Time’s running out, and if you haven’t found that hard to get person a gift yet, you could be in potential trouble!
Here’s an idea that will hopefully help. Try giving a Prepping gift, like a kerosene lamp! Wally World has a nice selection of kerosene lamps at prices that should fit into any budget. There are various decorative glass styles, but they even have the old outside barn style too.
This, with a bottle of lamp oil, would make the perfect Prepping gift without breaking the bank. The lamp oils even come in various scents if you want add a special touch.
If the time comes when it is needed in a power outage, you’ll be thanked many times over! Kerosene lamps are much safer than candles, and were used in our recent past for many years. Good common sense must prevail in their use though, as with any item that uses fire.
For a long while they were the only source of night time light that there was. The Amish still use them to light their homes to this day.
Most of the lamps come with instructions on how to trim the wick. Remind the gift recipient to pay close attention to it and do it for the best lighting results.
I love these lamps! Unfortunately, most of them are now being made in China, and, like most of us, “not what we once were!”. If you can find an older Coleman (or other brand), Made in the USA, you have found a treasure, indeed! I’d personally LOVE to have one of these, USA made, restored, as a gift any time, for any reason! As to fuel for these, yes, you can buy it at China, er..Wal-Mart, but it’s not usually the highest grade. May I suggest your local hardware store for a BIG bottle of smokeless? So much better. It will definitely cost more, but, you always get what you pay for. As to storage, they come in plastic bottles nowadays, but that plastic degrades, so, for long-term storage, you might want to find you a large, glass jar or suitable container with a tight-fitting lid and store your flammable fuel in that. I like the big old pickle jars for this, but make sure it has an original, properly fitted lid.
Lehman’s has the (blue color) Dietz Blizzard Oil Lantern on sale this month for $9.95, and they sell replacement parts for these lanterns, as well. (No, I do not work for Lehman’s and am not promoting them; I’m just sharing that they have this sale price available right now). https://www.lehmans.com/p-178-dietz-blizzard-hurricane-oil-lantern.aspx
Lehman’s also carries replacement parts, as well as KleanHut Oil lamp fuel for your prized oil lamps; “made primarily for kerosene heaters, but works great in oil lamps”: https://www.lehmans.com/p-774-kleanheat-oil-lamp-fuel.aspx
All of that said, these lamps do put out a good bit of light, and there is just something nostalgic about them, don’t you think?
Why do I always picture these aglow with a natural evergreen wreath and a big red bow?
“KleanHeat”…not “KleanHut”…GIMMMMEEEEE COFFFFEEEE!!!!!
Good response! Yes, Wally World sells allot of things from China. For a low priced Prepper gift of this nature on this short of notice before Xmas, I don’t believe you’ll find many other fast options. Yes there’s other choices. I’ve bought a few of the newer style blue Dietz lamps at the local Amish store, but those are made overseas too! Short of going to an Antique shop and finding one at a good price, I don’t rally think there are many options to get a USA made lamp and stay within a short timeframe and budget.
I have lamp oil purchased in the plastic bottles over 5 years ago that are just as solid as the day I bought them. Plastic bottles that are made to hold flammable liquids have to meet certain standards, and are quite safe. I’d trust them better than a glass jar that might fall off a shelf and break! You could buy a small plastic gas can, and fill it with kerosene (like the old days) and store it that way, but it doesn’t keep as well as the lamp oils do as they are actually a form of paraffin oil (wax).
“Xmas”? How about, CHRISTmas.
Seriously! It was used as a short cut while typing, and nothing more intended!
You know – I have a couple of these and certainly not enough fuel. This is a great reminder. Thanks you! Heading to Wally World after work to pick up more fuel and a couple more.
Outdoor Tiki Torches are useful as well. We have made some using old wine bottles and mount them to fence posts for backyard lighting. Looks awesome when all the lights are out.
