candles for survival

Hurricane oil lamp
Citronella candle
Candlemaking is a prepper skill
bottle caps
Tall mason jars
Wick tabs
Bees wax
Survival Candles
Prepping for survival with candles

"Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and
the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never
decreases by being shared." -- Buddha

Mind your own Bees Wax and know how to make a
prepper's candle!
Preppers are the butchers, the bakers and the candlestick
makers. If you haven't thought much about the importance of
candles in survival, there's no better time than now to become
a candlemaker!

Whether the lights go out indefinitely or will return in a few
hours, it pays to have candles in the house and know how to
make them.

How to make a Prepper's Survival Candle
To make a simple prepper's survival candle, you'll need just
three things (the fourth items on the list are optional). It helps
to have a candle making pitcher for wax candles, but you can
shop garage sales or a thrift shop for a metal pitcher. Pictured
right is some candle making equipment. Again, this is optional.
Keep your candle making equipment separate from cooking
containers and utensils. In other words, don't melt toxic wax in
food containers.

#1: Container: Preppers select clever containers for a
Your prepper candle needs a vessel to store the fuel and with
creativity it shouldn't be hard at all to improvise for survival's
sake, such as an used can. If you have the luxury of time, you
can select a vessel for its ambiance, such as a sea shell or
coconut shell. Consider safety of your vessel as glass can
shatter, unless it was created for candle making.

Here are some candle container ideas:
  • Altoids tin. An empty Altoids tin can house your candle.
    The beauty of a lidded tin is that to extinguish the flame
    after lighting you need only to close the lid. Also available
    are candle tins as pictured right.
  • Bottle caps. Even with bottle caps you can create a mini
  • Cans. Emptied coffee cans or even a cans of beans, or a
    tuna can with the tuna still inside can serve as a container.
  • Crisco. Because Crisco is in a can, you have both the
    container and the fuel, and you need only look for a
    suitable wick to improvise a candle.
  • Coconut shell. A coconut shell has long been a polynesian
    solution to the
  • Mason jars. Mason jars are ideal because they can
    withstand a fair amount heat. Beware that not all glass is
    suitable and could crack if exposed to too much heat. Be
    careful of any other type of class as it could shatter. For a
    class container, you may need to set it on a metal
    container. The metal will help illuminate and offer a
    protective surface should the glass shatter.
  • Soda and beer cans. Aluminum is easy to slice and shape
    into a mini lantern.
  • Shells. Shells can provide a shallow container for oils or
    serve as decorative votives for wax.
  • Tea cups, gravy boats, pastry tart tins. Shopping thrift
    stores will yield a variety of tea cups for crafting wax
    candles that you can turn into lovely gifts. Teacups are
    sweet, but dont stop there! See what you can find

Above is an elegant candle in a teacup found on Amazon. Right, is "Froot
Loop scented candle" handmade by an ETSY artisan from a class soup
bowl. Wickedly cute with three wicks, this handmade candle comes
complete with a spoon.

Safety is important in selecting a container for your candle.
When making your survival candles, be sure to select a
container that won't shatter if it gets too hot, and won't allow
the fuel to escape, which could cause a fire. Also, be sure that
the container isn't too porous, such as thin terra cotta or clay
which could soak up the wax. Sometimes pottery can leach
lead. Finally, you've heard it before: never leave a candle
unattended or near draperies.

#2:  Prepper's get wickedly clever on making candle wicks.
It's the wick that makes the candle. The purpose of a wick is to
deliver the fuel to the flame. If you plan ahead now, you can
stock away plenty of wicks for candlemaking. Creating a
prepper's wick may take some ingenuity, but improvising a wick
with things you have, shouldn't be too difficult.

