if it automatically lights the candle how does the heat not melt the batteries? Thanks!

Peter
Peter

May 10, 2017

If you spray the inside with a frosting paint the light will be defused to cover more area with light. These are great for emergency lights in the house. Just leave them on the window sill they will charge and discharge at night.

Dave Hennesey
Dave Hennesey

May 10, 2017

That is real cool, was wondering if instead of the glass jar you could somehow find a wide mouth clear water bottle to use as the jar?

Sherry Templin
Sherry Templin

May 10, 2017

I don’t camp…but I am gonna make some of these for power outages. Ingenious idea. Absolutely ingenious.

Beth
Beth

May 10, 2017

Also a great idea for Hurricane Season in Florida!! THANKS!!

Catrina
Catrina

May 10, 2017

Well, I couldn’t find a light that fit perfectly. I did find one that was ever so slightly too small. My awesome husband took the existing screws from the underside of the light and mounted it to a lid, making sure to poke a hole for the led to shine through. We will be making tons of these for the house and for gifts! Thanks for the inspiration!

Joyce
Joyce

May 10, 2017

That is a great idea so the jars don’t break! Thanks for the idea.

Barbara
Barbara

May 10, 2017

Don’t get the $1 cheapos unless you also want to buy new rechargeable batteries right away. If your solar tops are a little too small for a pint jar (regular mouth – not wide), then keep the plastic lens on below the light. It makes pretty patterns of light, and will stand on the bottom of the jar, putting the top at the correct height! I put mine outside during the day to charge the batteries, then bring them in at night to light my way to the kitchen and bathroom. I am a senior with severe osteoporosis and I cannot risk a fall, so my solar nightlights are a godsend.

SMILEyC-:
SMILEyC-:

May 10, 2017

This is an excellent idea! I can’t wait to visit Dollar Tree to see if they have any solar sticks in stock right now so I can try (they do in Spring, just not sure if all year). Thanks so much for teaching how to make this. C-:

Shannon Kastner
Shannon Kastner

May 10, 2017

I made one this weekend with a plastic peanut butter jar. Granted it’s not a cool as the mason jar, but more practical for my Boy Scouts. It works great!!

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Dionysius John
Dionysius John

May 10, 2017

By filling the jars with water (carefully so as to not wet the electrical portions) the light diffuses a good deal more, providing light to a greater area. If one though of it, a layer of saran wrap, loosely applied to the mouth of the jar before screwing on the ring mounted light fixture, would go a long way to prevent “Ooops!” getting the light fixture wet inside… try it you’ll find it worth the effort!
D

Linda
Linda

May 10, 2017

For the empty jars, a bit of aluminum foil (shiny side up) may increase the brightness of the glow?

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Dr. Lorna
Dr. Lorna

May 10, 2017

The “solar” part of these lights is important to remember, for they will need to be recharged in the sun every day. While the jars do help the lights reflect more, the spikes the come on weigh less and are easier to just poke into the ground to let the disks get sun. Perhaps there is another option to make the tiny LEDs in the lights reflect more while making them easy to recharge.

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Ed Horst
Ed Horst

May 10, 2017

One can just use the solar lights by bringing them inside for use in emergency lighting.Place entire unit in empty container or house plants for holding unit.Emergency flash light as well,replace outside or near windows to recharge..

Linda
Linda

May 10, 2017

This is an awesome camping idea! Thanks!

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DonnieJ
DonnieJ

May 10, 2017

Well, if that don’t cock your pistol I don’t know what will. That’s a great idea.

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