Kerosene Lanterns for the prepper or camper

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Kerosene Lanterns for the prepper or camper

Postby evan price » Fri Oct 10, 2014 11:25 am

I like kerosene lanterns. Portable, rugged, simple machines that make light. I have them on my list of preps and keep them around the house in quantity. With proper care and maintenance they last darn near forever. But what lantern is a good one?

First, let's talk history.

The modern kerosene lantern is a design that is over 100 years old. Before electrification the barn lantern, hurricane lantern and railroad lantern were the standard for rough use illumination. As opposed to kerosene lamps which are generally more fragile and unsuited for moving around, the kerosene lantern was designed to be picked up, carried or hung by a hook.
The way the lantern works is there is a tank of kerosene at the base. A burner unit with a cotton wick inside is resting atop the tank (called a fount). The burner can be adjusted to bring the flame higher or lower and give more or less light. There is also a chimney, or globe, that protects and focuses or diffuses the light. The wick draws kerosene up from the fount due to capillary action. The wick is set alight and the kerosene burns.

There are three basic 'types' of kerosene lanterns. The oldest and most inefficient is the dead-flame lantern. This type is really nothing more than a wick with a chimney around it to protect the flame.

Image


Next is the hot-blast lantern. This used tubular draft pipes to bring air to the burner by utilizing the principle of hot air rising. The hot blast lantern effectively reburns any partially burnt hydrocarbons from the wick and is more efficient than a dead flame lantern.

Image


Last is the cold-blast lantern. Cold blast lanterns also have tubes to carry air to the burner but the tubes are vented via a chimney at the top so that the hot exhaust is carried away from the burner while fresh cold air is piped in. The cold blast produces a whiter light since the flame is not re-burning spent combustion products.

Image


Most common lanterns are available in a variety of sizes from the small Winged Wheel 350 all the way to the large Dietz Jupiter. Lamp size will determine light output and fuel usage. Obviously there are differences in fount capacity, and a larger fount will burn longer between refills. Some large lanterns can also be used for limited heat sources.

There are and have been many makers of these lanterns and they are in fact still being produced to this day. The big names you run into are Dietz (Formerly a US company, now entirely Chinese) Feuerhand (Germany) and Winged Wheel (Japan).

There are still many lanterns made in various countries in Asia (China, India, etc) which are basically un-named that are tagged or retailed as all sorts of brands. Quality of these lanterns ranges from acceptable to poor. Bear in mind these are a semi-disposable consumer commodity lighting appliance and not an heirloom quality device. Paint finishes vary in color but are generally of the sprayed variety, and unpainted metal items such as burners and bails may be zinc or brass plated or in the white. There are higher-grade versions available at a higher price point but be aware that these are usually the same items just with nicer finishing and plated parts.

Fuel used should be kerosene or some petroleum product equivalent to kerosene with appropriate flashpoint. Kerosene substitutes, lamp fuels, Citronella Tiki torch oils, etc. all burn well in these flat-wick lanterns. If you intend to use the lantern inside you should pick a fuel that is as close to clear K-1 kerosene as possible. In my experience off-road fuels are dyed with a red dye that will clog up wicks in heaters and lanterns. They can be used just be aware that servicing the wick will happen more often.

NEVER use fuel that is contaminated with gasoline or any low flash point petrochemical. NEVER use Stoddard solvent or paint thinner. Using the wrong fuel can cause an explosion or a runaway vapor burn which will overheat the lantern and shatter the globe.

In the movies, they like to show a lantern getting knocked over, smashing, and the entire barn catches fire.
Well, that's the movies.
It is usually a good idea to have a stable, solid place to put the lantern. A countertop, a table, or a sturdy hook attached solidly to a wall or ceiling will safely support the lantern.
Kerosene lanterns are generally safe if used properly. Kerosene does not explode like gasoline does. Most lantern founts are only liquid tight up to the fill cap base. The tubes are usually not soldered and if you over fill excess fuel will spill out.

Servicing the lantern is simple. When the glass is cool, it can be wiped down inside and out. Properly trimming the wick and not over wicking will retard the production of carbon on the inside of the globe.
If the wick burns unevenly, trim it square across the edge with a sharp knife or scissors. Keep the fount clean and use fuel that is not contaminated with water because rust is common in the founts of older lanterns. You can clean your lantern's tubes and burner with pipe cleaners or a gun bore brush if they get spiderwebs inside them.