In many cases when you make your own wick, you'll need to
treat the fiber with a solution of borax and salt, or boric acid
powder. The best wick is 100% cotton yarn or thread without
any dye or bleach. To make an effective wick, you can saturate
the fibers with borax and wax, or boric acid and warm water to

Here are some ideas to get you thinking of how to make a wick:
  • Birch bark is material suitable to make a torch
  • Cotton fibers* from a garment
  • Hemp fibers
  • Kite string (white cotton*)
  • Mop head (improvised source)
  • Paracord fibers (improvised source)
  • Twine
  • Toilet paper. You can make your own wicks from toilet
    paper (but the burn time will be incredibly short)!
  • Shoelaces
  • Wicks. If you buy a wick, make sure it does not contain
    lead, zinc or other harmful metals. The natural candle
    wicks pictured immediate left are constructed from
    natural, flat, cotton threads interwoven with paper threads
    and contains no lead, zinc or other metals.
  • Wick tabs. Wick tabs are metal bases for your wick and
    will require use of your pliers as they may bend. You'll
    need to manual thread your premeasured wick through the
    bottom, then fasten the tab in place to make sure it's
    centered in your container. A wine cork can also serve as a
    wick tab.
  • Wine bottle wicks. Make a wine bottle oil lamp with wine
    bottle wicks, pictured immediate right. Your favorite
    bottles become candles easily. Just fill the bottle with
    lamp oil, place wick into oil and light. Set of 2, Beige.

Here are the wick making candle instructions:

#3: Preppers find fuel for a survival candle beyond wax.
When most people think of candles, they think of wax. Not only
are there are many kinds of wax -- from beeswax to soy wax
and paraffin wax, but candle fuel can also come from other

  • Beeswax. Did you know beeswax candles burn with
    almost no smoke or scent and clean air by releasing
    negative ions? On the flip side, factory made candles may
    include paraffin, a harmful waste product from the
    petroleum industry as a by-product -- it's the sludge waste
    of crude oil thats refined into gasoline. In addition to
    beeswax, another good option is soy wax (both renewable
    resources). You've been told all your life to "mind your
    own beeswax" and now you can.
  • Butter. Yes, plenty of preppers plan to waste good butter
    as fuel if necessary.
  • Chapstick or your favorite lip balm.
  • Carnuba wax. Considered among the hardest of natural
    waxes, so generally it does not make a good candle wax;
    however, some prefer to mix it with coconut oil. It's not a
    good beginner's wax, but it is an option. Typically carnuba
    wax is used for conditioning wood on cutting boards and
    butcher block tables, and it has many cosmetic uses.
  • Can of tuna packed in oil:

  • Crayola or your favorite crayons. With a crayon, you
    don't even need a wick, because you can burn the crayon
    itself and the paper wrapper can serve as the wick for the
    fuel. A crayon is made of paraffin wax.
  • Crisco or your favorite shortening. Even Crisco expires!
    Yes, Crisco has an expiration date. Besides, you really
    don't want to make a pie from that stuff, do you? Lard is
    more healthy!
  • Cooking oil (everything from olive oil to coconut oil will
    work). If you have olive oil, or other vegetable oils in your
    preps, which have expired and gone rancid, don't throw
    them away! The oils are fuel for your candles, provided
    you have a wick (or can improvise one)
  • Gel wax. Gel wax is ideal for candle making when you
    want to embed objects such as seashells, dried flowers;
    Do not microwave gel wax as there are variances in
  • Lamp oil. Lard often made of paraffin wax.
  • Lard
  • Paraffin wax
  • Palm wax. Palm wax can have a natural crystalizing effect
    to help you make beautiful pillar candles with crystal
  • Soy wax. Soy wax produces 95% less soot than other
    forms of candles.
  • Tallow. Make use of the whole animal! Make deer tallow
  • Tuna can packed in oil. A can packed in oil (not water)
    could serve bpth as a container and fuel! The bonus is
    that after the lights go out, you can have yourself some
    dinner. The tuna will be edible.
  • Vaseline or your favorite petroleum jelly
  • Vegetable Oil (coconut oil, olive oil, etc.). All kinds of fats
    and oils can set ablaze to provide fuel for the candle.

#4: Optional equipment.

Optional wax equipment:

  • Double boiler and a candle making pitcher.
    Or improvise nestling a can into a large pot of water to
    melt the wax and dispense into the container).

  • Heat source to melt wax candles. There are many
    tutorials online that show you how to use a microwave to
    melt wax.

Other optional candle making equipment:

  • Decorations. For added effect you can add decorations,
    such as sea shells, dried flowers. Have fun melting candy
    confetti, using natural citrus peels. Get creative! To make
    a Sundae candle, you can add a spoon and candy sprinkles
    or a plastic fish into a small wide-mouth mason jar to
    create a mini "fish bowl."

