Category: Equipment


So you are in the same spot that I am in: you live in an apartment no porch or balcony, you don’t have the extra 40-50 bucks for a propane camping grill/burner but you want to be able to cook indoors in case of emergency well I have one potential answer for you.

I started off with an empty quart paint can (purchased a new one for 1.50$ at a paint store) I took that quart can and filled that with cotton balls (Dollar store!!!). Then I filled the can with denatured alcohol, you can purchase this at the same paint store that you got the quart can I got mine for about 16 bucks.

I then took a large coffee can and once it was emptied I drilled holes around the bottom and around the top for ventilation, then you just take the lid off of your quart can place it into your coffee can and light it up.

You can see that you get a good flame and the holes in the coffee keep the flame fed with oxygen once the pot in on top

The coffee can works as your support

And is strong enough to hold a good sized pot filled with liquid

Once you are done just plop the quart can lid back on to put out the flame and seal back up **Be careful with this step the can will be HOT**

This is a great way to cook indoors with little to no fumes or smoke.

Keep up the good work

 Jeff

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candle

candle (Photo credit: jamingray)

You are a prepared person; you have flashlights, and Coleman lanterns, oil lamps, glow sticks and candles. But what do you do if the power goes out and stays out, your batteries run down, your fuel runs out and the last dribble of wax has run from your candles…now what do you do?

I thought it would be fun to cover some “old school” and not so “old school” ways to light up your night or otherwise deal with the darkness.

First off go to bed. That is right our ancestors would get up and go to sleep with that giant lights source in the sky. The less time you spend in the dark, the fewer resources you use trying to keep the room lit at night.

Make your own candles: Of course to make a wax candle you are going to need wax, the most commonly known source of wax is bees. Finding a beehive and extracting the wax is a tricky and potentially dangerous proposition, but it can be done.

A much more practical way of making candles would be tallow. Tallow is the product of rendering (slow melting) animal fat for several hours, the impurities will rise to the top and should be skimmed off, what remains is tallow. You can fill pint mason jars with your tallow and use a cotton wick, wait for your tallow to harden and you have a candle. Tallow will produce considerably more soot that modern candles, but all in all it is a source of light.

Make your own oil lamps: Once the lamp oil has run out you can use olive oil in your hurricane lamp if you like or you can make your own lamp by filling a small bowl or mason jar with olive oil and soaking your wick then light it up. If you are using a mason jar simply put a hole the size of your wick into the top, make sure it is long enough to run all the way to the bottom of the container and light it up. I have found that using an open bowl with the wick laying in the oil and coming off one side for the flame is the best way to use olive oil. In fact you can pretty much use any type of oil, corn, canola, and even lard and tallow will work with the small bowl method.

You can use hand cranked flashlights and the like, but let’s be honest having to crank that thing up every 10-15 minuets. How about using those solar powered path lights that you can get at your local box store? Just take off of the built in stake and hang from the ceiling, put outside during that day and POOF instant renewable light source.

Of course if you have a fire place you have a built in source for cooking heating and for light.

 

So there you have it some ideas for when the lights go out and stay out.

 

Jeff