Good for you Servantheart putting Christ back in Christmas! But I think we all tend to shorten it into Xmas :)
John from Iowa
I look forward to your insights and knowledge. Another idea for lighting are the antique oil lamps with the tall globes and adjustable wicks. We have several that have been handed down through our family. They are over 100 years old, but work great. Sometimes you can find them at yard sales.
Thank you for the kind comment. Yes the older lamps are very special, and some of us are fortunate enough to have a family heirloom of that type that still works. I am fortunate enough to have a couple of them, with my prized one being an Aladdin lamp. I hesitate to use it, as it has become more and more valuable as the years have passed. Parts for the older oil lamps, as well as the newer ones, are not too hard to obtain. There are several websites that have the parts, and at a reasonable price.
In all truthfulness, in a power outage, I usually use a combination of oil lamps and one or two Coleman gas lanterns. The gas lanterns are handy in the winter, as they put out quite a bit of heat, as well as light. Allot of folks hesitate to use them for fear of a fire hazard, but with common sense they can be very effective.
The latest trend seems to be the electric lanterns, which are by far safer. They do need to be recharged though, or the batteries replaced.
All in all it’s a matter of personal preference for what seems practical, safe, and sustainable.
If your going to use a kerosene lamp buy fuel in a five gallon can. Best places are Lowe’s,Home Depot, and Ace.For the best performance add one cap full of good mineral spirits to each lamp full. If you have a fat wallet you can go to a marine store and get Perko lamps These a very high end. Used them for years on my sail boat.
One thing to get that makes it easy to fill them is a battery filler from Enco. Make sure it has “O” rings that will not go bad with Kerosene. Fill up you battery filler and put it in the fill hole and push. It will stop when it’s full and no spill.Good luck. Gman
Hi Gman! Can you share with us what the mineral oil does to enhance performance of the kerosene?
By adding a cap full of “Mineral Spirits” You make it burn cleaner, less smoke, and a little brighter. You can buy “Kero-Klean” Kerosen Fuel Treatment” in Home depot. It works well.
Aladdin Lamps burn the best on High Grade Mineral Spirits sold at home depot. Do not “BUY” low grade eco mineral spirits-it’s junk milky white.
One piece of advice on wicks-trim them the shape of the burner-round them off.
Good luck. The Gman
Appreciate that Gman,
Thanks Gman! That’s great info! I’ll have to try that in my lamps!
On the possibility that someone on your house might object to “visible” supplies (like in a living room) that don’t look “nice” enough to leave in place, my local “Ace Hardware” had some brass-finished hurricane lamps (about 6-8 months or so ago, at least) that work very well and may well pass the infamous “spouse test” :)
I also recommend getting some inexpensive mirrors (bathroom mirrors, cheap framed ones, door-back full length ones, etc.) that you can prop up behind your lamps to cast more light. They work well with candles, electric lanterns, etc. as well. The cheapest IKEA full length mirror doesn’t cost much more than a roll of aluminum foil, and reflects light a lot better.
Hey! I like that aluminum foil idea for quick, easy, and cheap. I have a couple mirrors but they are not always handy for where I need the lamp sometimes. Some aluminum foil and a piece of scotch tape would be very easy to move around.
You’re very welcome, John :)
When I was a kid, my extended family in NH had a “camp” (i.e. vacation/getaway cabin). Cast-iron wood stove, hand pumps in kitchen sink and bathroom, and didn’t get electricity until I was about 12. If you wanted light after sundown, you used an (all-glass – NOT recommended) oil lamp. They were all on “improvised’ shelves in front of a mismatched collection of ‘recycled’ household mirrors. It worked.
I used to live in NH – wonderful country and I miss the mountains and the snow. The town I lived in reminded me of the TV show Twin Peak’s.
Anyways – I just saw something where an empty milk jug is used as a lantern. A flashlight is mounted pointing into the jug, taped in place – and when the flashlight is turned on lights up the whole jug.
Gonna try it.