How to Light a Coleman Lantern
How To

How to Light a Coleman Lantern

For hikers and backpackers, a coleman lantern isn’t a new term or item. If you are a hiker, you know this is one of the essential things you should carry. This will be your source of light when camping and it’s so important leaving it behind can make you cut short the camping trip. We have come from far with technology, and nowadays people don’t use Coleman’s lantern so much at home. One would instead use the torch on their smartphones than undergo the stress and torture of lighting a Coleman lantern. We have come up with detailed steps on how to light a Coleman Lantern.

Check our latest review on camping lanterns here.

 steps on how to light a Coleman LanternFor the people who still have Coleman’s lantern, it’s a treasure beyond measure and comes in handy while camping. It is a gas powered lantern, and for those who have used it before, it has a nostalgic and comforting glow that you enjoy the whole of the night. However, the lantern has to be kept in good condition for it to work seamlessly. This means it should be kept in a safe place when it’s not in use and also service and clean it regularly. Make sure the lantern is working before you head out unless you want to be surprised when the sun sets and your lamp isn’t working. The other question I should be asking is, do you know how to light a Coleman lantern?

How to Light a Coleman Lantern

Here is a step by step process of how to light the Coleman lantern:

Things you need:

  • Coleman lantern
  • Two mantles
  • Coleman lantern fuel
  • Stick matches

You don’t need to be 100% versant with the lamp to light it. Just follow the instructions and cautious not to destroy the lantern, and you are good to go.

Step 1

The first step when it comes to how to light a Coleman lantern is to fuel it. Maybe before you fuel the lamp, you should clean it if it has a lot of dirt or dust accumulating on it though this is optional. Get some Coleman lantern fuel where you bought the lantern, or you can purchase the same at most outdoorsman, hardware store, or local sporting goods. Make sure you get the right fuel for the lamp to avoid injury and damaging the lantern. Don’t be naïve or try to act cheeky with the lamp. It might explode on your face while lighting so make sure you carefully choose the best lantern fuel for the Coleman.

Step 2

After fueling the lantern, close the small lid and get ready to pump. If you take a close look at the lamp, there is a little round stainless steel knob at the base of the lantern. To pull out the plunger, turn it clockwise and pull it out then back in again. This is when you start pumping, i.e. filling the lantern with pressure. Do this 20-30 times giving the lamp full strokes for maximum pressure. Doing this will help build up pressure inside the lamp such that the gas will be forced out when the lantern is turned on.

Note: the more the pressure you put in the lamp, the longer it will stay lit and the less fuel you use. It will also be brighter.

Step 3

Check if the lantern had an old mantle and if it did, remove it in case it’s not in a good working condition. Some are just hanging on the lantern, but they are burnt down. Mantles are little cloth booties that are tied inside the lantern. The lantern can’t work without a mantle so make sure you have some.

Take the top off the lantern and pull out the glass. In the middle of this lantern, you will see two tubes hanging down about an inch from the top. These mantles will go over these tubes. The mantles have a drawstring on each to make sure you tighten and tied once the mantle is well placed on top of the tubes.

Step 4

Using the matchstick, now light the mantles. Strike the match and once its lit, hold it just under the mantles. You can make contact with the fire but make sure not to touch the mantle with the matchstick once its lit. mantles burn to become an ash-type substance once they catch fire and dissolve easily when touched. Give the mantles life by avoiding touch them.

using matchstick on how to light a coleman lantern

Step 5

You remember you had removed the glass from the lantern? Wait for around thirty seconds for the mantles to stop burning and put the glass on the top back on your lantern.

Step 6

Before striking the matchstick, you must have turned on the gas valve a bit so it can let out a little gas. Once you take back the glass on top, turn the gas control valve to almost halfway. The valve is located at the base of the lantern and its labeled. Turning it halfway will let out just enough gas to give enough light to light your tent if you are camping.

Step 7

You now have to relight the mantles. Below the glass you just put back, there are small slot cuts into the metal of the lamp. Light a match and place it such that the flame goes inside the glass. The mantles will then light when they catch fire and begin to glow.

Step 8

Once the mantles start glowing, adjust the light. However, you have to let the mantles glow for like 10 seconds to see the amount of light you want. If you modify the light with the mantles halfway glowing, you will limit the amount of light. Use the gas control valve to adjust the light to your desired position.

Make sure you don’t touch the mantles after the first lighting. They become fragile and might spoil if you touch them when relighting. Also, make sure you are using the right fuel for the lantern to avoid the risk of injury and damaging the lamp. Don’t be duped into using car fuel or gas to light the lantern.

If the lantern starts to dim after few hours of use and it still has fuel, the pressure is dwindling off. Give it another 30 full strokes of pumping and let it be for a while.

These steps on how to light a Coleman lantern should be easy to follow for everyone.

 tips on how to light a Coleman Lantern


We would like to hear your experience lighting a coleman lantern while on your camping expedition. In addition, we are looking for more tips on how to light a coleman lantern. Feel free to share in the comments section.

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