7 Improvised Light SourcesDecember 20, 2013 by Melanie Swick | Be the first to comment »
Darkness can be deadly, so the ability to create light is a vital survival skill. It helps you to look for things, avoid stumbling over logs, or even signal for help.
But you might not always have a flashlight handy, or your batteries may die, so it’s important that you know how to improvise a light source.
Whether at home without power, or trekking through the wild, you probably have many more resources available than you realize; you just need to know how to turn everyday materials into a light source. These techniques are simple, but I still advise practicing them before you need them.
Nearly everyone has a can of shortening in the pantry, and with the addition of a wick, you can create a candle that will burn for up to 30 days. The only critical detail is that the wick must be a natural material, such as cotton, jute, cardboard, etc.
Making a torch is simple; wrap natural cloth, rope, or fibers around a long stick, soak the end in a fuel, such as kerosine, oil, or even animal fat, and light it. This low-tech light source is great for illuminating your path and keeping predators at bay.
Beer can lantern
All you need to make this improvised lantern is a beer or soda can, a wick, and oil. Simply cut the can in half, fill the bottom with oil, soak the wick thoroughly, then feed it through the top and slide the two halves of the can together.
Solar yard light
If your yard is decorated with solar yard lights, then you have a simple, inexpensive way to keep your home lit when power is out—plus, you can recharge them by simply placing them back in the sun during the day.
Most people today have a smartphone and while the screen alone is bright enough to produce adequate illumination, most have a built in flashlight (provided by the camera flash) that can easily light up a dark room.
If you have kids, you have crayons. In an emergency, these make handy candles that will burn for about ten minutes each, and as a bonus, the kiddos will think it’s really cool, so they’re more likely to stick around and watch them flicker rather than run around in the dark and get hurt.
Headlamps are incredibly useful, but can be a pain in a group setting because people inevitably end up blinding each other with them. A better option is to turn it inward and wrap the strap around a gallon of water, which provides area, rather than point illumination.