Survival Gear Review: River Rock Nightfire Lantern

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By John J. Woods •  3 min read

Whether you bug in or bug out, lighting resources are an essential gear item.  If I ever go to the poor house it will be because I have spent too much on knives, guns, and lights.  I have a bunch of these items, some good, some bad, and some outright worthless.

Essential Light

Still, there are fewer things more comforting in the dark outside of a fire in the fireplace at home or LED light reviewa nice campfire out in isolated woods.   Even then, essential light is needed to do anything in the dark.

There seems maybe to be two basic types of lights needed for survival purposes other than ones intended for signaling.  Of course equipment wise, lighting functions can be multi-use.  One is the situational light with the immediate but perhaps temporary need like a flashlight used to walk a trail at night or to dig out some gear from a bag or such.

The other light resource is one that might be left on constantly or for longer periods of time to illuminate a camp area, work site, tent interior, or other shelter or in the inside of a vehicle for example.   Sure there are practical uses for lanterns like the classic Coleman, but there are cases for the use of a smaller, battery powered lantern.

River Rock Nightfire LED Lantern Overview

For survival purposes small and lightweight are good features.  This little lantern is only 5 inches in height and only 2.2 inches in diameter.  The body is constructed of aluminum with rubber-type end caps to absorb shock.  Weatherproof o-ring seals are used to keep moisture out.  The body color is moss green.  The light weighs a mere 7 ounces.

The light source is a Cree XLamp white LED with a maximum brightness of 136 Lumens.  The light Survival Gear Reviewis powered by three 1.5V AA size batteries. Burn time on maximum brightness is 7 hours.  In high lum mode it will run 25 hours and 50 hours in low mode.  There is also a flashing mode with a 50 hour run time.

Other features include a metal carabiner hanging clip to attach to packs, belt loops, a tree limb or other hanging points, a plastic attachment buckle, and soft rubber top and bottom.  A green indicator LED light shows the lantern’s location in the dark which is a very nice feature.  All these features are offered for a retail pricing of $29.99.


The River Rock Nightfire is a useful little lantern type light with a long battery life.  I am certain survival mode preppers will find numerous applications for this as an essential source of light and signaling.

Photos by:
John Woods
River Rock Designs

John J. Woods

John J. Woods, PhD, has been outdoor writing for over 35 years with over 3000 articles, and columns published on firearms, gun history, collecting, appraising, product reviews and hunting. Dr. Woods is currently the Vice President of Economic Development at a College in the Southern United States. Read his full interview here.