Spare parts- I prefer to keep to a couple of different common lantern styles so that I can keep a limited amount of spares on hand.
I would recommend a globe or two, and some spare wick roll. Lanterns that are 100 years old can still use the same parts as brand new lanterns made today.

I keep a half a dozen Dietz Junior #20s around, or their functional equivalent such as the Winged Wheel #500. This is probably the most iconic and copied lantern design in the world. Similar lanterns include the Little Champ and the Victor. These use a 5/8" wick and hold a bit over a half-pint of fuel which is a couple days worth. These are good for carrying around and for lighting a small to average room. I find that two of these lights up a good sized room with a nice light level.
Image

Another popular small lantern is the Feuerhand Super Baby #175 and the Winged Wheel #350. These are small portable lanterns for carrying or for small areas. These use a 1/2" wick and hold about half-pint of fuel which is enough for a day or two.
Image

Larger models include the Dietz Wizard, D-Lite and Air Pilot. These are a medium sized lantern that produces enough light for an average sized room. These use a 7/8" wick and hold about a quart of fuel which is 2-3 days of use.
Image

The biggest model I own is a Dietz Jupiter. These are the medium-sized lantern with 7/8" wick combined with a fount that holds 2.5 quarts of kerosene. They run for days without filling- I go a week at least- and are very stable thanks to the large, wide fount.
Image

The larger 7/8" wick sizes produce enough heat that they can be used as a light-duty heat source. Some models were used for greenhouses and orchards to keep frost away.

Buying:

You can still buy brand-new kerosene lanterns today. Amish communities and camping suppliers still stock them. Feed and stock stores carry them. Big box stores like WalMart stock them (but usually the cheap unbranded Chinese models.) They are available over the internet. Shipping needs to be considered especially due to the fragile nature of the glass globe but if packed well they survive even the USPSs best efforts to destroy them.

It is quite frankly amazing to me the number of people who find an old lantern in an old barn and then throw it on eBay with the words "Vintage, Antique, Rare" as if any of that were true.
It's quite common to find rusty, dented and nonoperational versions of lanterns you can buy today for DOUBLE the price. Certain variations are collectible, especially those stamped with special end users, like railways, city works departments, etc. and certain colors of globes are rare.
IMHO avoid the "collectible" lanterns, if all you want is a light source. Most lanterns, new, are about $25 shipped, and the big ones are still under $40 shipped.
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Re: Kerosene Lanterns for the prepper or camper

Postby Old Grafton » Fri Oct 10, 2014 1:39 pm

Thanks for the interesting post! I accumulate lanterns (not "collect"; there's a difference) but I had never seen a "HotBlast" type before this. As a boy I was always intrigued with kerosene lamps and since then I've gathered several, which I periodically use at family gatherings to light pathways and back yard. I dunno, I just like 'em. :D
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Re: Kerosene Lanterns for the prepper or camper

Postby skb12172 » Fri Oct 10, 2014 1:57 pm

I'm a fan. Have a few I bought at Walmart. Use them for back deck ambiance as well as emergencies. Love a natural light/flame.
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Re: Kerosene Lanterns for the prepper or camper

Postby Greg » Fri Oct 10, 2014 2:21 pm

I have a couple of Uco mini candle lanterns that I bought from Countycomm.

http://www.industrialrev.com/mini-candle-lantern.html

They're adorable. They were cheap, and the tea candles I burn in them are cheaper still ($4/100@IKEA). I use them just for fun because I like to burn things on occasion, and sometimes for ambiance. Easy to use, safe, reliable and the light from a flame has a certain something. They also are a fallback in emergencies, though I've never had to use them as such.

I've been tempted to get some real kerosene lanterns to supplement the emergency supplies for a while. This thread isn't helping. :)
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Re: Kerosene Lanterns for the prepper or camper

Postby MarkD » Fri Oct 10, 2014 2:30 pm

Interesting.

How long can kerosene be stored?

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Re: Kerosene Lanterns for the prepper or camper

Postby skb12172 » Fri Oct 10, 2014 2:36 pm

Greg wrote:I have a couple of Uco mini candle lanterns that I bought from Countycomm.

http://www.industrialrev.com/mini-candle-lantern.html

They're adorable. They were cheap, and the tea candles I burn in them are cheaper still ($4/100@IKEA). I use them just for fun because I like to burn things on occasion, and sometimes for ambiance. Easy to use, safe, reliable and the light from a flame has a certain something. They also are a fallback in emergencies, though I've never had to use them as such.

