Lighting a propane lantern is relatively simple. After attaching the propane canister to the lantern, turn the gas on. Press the ignition switch if your lantern is so equipped, or strike a match and use it to light the mantle. Turn down the gas to the desired level of brightness once the mantle begins glowing.
If the mantle does not light quickly, blow out the match and turn off the gas. Before trying to re-light the mantle, inspect the lantern to see if anything is obviously damaged or worn out. Ensure that the mantle does not need replacement, and that the fuel container is not empty. Before trying to re-light the mantle, be sure the fumes from the fuel have dissipated and that you cannot smell any propane. If any parts are damaged, refrain from using the lantern until it has been serviced.
Pros and Cons of Propane Lanterns
While propane lanterns produce much brighter light than battery-powered lanterns, they have some drawbacks. The gas bottles are convenient but somewhat bulky and heavy for their size, making them less suitable for backpacking. Propane lanterns are more likely to cause an accident than battery-powered units and produce a hissing sound, which some users find irritating. The housing can get hot, so users need to exercise caution when using them. Never use them for any length of time in enclosed spaces, such as tents, as they represent a fire hazard and may produce dangerous amounts of carbon dioxide. Be sure to inspect your lantern before setting out on the trail and have it serviced if it is not working properly.
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