News & Updates

5 Things to Know About Lantern Posts and Leave No Trace

Susy Alkaitis - June 9, 2019

Have you ever seen a post like this in a campsite?

Lantern posts are an iconic part of many established campsites and are as old as lanterns and lamps themselves. Although most modern-day lights are electric, many campers still use lights that burn liquid fuel for their glow. If used responsibly, flame lanterns can be an enjoyable part of an outdoor experience. Here are 5 things to know about lantern posts and Leave No Trace.

1. Hanging your lamp or lantern on these posts is a great way to Leave No Trace when seeking to illuminate your campsite.

2. Lantern posts helps prevent wildfires and keeps campers safe as they provide a secure place to hang one’s flammable light source. Just make sure to extinguish the flame before going to bed.

3. Lantern posts provides a great alternative to campfires. Hung lights can be a creative central gathering place for a group of campers.

4. Lantern posts protect campsites by eliminating the need to add ropes or nails to trees. Hanging lanterns from nails or ropes can cause lasting wounds that hinder growth and leave the tree open to infection from insects and fungi.

5. Lantern posts are not meant for other uses such as hanging hammocks or trash bags. Using these posts to hang a hammock can be dangerous and can cause the post to be damaged or break. Leaving unattended trash on the posts can attract nuisance wildlife to your campsite and create dangerous wildlife conflicts.

Have you ever used a lantern post? Share in comments below!


Leave No Trace’s Cameron Larnerd and Nick Whites are part of the 2019 Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainer Program that provides free, mobile education to communities across the country. Proud partners of this program include Subaru of America, REI, Eagles Nest Outfitters, Deuter, Thule, Fjällräven and Klean Kanteen.

Let’s protect and enjoy our natural world together

Get the latest in Leave No Trace eNews in your inbox so you can stay informed and involved.