I've been tempted to get some real kerosene lanterns to supplement the emergency supplies for a while. This thread isn't helping. :)



$12.99 seems awfully pricey for what it is.
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Re: Kerosene Lanterns for the prepper or camper

Postby Greg » Fri Oct 10, 2014 2:42 pm

skb12172 wrote:
Greg wrote:I have a couple of Uco mini candle lanterns that I bought from Countycomm.

http://www.industrialrev.com/mini-candle-lantern.html

They're adorable. They were cheap, and the tea candles I burn in them are cheaper still ($4/100@IKEA). I use them just for fun because I like to burn things on occasion, and sometimes for ambiance. Easy to use, safe, reliable and the light from a flame has a certain something. They also are a fallback in emergencies, though I've never had to use them as such.

I've been tempted to get some real kerosene lanterns to supplement the emergency supplies for a while. This thread isn't helping. :)



$12.99 seems awfully pricey for what it is.


I agree. Even with Countycomm's 'all in one place gadget store' convenience markup, I don't think I paid that much for mine. But CC doesn't carry that model any more, they have the newer collapsible one for a couple dollars more than that.

That's just the first and clearest web page showing what I had that I could find. ;)
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Re: Kerosene Lanterns for the prepper or camper

Postby MarkD » Fri Oct 10, 2014 2:43 pm

skb12172 wrote:
Greg wrote:I have a couple of Uco mini candle lanterns that I bought from Countycomm.

http://www.industrialrev.com/mini-candle-lantern.html

They're adorable. They were cheap, and the tea candles I burn in them are cheaper still ($4/100@IKEA). I use them just for fun because I like to burn things on occasion, and sometimes for ambiance. Easy to use, safe, reliable and the light from a flame has a certain something. They also are a fallback in emergencies, though I've never had to use them as such.

I've been tempted to get some real kerosene lanterns to supplement the emergency supplies for a while. This thread isn't helping. :)



$12.99 seems awfully pricey for what it is.


Indeed:

http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/30122986/

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Re: Kerosene Lanterns for the prepper or camper

Postby Greg » Fri Oct 10, 2014 2:47 pm

MarkD wrote:
skb12172 wrote:
Greg wrote:I have a couple of Uco mini candle lanterns that I bought from Countycomm.

http://www.industrialrev.com/mini-candle-lantern.html

They're adorable. They were cheap, and the tea candles I burn in them are cheaper still ($4/100@IKEA). I use them just for fun because I like to burn things on occasion, and sometimes for ambiance. Easy to use, safe, reliable and the light from a flame has a certain something. They also are a fallback in emergencies, though I've never had to use them as such.

I've been tempted to get some real kerosene lanterns to supplement the emergency supplies for a while. This thread isn't helping. :)



$12.99 seems awfully pricey for what it is.


Indeed:

http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/30122986/


I have to stop myself from buying a couple of those as toys every time I go there. :)
But you do always pay extra for miniaturization and portability.
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Re: Kerosene Lanterns for the prepper or camper

Postby g-man » Fri Oct 10, 2014 2:52 pm

Definitely need to get my hands on 1-2 of these. The whole '1/2 pint is a couple days worth of light' thing is important. A little quick math means that if we guess at 3 days for the aforementioned cup of k-1, the empty 1.5gal fuel can in the garage is worth 8-10 weeks worth of lighting (once I put K-1 in it...). Saves me having to keep lots and lots of batteries on hand for flashlights.
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Re: Kerosene Lanterns for the prepper or camper

Postby PawPaw » Fri Oct 10, 2014 3:04 pm

Interesting post. I completed a patio project this past summer, and now I'm considering lighting options. Frankly, I had never considered kerosene lanterns, but this makes me think in a whole new direction.
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Re: Kerosene Lanterns for the prepper or camper

Postby evan price » Fri Oct 10, 2014 3:04 pm

MarkD wrote:Interesting.

How long can kerosene be stored?

