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#88712 - 03/18/07 09:47 PM Re: Lanterns .. [Re: Hike4Fun]
frenchy Offline

Registered: 12/18/02
Posts: 1320
Loc: France
yes, I agree with you on all points.

Oil lamps can be dangerous. I have only one decorative lamp ; its design make it quite stable, but anyway the rare times I use it, I keep it under close watch.

Candles : I have a small stock, including a few emergency candles (by coghlan).

I would be tempted by trying an Aladdin lamp, but they don't seem to be available here.

#88767 - 03/19/07 03:25 AM Re: Lanterns .. [Re: frenchy]
wildman800 Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/09/06
Posts: 2828
Loc: La-USA
For short term lighting needs, I use 6 volt batteries, a pigtail, and 6 vdc flashlight lamps. This rig can all be acquired at your local neighborhood hardware store. The 6 vdc lamp puts out sufficient light for playing cards around a table, light in the bathroom, night light for the kids to go to sleep by. The battery last approx 24 hrs in total.

For longer term events, I use Hurricane Lamps (coal oil), Coleman white gas lantern (pump type, uses the same fuel as my Coleman stoves), Coleman propane lantern, and my gas generator (plugged into my main breaker panel) which will light up a couple of rooms while I'm cooling down my refrigerators and freezer.

I also maintain a rotated supply of different sized batteries for flashlights and small handheld electronic games (keeps the kids occupied)

There is still the supply of candles for long term lighting when all the other options have been exhausted.
The best luck is what you make yourself!

#88803 - 03/19/07 03:23 PM Re: Lanterns .. [Re: frenchy]
OldBaldGuy Offline

Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 5695
Loc: Former AFB in CA, recouping fr...
I have always been a fan of Coleman lanters. I used to have about a dozen of them, but when the ex and I split they had to stay, and have probably been added to the big fire I am sure she had, burning anything around that was "me." Coleman fuel is widely available, and if unopened has a long shelf life (and opened also, from my experience). Always have a handful of spare mantels available, and a spare generator (for your model lantern). Those are about the only two things that ever need replacing on a Coleman. Put a little oil on the pump leather (or rubber on the newer models I believe), and you are always good to go. New Colemans can be expensive, but if you drive around on weekend mornings, looking for that familiar Coleman green (or red for a really old one), you can usually find one for $10 or so. A dual fuel model would seem to offer a better selection of available fuels, but I have never had one of those. You can buy a reflector that attaches, and blocks about half of the globe, thereby directing most of the light in one direction, which can be handy sometimes.

My wife collects kerosene lamps, they always have fuel in them, and we always keep some spare fuel around for them also, just in case. They are a tad more dangerous (tip over can equal fire), but all of our kids are grown and gone, and we haven't reached the age where we might fall over with the walker and crash into a lantern.

We also have a couple of battery (D and AA size) lanterns, mainly for the fast start-up they offer. They will give us the light needed to fire up the big boys...

#88862 - 03/20/07 04:45 AM Re: Lanterns .. [Re: frenchy]

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 1852
if you live in an apartment i would stick to campinggaz
cartridges or battery power because of the danger to the
rest of the people around you..
in your own home where you are just a danger to yourself and
not others i would--and do--have all three "open flame"
methods of lighting each to fit with a different need..
a coleman lamp with a reflector for using outside or when
i would needs lots of bright steady light..a "barn lamp"
that burns refined kero as to not give off too much of a
stink and would be used at a low setting for lighting
rooms that are well enought known that we could move around
in and thru them without bumping into things..and candles..
i keep a couple boxs of "vardag" candles from Ikea put away
and another box that keep in my den for "mood" lighting..i
also keep the stubs for my camping fire lighting kit..
don't get the flat little candles in the tin tubs..you will
end up with a little tub of hot wax that can't be moved around.
a Vardag will burn for 6 hours and in a blackout having a bit
of light in more than one room would be a psychology "upper".
a candle will go out if it falls over which is very unlikely
if you get a good,low base holder and keep them on an open
table...the flashlights are for seeking things out and walking
around..another good candle lamp is the UCO..it has a spring
to push up the candle and will burn for up to 8 hours..but
they need a candle that is made just to fit that lamp..and
the beeswax people make candles to fit..i use one on canoe
trips and it puts out enought light to make a camp site feel
lite up in the total dark of the wilderness..
if you web search for "old town yucca" you will find a site
that has all the parts you need to repair coleman stoves and
lamps...i'll finish by tell you that coleman gas lamps can
be a trick to light..you need practice and a good long match
and FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS ON THE LAMP..other wise you will
get a "WOOF" and not a nice "hissssssss"..

