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