If stored in a sealed, preferably opaque container away from temperature swings, forever. Kerosene is an oil not a solvent. It can get condensation in the container so you should have a way to deal with that. I've used kerosene that is 30 years old.
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Re: Kerosene Lanterns for the prepper or camper

Postby blackeagle603 » Fri Oct 10, 2014 3:11 pm

worthy of a wiki
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Re: Kerosene Lanterns for the prepper or camper

Postby skb12172 » Fri Oct 10, 2014 3:33 pm

PawPaw wrote:Interesting post. I completed a patio project this past summer, and now I'm considering lighting options. Frankly, I had never considered kerosene lanterns, but this makes me think in a whole new direction.


You'll love it from an ambiance standpoint. Add a fire pit and/or hot tub? You can keep your 'ol rope lighting and LED lanterns.
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Re: Kerosene Lanterns for the prepper or camper

Postby skb12172 » Fri Oct 10, 2014 3:34 pm

evan price wrote:
MarkD wrote:Interesting.

How long can kerosene be stored?

If stored in a sealed, preferably opaque container away from temperature swings, forever. Kerosene is an oil not a solvent. It can get condensation in the container so you should have a way to deal with that. I've used kerosene that is 30 years old.


So a "plastic" Walmart gas can would be out?
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Re: Kerosene Lanterns for the prepper or camper

Postby rightisright » Fri Oct 10, 2014 5:07 pm

Great post! Any thoughts on this stuff? http://www.tractorsupply.com/en/store/k ... tive-1-gal

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Re: Kerosene Lanterns for the prepper or camper

Postby Weetabix » Fri Oct 10, 2014 5:29 pm

Greg wrote:I have a couple of Uco mini candle lanterns that I bought from Countycomm.

The bigger Uco lanterns are much better. I own both kinds.
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Re: Kerosene Lanterns for the prepper or camper

Postby Greg » Fri Oct 10, 2014 6:17 pm

Weetabix wrote:
Greg wrote:I have a couple of Uco mini candle lanterns that I bought from Countycomm.

The bigger Uco lanterns are much better. I own both kinds.


May I ask, better in what ways and to what degree? I always found the larger lanterns appealing but the candles are, burn time per dollar, a bit over an order of magnitude more expensive than tea candles.
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Re: Kerosene Lanterns for the prepper or camper

Postby blackeagle603 » Fri Oct 10, 2014 8:26 pm

found this Kleen Heet review on Home Depot's website

Excellent for oil lamps, especially my Aladdin mantle lamps.

February 22, 2013

I repair and restore oil lamps, be they flat wick, tubular (round) wick or mantle lamps like ALADDIN lamps.
All perform better with this oil, and the odor is so small as to be negligible. Make sure to leave at least 1/2 inch of headspace in the font when filling, as any oil expands when it warms.
I particularly like it's clean-burning properties.
I discovered Klean-Heat when a friend moved and left me four gallons...I started using it in oil lamps, and have not looked back>
It is also competitively priced with liquid paraffin, as I've seen a 3 liter (3 qt. 4 oz.) container for as much as $18 within the last few days.
It is stable for as long as it's in the original container, or properly stored in a kerosene (blue color) container.

DO NOT store the oil in the lamps if you can prevent it, as any oil will give off volatiles over time, decreasing it's burnability. Instead, keep the oil safely stored, with a funnel and paper towels to hand for cleanup.
IMMEDIATELY after wiping up any spills, move the oily rags/towels outside to a METAL container in case of fire.
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Re: Kerosene Lanterns for the prepper or camper

Postby Weetabix » Fri Oct 10, 2014 8:55 pm

Greg wrote:
Weetabix wrote:
Greg wrote:I have a couple of Uco mini candle lanterns that I bought from Countycomm.

The bigger Uco lanterns are much better. I own both kinds.


May I ask, better in what ways and to what degree? I always found the larger lanterns appealing but the candles are, burn time per dollar, a bit over an order of magnitude more expensive than tea candles.

Mind you this is qualitative and based on affection, but...

The larger one seems to burn a bit brighter. I'd guess it's because the shape of the candle holder and the spring that feeds the candle as it burns keeps the flame in a good spot for throwing light and keeps the fuel source of the melted wax uniform and... optimum? It's probably a function of the size of the wick in the larger candles as well.

The fact that it collapses seems to make it travel better as well. I've had the small one's glass break.

It disassembles easily for cleaning. Although the small one may not need the same sort of cleaning.

Now you've got me thinking I need to break both out and compare them side by side, though.

