Hissing Coleman Lanterns

Discussion in 'Campfire' started by JB Weld, Nov 14, 2017 at 8:33 AM.

  1. Reading the thread about what light to use blood trailing reminded me of the good ol' hissing Coleman lantern, and I wanted to start a thread about them. I know some still are in use, but I am sure they are a dying breed. I can remember trailing deer with them, and huddling around one for warmth on a cold winter night (camping) while the campfire got going. One of my favorite memories concern a fishing trip.

    It was the summer of 86 or 87 and my buddy & I were all set for a night of some serious cat-fishing from the bank of a lake. All we had for light was an OLD Colman lantern. It was one of those that could use various fuels and we had gasoline in it. Hard to believe we thought that was a good idea.... So there we were cat-fishing in the warm glow of that lantern on a hot summer night. Skeeters, moths, and various other bugs were swarming us, but being young and full of vigor, we shrugged them off. We were catching some fish and having a few adult beverages! After a while, the lantern started to kind of sputter and my buddy reached down to fiddle with it when all of a sudden, that lantern shot flame into the sky about 10' tall. It was like time slowed down and I could clearly see my friends face as his eyes got big as saucers. Thank the Good Lord he did not go up like a Roman Candle! Simultaneously, I was envisioning the lantern blowing up an showering us with shrapnel and flaming gasoline! In the blink of an eye, but seemingly in slow motion, my buddy kicked that lantern into the lake. It made the prettiest end over end, flaming path as it sailed to its final resting place. It was like he kicked a fiery field goal. That ol' Colman lantern tried to kill us, but we survived. I bet it is still at the bottom of that lake to this day.

    Do y'all have any memories of using Colman Lanterns? I am sure there are some being used this weekend in deer camps around the state. Hopefully none of them are shooting flames into the night sky!
  2. SwampCat

    SwampCat Well-Known Member

    I had a coleman lantern that standard lighting procedure included a five foot tall flameout. You just made sure not to light it in the tent. My fondest lantern memory wasnt about the lantern but the “coleman fuel”. Me and buddy were camped on a creek during deer season. We were about sixteen at the time. There was a two inch thick grape vine by camp that my buddy thought he would cut in two and swing out over the creek on it. I told him he would fall in and freeze to death. He whittled on it with a knife for a while but progress was slow. He decided the best thing to do was pour some coleman fuel in a paper cup and pour it on where he started the cut and burn it in two. It went ok at first, but the flame about died out so he proceeds to pour some more gas on it from the paper cup. The flame jumps to the paper cup and he jerked the cup back and slung burning gas all over himself. He ended up jumping in the creek to put out the flames. My sides hurt I laughed so hard. I started laughing again as I typed this.
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  3. John Stiles

    John Stiles Ultimate Member 2007 Team Turkey Contest Winner

    I lost one in the lake as well, my son and I were catching crappie, my old faithful coleman was hanging from a hook I built for the bow of my aluminum deep hull river boat, when a clown went by us in a big bass boat plowing, the roll from his wake slung my coleman off the hook and to the bottom in 26' of water. Tried to hook it for hours to no avail. Bought another that week, still have it![​IMG]
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  4. hillbillycycles

    hillbillycycles Well-Known Member

    Fondest memories of Coleman products and camping are from the 1970's with my whole family and we would camp on the banks of War Eagle Creek during the craft fair every fall. My grandfather was a wood worker and had a booth in one of the tents every year. This was back in the day when there were no food vendors, no public bathrooms, etc. We stayed in tents and manned the booth Thursday - Sunday. Or should I say, the adults manned the booth and us kids played along War Eagle Creek for four days and wondered through the whole fair. Had friends that I only saw during that time frame from all over the U.S.

    Anyway, my memories are Coleman lanterns at night and waking up every morning to the smell of coffee (percolator) and bacon being cooked on a camp stove as my grandmother was always the first up.

    I still have two lanterns. One rather old one and one of the dual fuel models I purchased in the early 1990's. Never had the nerve to put unleaded gasoline in it but it seemed like a good backup idea when I bought it.

    Had no clue how good I had it back then.
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  5. I haven't used one in a long time, but a Coleman lantern was usually the first thing out of the back of the truck after arriving at the deer lease/cabin in East Texas. Every weekend that my Dad had available, we'd head to the lease on a Friday evening as quickly as we could after he got home from work. He'd get it lit and we'd unload the truck. Each day started and ended with the lantern. Waking up and getting it lit to get ready for the morning hunt and each night, shutting it off when it was time to hit the hay.

    Also had one fall of the front of a jon boat while flouder gigging one night many years ago.
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  6. Thenarwhal

    Thenarwhal Well-Known Member

    I still have several and use them occasionally. Mostly the propane versions get used these days. I have a couple of favorite memories of the old school versions.

    I was camping with some guys in the early 80s in a remote area around Lake Ouachita and one guy had his Coleman lantern. Something was wrong with it because all night it would alternate from barely burning to running like a miniature sun. It would burn like a single birthday candle for a while, then suddenly sound like a jet was about to take off. On the high side it was the brightest lantern I've ever seen, like halogen headlight bright. On the low side it was so dim you could barely tell it was on. It was also our only source of heat so we left it running all night, alternately cowering from the potential bomb and freezing in the dark. It was a long night.