  • Essential oils. Add an aromatherapy element to your
    candles by mixing essential oils into your fuel.

  • Food coloring or crayons. Add color to your projects.

Optional wick equipment:

  • Fuel Stabilizers.

  • Wick centering device. You can center the wick using two
    pencils and rubber bands on either end to secure the wick
    in the center over your small container. For larger
    containers or longer candle wicks, try wrapping the wick
    around a skewer, dowel or ruler by twisting it around
    several times until you have a snug fit.

Let there be light in the prepper's household if the situation
warrants it and it won't cause a danger to your family or group.
Never light a candle in a scenario of civil unrest where you
might cause attention and attract looters and marauders. If
necessary, you can use black garbage bags and duct tape to
blacken windows from the outside.

Why make your own candles?
Home made candles can add a positive energy to your home
and it's a fun hobby for preppers and homesteaders.

  • Candles illuminate to extend use of the day. Candles are
    important to survival because they extend use of the day,
    but candles also play a role in emotional well being.

  • Candles provide a cozy feeling. There is a Danish word
    unlike any other, and it is "hygge."  Namely the meaning
    of "hygge" is a warm and cozy atmosphere an enjoyment
    of good company and comforts around a candlelight. Today
    the candle is paramount to enjoying good things in life in
    the Danish culture as it was in colonial America. Danish
    people light a candle at breakfast time to set the tone for
    what would otherwise be a gloomy winter's day. They set
    a candle in the window in remembrance

  • You can ensure your candles are lead free. Did you
    know scented candles on the market, especially the ones
    from China, may also contain lead in the wick!

  • You can enhance your home with aromatherapy.
    Another reason to make candles at home is that you can
    mix your wax with essential oils.

  • Citronella can add an element of pest control as
    mosquitoes naturally are repelled by citronella.

  • Candle making is fun! You don't even need fancy
    equipment to make extraordinary candles! Who needs
    candlemaking instructions? You an microwave wax and
    crayons to melt them without fancy equipment,
    procedures, or mess. Brit + Co shows how to make votives
    from crayons!

Why NOT make your own survival candles?
Candle making isn't for everyone as this hilarious video proves:

When to buy survival candles...
It's fun to invest in a candle making kit, and candle making
supplies, but if you're not the crafty type, then you can always
buy your own survival candles. Stock up on votives and candles
in tins.

  • Citronella 10-hour Votive Candles (pack of 72).
    Citronella has therapeutic properties as an antiseptic,
    deodorant, insecticide, parasitic, tonic and as a stimulant;
    however, most people will associate it with its insecticide
    properties. It helps you get rid of mosquitoes! Get 72 10-
    hour yellow citronella infused candles, pictured immediate
    left. They will be a bright and happy solution to ending
    your mosquito problem.

  • Votive candles. The 12-hour votives value-pack, pictured
    far right gives you 30 traditional white votive candles.
    That's a total of 360 hours of light for around $13.85. They
    burn slowly and brightly.

  • Exotac Survival Tin. The Exotac Survival Tin, pictured at
    the top of the page, is of 100% Beeswax and made in
    USA. The most versatile natural wax candle on the market,
    there are three wicks in each candle, two different wick
    burn rates and two tin sizes, these candles can be a
    source of light or a powerhouse of heat. The hot-burn
    candle can even be used to boil water in a pinch! Use this
    candle for drying out tinder, boiling water, or warming an
    emergency blanket.

When not to use candles...
Candles will illuminate your evenings, and they can serve many
other purposes in a survival situation; however, preppers may

  • Human predators. Lights frighten away many animals,
    however, it tends to attract humans. Imagine an EMP
    scenario where the rest of the world is in darkness and
    from the distance people see your light and after weeks of
    starvation people have run out of supplies. If you have
    light, human predators are going to assume also you have
    food, water, heat, medicines and supplies. The day may
    come when you do not use your survival candles. Consider
    blocking your windows with dark plastic bags so that from
    the outside it appears you are in darkness.

  • Natural catastrophe. After an earthquake-prone area, be
    careful not to light a candle before shutting off the gas
    mains and securing the area for leakage.

