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Old 11-16-2012, 06:49 AM
Keysersoeze Keysersoeze is offline
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Default Short-Term Light and Heat



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The power went out at 3AM this morning. It was 24 degrees outside - which is about 20-40 degrees warmer than it might be in 2-3 months, here, at 4AM.

Now, as I've noted elsewhere, I'm fairly new to prepping in any sense other than mental. I've dealt with food and security first...

...but as I piled on blankets, I thought "time to look into heat and light".

I have a flashlight, of course. Candles (and lots and lots of wood matches) and a Cobb Grill (for cooking more than heat) are on my short-term list. A wood/corncob stove (and the installation) and hopefully a bucket of soy wax and a big reel of wick fiber and *maaaaaaybe* a generator are in my long-term plans.

But I thought I'd drop a line to troll for other ideas for providing reliable short-term light and heat on a budget during things like power outages and emergencies.
Old 11-16-2012, 06:54 AM
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For heat, as you already have a wood stove, I'd say an axe and a saw.
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Old 11-16-2012, 06:56 AM
Keysersoeze Keysersoeze is offline
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Don't have the wood stove yet. I do, however, have an axe and a saw.

(check)
Old 11-16-2012, 06:57 AM
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LED flashlights. Brighter, last longer.

You can get a package of six 5-hour emergency candles from the Dollar store. They do last 5 hours, and at that price you can't not get some. I've got 30 packages of them, plus one in each emergency car kit.

Others have had success with holiday candles bought cheap following Christmas, or with some religious candles.

I also have some strings of LED Christmas lights; they draw almost no power and if you're running a generator or drawing power from a small inverter, in a car or attached to a car battery, they're great.

There are other options but these are the cheapest I know, and since you said you're on a budget, they should do.


For heat, a small propane heater, run off a bottle, would probably be cheapest.


But if it's short-term you're planning on, just bundle up. Heat doesn't go away immediately; it takes hours before a building will cool down enough to be serious.
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Old 11-16-2012, 07:11 AM
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For short-term and budget:

Turn on water at a drip so your pipes hopefully do not freeze.

Think in terms of keeping yourself warm, and light for the room you are in. As noted above, bundling up works (wear a hat), as do things like sharing a bed, couch, whatever with anyone else in the house--even if it is just a dog or cat. We have wool blankets and winter camping gear, including good sleeping bags designed for winter use, although in a short-term situation, I think regular quilts and so on would be fine.

For light, I have a couple of crank/solar lanterns, and a couple of Eton crank/solar flashlight & radio combos. I also picked up a few strands of inexpensive battery powered LED holiday lights. They're cheerful, and provide a good mood boost. I also have candles, but with a kid and pets, tend to prefer things that do not pose a fire hazard

It is also nice to have a way to heat some water for coffee, tea, soup. You'll feel warmer, IME. I have a folding stove and Sterno-type cans that are safe to use inside, and were very inexpensive.
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Old 11-16-2012, 07:16 AM
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Also, when you mentioned food and security, do you have some water on hand? Power loss might mean that your water eventually goes too.
Old 11-16-2012, 07:21 AM
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All,

I should point out that I live up up north - but I grew up even farther north. Cold-weather survival is nothing new to me. So things like bundling up, lighting a candle, find some body heat - that's all second nature. Growing up in the Dakotas, you learn how to survive things like being stranded in your car in a blizzard when you learn how to drive (I always carry blankets, water, matches, candles, snickers bars and at least one handgun when I travel in winter). And power outages are not infrequent here - although they're usually in the summer - so I do know about protecting my pipes. But thanks - it's useful stuff for others, no doubt.

I was looking more for short-to-mid-term household heat and light. The solar/crank LEDs, the LED Christmas lights, the propane and/or sterno stove and the Dollar Store candles are all going right on my list.

Thanks. That's a good start.
Old 11-16-2012, 07:22 AM
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Awka: Yes, I have water. I need more - I have probably a week's worth, although that's really three days, since my daughter still lives here.

