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Scorpion oil lamp: The Archaic Smokeless Fire

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The aperatus is simple, a shallow pottery bowl,
a handfull of fine gravel,four stones fashioned to
look like a scorpion,one or more wicks
(red belt bracket)and enough oil to fill the bowl.
Used for cooking,heating,and ligthing,the Scorpion motif is a powerful survival tool.without
the poisonous smoke of a wood fire,you can
heat the inside of a snow shelter or tent.Also
known as a kudlijk(Eskimo oil stove)they were used for tens of centuries for survival.I carry one in my pack. Less than two pounds, its not a
burden to carry.One pint of oil can burn from
4 to 60 hours depending on the number of wicks
How many tons of wood does it take to burn a
fire for 60 hours?If you are in a small shelter,
chances are a wood fire wont be! when I am
serious about getting warm,i use the smokeless

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  1. bulrush's Avatar
    The reason all oil lamp bowls are shallow is because the oil does not travel far up the wick. I wonder why if this is the reason why kerosene was invented. So the fuel holder can be taller, and the wick can be lit longer.
  2. erunkiswldrnssurvival's Avatar
    Thats exactly correct. The fine gravel helps heat the oil
    to further thinn it out. the wick material is also a factor in how the oil rises and burns.The most efficient oil i have found is calendine seed oil (this plant also used for yellow die)
  3. bulrush's Avatar
    Ah, I never thought about a better wick material. I was using store-bought cotton wicks for my oil lamp studies.

    What is calendine seed oil? Never heard of it. Do you have to get it at a health food store? Or online?
  4. erunkiswldrnssurvival's Avatar
    The Pores of the Red Belt Bracket fungus makes the best
    wick.second best is Jute fiber,(jute twine).cotton is third.
    Calendine is a wild mustard like plant,the tiny seeds are ringing wet with oil, Calendine oil is non-viscous and free flowing. available only in nature,A suitable replacement(that you can buy), is cold pressed virgin olive oil,or walnut oil.
  5. Cousin-IT's Avatar
    could you explain the physics and science side of it all.... i have no idea how to make this kinda stuff work. at all