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.
Soy Survival Candles:
Soy candles are another possibility worthy of discussion in the survival candle category. These candles will require you to purchase materials and follow a few instructions; however, they will burn significantly longer than the crayon candles described above. With the right attention to detail and proper instructions, soy survival candles are some of the most cost effective solutions, and as an added advantage, they have an average burn time of 50 hours or more. You can purchase soy survival candles from several distributors, most of which come with price tags in the double digits, or you can make these yourself for approximately $2.00 a candle, depending on where you purchase materials from.
• Soy Wax Flakes (5lb. bag)
• Wicks (6” length in 50 pack)
• ½ Pint Glass Jars (13)
• Old Coffee Can (any tin can will do)
• Old Metal Pot/Kettle (one that won’t be used for cooking)
• Aluminum Foil
• Scissors (Optional)
• Hot Glue Gun & Glue Sticks (Optional)
• Hot Mitts
• Box of book matches
1. Fill pot/kettle half full with water and place on stove
2. Ignite flame source and bring water to a boil
3. Place 2.5lbs. of Soy wax flakes in old coffee can
4. Arrange ½ pint jars for collecting molten wax
5. Cut or tear aluminum foil into squares large enough to cover tops of jars
6. Poke a hole the size of the wick in the center of each aluminum foil square (set aside)
7. Place a 6” wick in each jar (if you are using a hot glue gun, dab a little hot glue on the base of the wick and stick it to the base of the jar. If not, then simply drape the wick over the edge of the jar for the time being.)
8. Place coffee can of soy wax into the pot of boiling water, creating a double boiler system
9. After wax has melted, use hot mitts to remove coffee can
10. Pour molten wax into each half pint jar
11. Thread top of wick through single aluminum foil square and wrap foil over top of jar
12. Allow candles to cool completely until wax sets and jar is cool to the touch
13. Remove aluminum foil squares
14. Place scissors across top of jar and clip excess wick for uniformity
15. Place one book of matched inside candle
16. Screw on jar lid and store
These types of soy survival candles can be assembled and added to the bug out bag, or placed strategically around the house. Consider placing one in every room of the house, as well as in closets, or common locations, for ease of access should the lights go out.
Soy wax flakes are generally unscented, so you can make them smell prettier by introducing a few drops of your favorite, or preferred essential oil(s) to create a dual-purpose survival candle with therapeutic aroma possibilities.
Soy wax flakes are generally sold in standard white. If you would like to add color to your soy wax survival candles, you can consider using color additives. Look for soy wax color additives from the same hobby shop or supply store as where you purchased the soy wax.