Thursday, April 28, 2011

An Easy Inexpensive Emergency Candle

A couple weekends ago I taught an Emergency Preparedness class at my church. My father-in-law gave us this great emergency candle that is simple to make and very inexpensive which I featured during my class. I had a request for a tutorial, so I thought I'd post it here, because everyone needs an emergency heat/light/cooking source!

Emergency Candle Tutorial

This is what you need for the emergency candle:

* 1 bottle of rubbing alcohol (keep it unopened until the time of emergency when you need to use your candle)
* 1 plain, unused quart paint can (I got mine at The Home Depot for $3)
* 1 roll of cheap, generic toilet paper (the smaller, not jumbo rolls are best)
* 1 packet of matches (not pictured above)

First off, remove the tube from the middle of the toilet paper roll.

Next, smash your toilet paper roll and do your best to fold it. It more than likely will not fit into the paint can yet, which is why you need to start taking toilet paper off. Hold onto that toilet paper! We'll make use of it later.
(Don't use Scott brand toilet paper like I did. The roll is way too big and the paper is really thin. It took forever...)

Keep removing toilet paper until you're able to cram your toilet paper roll into the paint can. It should be a really snug fit.

Smash it all the way in and you're done!

Now you've got your emergency candle. Keep the alcohol bottle with the paint can. The alcohol is the fuel. Stick the packet of matches in the can, if they fit. Put the lid on the can and hammer it down until it's tightly closed. If the matches don't fit, keep them in a ziploc bag with your can.

You'll want to keep something with the can that will make it easy to open.
My father-in-law taped a military issue can opener to the lid. It's a great opener and it's a multi-functional tool!

Now, roll that extra toilet paper up and stick it in your car emergency kit.
It makes a nice, compact roll for travel.
(Don't ask me how long it took me to roll all that toilet paper up.)

How does this candle thing work, you ask? Here is what you need to print up and tape to the side of your can:

To use: Remove lid, add 24 oz of alcohol and light. Control the intensity of heat by adjusting the lid over the opening. You can place a wire cooking rack over it and use it like a stove. You can use this inside a car for heat with the window open a crack. Can will not get hot on the bottom until the alcohol has burned down (the can gets hot above the alcohol level.) The toilet paper will begin to burn when the alcohol gets low. You may add more alcohol but first put out the flame! (You can use the lid for that.) You can relight it after adding the alcohol. It will burn approximately 6-8 hours.

My father-in-law lit his candle on their dining room table and the bottom of the can was completely cool to the touch. It's a pretty neat thing!

To help your family and friends be more prepared, one of these would make a great gift! :-)

***Please note: Of course with any open flame, you need to keep the candle in a safe place away from children and pets and to be aware of ventilation needs when the candle is lit.


Casey said...

So you take out the cardboard piece from the toilet paper and then start trying to squeeze it into the can?

Sarah Rachelle said...

Yep, but you have to smash the toilet paper roll as flat as you can and then try to fold it in half. You won't, of course, because it's a fat roll of toilet paper, but you're using the space left from the tube being taken out to condense the roll and push it into the can. You will have to remove toilet paper from the roll in order to get it to fit, though. Does that make sense? If not, it makes much more sense when you're sitting there doing it. :-) Hope that was a help.

Sisterbrenda said...

Nice.. Never seen that one before.. Be Blessed

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