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#117098 - 12/22/07 03:15 AM Oil Lamp question
Microage97 Offline
Pack Rat

Registered: 04/21/07
Posts: 138
Loc: St. Paul MN
Hello All,

Oil Lamps for a survival light source. I was at Wal-mart and they had a couple, but seemed a little cheap. Does anyone have experience with the ones at Wal-mart?

A second question, Can I use kerosene instead of lamp oil?

Even paranoids have enemies.

#117100 - 12/22/07 03:19 AM Re: Oil Lamp question [Re: Microage97]
OldBaldGuy Offline

Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 5695
Loc: Former AFB in CA, recouping fr...
Don't know about the WallyWorld ones, but an oil lamp it pretty much an oil lamp. My wife collects the damned things, back home we must have 50 of them. And yes, you can use kerosene, in fact that is what I grew up burning in the lamps/lanterns I played with as a kid...

#117111 - 12/22/07 03:38 AM Re: Oil Lamp question [Re: OldBaldGuy]
Chris Kavanaugh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/09/01
Posts: 3824
Anything from Walmart is likely chicom and cheap. Do a websearch and find Lehman's hardware and the Cumberland General Store. These folks serve the Amish communities and have the real deal. You can also buy large rolls of LAMPWICKING from SIR mailorder up in Canada. This stuff makes for marvelous native style snowshoe bindings, safe and comfortable neckknife lanyards and--- wicks for oil lamps. Please remember that any oil lamp requires good ventilation.

#117120 - 12/22/07 05:11 AM Re: Oil Lamp question [Re: Microage97]
Spiritwalker Offline

Registered: 11/16/06
Posts: 104
Wallyworld used to carry Lamplighter Farms lamps which were fairly well made but it's been 20 years since I bought a lamp there so who knows what they sell now.

Give a thought to fuel storage. A gallon of lamp oil will get you through a few days of a power outage (depending on how many lamps you're using) but if it turns into a couple weeks (like large parts of Oklahoma after their last ice storm) you'll need more and a safe place to store it.

#117136 - 12/22/07 12:07 PM Re: Oil Lamp question [Re: Spiritwalker]
bws48 Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/18/07
Posts: 830
Loc: Anne Arundel County, Maryland
There was a thread a couple of months ago on oil lamps, with some good info on use and sources of quality lamps. Kerosene is fine. If I did this right, this link should take you to that thread:
"Better is the enemy of good enough."

#117137 - 12/22/07 12:08 PM Re: Oil Lamp question [Re: Microage97]
NAro Offline

Registered: 03/15/01
Posts: 490
My buddies and I have a primitive hunting camp, and assorted propane and Coleman white gas lanterns abound. We almost always revert to the 4-5 cheap (yep, WalMart or Target) oil lamps and we use kerosene.. not more refined "lamp oil."
We appreciate the gentle, quiet light. We may have an occasional leak or problem with the kerosene lamps, but no more often than we've had with the higher-tech ones. And spares are cheap. The lamps have survived outdoors, in all weather and temperatures from well below 0 to well over 100 F. We just put a little aluminum foil cap over the open top. And the 7gal. can of kerosene (sitting in a corner) is safer by far than any other liquid fuel source.
Kerosene is available at the pump of virtually every country gas station around here. One fill of a small lamp will burn, reliably, all night. In fact we use one as a night lite because of geriatric bladders. The kerosene has other uses in our camp, too: we've used it to assist in campfire starting when we're lazy. I've used it to "degrease" a rifle disabled by frozen lubricant in sub-freezing weather.

#117143 - 12/22/07 02:16 PM Re: Oil Lamp question [Re: NAro]
DFW Offline

Registered: 09/03/07
Posts: 80
Lehmans is great, and one of the things that make them that way is they are up front about when things are "imported." I believe nearly all their oil lamps are imported now. The glass ones, anyway. They are also the best resource for replacement burners, chimneys and wicks.

I had a very inexpensive Lamplighter lamp, and found an identical one at a discount store a fews weeks ago - made in China. As much as i didn't want to buy "imported," when I took it home, any quality differences were miniscule. Glass is glass, and with so few parts there's not much to mess up.

#117144 - 12/22/07 02:26 PM Re: Oil Lamp question [Re: DFW]
Nomad Offline

Registered: 05/04/02
Posts: 471
Loc: Just wandering around.
Be careful which fuel you use. I had several kerosene devices and found that common kerosene releases some sort of irritating fumes, even in small fires. It has been almost 40 years so I won't trust my memory about the types of kerosene or the type of fumes, but do check it out.

...........From Nomad.........Been "on the road" since '97

#117156 - 12/22/07 04:25 PM Re: Oil Lamp question [Re: Nomad]
Microage97 Offline
Pack Rat

Registered: 04/21/07
Posts: 138
Loc: St. Paul MN
Thanks every of your thoughts and opinions. I am interested in using kerosene as that is what we use to heat our house here in Minnesota. We keep it a nice 75-80F, even when it is -20F outside. :-). It is reasonably cheap compared to NG in our old house.

If you use K1 grade kerosene and keep the space heaters adjusted right and dry burned when needed, no stinky fumes. A little smell at start up and shut down.

Even paranoids have enemies.

#117179 - 12/22/07 08:56 PM Re: Oil Lamp question [Re: Microage97]
benjammin Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/06/04
Posts: 4020
Loc: Anchorage AK
I really prefer paraffin oil in my glass lamps for inside the house. They burn a lot cleaner than Kerosene and I don't end up with burning eyeballs after a few hours. The oil is more expensive than Kerosene, but not so much that a couple gallons will set you back at all. I've a couple of the ones from Walmart in my collection of maybe a dozen or so. They will work okay, just stamped metal parts and glass like the rest of them. If you want fancy, go to the Lehman's site like Chris recommends and find whatever suits you.
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
-- Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)

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