Emergency prep: I don’t like the dark edition

A regular right of passage in April– being just around the corner from Hurricane Season ( I am a survivor of direct hits by Frederick, Elena, Georges, Katrina, and Issac), is to replenish my supplies of nonperishables, water and the like. One of the things I like to do is make my own emergency candles. I generally make at least a dozen 8-oz soy candles, each with a projected lifespan of about 30-40 hours, meaning a dozen is an easy 300-500 hours worth of light.

If you shop around you can get decent deals on wax and wicks. I got my latest stuff from Candle Science (you can currently get a 10-pounds of 464 soy wax for $15 and 100 pre-tabbed wicks for like $8). Add to that a $8 box of Ball half-pint jelly jars and a box of paper matches and I can make each candle for about $2. Less if I recycle old jars. If you look around this is about half the price of store-bought candles and I know exactly what I am getting.

For a dozen candles, you need 4 pounds of soy wax (it’s non-toxic and totally safe), 12 tabbed wicks, 12 8-oz jelly jars, a double boiler (or two pots, one larger than the other), something to pour hot ass wax with ( I use an old mixing cup) and something to help keep your wicks straight.

First, melt the wax (note- do not put a pot of wax directly on a stove top, double boiler it!). I find that four pounds melts in about 15 minutes.

Next, scoop out your wax into your jars, each with a tabbed wick at the bottom (the wick doesn’t have to be centered just yet). Be very careful as hot wax is not your friend.

Then center and arrange your wicks. I use grill skewers (I keep lots of propane for the grill as a bonus for Hurricane season). Other people use other methods such as gluing the tabs to the glass. This in mine and, like I said I already have the skewers, so it’s free.

I find the wax sets in about two hours, though I leave them overnight to be sure. Then cut the wicks flush with the jar lid, add a book of paper matches to the jar, and screw the lid on tight.

I like to keep a few dozen of these on hand going into the season as I give some away, use them camping, etc, plus in a post-Hurricane environment, you would be surprised how easy it is to make friends through the offer of a couple of free candles/matches.


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About laststandonzombieisland

Let me introduce myself. I am a bit of a conflict junkie. I am fascinated by war and warfare, assassination, personal protection and weaponry ranging from spud guns and flame throwers to thermonuclear bombs and Soviet-trained Ebola monkeys. In short, if it’s violent or a tool to create violence it is kind of my thing. I have written a few thousand articles on the dry encyclopedia side for such websites as GUNS.com, Univesity of Guns, Outdoor Hub, History Times, Big Game Hunter, Glock Forum, Firearms Talk.com, and Combat Forums; as well as for print publications like England Expects, and Strike First Strike Fast. Several magazines such as Sea Classics, Military Historian and Collector, Mississippi Sportsman and Warship International have carried my pieces. Additionally I am on staff as a naval consultant and writer for Eye Spy Intelligence Magazine. Currently I am working on several book projects including an alternative history novel about the US-German War of 1916, and a biography of Southern gadfly and soldier of fortune Bennett Doty. My first novel, about the coming zombie apocalypse was released in 2012 by Necro Publications and can be found at Amazon.com as was the prequel, Chimera-44. I am currently working on book two of that series: "Pirates of the Zombie Coast." In my day job I am a contractor for the US federal government in what could best be described as the ‘Force Protection’ field. In this I am an NRA-certified firearms, and less-than-lethal combat instructor.

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