What are survival candles, and how do they differ from regular ordinary store bought candles? Survival candles are simple lighting solutions that you can make yourself out of a variety of materials. These devices may look like store bought solutions, or they may look entirely different. Survival candles can burn for various lengths of time, some for as little as half an hour, others for periods of 50 hours or longer.
Store bought candles can be used in survival situations, if we have purchased them for that specific purpose and added them to our bug out gear. Survival candles on the other hand are usually items we create ourselves. We can either re-purpose materials, or purchase ingredients for pennies on the dollar, and save our hard-earned money for more important preps.
There are several survival candle solutions for us to consider. Some of these concepts are going to be rather easy, others will be more labor intensive and time consuming. That isn’t to say that making survival candles requires a degree in manufacturing, or specialized knowledge to understand. These survival candle solutions are relatively easy, all things considered. The hardest part is usually gathering the materials and following a few directions.
Why Do We Need Survival Candles?
You might be wondering why you would even need to consider investing in, or manufacturing your own, survival candles. Perhaps you already have a small cache of alternative, off grid, survival lighting options in your gear for this specific purpose. You have flashlights, solar powered/rechargeable devices, hand crank flashlight/radios, and every new gadget that hits the survival store shelves. While these options are excellent inclusions, they all require some form of external power supply to operate. Flashlights need batteries, solar rechargers require sunlight, and hand crank equipment requires manual manipulation from an operator. Batteries can run dry, cloudy days and inclement conditions can complicate using the sun, and if you need both hands to complete a task you can hardly rely on keeping hand crank equipment charged enough to finish the chore.
With survival candle solutions, the only thing required to use them effectively is a flame. Candles provide an adequate source of light for small tasks and can reduce our use of the means listed above for larger chores requiring more ample lighting conditions. They are an effective solution for roaming through the survival shelter, or your home residence after dark. In a residential setting, survival candles in use after day light hours, will reduce our consumption of grid provided electricity, and although it may not be much, this will save us a few pennies on the monthly electric bill.
Survival candles are something that can be used around your traditional residence to help compensate for temporary power outages, resulting from a natural or manmade disaster. When the power goes out, one of the first things we begin searching through the house for is some source of light. Flashlights are often left from place to place, even if there is a specific place set aside for their storage. Even if they are found, the batteries in them may be drained, or at low capacity, making them all but useless. Survival candles, on the other hand, are items that can be placed strategically around the house, as decorative additions, and used if/when necessary. Survival candles, unlike other forms of alternative lighting, are easier to identify when they need replacing. With batteries, the level of power remaining cannot be determined through simple visual inspection. Survival candles are generally made from material that melts, or deteriorates as it burns. This allows us to determine how long a candle might last as opposed to wondering how much time we have before the batteries run dry.
For survival situations, or any situations for that matter, where a small amount of visible, useful light is necessary, survival candles are the items that won’t leave you stranded. Making survival candles is also a unique way of getting our children involved with learning a necessary survival skill without them realizing the education process has begun. It is also something that we, as survivalists, will remember for a lifetime, if we incorporate them into our daily lives as well as our survival strategies.
A box of crayons is something that most American households with small children have an abundance of. They are easily found and just as easily replaced, if/when they are needed. These are also items that won’t be among the first to vanish off store shelves, as most people are unaware that they can double as survival candles. The second crayon candle solution is more in depth and requires the use of several candles.
• Box of new crayons
• Various containers
• Rubber handled metal tongs
1. Remove paper from all crayons being used
2. Arrange containers for holding melted wax
3. Cut wicks to appropriate lengths for containers (keep ¼” to ½” sticking above wax line)
4. Place a wick in container
5. Place pencil across top of container
6. Wrap wick around pencil to keep it in place
7. Light matches, or flame source
8. Holding unwrapped candle by base (Use tongs for safety) melt candle with flame source
9. Allow melted wax to drip into specified container
10. After wax resets, remove wick from pencil (clip for length if needed)
11. Light wick and watch glow
This method can be used to create a wide variety of survival candles. Individual votive tins can be used to create small survival candles of individual specific colors. Each crayon should make at least one votive candle.
You can also use small mason jars as the collection receptacle. In this method, you can melt all colors together in the same jar, or get creative and melt candles of similar color to create various layers. For the true artist, individual creativity can come into play to make different shapes, designs and color combinations of personal preference.