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Thread: Who has a kerosene lantern or oil lamp?

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    Resident Wildman Wildthang's Avatar
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    Default Who has a kerosene lantern or oil lamp?

    I bought 2 kerosened lanterns last week from Amazon for $18 a piece, and they are fairly good lanterns. The directions say they will burn approximately 10 hours per tank of lamp oil or kerosene. I bought them thinking that if the grid ever fails, it would be cheaper to burn the lanterns than keep the generator powered up through the night. Or I may use them for light just to reduce the load on the generator. Either way it seemed to be a good idea. And if the generator ever fails, at least the lights wont go out.
    I keep plenty of flashlights and batteries, but there is just something about a lantern or an oil lamp that says, I will produce light no matter what happens!
    The last time our power went down, and was down 3 days, I burned the oil lamp 24 hours per day and only used about 30 ounces of oil, and it brought back old memories of my relatives in Arkansas. When dad and I would go visit them when I was a kid, that is all they had for light at night, and I thought that was cool.
    Well anyway, I think having some kerosene lanterns and an oil lamp or 2 just makes good sense for a prepper, don't you?


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    Senior Member Celticwarrior's Avatar
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    Remember to keep them WELL away from curtains, flammable materials, combustable stored fuels (including the spare kerosene or oil), and on a sturdy platform where kids and pets can't reach it, tip it over or break it.

    Even though I have a full house gen-set for emergencies, I also keep several LED lanterns with rechargable batteries (and a few solar chargers), 2 Aladdin and 1 Petromax lanterns that burn kerosene and give off a nice white light for reading or detail work, a half dozen smaller kerosene lanterns and plenty of spare wicks, probably around 8 or 9 oil lamps (I don't use 'em much because they smoke pretty bad even with the best grade of oil and wick I can buy), two Coleman duel fuel white gas/unleaded gas lanterns with spare mantles and plenty of , and a dinky 1 lb propane fueled lantern that I bought for some reason or another years ago. I have a ton of the little 1 lb cylanders so it should last a long time if I need to use it.

    Best advice I can give about the kero and oil lamps is to NOT cheap out on the grade of fuel and the wicks. They will determine whether you have a reasonable amount of light and a breathable atmosphere in your house or if you will get a weak yellow flame with little light and so much smoke the neighbors might call the fire dept to put out your house! Get the best you can afford. The lamps are just fuel recepticles and a dial for moving the wick up and down. Spend the money on the fuel and wicks and you won't be sorry.
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    Senior Member 2dumb2kwit's Avatar
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    A couple oil lamps, and a few gallons of oil will put off light for a long time.
    (Not to mention, heat many a can of soup!) LOL
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    Resident Wildman Wildthang's Avatar
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    Well CW I bought 8 feet of high quality wick, and a gallon of ultra pure lamp oil for the ones I plan on using in the house. The lantern for the pole barn is going to get kero. I read some where that the ultra pure lamp oil didn't smoke much, was that an incorrect statement?

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    Senior Member Graf's Avatar
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    I have 8 oil lamps, and 15 gallons of kerosene in gallon, qt,pint containers figured what I don't use would be great barte items. I also have extra wicks attached to my containers so they are easy to find. Another trick to do is buy tuna fish in oil (I usally by in water) anyway simply take a nail or similar item to pierce the can cover insert string light and you can burn that as a torch in a pinch. I always make sure I have Tuna in water figuring it will help hydrate but i also always have some Tuna in oil for emergency light.
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    Resident Wildman Wildthang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Graf View Post
    I have 8 oil lamps, and 15 gallons of kerosene in gallon, qt,pint containers figured what I don't use would be great barte items. I also have extra wicks attached to my containers so they are easy to find. Another trick to do is buy tuna fish in oil (I usally by in water) anyway simply take a nail or similar item to pierce the can cover insert string light and you can burn that as a torch in a pinch. I always make sure I have Tuna in water figuring it will help hydrate but i also always have some Tuna in oil for emergency light.
    Does it smell like fish while it burns

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    Resident Wildman Wildthang's Avatar
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    By the way, how long does kerosene last while being stored? I would think it last longer than gasoline!

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    I have to 2nd CW. I have heard from many old-timers that the Aladdin lamp was one of the best oil lamps ever made. An old friend who lived off grid for years had one that illuminated her cabin like a 60+ watt bulb. Never gave the wick & fuel quality much consideration, but it too makes sense.

    I always try to buy the best tool I can afford or justify for the job. I have a couple of old hand-me-down oil lamps stashed away. But with the low energy requirements for LED lighting, a small photovoltaic system used to power LED bulbs should meet most residential lighting needs for any extended outages.
    Last edited by Cast-Iron; 08-06-2012 at 01:49 PM.

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    I have most of my grandmas' kerosene lamps that were in nightly use during off-grid living. These older ones were made for that with solid brass burners. The newer lamps I had and see in the stores seem to be for "Decoration Only." The entire lamp including resevoir heat up to incredible temperatures, I didn't want to use them anymore.

    I had several Alladin lamps for my off-grid Cabin in the Woods. They give off good light but they're not cheap to feed. If not carefully watched, the mantle will carbon up and flame. Someday I hope to have Grandma's antique Alalladins.