THIS GIZMO...fits on top of a coleman lamp..you remove the
vent and screw this on..it will heat up a can of beans but
it takes almost 20 minutes to boil water--which is probley
why they don't make them anymore..but they can be found at
yard sales and on Ebay..yes i did try it out and yes i did
leave it on one of my lamps as a back-up source of cooking

Edited by CANOEDOGS (03/20/07 05:01 AM)
Edit Reason: add photo

#88993 - 03/21/07 08:12 AM Re: Lanterns .. [Re: wildman800]
wildman800 Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/09/06
Posts: 2828
Loc: La-USA
Another source of home lighting that I forgot to mention; the solar powered sidewalk lights. I have 6 of them and if the power goes out, I separate the lamp from the rest of the assembly, turn it upside down, and it provides a little light for a room. It will make a great night light for the kids and sufficient light to use the bathroom with. The next morning, we reassemble them and put them back out (in the backyard), and let them recharge.
The best luck is what you make yourself!

#89115 - 03/22/07 03:55 AM Re: Lanterns .. [Re: wildman800]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2918
Loc: Alberta, Canada
This is a valuable discussion.

But: I have to say that my hair stands on end at the (apparently) casual suggestion that gasoline and propane appliances be used indoors. These are inherently dangerous items, both for flash fire/explosion and carbon monoxide.

So, allow me to caution the inexperienced: a gasoline or propane flash fire could easily rob you of your primary shelter and survival stores, and leave you with serious burns and smoke inhalation. In a long term survival scenario, this would be a catastrophic event.

If used indoors, gas/propane appliances must be constantly supervised, and fire control plans must be ready. Personally, I would want an extinguisher, sand/dirt bucket, a fire blanket if possible, and a long-handled spade to reach the lantern or stove with. I would probably put them near an easily-opened window or door, so I could pitch the flaming item into the yard before it blew a gasket.

More likely, though, I would use the item (a stove, at least) outside if at all possible.

Hurricane lanterns and candles are somewhat safer (in my experience), but still demand a healthy dose of respect/paranoia. They must be placed and secured in a location where they will not light other items on fire in the event of a mistake. For example, you could set them on a large kitchen table, or even on the stove, in an item such as the broiling pan from your oven. There must be a non-flammable insulator or heat-dissipating air space between the pan and the table -- glass coasters or china plates, for example. Or, you could fill the pan with sand/dirt as a heat shield and fuel absorbent.

If you go the kerosene route (which is safer to use and store) also get a multi-fuel backpacking stove that can use the same fuel.

The safest and most reliable lighting source, hands down, is battery-powered lighting. LED headlamps for everybody, and some bright, high quality LED flashlights or spotlights as backup. Lay in some decent rechargeable batteries and a solar (PV) panel for charging, and you're set for months.

If you need other rechargeables in a pinch, you can take apart your cordless drill batteries (NiCd C-cells, average 1.2 volts each) or laptop battery packs (lithium ion cells, average 3.6 volts each). You can use the cordless drill as a recharger -- it's a permanent magnet motor, making it a passable DC generator. Improvise a crank (very hard work) or rig up an exercise bike (much more effective) and attach to the chuck by whatever means you can. You may also have to open the case to bypass the reverse discharge diode and (possibly) the variable-speed circuit, but this is simple stuff to do.

[EDIT: Phew, reading over my post, I guess I come across as a know-it-all. Don't be fooled. I'm not an expert; I'm just a guy who goes out and does it. So pardon the old guy on the soapbox, and keep talkin', it's all good.]

Edited by dougwalkabout (03/22/07 05:36 AM)

#89180 - 03/22/07 08:42 PM Re: Lanterns .. [Re: dougwalkabout]
frenchy Offline

Registered: 12/18/02
Posts: 1320
Loc: France
Just curious :

Is there any difference, carbon monoxide wise, between using a camping propane stove and using the gas cooker in my kitchen ??

