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Shedding Light On Uncertain Situations

April 15, 2019 2 min read

Shedding Light On Uncertain SituationsM


ost people feel as though they have some sense of protocol for emergency situations. However, there are many times when minor issues such as a temporary power outage can actually cause more trouble than the circumstances one has prepared for. While flashlights and batteries may be handy, they do run out quickly, and are not always practical for actually functioning in the dark, and they cannot provide the energy for boiling water to prepare emergency food storage rations.

Easy to make soda can lamps can provide an ideal solution for providing longer term light, with the added benefit of a hands free way to illuminate the room. To construct a tin can lamp, you will need:

• Two aluminum drink cans
• A pair of scissors, a sheetrock razor, or a camping knife/multitool
• A small piece of cotton cloth
• Lamp oil, cooking oil, or other clean burning fuel source

The first step is remove the top of one of the cans, by cutting into the upper surface to remove the lid. This leaves the top ring of the can for stability, while also opening a larger vent for the lamp. At this point, it will be necessary to cut into the body of the can, to create a window through which the light can be seen. It is necessary to leave at least three inches of the bottom of the can, at least a half inch around the top, and a reflective backing for radiance and stability.

Once the main part of the lamp has been prepped, the second can should be cut around the diameter at about two inches from the bottom. This bottom piece is then flipped over, and a hole is punched in the middle for when the wick will be inserted.

Creating the wick simply takes a piece of cotton that is around two by one inches, and rolling it into a "strand" before encasing it in a piece of the cut aluminum. This provides the support for the wick, and can allow for adjusting the flame. The encased wick is inserted through the hole in the second can and adjusted for length.

Now, the lower half of the first can is filled with oil, and the wick array is fitted over that bottom opening. Once the wick has soaked up some fuel, it can be ignited, to give light and warmth to the dark situation.