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Guide to Emergency Candles

Today’s phenomenally advanced civilisation would have been incomprehensible to our ancient ancestors. However, it’s often the simplest of things that will ensure survival during the toughest of circumstances.

In this article, we will talk about an old but very reliable source of light in the times of blackouts and electricity shutdowns: emergency candles.

They possess some incredible features, and today, you will discover all of these as well as how to find the best emergency candles out there. As a result, they will help you to survive even during the most adverse weather conditions.

What are emergency candles?

First of all, let us tell you what is so special about emergency candles, and why they are way better for survivalists than ordinary ones.


These candles are usually far more durable than any other candle you can buy in a Bath and Body Works.

A regular candle’s burn time is one inch per hour. In turn, emergency candles will last a couple of times longer, depending on the brand. Some of them can even last more than 100 hours!

That is the reason why it is better to have a couple of dozens of emergency candles in your home all the time.

Small and Compact 

Since these candles last longer, you can take a lot less of them on your camping trip and still be sure that they will last a long time.

This is very convenient if your trip involves hiking as every ounce of the weight you carry on your shoulders matters.

You can even find very small variants with liquid paraffin that take up almost zero place in your backpack but will burn for days.

Work Every Time 

Emergency candles were made to work under harsh and hostile conditions. You can be sure that your candle will work even if it is cold, windy, and raining outside.

Most of them can be lit even in a very moist environment as their wick is made waterproof.

Odorless and Smokeless

If you spend many hours with emergency candles, a lack of suffocating smoke and annoying odor is a blessing.

That’s why these kinds of candles are perfect for mountain trips and emergency situations when you can’t leave your house or a tent.

You are totally safe with good quality emergency candles that will give you heat and light without any negative effects.

Pros and Cons of Using Emergency Candles

Every product has its pros and cons, and emergency candles are not an exception to this rule.

Since this product should be in the armoury of every prepper and outdoors enthusiast, you need to pick candles very carefully – your life could depend on it.

You need to be able to trust your product will deliver when those hard times come.

Here we gathered our pros and cons of using emergency candles in an extraordinary situation.

Pros of Emergency Candles

They don’t need any recharging, batteries, or any other power source, except for a lighter or matches.

If there’s a major electricity disaster and you can’t find or use a regular flashlight, candles will be your best friends. With emergency candles, you can be sure that their batteries will not die soon, leaving you alone in the dark.

You can use it as a small source of heat.

Of course, it will not make you warm or heat the place you’re in, but you can melt some ice for water or cook food using a candle as a burner.

You can collect all the candle’s leftovers and reuse them again!

All the wax or paraffin can be used to make a new emergency candle, which is surprisingly easy to do.

Cons of Emergency Candles

One candle is not enough for reading or doing any work that requires precision.

You will need at least five or six candles to have a decent source of light, and for lighting an entire room, you need a couple of dozens of candles.

Burning many candles to read or fix something, especially if there is an emergency going on around you isn’t particularly optimal.

You need a lighter, matches, or open fire to light them.

It is not as easy as turning on a flashlight in the case of an emergency. That’s why some people don’t like candles as an emergency option.

It is not the safest choice.

It takes a moment to start a massive fire with only one candle. That’s why you need to be very careful when you use candles in your house or tent. You should always put them on metal, stone, or any other fireproof surfaces.

What You Should Look For in Emergency Candles?

Hyoola Emergency Candles - 24 Pack White Short Taper Candles - Unscented - Emergency Candles for Home and Emergency Kit

Regular candles can be used in case of an emergency as a backup variant. However, using appropriate emergency candles can make a huge difference for you and increase your survival chances.

These particular features are what you should look for in your emergency candles.

How long does it burn?

Well, this is the most important and crucial feature of any emergency candle.

You need to look for candles that offer the longest burning time, and, when you are choosing candles, pay attention to the burn time per ounce of candle material.

Look for ones that offer at least seven to nine hours of burning time.

The number of wicks

It is an exciting feature that gives you a little bit of freedom in choosing whether you want less or more light.

You can light one or a couple of wicks and control the amount of light, depending on your needs. Also, multiple wicks can help you to use more wax and be left with a little to nothing of excess candle!

The material of your candles

We will speak a little more about materials for candles in the next part of this article.

But, we want to briefly mention that the candle’s material can play a huge role in your choice. Different waxes can give you very differing outcomes regarding burning time and the amount of produced smoke produced.


Any candle is a potential fire hazard so choosing candles that come with some kind of fireproof boxes or containers is always better for your safety.

Materials of Emergency Candles

Today’s market is an overwhelming place, and the candle industry is not an exception. When you look for your emergency candles, you might think the material, wax, is a given. However, it is a little more technical than that!

