Firecraft Survival

D.I.Y. Emergency Candle

Heat, light, and increased visibility in total darkness are the reasons that an emergency candle is worth having around. While it is simple enough to go to the store and purchase a store-bought candle, they are bulkier, do not often offer a wind shield, and burn poorly when wet. If you are a backpacker headed into rainy country, or a well-prepared individual putting together an emergency kit to last you through the long haul, versatility and innovation matter.

Building a D.I.Y. emergency candle is a great project that is easy to pull off and will serve you well in the future should you ever find yourself someplace cold and dark with minimal resources. Here’s how to pull it off with minimal resources.



Altoids Box


Tampon or Toilet paper



  1. Fill a large pot with water.
  2. Place a candle in a sauce pan. Make sure it is a saucepan you aren’t very attached to, as things can get messy when you melt down wax.
  3. Place sauce pan on top of pot. Turn the stove up and heat the wax at 250Β°F. Melt the candle down until it is completely liquid.
  4. Carefully pour liquid wax into the Altoids box.
  5. Wait 5 minutes for wax to harden.
  6. Place wick (toilet paper, tampon, wick) in center of wax.
  7. Wait 10 minutes for wax to finish hardening.


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  • An easier and less messy way to do a candle is buy a small can of Crisco. Use an ice pick, poke a hole in center of Crisco and insert a birthday candle.

  • An easier and less messy way to make an emergency candle is to purchase a small can of Crisco. Save the lid. Use an ice Pick to poke a hole in center of Crisco. Insert a birthday candle. TIP. Enclose a few matches in a zip lock bag and tape to lid.

  • We,ve always taken any metal container,Altoid, veg can, depend on size of fire desired. Trim strips of cardboard to depth of container.
    Inserting as much coiled cardboard ad possible. Keep filling with melted wax until can absorb no more. With needlenose tear up a wick from center area. Light and the entire surface area becomes one big burning wick. I call it the “Campfire in a Can”. It will produce up to 3ft flames and just keep adding chips of wax to replenish fuel. An Altoid can will produce 2-3ft of flame for approx 40min without replenishing the flame with wax chips
    thanx, and I hope this keeps someone warm at the nest possible moment,,,,,enjoy!

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