A DIY survival lamp can come in handy for many situations. Not only can it provide a needed light source during a power outage, but you could cook food over it in a pinch, or use it to take the chill out of the air during a cold evening.
This lamp burns on petroleum jelly, or what most people know by the brand Vaseline. The wick of this lamp is a cotton ball, and the lamp’s base and structure is made from aluminum foil.
It’s easy to construct and can burn anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour; the duration varies on how much Vaseline is in the lamp. Let’s get started.
- Two large sheets of aluminum foil
- Cotton ball
- Match, lighter, or flint and steel
- Fold up one sheet of foil as shown in the picture below.
- In the middle of the foil, cut in a circle with your knife, but cut only halfway through the foil. Vaseline will be placed in that hole.
- Fold up the extra length of the foil as shown below.
- Place a large amount of Vaseline in that circular hole. The more you use, the longer the lamp will burn.
- Dip a cotton ball in Vaseline and then spread it all over the ball. Place the cotton ball into the Vaseline-filled hole in the foil.
- Fold the second sheet of foil in the same manner as the first piece. Place the second sheet of foil under the first as shown below.
- Light the cotton ball with the fire igniter of your choice. After a few seconds, the lamp should burn intensely.
Warning: Keep this aluminum lamp away from any flammable objects. I recommend placing it on a rock when used outdoors while camping, or a cookie sheet or other metal object when used indoors. I suggest making an aluminum survival lamp for each room in your home so you’re prepared for a power outage.
Images by Blake Alma