Choosing the right material will be specific to the user but it is an important choice to consider and weigh up against your particular needs.

Beeswax Emergency Candles

UCO 12-Hour Natural Beeswax, Long-Burning Emergency Candles For Candle Lantern, 20 Pack

The oldest and most popular choice that we have in mind when we’re thinking about candles is beeswax.

Beeswax is a natural product produced by these amazing little insects, and you can be sure that there will be no toxic evaporation when you use it.

You will get a very clean fire with this type of candle, and they are very pleasant to use. Leftover beeswax is also very easy to reuse and make another candle.

As for the drawbacks with these types of candles, you will find that beeswax candles are usually very soft, so you need good support for them, or they will cause damage.

Also, beeswax is a very expensive choice compared to others out there, so burning this kind of candle could be considered “luxury”!

Soy Emergency Candles

Soy wax candles are a product of modern times and are a great option that combines both quality and fair pricing. Soy candles do not create any unfortunate odors in your rooms, either and are often completely odorless.

They also do not release any carcinogens in the air while burning, so it is safe to use them inside the house for a long time.

You will find that soy candles burn a lot longer than their beeswax and paraffin brothers and sisters because they have a lower melting point. 

Emergency Candle | Clean Burning Unscented Uncolored All Natural Soy Wax | Long Burning Up to 100 Hours | 13 Lumens and 80 BTUs | Large 16 oz Jar | Hand Made in The USA by Stillwater Bath and Body®

They’re certainly one of the most affordable choices in the candle realm too. You can also rest assured that your soy candle does not harm the environment as they are completely eco-friendly.

However, even soy wax candles come with a price.

First of all, they make cooler light and don’t burn as bright as paraffin or beeswax options. and can still be more expensive than paraffin, despite the burning time.

Also, soy wax melts during hot weather, so you might find your emergency candles supply absolutely destroyed due to a hot summer.

You should also look very carefully when you are buying soy candles because some manufacturers still add some amount of paraffin to these candles, making them not so eco-friendly!

And the last thing to remember about soy wax: these candles are very soft, so you definitely need some kind of holders before you light them.

Paraffin Emergency Candles

Paraffin is a cheap post-product of the petroleum industry that caused a revolution in candle-making when it first appeared on the market.

First of all, paraffin is a very affordable option, and you can buy a lot of these candles for your survival stash with a relatively modest amount of money.

Paraffin candles can even be produced in a liquid form, and this type of candle can last for days: some kinds last for more than 120 hours!

But, it is still a post-product of petroleum, so paraffin candles create carcinogenic smoke, and it is dangerous to use them in closed rooms for a long time.

So, use them only outside or keep your room ventilated all the time. Also, paraffin will not burn out completely, but it is highly flammable. So do not keep your paraffin candles near open fires to prevent the ignition of paraffin.  

Reusing Emergency Candles Wax and DIY

So, now we’re in the fun part of this article! You can even make emergency candles from scratch if you have access to all the components to make candles on your own. But to recycle emergency candles you will need:

1. Soy wax or beeswax. You can also use wax leftovers: just collect them from the candles’ holders and transfer it to any metal, plastic, or ceramic bowl that can handle the heat.

2. A bowl and a pot to create a double boiler. As we said before, you can use any kind of bowl. Just keep in mind that it should be heatproof to handle boiling water underneath it. 

3. New wicks for candles. You can buy them directly from a store, or you can make them from twine.

4. A portion of salt and boric acid for new wicks.

5. Candle molds

Your first step in this process is to make wicks.

Take some new twine and cut a piece that is about half an inch longer than the height of your future candles.

Now take two tablespoons of regular salt and four tablespoons of boric acid powder and add one and a half cups of warm water.

Stir the solution and put all your wicks into it to soak for about 24 hours. After that, you need to dry your twine very well and thoroughly, which will take another 48 hours.

Melt some wax in a double boiler and put your wicks in the melted wax, coating them very well.

Next, hang all the wicks out to dry. You need to keep them as straight as possible. Now your wicks are ready!

Your next and final step is to melt the remaining wax, place the wicks in the candle molds’ centers, and pour in melted wax.

Wait for a couple of days for wax to dry out completely and remove finished candles from the molds.

Now you have your emergency candles and can be sure that you still have a source of light in your survival stash, no matter what!

About Tom Bell

Hi - I'm Tom, the owner and founder of TheSurvivalSpirit.com! I'm a passionate outdoors enthusiast and am dedicated to bringing you the hottest online survival advice.  


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About The Survival Spirit

TheSurvivalSpirit.com is run by survival enthusiast, Tom Bell! This website features all of the latest hints and tips on survival, prepping and the great outdoors.

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