I use mine to read at night when camping. I have a two reflectors I hang on it: sometimes a side reflector, and usually a top one. That probably contributes to the difference in perceived brightness, too.
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Re: Kerosene Lanterns for the prepper or camper

Postby Weetabix » Fri Oct 10, 2014 8:57 pm

Back to the OP, though... I think it's the Deitz Junior 20 that I've had in the back of my mind for quite some time as a "want eventually." I may need to get one of those sooner just for fun.

ETA: I think this is the one I was looking at. Does anyone have a better source?
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Re: Kerosene Lanterns for the prepper or camper

Postby Weetabix » Fri Oct 10, 2014 10:21 pm

Is a hot blast lantern better for indoors than a cold blast since it reburns unburnt hydrocarbons? I.E. less stink and better indoor air quality?
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Re: Kerosene Lanterns for the prepper or camper

Postby blackeagle603 » Fri Oct 10, 2014 11:15 pm

this thread gives me some Xmas gift ideas.

Got a used "Nier Feuerhand Baby 275 Hurricane Lantern Oil Lamp West Germany Jena Glass " on the way.
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Re: Kerosene Lanterns for the prepper or camper

Postby evan price » Sat Oct 11, 2014 1:48 am

Weetabix wrote:Back to the OP, though... I think it's the Deitz Junior 20 that I've had in the back of my mind for quite some time as a "want eventually." I may need to get one of those sooner just for fun.

ETA: I think this is the one I was looking at. Does anyone have a better source?

WT kirkman is a good source as is Lehmans country store.
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Re: Kerosene Lanterns for the prepper or camper

Postby evan price » Sat Oct 11, 2014 1:52 am

Weetabix wrote:Is a hot blast lantern better for indoors than a cold blast since it reburns unburnt hydrocarbons? I.E. less stink and better indoor air quality?

Yes, but at a cost of less light brightness.
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Re: Kerosene Lanterns for the prepper or camper

Postby evan price » Sat Oct 11, 2014 1:54 am

skb12172 wrote:
evan price wrote:
MarkD wrote:Interesting.

How long can kerosene be stored?

If stored in a sealed, preferably opaque container away from temperature swings, forever. Kerosene is an oil not a solvent. It can get condensation in the container so you should have a way to deal with that. I've used kerosene that is 30 years old.


So a "plastic" Walmart gas can would be out?


No, it would be fine if you keep it somewhere out of light and a cool dry place. Assuming it seals well.
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Re: Kerosene Lanterns for the prepper or camper

Postby Jered » Sat Oct 11, 2014 2:21 am

evan price wrote:
MarkD wrote:Interesting.

How long can kerosene be stored?

If stored in a sealed, preferably opaque container away from temperature swings, forever. Kerosene is an oil not a solvent. It can get condensation in the container so you should have a way to deal with that. I've used kerosene that is 30 years old.


Interestingly enough, I have one of those Wal-Mart kerosene lamps hanging on a nail in my shed. I've had the same kerosene in it for years, and it still lights up.
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Re: Kerosene Lanterns for the prepper or camper

Postby evan price » Sat Oct 11, 2014 8:21 am

Just FYI to anyone interested, WT Kirkman has the Dietz #30 "Little Wizard" on special for $9.95 +S/H for a limited time, they got in a batch that are plain unmarked tanks. That's a pretty good price and shipping was reasonable.

http://www.lanternnet.com/Merchant2/mer ... gory_Code=

Image

This one holds a pint of fuel and runs several days. This is a good price, as the globe and burner alone cost that much as spare parts. At that price it's hard to say no.
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Re: Kerosene Lanterns for the prepper or camper

Postby evan price » Sat Oct 11, 2014 11:53 am

rightisright wrote:Great post! Any thoughts on this stuff? http://www.tractorsupply.com/en/store/k ... tive-1-gal

Sorry I missed this.
Klean Heat is good stuff, burns clean and has less odor than K1, but it costs 3-4 times what good K1 costs. I don't know about everyone elses' living area, but around here we have K1 Kerosene pumps at most gas stations. Of course I'm in a rural area not a city so there's that to consider. Around here I pay about $4/gallon for clear K1 Kero, and I bring my own jugs.

