As you may have read some time ago, I am the proud owner of a Campingaz lantern. It’s unpredictable, you see. Just like humans it has mood swings and it has an edge that reminds you fire is sometimes bad for your health so you have to be careful. It has face-melting personality.
So because we’ve grown up together it was with some trepidation that I came to the GoSystem Explorer Lite. I felt like a traitor who deserved to lose his substantial eyebrows and have all the sleeves hacked off his shirts.
It is very pretty, however, so I didn’t feel bad for too long.
Because I keep threatening to trade Mrs Muz in for a younger model*, perhaps this could be a practice run?
The first thing to note is that the Explorer Lite doesn’t fit on to the gas canister my trusty Campingaz uses. It needs one of those with a screw thread at the valve – an EN417, apparently, so I had to nip out and buy one. A GoSystem one, no less.
The lovely orange anodised valve on the unit unscrews from the lantern itself and threads on to the gas, nice and snug. Making sure the piezo ignition bit is lined up properly on the lantern, this whole unit then screws on to valve you’ve just fitted.
A clear plastic surround then pops over and around the burner (mine was cracked out of the box – design flaw or clumsy handlers?) and a small metal lid clips over the top of everything and locks underneath.
But what about the mantle? Two of the blighters in the bottom of the box suggest I have to do something useful with them, but the instructions don’t mention mantles. At all.
What to do? Meh, so I fitted one, burnt it off and secured the whole thing in place.
Totally against GearWeAre rules and regulations I then lit it in the house to see how easy it was. And it was – gas on, press the button and Andy’s your uncle.
The glow from the mantle did its thing and turned up and down using the wire adjuster on the unit. It was smooth and lovely. The output fluctuated a bit here and there and the mantle glowed a bit patchy for a little while, but by the time I got it outside and hung up in the dark garage it was fine and dandy.
The whole thing comes attached to quite a long and reasonably sturdy chain so you can hang it up without burning the roof of your tent or awning, and it gives off a good bright glow – more than enough for anything you care to do at night. Except surgery, maybe.
The adjuster makes it, you guessed it, adjustable, and it goes from bloody bright to bloody dim at a twiddle of your Mars bar fingers.
I’m beginning to think that my old Campingaz lantern has had its day. It’s time for my midlife crisis and I need that newer, sleeker model.
Friends come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime, as the saying goes, but it mentions bugger all about camping stuff.
* I never would. She’s lush, is my Mrs Muz.
SUMMARY: A rather pretty and reasonably compact piece of kit. Lightweight and fairly durable (my plastic lens had cracked down the middle but it hadn’t shattered so it was still fine), it should do okay wrapped in loo roll and slung into a backpack for a weekend.