Learn How to Make 5o Hour Emergency Candles
Once, in college, the power went out on my half of town. (I went to school in a small town in Idaho.) since my roommates and I had very little interest in preparedness at the time, we only had a single flashlight for out apartment.
It was pretty dark.
“What if we lit the gas stove and used that as a candle?” My roommate suggested.
We turned on the gas burners and lit them using some matches my roommate had in a drawer.
A few minutes after lighting the stove, we realized two things:
A stove burner doesn't produce a lot of light, but it does significantly increase the temperature in small kitchens if left to burn.
If we kept it on too long, we would probably suffer from carbon monoxide poisoning (a tragic scenario that kills about 170 people every year in the United States).
Not wanting to be poisoned, we shut the stove off pretty quickly once we smelled the gas.
After four more hours in darkness, the electric company finally fixed the broken transformer that had blackened most of a town.
What happened to me isn't uncommon. In fact, we had several more blackouts before I graduated.
What I should have done instead of (stupidly) using our gas burner would have been to use candles. And even though I was a broke college student, I could have still easily purchased some inexpensive emergency candles.
Or, even better, I could have made my own candles.
If you don’t have any candles in your emergency supplies, or if you need gift ideas for the college students in your life, here’s how to make your own emergency candles.
Benefits of Making Your Own Emergency Candles
Sure, you can buy candles from any emergency store. But there are plenty of reasons to do this yourself. Here are just a few benefits of using emergency candles:
They’re relatively cheap and easy to make (they can be made in a few hours and cost as little as $1.27 each to make)
It’s much cheaper to make your own long-life candles than it is to buy them
They add light to your home or shelter without increasing the heat (which is great if there’s ever an emergency situation during the warm months)
Making candles is a perfect weekend project
They last a very long time – up to 50 hours – if you burn them in 4 hour intervals
What You Need
As Teotwaki Blog shares, you only need a few simple things to make your own candles.
Soy wax flakes
Canning jars: Easily available at local stores and even Wal-Mart.
Wicks and Tabs
You’ll also need scissors, a double boiler, a pouring device (such as a measuring cup), and some safety gloves. If you don’t have a double boiler, you can makeshift one by getting a large pot, filling it about a third to halfway full of water, and then placing a slightly smaller pot inside.
Step by Step
The actual process of making your own candles are very simple.
Cut your wicks down to the right size of your container. This is important if your wicks are much longer than your jars.
Place your wicks in the jars. If they’re not quite centered, that’s fine – you’ll fix that when you pour the wax.
Melt the wax flakes in your double boiler and pour it into your candle jars. (You want to leave about a quarter inch of wick showing above the wax.)
Adjust your wicks so they’re centered.
Let your candles dry.
(If you want to see photos of every step, check out Teotwawki Blog’s post.)
A Few Words
When adding candles to your emergency preparedness supplies, you need to remember to ALWAYS add one extra thing: a way to light them! If you don’t pack matches, a lighter, or some other way to light them, they’ll be as useless as cans without a can opener.
You can even check out our store to get some fire starters that are a perfect fit in any emergency kit.
Do you have photos of your emergency candles you’d like to share? Let us see them in the comments!