I get these from a family member:

Image

They are 15-gallon, closed head drums. They have two bungs in the top and a decently sturdy handle. He gets them from the car wash he works at, they are used to supply soaps and liquid waxes for the automatic car wash. I rinse them out very well with water first until the water runs clear then let them air dry in the sun. Once they are clean and dry I fill with K1 Kerosene, and then I stash them in a nice dark corner of my barn. I have a number of suction transfer pumps for filling smaller kerosene cans and tanks for heaters.

I surf Craigslist regularly and look for old kerosene and gasoline cans, the kind that are before the EPA douchbaggery they call a vented nozzle. I've got a good stash of pre-ban 5-gallon and 2-gallon containers for transferring small amounts to the house. I often find good deals on kerosene heaters and people throw in the fuel cans. I recondition old but usable kerosene heaters and offer them to people in need. In the off season when people are cleaning out sheds and garages you can pick up decent used heaters for under $50 and often under $25. Often they need nothing more than a good cleaning and wick servicing, sometimes they need a new wick or igniter but that's cheap.

Image

These are a 5-gallon bulk mini-drum, that you used to be able to buy all over the place. But they are not EPA compliant and nobody sells them anymore.

Image
These Chilton containers have good spouts and good vents. They also used to be all over the place and were a favorite back when I did landscape work for all my fuels. I still have a few of these in various sizes for gasoline 1.1 gallon to 5.25 gallon. Plus a 6-gallon Diesel and a 5-gallon Kerosene. BUT, again, the EPA regulated these things out of existence and I lock them up almost as securely as I do my ammunition. Pre-ban fuel cans are a serious black market item, no sh*t, and it kills me to even have to admit there is such a thing as a "Pre ban fuel can".
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Re: Kerosene Lanterns for the prepper or camper

Postby gandalf23 » Sat Oct 11, 2014 4:27 pm

My wife and I bought 10 or so of these little red lanterns at a garage sale to use at our wedding, I'd almost forgotten about them.

IMG_1335.JPG


Says they are "No 202 Globe Brand The World Lighting MFY Made In Hong Kong"

Think they'll be any good? We never used them other than as decoration. Most of them don't have wicks even.

Guess I need to get some kerosene and wicks and try them out. Where does one find wicks?
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Re: Kerosene Lanterns for the prepper or camper

Postby Jered » Sat Oct 11, 2014 4:51 pm

You can find wicks at Wal-Mart
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Re: Kerosene Lanterns for the prepper or camper

Postby evan price » Sat Oct 11, 2014 5:47 pm

gandalf23 wrote:My wife and I bought 10 or so of these little red lanterns at a garage sale to use at our wedding, I'd almost forgotten about them.

IMG_1335.JPG


Says they are "No 202 Globe Brand The World Lighting MFY Made In Hong Kong"

Think they'll be any good? We never used them other than as decoration. Most of them don't have wicks even.

Guess I need to get some kerosene and wicks and try them out. Where does one find wicks?


The Globe.#202 is a copy of the Feuerhand #175 Super Baby & Winged Wheel #350. They take the same globe and probably the same 1/2" wick.
WT Kirkman has wick or try a True Value hardware.
AS long as the parts are all there they should work. Check for rust in the founts or holes. Make sure the wick riser wheel works. I bet they work great.
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Re: Kerosene Lanterns for the prepper or camper

Postby Old Grafton » Mon Oct 13, 2014 12:10 pm

"BUT, again, the EPA regulated these things out of existence and I lock them up almost as securely as I do my ammunition. Pre-ban fuel cans are a serious black market item, no sh*t, and it kills me to even have to admit there is such a thing as a "Pre ban fuel can". (Evan Price, above)

Well, I will be dipped in bureaucrat. I had never heard of this; I've been using the same 5 gal and 1 gal jugs for years, never even looked at newer ones. What a load of pure government harass-fail. I guess I'm late to the party but I'll be looking at garage sales. Thanks, EP.
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Re: Kerosene Lanterns for the prepper or camper

Postby Netpackrat » Mon Oct 13, 2014 12:16 pm

Some people need to learn to shrink their images.
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Re: Kerosene Lanterns for the prepper or camper

Postby MarkD » Mon Oct 13, 2014 2:12 pm

OK, more questions from someone who knows next to nothing about these things: Are they, and their cousins the kerosene heater, safe to use indoors? Can the kerosene be safely stored in a basement (since my other option would be the shed outside, which is subject to temperature swings since it's just a steel storage shed).

I'm thinking back to Sandy, where I had no electricity (thus no heat) for 9 days. Lighting issues have been addressed with a number of LED lanterns, but supplementing with alternates might not be a bad idea.

