The power could go out at any time, especially during these cooler months when winter storms can knock out power lines. If the power does go out, and you realize you have no candles, here are 5 do-it-yourself ways to get some light in your home.
*Candle Safety: Never leave a burning candle unattended. Never burn a candle on or near anything that might catch on fire. Keep candles out of the reach of children and pets. Never put a candle where a kid or pet could knock it over. Take care when extinguishing candles. The jars or containers are likely to be very hot and can burn you.
Now that we have safety out of the way, here are a few simple ways to create some light.
1. Use Bacon Grease – If you store all of your excess bacon grease, use it as a candle. This grease makes the perfect improvised survival candle. Put some bacon grease in a natural fiber wick and light that wick. It’ll burn as long as any comparably-sized candle. If the electricity does go out, then the bacon in the fridge is going to go bad anyway. If you don’t plan to cook it, you can use it as a candle. Tear off the fatty pieces and press them in a jar around a natural fiber wick, and this will burn like a candle as well. The fatty bacon pieces will melt just like a wax and it will smell like bacon. TIP: Smear the wick with bacon fat first!
2. Use Crisco – This won’t smell as good as the bacon, however, it can be used to make a candle in a pinch. Press a natural fiber wick ( you can improvise this too by using something like a cotton t-shirt shred or a mop strand) and shove it in a tub of Crisco using a forked stick. This is one of the longest burning emergency candles on the planet. Smear the top of the wick with Crisco to get it to burn better. When the tubs of Crisco go on sale, especially if you don’t cook with it, they may be good to stock up on and use as a long burning candle.
3. Beeswax Candle – This is, by far, one of the easiest ways to prep some candles on the fly! All you really need are sheets of beeswax, candle wicks, and a knife. According to this website, “Lay the wick along the edge of the sheet and start rolling the candle by bending over about 1/8 inch of the wax. Use this small channel to enclose the wick. Working from one end to the other all along the length of the wick, press down firmly to make sure the wax is tight around the wick. This is the only time you press hard with the beeswax sheets.” Read more here.
4. Use A Headlamp – Headlamps are great items to keep around and to have in your emergency vehicle kit and a bug out bag. But they often are not the best sources of light. If you have a headlamp laying around and not in use, grab it and a water-filled clear plastic gallon jug (or any clear container filled with water). Contort the headlamp around the bottle so that the light shines toward the center of the bottle. The water diffuses and diverts the light – making a nice, mellow, glowing lamp that will help set a perfect mood during any disaster “bug in.”
5. Make an Oil Lamp -It’s pretty simple to make an oil lamp. If you are like me, you probably have a lot of olive oil stocked in your prepper pantry. To make a lamp you need a wick, something to hold the wick upright and keep it from dropping into the oil, and a vessel to hold the oil, and pure olive oil. The wider the wick that you use, the brighter your lamp will be. A cotton t-shirt or mop strand could be used here as well. A small mason jar works well for this, but it can break if your lamp gets too hot. A tin can could also be an option.
These simple ideas can help you figure out how to provide some light during an emergency. There are many other ideas you could employ as well to help get some light too, such as having a wood-burning stove. That one has the added benefit of providing heat as well. If you have other easy ways to make light, please share them with Ready Nutrition readers in the comments!