    I have a couple of old Made in USA Carbide lanterns. Acetylene puts out incredible light! I'm not sure if it's safe to use indoors and carbide is not easy to aquire on the West Coast.

    My experience with "Lamp Oil" is it's gooey and gunks up the lamps. It doesn't store well, either. I think it's made exclusively for those Decorator Lamps.

    Not many places to buy bulk kerosene these days. Refined kerosene in cans from the paint section at the hardware store is good stuff, but expensive. Off-road diesel is used around here, but it's best if you run it through really good filters first.

    To maximize light from any source, use mirrors under and behind to reflect the light around the room.

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    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    For a bunch of "survivalists" you guys are sure picky.

    Just open that can of sardines and light one up!

    I do not remember the old country stores have two or three grades of kero available. You burned what you got.

    Smoking lanterns are due to not trimming your wicks properly or burning the flame too high. I am sure super foul fuel would do it but I have never purchased any kero I could not make burn properly in my lamps.

    Kero, as far as I can tell, does not go bad from storage, at least not in this lifetime.
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    Yes I keep two of the Coleman lanterns around for power outages and a dozen 1lbs bottles

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    Senior Member Celticwarrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildthang View Post
    Well CW I bought 8 feet of high quality wick, and a gallon of ultra pure lamp oil for the ones I plan on using in the house. The lantern for the pole barn is going to get kero. I read some where that the ultra pure lamp oil didn't smoke much, was that an incorrect statement?
    Oil will smoke more than kero, for the most part, but the ultra pure is the best you are going to get. Trim the wicks and make sure you clean your glass as often as is practical to get a good amount of light. Old timers used to put the lamp on a desk or table against the wall with a mirror behind it so it would throw off more diffused light into the room. That also works for long hallways. A lit lamp on a table at one end with a mirror sends light down the hall without having to carry the lamp with you. (Walking around with fire is asking for trouble. Most house fires in the 18th and 19th centuries were due to open flame light sources like candles and lamps. Nothing you want less in a disaster or SHTF scenario than to burn down your home on top of everything else!
    "A free citizenry should never abide a government that seeks control over it's people rather than service to them"

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    Here are a few that I have.

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    Senior Member tjwilhelm's Avatar
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    I have six Aladdin mantle-style lamps. I love 'em! I did NOT pay full price, either. You can find them being auctioned all over EBay for well below retail. They're used; but, easily refurbished. Lehman's has spare parts, and spare parts are also available "NIB" on EBay.

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    Senior Member randyt's Avatar
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    I have a few Aladdin lamps and heaters and a petromax lantern. A few cold blast and hot blast lanterns. I would like to get the deitz model that runs 20 hours on a fill up. I keep kerosene on hand. I like kerosene for those times that a little light is needed.

    I have heard but have not verified the following. To purify or further refine kerosene, mix a pound or so of lime into five gallons of kerosene. Shake it up now and then, let settle and decant the kerosene off the top.

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    Nice collection there Crash. We have a couple old Dietz lanterns here that were passed down to me by my folks. Also have one of the Colman pump up gas models. As I have a bulk kerosene supplier close by I use the Dietz alot more then the Colmen. (mine don't burn for 20 hrs on a fill. More like 10 or 12)The Colman gas has gotten a bit on the pricy side even though the lantern puts out more light. I try to keep a couple of 5 gal cans of kerosene on hand just in case or more often when I'm going after night catfish. As long as the wick is trimed properly we don't have a smoke problem. Btw Yes 10 gals of kerosene makes alot of light.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kyratshooter View Post
    For a bunch of "survivalists" you guys are sure picky.

    Just open that can of sardines and light one up!

    I do not remember the old country stores have two or three grades of kero available. You burned what you got.

    Smoking lanterns are due to not trimming your wicks properly or burning the flame too high. I am sure super foul fuel would do it but I have never purchased any kero I could not make burn properly in my lamps.

    Kero, as far as I can tell, does not go bad from storage, at least not in this lifetime.
    True survivalist get up at daybreak and go to bed at dark. Light is a convenience, not a neccessity.

    Kerosene is highly refined diesel, and like all petroleum products it breaks down and burns badly. I have some old stuff in my lamps right now. I haven't had to burn lamps for for quite a few years. It is no longer clear. It's yellow and smokes badly and it's not the wicks. I need to dump it and start fresh, clean the burners and wicks before winter.

    It wouldn't matter to people who only burn it occasionally and for short durations, but those of us who used kero lamps every night for years, the stronger smell and soot can be a problem.

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    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    I do like the oil/kerosene type lamps. As you say - the single and double mantle lanterns put out a lot more light, but IMO kind of spoil the evening mood when that much light just isn't needed.
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    Senior Member randyt's Avatar
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    sometimes my memory does not serve me well LOL. Here's a link to the air pilot, I was thinking 20 hours of run time but actually it runs 27 hours on a fill up.

    http://www.lanternnet.com/Merchant2/...tegory_Code=DL

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    Senior Member randyt's Avatar
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    here's a photo of my Aladdin lamp in a wall trammel.


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