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Re: Kerosene Lanterns for the prepper or camper

Postby HTRN » Mon Oct 13, 2014 2:24 pm

I dunno. My familiarity with kerosene heaters are the jet ones used in garages, and they're definitely NOT for indoor use. I would think Kerosene lanterns should be okay, so long as you're not running a bajillion of them. A battery operated CO meter is probably a good idea.
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Re: Kerosene Lanterns for the prepper or camper

Postby evan price » Mon Oct 13, 2014 2:35 pm

MarkD wrote:OK, more questions from someone who knows next to nothing about these things: Are they, and their cousins the kerosene heater, safe to use indoors? Can the kerosene be safely stored in a basement (since my other option would be the shed outside, which is subject to temperature swings since it's just a steel storage shed).

I'm thinking back to Sandy, where I had no electricity (thus no heat) for 9 days. Lighting issues have been addressed with a number of LED lanterns, but supplementing with alternates might not be a bad idea.

Kerosene is reasonably safe. It is a flammable liquid but it has a high flashpoint. People have had their heating oil tanks in the basement as long as there have been oil furnaces. Obviously don't store it next to the open flame but kerosene doesn't explode like gas. I would day it is safer than ethanol and I know I have several gallons of ethanol right in my kitchen in glass bottles lol.
Heaters and lamps are fine to use indoors as long as you are using pure, clean fuel, and you don't have a totally air tight house. Also you need to be cognizant of the fact that this is an open flame. Lots safer than a candle but still heaters and lanterns get hot. You need to make sure that flammable materials are kept far enough away that there isn't a hazard. Heat rises so do be aware of clearances above and around the unit including things like curtains that might get blown or pushed against the unit.
I personally have supplemented my heat with radiant kero heaters and kept lanterns for 15 years. Like anything you need to take reasonable precautions.
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Re: Kerosene Lanterns for the prepper or camper

Postby MarkD » Mon Oct 13, 2014 2:55 pm

evan price wrote:Kerosene is reasonably safe. It is a flammable liquid but it has a high flashpoint. People have had their heating oil tanks in the basement as long as there have been oil furnaces.


Duh, I HAVE oil heat. I guess if I stored 10-20 gallons of kerosene right next to the oil tank it couldn't make things any WORSE....

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Re: Kerosene Lanterns for the prepper or camper

Postby Weetabix » Mon Oct 13, 2014 3:31 pm

When I moved to Alaska, we were in a log cabin with no water, and a previous resident had buggered up the meter on the stove. We used a Kerosun heater inside running off of winter diesel. Probably not as clean as kerosene. :P
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Re: Kerosene Lanterns for the prepper or camper

Postby Netpackrat » Mon Oct 13, 2014 9:02 pm

MarkD wrote:OK, more questions from someone who knows next to nothing about these things: Are they, and their cousins the kerosene heater, safe to use indoors? Can the kerosene be safely stored in a basement (since my other option would be the shed outside, which is subject to temperature swings since it's just a steel storage shed).


A couple years ago we went without power for 5 days due to a windstorm that knocked out power lines all over Anchorage. I used a kerosene heater like this to keep my house warm during that time. The kerosene had been stored in my outdoor shed subject to our normal temperature extremes for a couple of years at that time, and it worked fine.
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Re: Kerosene Lanterns for the prepper or camper

Postby skb12172 » Mon Oct 13, 2014 9:44 pm

Those heaters are awesome. My parents use one in the main floor of their house, which is the only floor they use now, and don't even turn on the furnace.
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Re: Kerosene Lanterns for the prepper or camper

Postby JAG2955 » Mon Oct 13, 2014 11:43 pm

If this is all your original work (and I have no reason to believe that it isn't), you should submit it to Survivalblog, and see if you can win some swag.

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Re: Kerosene Lanterns for the prepper or camper

Postby Weetabix » Mon Oct 27, 2014 3:51 am

Well, I took the plunge. I bought a W.T. Kirkman #2 "Champion" Cold Blast Lantern, a W.T. Kirkman No. 2 Warming Plate, four Dietz #30 Little Wizard Cold Blast Lanterns, some wicks, and a frosted globe for the big lantern.