    My favorite was in the early 80s and my mother decided she was going camping and borrowed my Coleman lantern. I showed her how to use it and told her she would have to get some fuel. I described the fuel for her. Off she went for a girls trip with a couple of friends. Came back a couple of days later and complained that the lantern wasn't very bright. She gave me the leftover fuel she bought. It was a bottle of liquid paraffin. I'm amazed that she got the thing to light at all. It was coated in wax and never worked right again.
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  7. outdoorjunkiebj

    outdoorjunkiebj Well-Known Member

    We have 3 burning at camp every night, but they run off one of those multi port jobs and hoses.
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  8. browning_gold_12

    browning_gold_12 Moderator<br>Deer Hunting<br>Trail Cameras<br>'07

    Early 2000's we were camped out at Walker lake, a river oxbow in the Ouachita bottoms. It was 5 or 6 of us from the FD and a few other buddies. We had dang near 100 yoyo's out and the adult beverages were flowing pretty freely. My buddy Rodney was drinking Charter 10 and diet Mountain Dew like they weren't gonna make it again. I fired up my little portable charcoal grill to do hot dogs on, (and pork chops after all the freeloaders left:cool:) and had an old Coleman lantern hanging on a tree for light. We were laughing and telling stories and having a grand time. The evening started winding down and we all began to get that primal gaze where you just shift your mind into neutral and stare into the fire. All at once Rodney yells, "will somebody please either turn that *^%&$$%^* radio off or put it on a station that is playing music!!!!" "That static is driving me nuts!!!!" It was the lantern he was hearing:D
  9. Hobbshunter

    Hobbshunter Well-Known Member

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  10. It ain't camping unless you've got a hissing lantern going..
  11. fairweatherhunter

    fairweatherhunter Well-Known Member

    My dad would fry fresh fish we caught on the patio with the old Coleman stove, using a cast iron pot. This way he didn't splatter mom's kitchen up.
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  12. pioneerp60

    pioneerp60 Well-Known Member

    I think I still have 3-4 of the coleman white gas lanterns. One time at deer camp probably around 85-86 there was a older teenage guy there .it was on the sunday morning after season opened and it rained all day Friday and opening day .It stopped raining Saturday night and my dad and the other adults went into town to get supplies .Well my brother and the other guy decided to build a fire since we hadn't had one .They chopped little pieces and with every thing soaked it wouldn't light.. So this smart guy gets some coleman lantern fuel and throws it on the fire and it splashed on his pants leg and hit a foam matress that the guys dad hung up to dry due to a leaky roof caught it on fire. the guy was alright but foam rubber is heck to put out .so when dad and his dad came back there was a campfire just burning black smoke. Dad hollerd what the 'blank' are yall doing we just pointed . I think I still carry lantern mantles in my tackle box .Ran a many yo yo and trotline with a coleman gas lantern
  13. Arkie_3_fan

    Arkie_3_fan Well-Known Member

    This was probably the trip you invited me on that I wasn't able to make.
  14. John Stiles

    John Stiles Ultimate Member 2007 Team Turkey Contest Winner

    Whenever the power goes out, we use the Coleman lantern and the Coleman stove, bacon and eggs and coffee the old timey ways!
  15. claytonsdad

    claytonsdad Well-Known Member

    When I was a kid and we were building our house, my dad, mom and I did a lot of work on the inside of the house by the light of a Coleman lantern after they would get home in the evenings. I still remember it well. I don't know what happened to Dad's lantern. I wish I had paid closer attention to several of his things over the years. He likely gave it to someone who he thought needed and never thought I might want it. He wasn't one to be sentimental about belongings.
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  16. 1928

    1928 Well-Known Member

    We went driving up in the Ozarks a few months ago and stopped at an old camp site. The kids asked why all the trees had big dead spots on them. I had to explain how a Coleman lantern worked.

    There are no telling how many trees have been killed by those things.
  17. pioneerp60

    pioneerp60 Well-Known Member

    I had a couple of the white gas coleman stoves .Have eaten a lot of meals cooked and gallons of coffee by those things. Didn't take long to lean if your frying fish and fries and hush puppys in a cast iron dutch oven with a coleman stove is fill it up with gas get the oil to frying temp and shut it off and refill it because it always seemed to run out while frying fish. One time we were fishing one spring with trotlines and yo yos and a Good old gully washer hit that night and rained all night. It was to wet to get the 2wd truck out so at 4am in the cab of the truck I took a propane torch and held it between my legs and held the coffee pot and made coffee in the cab of the truck.
  18. John Stiles

    John Stiles Ultimate Member 2007 Team Turkey Contest Winner

    Fixed the hinges on these 2 Coleman ice chests today, ready to fill them up with venison! Lol![​IMG]
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  19. claytonsdad

    claytonsdad Well-Known Member

    What did you use? Dad used to use leather.
  20. John Stiles

    John Stiles Ultimate Member 2007 Team Turkey Contest Winner

    Fixed these coleman ice chest hinges:
    I cut 8" off that black nylon strap....that strap was on my wore out weed eater! LOL!