Lanterns, Light and Kerosene vs. Oil

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Lanterns, Light and Kerosene vs. Oil

Post by Rock2Fox » Mon Mar 31, 2008 10:53 pm

So I used the search function and...shocker...it didn't produce too much. But at least I tried it first.

So the reasonable survivalist most likely wants a backup light source that is low-tech. I try to model myself after such a reasonably prudent survivalist and went to wal-mart and picked up a few liters of kerosene and one of those crappy 1.99 kerosene "hurricane" lanterns by Dietz. I brought the lantern home and the damn handle was so flimsy it was coming off, so I returned it and bought a "tougher" brass hurricane lantern off the internet. By the time that arrived in the mail it was bent to shit (because it was made of the same material as the wal-mart brand, only costing $24.99). I returned that. Now I have three liters of kerosene that are pretty useless outside of bbq'ing small animals or simulating the Burning Man in my backyard (I can't make it to Black Rock).

What type/ brand of kerosene lantern has been proven to be sturdy?

Also, what is the general consensus about a kerosene lanterns vs. oil lamps? Which is better? (better = relative to whatever, or better in your opinion)?

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Post by Enter_Narne » Mon Mar 31, 2008 11:42 pm

I like oil lamps. Here's why.

Oil Lamps
Advantages:
Add as many wicks as you like for more light [like newwik]
Fuel is edible and carries lots of calories
You can meter out the fuel you will use [you can use a small amount so that if forgotten the lamp puts itself out]
Can be made from common parts instead of dedicated units
You can find more fuel easily

Disadvantages:
Fuel can spill



Sunflower Oil (pressed from seeds): Equals or passes olive oil in nutrients.
-Food Ingredient
-Cooking Spray: so foods don't stick to cookware
-Frying Oil
-Dipping Oil: i.e. dip bread in it as a snack
-Lamp or Torch Fuel
-Fire Starter: a clear liquid in a clear container, even a balloon or condom, can focus the sun's rays to start a fire like a magnifying glass.
-Lubricant: for blades, hinges,... even in the bedroom.
-Leather Conditioner and Water-Treatment for leather
-Regurgitation Aid: if vomiting is required.
-Sweat Proof Face Paint: when mixed with ashes and soot.
-Liquid Soap: when mixed with lye from white ashes. Boil white ashes in water. Let water boil away leaving Lye. Mix oil with lye to make liquid soap.
-Skin Moisturizer
-Shaving Oil
-Bio-Diesel: A byproduct of bio-diesel is glycerin which is used in soap and other products.

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Post by PHMadness » Tue Apr 01, 2008 12:09 am

I really like the Aladdin oil lamps. They aren't cheap, but they work well. They use a mantle instead of a wick and put out light like no ones business.

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Post by Yaivenov » Tue Apr 01, 2008 5:41 am

I dunno anything about lamps, I just picked up one of those basic red cold-blast kerosene lanterns from sportsmans. Not the best thing in the world (had to epoxy around the seam of the fuel tank because of a leak) but it works, and the handle doesn't seem to be coming off like you were saying.
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Post by bonanacrom » Tue Apr 01, 2008 9:25 am

I have oil lamps as main,as backup I'am looking at grease lamps ( I beleve they were called betty lamps) If things go real bad I'll be doing more hunting so useing the fat I normaly would'nt is free.
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Post by raptor » Tue Apr 01, 2008 9:38 am

Finding Good quality oil lamps is difficult since the demand is not great. but the marine world still has them and I actually have 3 on my boat albeit for charm but they are functional. Most are gimballed (so they will stay upright as the boat rocks & rolls) and designed to be wall mounted.

Weems & Plath makes many models though. Here is a link:

http://www.weems-plath.com/cgi-bin/show ... Number=718

However Coleman makes a 1 mantle kerosene lamp that is about half the cost of the Weems and Plath units but is Coleman lamp ugly (in a PAW who gives a shit about style though!). These are the usual Coleman quality and puts about the same as a 4 0 or 60 watt light bulb.

http://www.campingcomfortably.com/colem ... ntern.html

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Post by crypto » Tue Apr 01, 2008 10:19 am

If things get bad enough that you're hunting for survival you'll be rendering the fat into grease to eat, and grinding bones for meal.
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Post by thorian » Tue Apr 01, 2008 12:32 pm

I have an old Fuier Hand lamp that was a copy of the old Dietz but made in west germany. It puts out about 10cp and burns clean.

Dietz used to be a good brand but the chicom crap that you get today is just that crap.

Sportsmans guide had 2 petromax lanterns in a wooden box last year. Petromax makes one hell of a lantern. although the price has doubled since last I saw it.



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Post by FelixArchon » Tue Apr 01, 2008 12:50 pm

Big Lots has hurricane lanterns for about $4; I bought about 10 of them a while back to light my yard for a party (they were cheaper than tiki-torches), and all of them still work fine. They're not very heavily built, but neither are they falling apart, even after being outside for several Las Vegas summers and winters. Of course, there's not a lot on them to break...

They're not overly bright, but they continue to burn the shitty two-year old kerosene I have.

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Post by raptor » Tue Apr 01, 2008 12:52 pm

thorian wrote: Sportsmans guide had 2 petromax lanterns in a wooden box last year. Petromax makes one hell of a lantern. although the price has doubled since last I saw it.



http://www.sportsmansguide.com/net/cb/cb.aspx?a=426476
Those look like a good quality product but jeez they are expensive. have you ever ever used one of these?

