It’s dark outside and you’ve nestled into your tent for the night. All you need is the right story to whisk you away before slumber. If you’re a night reader and enjoy page-turners like the list below, you need to consider the following:

  • Your hands need to be free to manage your book. We recommend a camping lantern or headlamp for night reading.
  • Choose a light that features multiple brightness levels. A brighter light helps you conduct activities like getting settled in your tent, and a lower brightness level is more enjoyable to read by. Typically people select an LED light by how bright a light can get on its maximum setting. For instance, an average headlamp has a maximum lumen output of 400 to 500 lumens. However, for reading a book, you need no more than 5 lumens. This is because the headlamp beam is focused on a target that is no more than arm’s length away.
  • Camping lanterns offer 360 degrees of illumination. Since there is no focused beam, a lantern allows for more lumens to be used.

Best Summer Reads For Camping

Fenix CL25R reading

Spooky Campfire Tales – Retold by S. E. Schlosser
After the fire is ablaze, the marshmallows are roasting, and everyone is gathered around you, scare up a good time by telling some spooky stories and folktales. The ones gathered in this book run the gamut from funny to terrifying. Don’t say you weren’t warned!

Dangerous Minds – Janet Evanovich
The irrepressibly charming duo of Emerson Knight and Riley Moon return in this gripping mystery. Buddhist monk Wayan Bagus lost his island of solitude and wants to get it back. The island was about two hundred miles northeast of Samoa. It had a mountain, beaches, a rain forest, and a volcano. And now it’s gone. Poof! Vanished without a trace.

A Walk In The Woods – Bill Bryson
Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail. The Appalachian Trail stretches from Georgia to Maine and covers some of the most breathtaking terrain in America–majestic mountains, silent forests, sparking lakes. If you’re going to take a hike, it’s probably the place to go. And Bill Bryson is surely the most entertaining guide you’ll find.

Woman in Cabin 10 – Ruth Ware
Lo Blacklock, a journalist who writes for a travel magazine, has just been given the assignment of a lifetime: a week on a luxury cruise with only a handful of cabins. At first, the cruise is nothing but pleasant: the cabins are plush, the dinner parties are sparkling, and the guests are elegant. But as the week wears on, frigid winds whip the deck, gray skies fall, and Lo witnesses what she can only describe as a dark and terrifying nightmare: a woman being thrown overboard. The problem? All passengers remain accounted for—and so, the ship sails on as if nothing has happened, despite Lo’s desperate attempts to convey that something (or someone) has gone terribly, terribly wrong…

My Side Of The Mountain – Jean Craighead George
Terribly unhappy in his family’s crowded New York City apartment, Sam Gribley runs away to the solitude and danger of the mountains, where he finds a side of himself he never knew.

Touching the Void – Joe Simpson
Joe Simpson and his climbing partner, Simon Yates, had just reached the top of a 21,000-foot peak in the Andes when disaster struck. Simpson plunged off the vertical face of an ice ledge, breaking his leg. In the hours that followed, darkness fell and a blizzard raged as Yates tried to lower his friend to safety. Finally, Yates was forced to cut the rope, moments before he would have been pulled to his own death.

Best Camping Lights For Night Reading

The Fenix HL26R rechargeable headlamp is designed for those who appreciate ultra lightweight, compact designs. All season light has all the features needed for camping – spotlight and a floodlight, dust proof, waterproof, reflective headband and maximum output of 450 lumens. However, the HL26R makes our night reading list because when in low floodlight mode, you can read by its 4-lumen output for 100 hours. That’s a lot of books!

fenix hl26r rechargeable headlamp blue

The versatile Fenix HL05 headlamp weighs only 0.5 ounces, and can be worn on the head, or clipped to a hat. Its low output setting of 3 lumens is perfect to read by and its extreme compact size means you can keep it wrapped around your book for easy access. You could probably even fall asleep wearing this headlamp and not even notice. However, its bright colored headbands mean it’s easy to find in your bag and fun for even young readers.

HL05 small headlampThe CL09 mini camping lantern offers white, red and green LEDs and various mounting capabilities. On low, this lantern gives 1 lumen of light (moonlight) and on medium it provides 30 lumens. Red and green light provides 5 lumens, perfect for any night activity and the red flashing feature is available for any emergency situation. Hang this baby in your tent or stick it to a metal object using it’s magnetic base.

fenix cl09 camping lantern black

The Fenix CL25R camping lantern offers versatile brightness levels and mounting options. When on its medium output mode, this lantern can provide 50 lumens of light for more than 23 hours of reading. Doesn’t matter if your sitting or laying down to read, you can get the right light angle by hanging the lantern in your tent, setting it on a table or using it’s built-in magnetic base to securely stick to metal objects.

Fenix CL25R Camping Lantern