Build Your Lights Out Kit
What will you do when the lights go out? Not for the night, but they really go out. Maybe there’s been another Hurricane Sandy or the grid goes down, but either way you and your family are in the dark. You need a plan.
The Lights Out Kit
I call this my lights out kit, but it’s really more of a place that I put the supplies I don’t want touched, and I don’t want anyone to dig through on a daily basis.
What it’s Not…
It’s not everything you have or need. There are probably a lot of supplies that you have that won’t fit in a plastic tote, and there are a lot of supplies that are scattered around the house that you use regularly.
We have items like candles, lighters, flashlights and solar chargers that we use regularly that don’t go in this kit. It’s not for fuel or lamp oils. You don’t want to store kerosene or lamp oil in the same container with your other supplies, and if you store it in the garage you need to make sure everything in it can handle the extreme temperature changes…more on this later.
What it is…
It’s for stuff that you don’t want touched. The kids are notorious for taking batteries or mixing up dead batteries with new batteries, so I like to have a stash set up that I know for a fact that I have the supplies that I think I have. It’s for stuff you won’t use regularly. Like the saying goes, 1 is none, and 2 is 1.
I have supplies around the house that I hope will be there when we need them, and I have supplies stored in my lights out kit that I know will be there when I need them.
It’s an easy go to for family. I like having this kit setup because the last thing I want to do is be running around the house trying to find batteries and flashlights, and if I am gone I know that the family can just go grab the lights out kit and have everything they need…
Light Out Kit Supply Ideas
Crank Radio (from CampingSurvival.com)
Games & Playing Cards
Battery Tester (A must have!)
– via Survivalist Prepper
Different Fuels for Oil Lamps
One of the more common tools in a prepper household for “lights out” scenarios is an oil burning lamp. There are different kinds of lamps and several different types of fuel. They are NOT interchangeable and they each have pros and cons.
In the excerpt below you’ll see a discussion of the different types of fuel for oil lamps with pros and cons and tips for using them successfully and safely. Read also this related article on Fuel Storage
There are several options to choose from when deciding on which fuel is best for you. Keep in mind that some fuels should not be used indoors, so check to make sure the fuel you choose is intended for indoor use only. They all have their pros and cons:
Before using any kerosene, verify that the flash point of the kerosene you’re using is between 124 and 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Dyed kerosene, or any dyed lamp oil for that matter, will eventually clog the wick and inhibit proper functioning.
Regular kerosene, like the kind used for heating, while typically less expensive than Ultra-pure lamp oil made specifically for oil lamps (which is also a kerosene product), will also create more soot and for some, gives off an unpleasant odor.
Heating kerosene also requires ventilation: a door should be left open to an adjoining area or a window should be left cracked open. Without proper ventilation, one risks carbon monoxide poisoning
Clear Lamp Oil
This is hands-down the best oil to use in conventional oil lamps. Conventional oil lamps were designed to burn petroleum-based products, not animal or vegetables fats. Due to the ultra-filtering, this product gives off very little fumes and soot and since it contains no dyes, it is least likely to clog the wick Readily available nationwide in the United States and online Can be scented with essential oils
Not recommended for conventional oil lamps Has the potential to clog the wick Considered more sustainable and “greener” than petroleum-based oils When burned, will give off less particulate than petroleum-based lamp oils but will also produce more odors
*If you would like to use plant-based oils, it’s better to use lamps designed specifically for that purpose. They have a “rope” type wick instead of the flat wick used by conventional oil lamps.
Paraffin in the UK is kerosene. Paraffin Oil in the United States is Liquid Candle Wax , and is mislabeled for use in oil lamps and lanterns, when in fact it is only suited for Candle Oil Lamps that use small diameter (under 1/4 inch) round wick. Further, it burns only 1/2 as bright of any of the approved fuels listed above. Paraffin oil has a much higher viscosity and a flash point of 200 degrees or higher, as compared to the flash point of 150 degrees for kerosene. These differences inhibit the necessary capillary action of the wick, and will cause Lamps and Lanterns with 7/8″ or larger wick to burn improperly and erratic.
Once a wick is contaminated with paraffin oil, it must be replaced in order for the lantern to burner properly. If you must use paraffin oil, it may be mixed 1:10 to 2:10 (one to two parts paraffin,) to ten parts standard lamp oil or kerosene so that it will burn satisfactorily.
Never add fuel to a lit lamp or to one that is still hot. Extinguish the flame and allow the lamp to cool completely before refilling. Wipe off any excess oil from the outside of the lamp that may have accidentally spilled.
Kerosene and lamp oil will evaporate over time, so it’s best to store it in air-tight containers. If you’re not going to be using your oil lamps anytime soon, it’s better to empty the fuel (cooled!) back into the storage bottle and clean and dry the lamps. If you’re not sure where to fill the tank on a thrift store find, allow at least one-inch headspace. This allows room for the fuel and gasses to expand and the lamp warms up.
Keep your lamps at least halfway full and use indoor lamps at room temperature for the most efficient use. Very cold temperatures (under about 20 degrees Fahrenheit) can cause kerosene and lamp oils to freeze and become dangerously unstable, even when thawed. Normal room temperatures allow the gasses to expand and be burned along with the kerosene and oil itself, thus producing a more efficient burn.
Whether you choose conventional oil lamps or vegetable oil-burning lamps, they’re a great alternative to relying on electric lighting and can add a wonderful ambiance to your home. They’re also one of the less conspicuous preps for your home and can be beautifully and innocuously displayed. Stay tuned!
– via Ready Nutrition
What do you have in your lights out kit?