Survival School: A Little Illumination

5277746682_653900fe81When you’re engaged in the tricky business of survival, there may be times when building a fire simply isn’t possible. Could be a lack of wood to burn, or fear of attracting unwanted attention from the undead. Either way, humans are not built to see in the dark and batteries will only get you so far after you’ve abandoned your homes in search for a safe haven. Candles are an ideal way to light your way in the dark. They aren’t too hard to make, either. Homemade candles allow you to create something that’ll fit perfectly in your go bags without sacrificing room for your Oreos and beef jerky.


Below, we’ve included instructions for a basic candle. Be extremely cautious when handling hot wax. Use utensils and pots you don’t care about (we suggest snagging cheap items from a discount store). Wax doesn’t clean off easily.


What You’ll Need:

  • Soy wax flakes or a block of beeswax
  • Wick (make sure they’re longer than your container.)
  • Containers (can be just about anything that won’t melt with the hot wax – mason jars, Altoid tins, old glass/porcelain cups, etc.)
  • Pitcher with spout or a funnel
  • Fragrance oil (10-15 drops per 5.5 ounces of wax) Use cinnamon, eucalyptus, or citronella to keep biting bugs away. (Note: this does not include zombies.)
  • Popsicle sticks (with a hole in the middle), chopsticks, pencil–something to hold the wick straight.


How to Make a Candle:

  1. Melt soy wax flakes or beeswax in a double boiler.
  2. Once the wax completely melted, set your pot aside to cool for a little bit.
  3. Add essential oils.
  4. Dip metal wick base in wax and set into the container. The wax will “glue” the base in place.
  5. Carefully pour wax into containers with funnel or transfer wax to a pitcher and pour.
  6. Thread wick with Popsicle stick or tie around pencil/chopstick, and let the candle cool for a few hours until solid.
  7. Once the wax is completely set, trim wicks, leaving about ΒΌ of an inch above the wax.


Ta-da! Simple and easy. If you add the right essential oils, these candles will be another line of defense against bugs and the boogeyman.