Candles are probably one of history’s oldest must-haves for every prepper. This is because you can never go wrong with candles, they are cheap, easy to use, and they just rely on basic chemistry to work. Despite having been around for hundreds of years, candles are still sold more than ever before. Today, different types of candles are available in the market. In fact, there are now modern LED candles that have a solar charger or a rechargeable battery. In this article, we are going to learn more about candles and how they can be a big help for your survival.
What can Survival Candles Do?
- Candles can help you warm up your food.
- You can make a terracotta pot by using a few candles to help you generate enough warmth and prevent hypothermia.
- Candles that are fat-based can be consumed if you run out of food.
- Candles are one of the best ways to hold a flame. Instead of starting a fire or lighting multiple matches, you can just light a candle, and the light and warmth can last longer.
- If you want a low and steady heat for repairing or improvising, a candle can help you do that.
- Candles that are made from beeswax can help make improvised tools rust-proof and even treat leather.
- You can use a candle and a mirror to help magnify the light spread in your room, and you can also use it to communicate or signal far away.
Different Types of Candles
Traditionally, candles are made of wax, and the way it works is by lighting the wick, which in turn melts the wax and acts as the fuel for the fire. However, not all candles are made of wax, and candles can also be made using animal tallow or other liquids such as olive oil. Candles can also be made in different ways, but they all should have a wick and something that will act as a slow-burning fuel.
The most common types of candles are:
- Votive candles –These are short candles that are intended to sit in a container
- Taper candle – These are long and thin candles that tape at the ends
- Tealight candle –This type of candle is small and housed in a plastic or metal case.
- Container candle –This type of candle is made to always be in a glass or metal tin container.
- Pillar Candles – These are thick candles that can stand on their own.
Candles that cannot stand on their own are not advisable for preparedness. This is why you should opt for candles that are housed in a metal tin or pillar candles. Candles that are in a container are the best choice because you would not have to worry about the wax melting and making a big mess in your bag.
How Many Candles Should Your Emergency Kit Have?
If you’re just looking to cover your basics, which means being able to survive a two-week emergency, you can simply do the math. If a piece of candle you’re going to purchase can last for about 25 hours and you’re just going to use it to keep your room bright enough, you can have about four total days for each candle. This means that if you want to have ample lighting for two weeks, you should prepare at least four candles.
However, that’s just a rough computation for one room. If you’re looking to light multiple rooms or create enough heat to warm your shelter or food, you will definitely need a lot more candles.
Things to Remember When Using a Candle
- Candles usually melt around 140 to 108 Fahrenheit; this means that you should not store them in hot places such as in your hot attic or car trunk.
- Almost all emergency candles are made to last for 20 to 115 hours.
- If you store your candles properly, they can last forever. However, do not expect your scented candles to still have their scent over time.
- When it comes to house candles, the ones made with liquid paraffin are good because they burn clean, are sealed, do not drip, and can last for about 100 hours.
- Candles made with solid paraffin wax are common in the market. However, they are less ideal because they burn dirty.
- If you’re going to put your candles in go-bags, it is best if you opt for self-contained candles in metal tins.
- Candles that are in glass containers are a big no-no when it comes to survival preparation. This is because glass is fragile, and it can add extra weight to your bag. Keep in mind darkness and broken glass is not a good idea.
- As we mentioned, when you are prepping, always opt for candles that can stand on their own so you would not have to worry about where you’re going to put down your candles because you can put them on any flat surface.
- As much as possible, do not go for the candles that have melted wax drip outside of the container.
Can You Make Your Own Candle?
Yes, you can make your own candles at home. Here are a few tips for doing so:
- You can make candles using edible tallow by dipping your wick in melted fat, letting it harden, and then dipping it again. You can even add herbs and other scents to make it fancier.
- You can use an orange to make a candle. All you have to do is carefully separate the orange’s meat from its rind, fill it halfway with oil, and light the pith.
- Crisco can also be used in making a candle. You can simply put a chopstick in the middle of the Crisco jar to make a hole for a wick. Ensure that you do not consume the Crisco after using it as a candle.
- You can also use melted crayons to make candles.