Using a candle to increase survival chances

Posted: March 19, 2014 by Rex Trulove in Other Thoughts, Survival
Tags: , , , , , ,

There are a number of things that most survivalists keep in their emergency kits. A lot of people who haven’t received any survival training are kind of surprised at one of the very handy tool’s though: A plumber’s candle.

As a nation, the United States just came through one of the most bitterly cold winters on record for at least the last 50 years. This would have been a perfect time for people to have kept a few plumber’s candles handy, and there really isn’t a bad time to have a few in the ekit (emergency kit).

These are the candles that are usually less than a half foot tall and a bit less than an inch in diameter, sometimes sold as ‘8-hour candles’. I’ve never seen one actually burn that long, but the point is that they produce a surprising amount of heat and light. It is important to note that we weren’t talking about the little decorative candles or those that will burn up fast. Here are just a couple scenarios where they could be life savers:

You and your family are home, temperatures are sub-zero outside and the power goes out. You get the family into the smallest room in the house, probably the bathroom, with blankets and such, knowing that it is easier to heat a small space than a big one. You open the window just a little, also knowing that venting is important to get rid of excess carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide, then you light the candle. The candle provides heat and light, and can actually keep the room above freezing, despite the outside temperatures. (Body heat would also help.) This could keep everyone from freezing to death before help arrived.

Another scenario: You are driving along the highway with the family, on icy roads and with snow falling. The snowfall turns into a blizzard and unavoidably, you find yourself stuck in a snow bank with snow rapidly covering the car. Help will probably arrive, but it might take hours before it does. You know that running the car so you can use the heater is a bad idea. You’ll soon run out of gas, and in the process, the carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and hydrogen sulfate from the engine would reach toxic levels in less than a half hour.

So you roll down the window just a little, again for ventilation, turn off the engine, and pull out the handy candle. Burning the candle can keep the compartment warm. It can also be used to heat food, if there is any (a good emergency kit will have at least some food in it). It can also be used to dry out clothing, such as socks. It can even be used to melt some snow in order to have water to drink.

In both cases, you’ve turned a potentially deadly situation into merely an inconvenient and frustrating one. Your chances of survival increase many times.

All of this is possible because of including a candle in the emergency gear. A lot of people don’t think about including one. There are many other great ways that candles can keep you safe, too, and I’ll be writing about some of them.

The question is, do you have one or two 8-hour candles in your emergency gear for the home, office and car?

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