That question apart, yes, I also have various electrical lighting sources (battery operated).
But I want an easily (long term) stored fuel, which can be used both for cooking and for area lighting.
And yes again, you are right : any open flame device has to be supervised + carbon monoxyde has to be monitored.


#89191 - 03/23/07 12:19 AM Re: Lanterns .. [Re: dougwalkabout]

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 1852
IT's always wise to be safe but i have found from many years
of experence that coleman lamps and stoves are very safe when
used with even modicum of care..i lived in a wood heated
cabin for almost 26 years and fired up a coleman many times..
this was no tar paper shack by the way..it had a big hot tub
and a wonderful stereo system..anyway..i turned off the lights
and lit a lamp many times just for "mood" lighting and more
than a few when winter storms brought branchs down on my
power lines..i would say that the chance of a blow-up are
so small as not to be concerned about any more than the gas
tank of you car cooking off..maybe..could happen..but not
something you think about every time you get in your car..
if you have kids around the house you will have to show some
sense about where and how you use a gas lamp..fumes?? never
a problem with me..sometimes when a lamp was lit i let it flare
up a bit and i had a gas smell inside for a bit but thats all.
blow-ups and fires result from wrong fuel being used,,gas in a
kero lamp/stove..or sloppy handleing..it's like the knives
and guns..just be a grown-up and relax..


Edited by CANOEDOGS (03/23/07 12:24 AM)

#89285 - 03/23/07 10:37 PM Re: Lanterns .. [Re: CANOEDOGS]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2918
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Canoedogs, there's a lot of sense in what you say.

Growing up, my father always told me that equipment (quads, knives, guns, tractors, automobiles) are as safe (or dangerous) as the operator. Safety is a mix -- knowledge, experience, preparation and attitude all come into it.

Given your extensive experience, I'll bet you're hardly aware of the "safe use" habits you have with liquid fuel appliances.
- I'll bet you do your filling outdoors, in a ventilated space, away from ignition sources
- I'll bet gasoline is never stored in an area with an ignition source
- I'll be you're careful not to overfill to avoid flooding an appliance with liquid fuel
- I'll bet you pay close attention to tightening the filler cap, and are attuned to possible leaks while you pressure up
- I'll bet you know what to listen for (flooding or other unusual operation) and know how to respond
- I'll bet you would never go to bed with a gas stove or lantern running
- and I'll bet you don't use automotive gasoline in applicances not rated for it, or if you did (in a pinch) you'd be on high alert for trouble.

My point is that, as an experienced operator, managing all these risk factors is automatic. Not everyone is at the same level, and in an extended emergency, may put themselves at risk without realizing it.

Anyway, I hope you'll agree that people should learn how to run their stoves and lanterns outdoors first. And, if they bring them indoors, they'd be wise to have a "Plan B" in place if something goes wrong.

Edited by dougwalkabout (03/23/07 11:17 PM)

#89287 - 03/23/07 11:15 PM Re: Lanterns .. [Re: frenchy]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2918
Loc: Alberta, Canada
frenchy, I was so busy going "over the top" that I didn't respond to your original question. Apologies!

Given that you are in an apartment, propane/butane is probably the best choice. It's a lot more expensive than liquid fuels, but you don't really have a safe place to handle those.

You can't store gasoline, given the obvious fire hazards. Kerosene/lamp fuel would probably be tolerated in modest amounts. I'm not sure how many propane/butane canisters you can safely store in your apartment without violating all sorts of well-intentioned rules and regulations (after all, how many cannisters would you want your next-door neighbour to store?).

If using a propane appliance, always test for leaks before you light up, and don't leave them running unattended. Also, have something ready to smother them with in the event of trouble (a damp bath towel comes to mind).

As to carbon monoxide: a propane stove won't produce a greater carbon monoxide hazard than a gas stove burner. Some kitchen stoves do have a fume hood with ventilation, which reduces the hazard even further, but only when the electricity is on. It's still good practice to crack open a window, though, when such an item is running.

You're probably okay as long as the stove is being used to cook, not as a space heater. That's where the hazard lies. Every time there's an extended blackout, for example, we lose a few people to carbon monoxide because they tried to heat the house with a gas stove or even a propane barbecue brought indoors. They fell asleep on the couch, and stayed that way forever.

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