When an extended emergency occurs, using the resources you have available or around your property may be your only option and hope at surviving.
Emergency lighting will be a vital aspect of your preparedness provides. If you discover yourself without lighting, with a bit creativity you can make candles using bush craft techniques, or with items found around the home.
Finding a wick is also your largest challenge. You can purchase wicks in bulk to own on hand in the event that a disaster happens, or find a suitable different.
- Cotton string or twine
- Paper towel
- Torn pieces of cloth
- Shoe lace (with the plastic coating cut off)
- Old cotton sock (that is clean) torn into strips
- Cotton towel torn into strips
Whichever alternative wick you select to use, make sure the wick is a suitable size to burn the candle. Further, keep in mind to prime the wicks by soaking them in melted wax and stirring for a minute or two and allow to dry. This makes the candle burn a lot of efficiently. When placing the wick in the melted wax, be very careful not to burn yourself. Attachment the wick to a pencil that will sit on the top of the container or mold could be a great way to ensure the wick stays in place and your fingers are away from the hot wax.
Here are five simple ways to create candles if you happen to find yourself in a pinch:
- Candle Stubs – The easiest way to make a new candle is to cut up older, burned down candles, melt the wax and make a new one. Old candle stubs can also be used as a base with different candle waxes poured on top.
- Broken Crayons – When I was a child, my church showed me how to do this and i never forgot it. To make a crayon candle, merely remove the paper from the crayons and place them in a container to melt like a used metal coffee can, soup can, etc. Place the container in a pot of hot water (resembling a double broiler method) and permit water to come to a boil. Melt the crayons over medium heat. Pour into the desired mold and add a wick. Make sure that the wick is fairly centered and running the entire length of the container. Enable the candle to sit till it has hardened. On a side note, one fully in tact crayon will burn on its own for half-hour.
- Lard or vegetable oil – Used cooking oils and even oil-packed canned goods can be used to create lighting. Canned meat in oils are nice for a makeshift candle.
- Simply trim your wick to about double the size of the can.
- Hammer a nail through the middle of the can and wiggle it around to make a larger hole.
- Stuff your wick inside the hole and leave about 1/2 a millimeter exposed.
- Place the can in a dish and light it up.
- The candle should burn for a few hours.
- The food content can be eaten after the oil has burned out.
- Vaseline – This economic, multipurpose homework is another household item that can be used as a makeshift. The Vaseline candle can burn on it’s own for half-hour. As well, this method can also be used as an easy firestarter. All you need is a few used foil, a cotton ball and some Vaseline. To see directions for how to make this kind of emergency candle.
- Bayberry – Early colonists used these berries as some way of making candles. Note that giant quantities of bayberries are needed to make one candle. In fact, four pounds of berries produce close to one pound of wax. Bayberry wax is collected by boiling the berries. The waxy substance rises to the top of the water. This is skimmed off and made into candles. Bayberry candles offer off a delicious scent that a lot of enjoy and are virtually smokeless.
The directions are below:
- Boil your bayberries in water to cover.
- Chill and remove the sheet of wax that forms on the top.
- Melt a candle stub (white) or a cake of paraffin to make a candle base.
- Add the bayberry wax and strain through cheesecloth. Keep on the back of the stove.
- Add your wick into a desired mold and then add melted wax. Allow to cool.
If you don’t want to go to all the trouble of creating your own wax. You can get pre-made bayberry wax. Bayberry wax is incredibly brittle, therefore, keep your candles tiny or make tapered candle sticks to ensure the candles stay in tact.
Getting creative and thinking outside of the box could assist you meet some of your basic survival needs. Using the aforementioned ideas for making candles can facilitate keep the lights on when the lights go out. Candles do emit carbon monoxide, so please keep you and your family safe by ensuring that candles are placed in a well ventilated room and never leave a candle burning unattended.