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Post by derajer » Tue Apr 01, 2008 4:40 pm

Buy both, they're actually pretty similar any way. I do prefer oil lamps since they burn a little cleaner with less odor. Also, oil lamps will run on many different typs of oil. Kerosene is also good for running portable stoves or heaters as well. Finally, consider antique and flea markets as you may be able to find a quality lamp for cheap.
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Post by Famine » Tue Apr 01, 2008 5:03 pm

I have one hurricane lantern of my own. The rest of the emergency lights we have are oil lamps, tiki torches (which share the same fuel as my hurricane lantern), and flashlights and Coleman lanterns.

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Post by EJ » Tue Apr 01, 2008 11:39 pm

I happen to collect vintage camping gear so this is a topic near and dear to me. For a PAW situation - dietz-style cold-blast lanterns are cheap, plentiful, and safe. Lehmans has genuine Dietz, repair parts, and a bunch of knockoffs (i bought about 6 a while back).

Aladdins are gorgeous and fairly fuel-efficient, but expensive and fragile - not really portable. Old Rayo and B&H lamps put out a lot of light (and heat), are cheap, last forever (my 'user' is 100 years old).

Pressure lanterns, however, put out WAY more light for the amount of fuel they burn. By these, I mean the ones you pump up.

Petromax are gorgeous, are the king or the european models, will burn most anything since they have adjustable fuel-air mixture settings. A variety of knockoffs are available. A cheap one is at http://www.oldtownyucca.com/coleman/sales/acc.htm

However, they are a bit tough to light. The joke among collectors is "Step 1: Light up your Coleman lantern so you can see what you're doing..."

So with that in mind, I highly recommend Colemans. I must have 20 of them. They are dirt cheap at flea markets, infinitely rebuildable, and safe. If you look hard you'll find some (even new) that are designed to run off Kerosene (www.coleman.com will sell you these online). There are also models that are multi-fuel/dual fuel. I like the 236/237 series if you can find them. Any pressure lantern needing kerosene needs a way to preheat the generator. Gasoline and naptha (coleman fuel, aka white gas) will light without preheating. Even the ones designed for regular coleman fuel will burn gasoline just fine, though the generators don't last as long.

Complete rebuilding instructions for Colemans are at the site I linked above.

I would not suggest propane since the canisters are expensive and heavy, and would be harder to find, i think, than other fuels in a shortage.

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Post by crypto » Tue Apr 01, 2008 11:54 pm

Are there any bright lanterns that dont involve those ridiculously fragile ash mantles?

Jesus those things annoy the crap out of me. Every time I move the lantern or take it on a trip I need a new one.
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Post by EJ » Wed Apr 02, 2008 12:31 am

Not that I'm aware of. But try this trick - spray the mantles with hair spray before you move/pack them. it stiffens them up but the spray burns off when you use it.

The Northstar lantern is tied at both the top and bottom (and a kit is available to convert Petromaxes) so with this arrangement, the mantle is much better supported.

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Post by milesdzyn » Wed Apr 02, 2008 1:36 am

I have a small oil lamp for when I don't need a lot of light, but my main light is a Petromax 500CP. I've got the original military version which is matt finished with the alcohol conversion kit in metal storage container.

Multi Fuel Petromax Lantern:
400 Watts of light, 500 Candle Power
8-12 Hours burn time Per Tank full (quart) of Kerosene.
16" Tall x 6-3/4" Wide at base.

Petromax lanterns run on a variety of fuels - kerosene, alcohol-based fuels, mineral spirits, citronella oil, gasoline, diesel oil, vegetable oil & almost every flammable fuel available.

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Post by Rock2Fox » Wed Apr 02, 2008 7:20 am

Those Petromax lanterns are fairly expensive. Are they worth the minimum $150 investment? Plus, the mantles are about 5x as expensive as the little wicks you put in the hurricane lamps. I guess you get what you pay for though.
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Post by thorian » Wed Apr 02, 2008 11:54 am

The real deal petromax is worth it IMHO simply because like the duce and a half it will run on anything flammable. and you can cook on them

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Re: Lanterns, Light and Kerosene vs. Oil

Post by Dakyla » Tue Nov 06, 2018 9:37 am

This is seemingly an old thread, but I'll add my two cents.


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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Re: Lanterns, Light and Kerosene vs. Oil

Post by majorhavoc » Tue Nov 06, 2018 11:07 am

Dakyla wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 9:37 am
This is seemingly an old thread, but I'll add my two cents.


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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Re: Lanterns, Light and Kerosene vs. Oil

Post by MPMalloy » Thu Nov 08, 2018 2:11 am

I have a few candles, but no lamps. I looked at it & decided that the fire risk is not worth it. I live in multi-family housing (apartment building) & I'm pretty sure that in a PAW-something, others in this building might not be so safety-minded. Someday I might have to grab the cat & run for our lives. :(

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Re: Lanterns, Light and Kerosene vs. Oil

Post by absinthe beginner » Thu Nov 08, 2018 8:23 pm

I'm partial to German-made Feuerhand lanterns (factory seconds). For the price ($29.97) you can't go wrong.

https://www.vermontlanterns.com/content ... actory-2nd

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Re: Lanterns, Light and Kerosene vs. Oil

Post by gary83 » Mon Nov 19, 2018 2:30 am

I have Feuerhand and Dietz lanterns. They are of good quality and well made.

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