Easy candle making instructions for preppers.
At, we aim to light the way to
preparedness. Here are more illuminating ideas on survival

  • Safewick for do it yourself candles. Safewick, pictured
    immediate right will help you create a 10-hour emergency
    candle with any kind of vegetable oil you have in your
    pantry. Best of all, the vegetable oil can be reused.
    Safewick candles provide a means of illumination at a
    fraction of the cost of traditional candles. Traditional
    candles pose the risk of an accidental fire during late-
    stage burning when they burn down to the base and ignite
    combustible material under or near the base of the candle.
    SafeWick Candles make it virtually impossible to allow the
    flame or wick to come in proximity of combustibles near
    the base. Also, traditional candles are made with paraffin
    wax, a by-product of the petroleum industry, and a non-
    renewable energy source. When burned, traditional
    candles release carcinogenic toxins such as benzene,
    toluene, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, acrolein and soot
    into the air! The emissions from traditional candles
    contain many of the same toxins produced by burning
    kerosene or diesel fuel, but Safewick uses vegetable oil (a
    completely renewable energy source) as fuel. The non-
    polluting, cotton wicks provide an affordable and reliable
    alternative to regular candles and even kerosene lamps.
    To have a little fun with Safewick, add some food coloring!

  • Mason jar candle stash. A simple do-it-yourself
    emergency project is to store some candles in a mason jar
    with matches. The inside top of the mason jar should have
    sand paper as a durable surface to strike the matches.
    The jar keeps the matches waterproof and safe.

  • Melt used candles into a new form. Melt your used
    candles by color and pour the wax into mason jars to
    create a pretty layered pattern. To secure the wick, use a
    wooden clothes pin to align the wick in the center of the
    mason jar. The centering device, pictured at the bottom
    right-hand of the job is an inexpensive way to make the
    candle wick perfectly centered.

  • Mason jars with olive oil. Add lemon slices inside the jar
    to give the propper prepper ambiance! See the pretty
    lemon-filled olive oil lanterns. You might also have fun
    adding food coloring to your olive oil.

  • Altoids tin box candle project. Melt wax into an emptied
    Altoids tin with some wicks to create your own home-
    made bugout emergency candle.

  • soy wax flakes
  • canning jars
  • wicks and tabs
    You'll also needs a double boiler, Pyrex measure glass,
    protective gloves.

  • Beeswax candles. Learn how to make beeswax candles:

  • Bottle cap candles. Wax plus a wick equals mini survival
    candle. Very crafty indeed, here's how to make tiny cap
    candles, pictured at the bottom of the page. This idea is
    from craftaholoics anonymous.

  • Can candles. All the cans of soup and beans you eat add
    up and here's a great way to recycle them. Pour wax
    directly into the can after you've cleaned it. Or make a
    statement if your can has a pretty graphic, as with La
    Morena cans. Fill the can with rice and add a votive at the
    to, and "Voila!," you have an emergency candle with
    prepper style!

  • Crisco or butter candles.
  • Butter candles? Yes, just stick a wick in a stick of butter.
    Well, maybe the answer is no. Sure, it's a fun thing to do,
    but in a survival situation it's better to eat the butter!
    Melted butter is messy.

  • Olive Oil candles. A simple oil lamp can be olive oil with a
    wick into a

  • Toilet Paper. An unused, quart-sized tin paint can, a
    toilet paper roll and some rubbing alchohol create a do-it
    yourself emergency candle. Here's the tutorial for the
    strange, but helpful  toilet paper candle.

  • Clay pot candle heater. This do-it-yourself clay pot
    candle heater from KGB Survivalist has made quite a
    sensation on Youtube. Watch the video, get your clay pots
    and votive candles and get started. Perhaps it's not so
    sturdy, but you can improvise.

Should you find yourself in a situation where there are no more
candles, no
oil lamps, no solar lanterns or no more flashlights
to illuminate the night, you can improvise as only a prepper
can do.

Happy endings...
Let there be light! Enjoy candles for ambiance and also in
times of emergency. Just be sure that in lighting candles the
emergency has not affected the gas lines. Also, make sure not
to set candles near draperies or table decorations which could
easily ignite. Fire is always a possibility, but be happy in
knowing that candles have been used for generations before
there was electricity.

And another thing: candles and soap both require fat as a
primary ingredient!

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