But yes. I have water. And soon I'll have a *lot* more.
Old 11-16-2012, 07:46 AM
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From a solar perspective (which works well in my Phoenix area), I have several hand crank/solar lights but you might also want to look at a solar oven. I was reading one of the Sandy threads and someone said one of the best things they had was a Goal Zero 150 that was worth its weight in gold. Personally, I'm looking at solar ovens and Goal Zero for my solar options.

Good luck!!

Goal Zero Solar
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Old 11-16-2012, 07:55 AM
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You really should strongly consider stretching your budget and buying a wood stove, given what you say. I know that money is tight, but having a stove and wood goes a long way in making you and your family more secure in the event of a power outage.
Maybe consider a solid mass stove over a regular wood burner as well as much more efficient in burning and you would use much less wood to heat.
Old 11-16-2012, 08:02 AM
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At Swap Meets, you can still find White Gas Dual-Mantle Coleman Lanterns, and the Propane Cylinder fueled versions are still sold. I use One Dual-Mantle Propane Lantern for Quick Heat and Light in My Coleman Tent Trailer...One of those at Full Chat will warm the entire 8X24 Foot Tent-Camper, as I get up and get dressed to go out Hunting. Fairly Miserly on the propane, too!

If you are Caved-Up in One Room, it will provide a lot of Light and Heat, without using too much Air...
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Old 11-16-2012, 08:27 AM
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If you're worried about candles being a fire hazard, set each one in a wide mouth 1/2 pint canning jar. There are solar lids to put screw a canning jar and they put out a lot of light and no fire hazard, available on ebay.
Old 11-16-2012, 08:42 AM
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I said the solar canning jar lights put out a lot of light, actually about equal to a candle but useful for a night light. We use them in the baby's room and each bathroom. If the power goes out during the night there is always a light on. Only drawback, there has to be sufficient sunlight to charge the battery and you must set them in the sun every day to keep up the charge.
Old 11-16-2012, 09:52 AM
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Get a Deitz lantern. They burn lamp oil, kerosene, or biodiesel. Extra wicks.

They throw off light and heat. Consolidate to one bedroom, seal off windows from drafts and cold. Cover up 'n ride it out.
Old 11-16-2012, 10:10 AM
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Solar yardlights
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:14 AM
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I have a kerosene heater, plenty of candles and been picking up and refurbishing old Coleman lanterns found at the local flea markets.
I also have gas heat and a generator with plenty of gas on hand. To insure I have a a backup "backup plan", I started looking into a ventless propane heater because a good multi-fuel (coal, wood, etc) stove is just not in the budget right now.
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Old 11-16-2012, 11:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sachson View Post
Get a Deitz lantern. They burn lamp oil, kerosene, or biodiesel. Extra wicks.

They throw off light and heat. Consolidate to one bedroom, seal off windows from drafts and cold. Cover up 'n ride it out.
with extra batteries for your carbon monoxide detector.
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Old 11-16-2012, 12:31 PM
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Forget open flames for short-term light & heat - no matter how careful you think you are they remain major fire hazards.

One thing I've noticed visiting historical homesteads is that the oil-fueled lamps are always in fixed positions, up high on the wall (nobody set them on a table where they could be knocked-over)

Stick with LED lights and maybe a propane catalytic heater (e.g. "Mr. Buddy") to heat a small room.
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Old 11-16-2012, 01:00 PM
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Big Buddy propane heater. it also has a battery fan for circulating the heat. mine was under $100 on sale.
small led lanterns. last many hours on 'aa' batteries. i got 3 of them for under $20 a couple of yeas ago.
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Old 11-16-2012, 02:26 PM
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Propane or kerosene heater and a CO detector. Store up enough kerosene to get you through whatever scenario you think most appropriate for your area. I'd say two weeks worth at least. For me, two weeks is about 14 gallons. Be sure to have good cross-ventilation if you choose kerosene or propane to heat your home.

Candles are great for mood lighting, but aren't too wonderful when you try to read by them. Maybe think about getting a cheap kerosene or oil lamp. They do take some getting used to, and you WILL need extra mantles. Don't feel bad if you break a few - everyone does.

Good luck!
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