Finding the optimum lighting device for camping is crucial, especially if you are aiming to camp in the remote wilderness. Considering how scarce resources are becoming nowadays, it has become a motto amongst campers to find the ultimate lighting equipment that consumes the minimum amount of energy. One of the most inventive methods for this purpose is the usage of neodymium magnets.

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What is Neodymium Magnet?

To briefly describe; neodymium magnet is a permanent magnet made from an alloy of neodymium, iron, and boron. This type of magnet was first produced in 1982 and has remained the strongest type of permanent magnet commercially available.

The applications of neodymium magnets are countless. Some examples include head actuators for computer hard disks, locks for doors, headphones, and speakers, electric generators for wind turbines, medical applications such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and so on. The main idea behind all these applications is that moving magnets can convert kinetic and magnetic energy into electric current. The current is generated when this combined energy within a coil of the copper wire causes the electrons to move.

Survival Gear Applications of Neodymium Magnets

There are a few ways to use the neodymium magnets as a light source. If you have an incandescent light source, you can simply subject it to a magnetic field from a neodymium disc magnet.

You can also use 10 mm or 5 mm LED lights and lithium coin cell batteries along with these magnets. All you have to do is to pinch the leads of the LED over the coin cell battery, wrap a small piece of electrical tape around it and add the neodymium magnet on top of the battery. A LED light source created this way should last you around 1-2 weeks.

Another way is to wrap a canister with electrical tape and then to wind the copper wire around the canister. You can then connect the loose ends of the wrapped wire to the end pieces of a LED light bulb. When you place a neodymium magnet inside the canister, this will trigger the electric current through the cable and light up the bulb. The cool thing about this method is, you can actually adjust the brightness of the light bulb by putting more neodymium magnets inside the canister. There are many tutorials or demonstrations on Youtube, here are two examples;

Neodymium magnets are more suitable for producing alternative and renewable energy. Neodymium based generators don’t require an external source, because the light comes from a free energy source. Besides, climatic conditions doesn’t affect these gear, which makes it more preferable in harsh weather conditions. [1]

How to buy Neodymium Magnet to make a survival gear?

Despite their strong magnetic field, neodymium magnets are surprisingly cheap, costing 1 USD per gram. Neodymium magnets are found in various sizes and shapes such as discs, rings, blocks, and cylinders. You can either purchase them online like e-bay and Amazon or at magnet stores in your city.


Overall, neodymium magnets are easy to carry in your backpack, easy to use and affordable, while creating powerful generators to use as a light source. It looks like these magnets will become more and more popular among the campers in the near future.

References
Situmbeko, Shadreck Mubiana. “Towards a Sustainable Energy Future for Sub-Saharan Africa.” Energy Management for Sustainable Development, 2018, doi:10.5772/intechopen.75953.
https://www.arborsci.com/blogs/cool/the-electricity-and-magnetism-bulb-demo-will-light-up-minds
https://www.instructables.com/id/Making-Light-from-Magnetism-Electromagnetic-Induct/
https://thekidshouldseethis.com/post/how-copper-reacts-to-super-strong-magnets-nighthawk-in-light

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