How to Buy a Flashlight for Camping on eBay

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How to Buy a Flashlight for Camping on eBay

Anybody who goes camping regularly knows the importance of a good flashlight. Not only is a flashlight helpful for assembling a tent at night, but it is also useful for exploring, cooking after dark, reading, and as an emergency light source. In an ideal world, campers would take two flashlights on their trip – a small, lightweight flashlight and a larger one that provides a stronger beam.

When shopping for flashlights online, eBay has a wide range to choose from, with leading brands such as Inova and Maglite available at very affordable prices, compared to buying in a local camping or outdoors store.

Choosing the Best Type of Flashlight

There is no such thing as ‘best’ when it comes to flashlights and the type of flashlight chosen will depend on the individual’s preferences and their available budget. Here are some of the most important features that any flashlight for camping should have:


Why it is Useful

LED bulb

LED bulbs can last for up to 50,000 hours – far longer than a traditional bulb.

Adjustable beam

This means the flashlight can be used as a pinpoint light source for tasks such as putting up a tent, but can also provide a wider beam.

Flat base or adjustable base

The flashlight can be used standing up so it doubles as a camping lantern.

Adjustable settings

The flashlight can provide varying levels of light depending on the settings – remember that a higher setting will use battery power quicker.

Head mounted flashlights

These allow a directional beam to be aimed wherever the camper is looking, whilst leaving the hands free. Hugely popular with outdoors enthusiasts, campers, climbers and hikers

Aluminum body

A body made of anodized aluminum will be rugged, durable and scratchproof as well as shockproof, so it is ideal for outdoor use.

These are just some of the features to consider when looking for a camping flashlight. eBay has a wide range to choose from to suit all budgets, and it is easy to narrow a search using specific features.

What will the Flashlight be Used for?

It is important to think about what the camping flashlight will be used for. If the flashlight is designed for use at the camp site, such as putting up the tent, reading, cooking etc., then it is best to choose one which offers a bright light source and broad beam. If the flashlight will be mostly used for activities such as hiking or exploring after dark, it may be better to invest in a lightweight, portable flashlight that offers an adjustable beam.

Campers should ideally take two flashlights with them so that they have one for use whilst on the move and a larger, sturdier version for use as a flashlight and lantern at the campsite.

What Size of Flashlight to Choose

The size of flashlight to choose for camping can pose a tricky question – is a lightweight, portable flashlight best or is it better to purchase a larger model which weighs more? Here are some of the benefits of purchasing a small, portable flashlight (such as a keyring flashlight):

  • Tiny and lightweight, easy to carry
  • Ideal for emergency light on the go
  • Does not take up space in bags or in the vehicle
  • Ideal as a second or backup flashlight

Here are some of the advantages to choosing a larger, sturdier model:

  • Larger flashlights can often double up as lanterns for the campsite
  • A larger flashlight has more features such as an adjustable beam and variable settings
  • Uses LED bulbs which last longer and are more reliable
  • Often available in higher lumens for a brighter light source

The size of flashlight chosen will also depend on how many people are camping – if several people are camping, some people may bring a smaller flashlight and others may opt to bring a couple of larger flashlights to be used as lanterns. eBay has a wide range of flashlights to choose from, from tiny portable keychain models to sturdy aluminum Maglite options.

How much Light Does your Flashlight Provide?

The amount of visible light a flashlight produces is measured in ‘lumens’. The higher the lumens number, the more light is produced. For camping and outdoor activities, it is recommended that a flashlight with variable settings is purchased, and this should provide a minimum of around 150 lumens on the highest setting. Bear in mind that the higher the lumens, the quicker the batteries will be drained of power. For longer trips, a wind-up ‘clockwork’ flashlight is a good idea, as there are no batteries involved and it is simply a matter of winding the handle to activate the light.

It is possible to find flashlights on eBay which provide up to 8500 lumens or more, and these are very bright light sources that are ideal for remote locations or for use as a campsite lantern. Buying a flashlight with adjustable settings means that the lumens can be adjusted to suit each situation or to save battery as needed.

Best Brands of Flashlight

There are many popular flashlight brands, and it is easy to find most of these online – websites such as eBay offer a wide range at affordable prices. Here are some of the most popular brands of flashlight available to choose from:

Most of the above brands offer rugged, anodized aluminum flashlights in a range of sizes, designed for outdoor use, and many brands such as Pelican and Maglite are popular with the armed forces and emergency services – so they are reliable and durable. Although it is best to buy an LED flashlight, Xenon bulbs are also available as an alternative.

eBay has plenty of different brands to choose from, and it is a personal decision as to which the buyer prefers. A great deal can be found on both used and new camping gear on eBay, and it is often cheaper to purchase popular brands such as Maglite or Inova in used condition.

Should you Buy a New or Used Flashlight for Camping?

Whether to buy a new or used flashlight is a personal decision. Used flashlights can often be found for discounted prices online, and eBay has a wide range to choose from. It is often possible to find used flashlights from popular brands such as Surefire or Smith & Wesson at an affordable price, and this may be the best way for those new to camping to invest in a flashlight. Buying a new flashlight may cost a little more, but as many flashlights are guaranteed for a lifetime and constructed of anodized aluminum, they will last a long time and provide excellent value for money.

How Buy a Flashlight for Camping on eBay

When looking for a flashlight for camping, the first port of call should be eBay, where a wide selection can be found at affordable prices. Click on the drop-down menu ‘Shop by Category’ at the top left of the page. This opens up a category list - click on Sports & Recreation. This will bring up a list of all the available categories, so scroll down to Sporting Goods and click on ‘more’. From here select Camping & Hiking. From the left-hand menu, select Lamps, Torches. Then click on Flashlights in the categories menu.

A search can be narrowed using a certain term, if looking for something specific. Just type the words related to the search, such as ‘Inova Keychain Flashlight’ into the search bar, and a list of available items will appear.


Those heading off on a camping break cannot afford to be without a reliable, durable flashlight, which will provide them with a light source in all situations. Brands such as Surefire and Pelican manufacture tough, practical flashlights which are popular with the military and emergency services, and these make a great choice for outdoor use.

eBay has a wide range of flashlights to choose from, from small, lightweight models providing an output of 150 lumens to durable anodized aluminum flashlights with an 8500 lumens output. There is something to suit all tastes, requirements and budgets on eBay.

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