When four great minds come together to solve a problem, working as a team, there is no limit to what obstacles they can overcome.
When you next find yourself preparing to spend two nights under canvas and you realise you have no working lantern, may I present, the Ingenious Plastic Lamp.
To create this luminous marvel, you will need:-
An empty (2 litres) plastic drinks bottle.
A pair of sharp scissors.
An empty beer bottle.
First of all, using the scissors, cut off the top and the bottom of the plastic bottle to create a cylinder. (We found many uses for these cut offs. For example, the bottom can be reused to stand a tea light on and the top can be reused as an alternative candle holder.)
Next, take the beer bottle, place the base in the palm of your hand and push the neck of the bottle into ground by approximately 3 cm. This will create a receptacle for the candle, allowing it to stand upright without falling over.
Push the candle into the receptacle.
Then, simply place the plastic cylinder over the candle, take care to ensure the candle stands firm in the centre of the cylinder.
The cylinder serves two purposes, firstly to protect the flame from any errant wind/breeze and secondly to create a colourful lamp shade. Candlelight will shine through the printed label on the bottle, creating an effective and atmospheric glow.
This effect can be multiplied by using several lamps in conjunction with one another. The brightness of your base camp will of course depend on how many lamps you can construct, or indeed, how many plastic bottles you and your fellow campers can procure, or guzzle your way through. Other crafty procurement methods may need to be considered when trying to source more plastic bottles due to rapidly failing light, i.e. raiding campsite trashcans.
Safety note. Never leave lamps unattended. To avoid the unnecessary emission of toxic fumes, ensure the candle flame doesn't touch the plastic cylinder. Adult supervision may be required when using sharp objects and fire.
Never underestimate the unique properties of aluminium tin foil and it's ability to be the perfect solution in a wide range of camping and outdoor pursuits, especially when you are a mile and a half from anything resembling a civilisation. One from the list of many, for example, reflecting candlelight, etc.
Never underestimate how much FUN can be had making lewd figurative shadows on an elongated backdrop of trees with a battery operated torch to entertain and communicate with other campers.
I took my telescope on the camping trip, Ceri, Jo, Steve and I observed the Moon (waxing gibbous) and it's craters and the planet Jupiter and four of it's Moons.
We also did the Waterfall walk at Ingleton. North Yorkshire. Video footage of our walk is currently being edited and will soon be posted here.