Tallow Candle

DIY PROJECT: Emergency Lighting Solutions; Tallow Candles


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.

Tallow Candle

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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.

Tallow Candles:
Lard is something you can purchase at the local grocery store, or something you can render yourself through cooking methods. Lard refers to the melted animal fat derived from swine. If purchased in block, or tub form, lard can be made into a survival candle in a very short period. It is a very flexible material and the process really doesn’t require much effort on the part of the manufacturer. If, on the other hand you are rendering the lard yourself, then the process might be a bit more time consuming and complex.

• Block of Lard
• Butter Knife
• Candle Wick
• Wax Paper

1. Unwrap block of lard
2. Cut lengthwise
3. Insert wick into the middle of lard
4. Mold lard back into block shape
5. Wrap in wax paper
6. Cut wick to ¼” above top of lard
7. Stand on opposite end and light the wick

That’s the simple survival candle solution for store bought block lard. If you are rendering the lard yourself, then the process will obviously take longer as you must store excessive grease from pork frying until you have enough for making a candle. You will also have to use a container that will double as your candle holder.

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