Features to Consider when Choosing An Emergency Candle
The features to consider when choosing an emergency candle are not an everyday topic in prepping. This is apparently because no one cares much about emergency candles. I mean, why care why there’s always a bulb or flashlight to carry?
However, seasoned survivalists & preppers, if anything, have learned that the wilderness is always tricky, so preparations can never be excessive — as long as they don’t weigh you down, and candles don’t weigh much.
6 Features to Consider when Choosing An Emergency Candle
First off, in case you were wondering, emergency candles are far better than ordinary candles when it comes to prepping. An ordinary candle can burn for an average of 6 hours (and that’s about the best), while an emergency candle can burn up to 100 hours & even more. That’d make an excellent light source in SHTF scenarios that leave you with no electricity to recharge electrical light devices, don’t you think?
Anyway, enough of glorifying emergency candles; let’s see what you have to take note of to make a good choice when shopping for these essential supplies. Knowing these factors beforehand will help to ensure that you do not spend unnecessarily when shopping.
Here we go.
Type of Wax
Emergency candles are made with numerous types of wax. Various compositions are responsible for the difference in performance & appearance of these candles. It is therefore wise to know the wax type used to make a candle before buying. Since this factor plays a huge role in the burning time, smoke, odor, scent & chemical emission of a candle, it is easy to see why you should know what wax type to get.
This is the most popular wax among manufacturers due to its cheap cost. It is also called straight wax & is available in liquid and solid forms. Paraffin wax does not contain a lot of additives if compared to other wax types. It is made using synthetic materials & can be toxic. There’s also the probability of it having a smoky residue.
Soy Wax Flakes/Soy Wax
This type of wax is produced using hydrogenated soybean oil & all-natural wax. This wax type is excellent in survival candles, as it is cleaner & burns longer than paraffin. As you may expect, soy wax costs more than paraffin wax, and for a good reason.
This is also a vegetable wax, equally made with hydrogenated palm oils. Like soy wax flakes, palm wax is clean, burns for long & costs more.
Beeswax sheets are a combination of survival & aromatherapy candles. If you’ve used a candle made with beeswax before, you’d be familiar with its honey smell. Beeswax has the highest melting point among all types of wax. As a result, it burns brightest & has the warmest flame. Despite this, it is denser, burns slow & does not drip.
Miscellaneous Wax Types
There are other wax types, but they are not advisable for survival candles. Some of them are granulated wax, gel candle wax & custom blends. Look carefully at the label of products before buying.
An essential factor to consider when picking emergency candles is the duration of their burn. You have to be sure of how long a candle will burn. This will make sure you are not disappointed regarding its purpose.
For example, if you’re shopping for candles because you’re passing the night in the woods & prefer to remain in some touch with the ancestors (that is, without electrical devices), then your candle had to be able to power the tent for a minimum of 12 hours. If you’re shopping to stockpile in case of a catastrophe, then you should choose one that will last for at least 100 hours, and I don’t mean that you buy just one.
Keep in mind that power outage is common during disasters, so a capable power source is advisable — plus an emergency candle will provide you with some warmth.
A survival candle’s burning time depends considerably on its wick in relation to its size, shape & wax type. When making a choice, you’re advised to select braided, knitted & plaited fiber wicks if you are keen on long burn time & consistency. These three wick types are twisted and don’t burn fast, therefore. If these are unavailable or too costly, cotton is the best alternative. But again, if this isn’t available, you can try out paper, wooden, zinc, or tin wicks.
You may want to consider the wick count in a candle before making your choice. A candle with one wick only will provide low illumination, while one with three wicks will burn very brightly. Also, the brightness of a 3-wick candle can be adjusted.
Stability, in this context, refers to the ability of a candle to stand on its own. Candles are typically thin or wide in this regard. For your best interest, I suggest the dimensionally wide ones as they can stand very capably on their own, even if they are set up in an emergency. Some thin candles can also work fine, or they are placed well in a candle holder or lantern.
A candle that comes with usage instructions & safety precautions indicates that the manufacturer went the extra mile to ensure your safety. Keep to these precautions, notwithstanding your experience with candles. The manufacturer that decided to include these guidelines knows why. After all, they know the materials used in the production process.
Odors are not a very important consideration, except you have an asthmatic who can’t bear that particular smell. In some cases, you do not have to be asthmatic before hating an unpleasant odor. Some survival candles smell horrible because they have been made with harmful materials. Please know that not only asthmatics can’t bear unpleasant odor; anyone with respiratory issues may also be affected.
If you value good smell, you should check out scented, sweet-smelling candles.
Concluding The Features to Consider when Choosing An Emergency Candle
There are more features to consider when choosing an emergency candle, but the six above are the most important. You may also have to consider the candle soot & chemical emissions when shopping. Survival candles have great uses, and they may become a lifesaver when it matters. It is in your best interest to make an excellent choice when deciding.