Candles can be used either in a lantern or on a stable surface; each will burn for around 9 hours. No overbearing scent and very little dripping. Can be easily packed to take along for camping, road trips, and other outings.
More appropriate for outdoor use because of the citronella. Should not be burned in enclosed spaces.
Slow burning and make less of a mess. Reliable and keep rooms well lit. Perfect for power outages, camping, and emergency kits.
Smaller than some reviewers expected or preferred.
Built to burn for 115 hours. Smoke and smell-free. Offered in a pack of 1, 4, or 6. Wick held in a lightweight container. A portable source of light. High-quality paraffin used. It's safe to use indoors.
Dimmer than traditional candles. Some had the product leak.
If only one wick is used, the candle will stay lit for up to 36 hours. The sturdy, yet lightweight, metal case makes it both portable and protects against the elements. A box of wooden matches is included.
Some users reported they were unaware, pre-purchase, that the candle should be used outdoors only because of potential toxins.
Made to burn for 36 hours. Lightweight build. Held in a durable, reusable tin. Odorless and lights up room wells. Produces a small amount of heat. Stores well and stays intact.
Only 1 wick should be burned at a time to reach the full 36 hours burn time.
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Electric lighting is always there to keep the night at bay… until it isn’t. We take light for granted in our homes, but sometimes storms, falling limbs, and other emergencies steal our power — and lights — for an extended period of time. There are a number of ways you can light your home in the event of a power failure, and one of the most affordable and reliable is the survival candle.
Survival candles, sometimes referred to as emergency candles, can also prove handy in the event of vehicle breakdown and during recreational pursuits such as hiking and camping. You can buy them in a variety of shapes and sizes. In this guide, we illuminate the basics you need to know, from burn times to wax types to cost.
While the majority of emergency candles are solid wax candles, some of them are liquid-based, making them similar to oil lamps. Differences exist between the two that you might wish to consider before purchasing a survival candle.
Solid wax candles: These candles can be a more stable option than liquid. Because there is no danger of spillage, they are also more portable.
Liquid-based candles: Liquid-based candles may be refillable, and the wicks can often be adjusted to change the level of light produced. Because they are liquid, these candles are more susceptible to spills. Notably, liquid candles are often made from petroleum-based liquid paraffin, which releases toxins when burned.
Survival candles are often sold singly, one candle per order. Sometimes you can buy them in bulk, receiving 20 candles or more at a time. Buying in bulk generally costs less per piece, and it can be helpful if you wish to light several rooms at once.
Survival candles usually have a much longer burn time than regular candles, and this is a big selling point. Burn time is essentially how long a candle will produce light, from when you first light the wick to when it sputters out. Some survival candles will burn for less than 10 hours, but the majority produce light for much longer. In fact, the burn time for some survival candles is over 100 hours.
Long a staple in “bug out” kits, some survival candles are made to travel. A survival candle that is lightweight, compact, and sold in a container with a lid is much more portable than other candles.
While some survival candles can be used both indoors and outdoors, others are recommended for outdoor use only. These candles contain chemicals such as citronella that can produce toxins when burned. For similar reasons, paraffin wax should be avoided for extended indoor use.
Note the manufacturer's recommendation when buying a survival candle, and if you notice a strong odor when burning it, consider using it only outdoors, as this is usually a sign of chemical additives.
A candle that tips over is a huge fire hazard. Hence, a wider candle — or one that is encased in a non-flammable container — is often preferable. If you are using thin, tapered candles, be sure to use them only with a sturdy candle holder. This goes for all taper candles, not just the survival type.
Candles can start a fire. They can also burn paws and little fingers easily. If you have pets or children, be sure to place candles out of their reach.
Survival candles may be made from several different wax types. Three of the most common types are paraffin, soy, and beeswax.
Paraffin: Paraffin is one of the least-expensive wax types. It is derived from petroleum and, as such, can release a slew of toxins when burned. It is recommended that these candles only be used outside. When burning, paraffin tends to create more smoke than other waxes.
Soy: Made from soybeans, soy wax is all-natural and burns cleaner than paraffin. It is also more expensive.
Beeswax: Also pricier than paraffin, beeswax is another all-natural option. Beeswax produces a mild scent that some might find objectionable if burned over a long period. Note that beeswax is made by bees and is therefore incompatible with a vegan lifestyle.
While some candles are freestanding and made with molds, others are poured and ship with their own container. As mentioned, these are excellent in terms of portability. A candle in a container is also safer and less messy when used at home.
Common container materials include metal, which is durable and long-lasting; glass, which is attractive but breakable; and plastic, which is lightweight but flammable and also prone to breakage over time.
Some survival candles have only one wick, whereas others have multiple wicks (usually three). More wicks produce more light, but they also lessen the burn time of the candle. A big plus with multiple wicks is that you can use your candle like a “three-way” light bulb, adjusting the light level by simply lighting or extinguishing individual wicks.
Inexpensive: Survival candles start at $10 or less. In this price range, you can expect to see many single candles, usually made from paraffin wax, with shorter burn times of 36 hours or fewer.
Mid-range: The price tag on the average survival candle is $10 to $20. These candles may be made of paraffin, soy, or beeswax. A considerable range in burn times is available, from 36 hours to 100+ hours. You will also find candle bundles (usually up to three candles) in this price range.
Expensive: If your goal is to maximize burn time, survival candles over $20 are for you. In this range, you will find the longest burn times, with some high-end liquid candle sets capable of burning for several hundred hours.
Some survival candles contain citronella, which releases toxins when burned. These candles should only be used outdoors.
A. Not really. While the minimal amount of heat produced could be used to warm your hands in an emergency, relying on survival candles for heat is not recommended. And while you could raise the temperature of the room with enough candles, this would quickly turn into a fire hazard. Instead, think of adding a portable indoor heater to your emergency supply closet.
A. While a scented candle is fine for occasional ambiance, it really has no place in an emergency supply kit. Emergency candles are typically burned for longer periods of time than traditional candles. If they were scented, that could lead to headaches or allergic reactions as the scent builds up over time.
A. The number of emergency candles you should stockpile depends on a number of factors. If you will be using them for camping or hiking, you obviously won’t want to carry a large quantity and will only need enough to last your trip.
If you’re buying for an emergency kit, however, consider how often power outages tend to occur in your area. How severe are the outages? If they last an hour, you will need fewer candles than if they last a day or more. Also, consider the number of rooms you’d want to illuminate and how much light you’d need in each room.
The good news is, survival candles are not outrageously expensive. You’d probably be better off buying more candles that you think you’d need, just to be on the safe side.
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