I must say, I like them a lot. The big lantern puts out plenty of light. The website says 12-14 candle power. We have it lit right now. Too much light hurts my wife's eyes right now, and this one provides a comfortable level. It's sort of warm and cozy. I haven't used the warming plate, yet, but it and the big lantern will go camping with me soon.

The smaller lantern puts out a good bit of light, too. I'm planning on hanging three of them on the porch and keeping the fourth for a spare.

The linked website provided fast shipping and some of the most excellent packaging I think I've ever gotten mail order.

Thanks for the impetus, Evan. I've been meaning to do this since we were without power for 13 days after an ice storm in 2007.
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Re: Kerosene Lanterns for the prepper or camper

Postby rightisright » Mon Oct 27, 2014 3:56 pm

I bought 3 of the discounted Dietz lanterns and a gallon of Kleen Heat because my local Home Despot was out of Kero containers.

I generally keep my living room dark while watching the tube and these guys put off just enough warm light to be enjoyable yet not disturbing.

Thanks again, Evan!

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Re: Kerosene Lanterns for the prepper or camper

Postby blackeagle603 » Mon Oct 27, 2014 7:27 pm

Got a couple old Feuerhand babys and one slightly larger Feuerhand off eBay for Xmas presents. The little baby unit's are (dare I say?) cute.
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Re: Kerosene Lanterns for the prepper or camper

Postby evan price » Tue Oct 28, 2014 6:54 am

I'm beginning to think WT Kirkman owes me a commission check, after this and other forum sales...!

Enjoy your lanterns.
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Re: Kerosene Lanterns for the prepper or camper

Postby Weetabix » Tue Oct 28, 2014 4:15 pm

Work a deal. I'll vouch for you.
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Re: Kerosene Lanterns for the prepper or camper

Postby Greg » Tue Oct 28, 2014 5:18 pm

evan price wrote:I'm beginning to think WT Kirkman owes me a commission check, after this and other forum sales...!

Enjoy your lanterns.


Only reason I didn't pick up a few of the discounted Dietz lanterns is I'm already short on space.

Thanks for the tip, and I will follow up. Just not for a while. ;)
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Re: Kerosene Lanterns for the prepper or camper

Postby Termite » Tue Oct 28, 2014 9:56 pm

If you want a lot of light from a kerosene lantern, and don't mind listening to "Ssssssssssss.....", then the old Coleman pressurized lanterns are great.
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Re: Kerosene Lanterns for the prepper or camper

Postby Termite » Wed Oct 29, 2014 2:13 am

rightisright wrote:I bought....... a gallon of Kleen Heat because my local Home Despot was out of Kero containers.

Go to your local airport that sells Jet A. Get it WITHOUT Prist(anti-icing additive).

Jet A and K1 kerosene are very close, with Jet A burning a little bit cleaner.
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Re: Kerosene Lanterns for the prepper or camper

Postby PawPaw » Mon Nov 10, 2014 1:03 am

Thanks to this thread, I found an old kerosene lantern at a local auction and brought it home, thinking that I'd use it to light the patio project that I completed this summer. Yesterday I installed the bracket and lantern, and this evening I lit it to see how it would illuminate the patio.

I was surprised at how clean and gentle the light is, casting a fine ambiance on the patio, while not overpowering with glare like a Coleman lantern would do.

Image

I think it casts a lovely glow, and now I need to find another for the far end of the patio.
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Re: Kerosene Lanterns for the prepper or camper

Postby Jered » Mon Nov 10, 2014 1:26 am

What are those glowing eyes in the darkness?
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Re: Kerosene Lanterns for the prepper or camper

Postby PawPaw » Mon Nov 10, 2014 1:32 am

Jered wrote:What are those glowing eyes in the darkness?
I believe that's the dawg, taking a dump.
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Re: Kerosene Lanterns for the prepper or camper

Postby Catbird » Tue Nov 11, 2014 5:56 am

Well, I've gone down quite a rabbit hole here.

I've never dealt with kerosene as a fuel before. Mainly white gas and propane. I have a little experience with gasoline stoves and lanterns as well as pressurized alcohol stoves. I decided to dip my toes and try a kerosene lantern. I checked out Hardwick's in the university district thinking they'd be as likely than anyone in town to carry such stuff. I wasn't disappointed.

They had one tube type lantern, a Deitz Air Pilot.
Deitz #8 Air Pilot.jpg
I bought it and a gallon of K-1 kerosene. I had to work out most of the functions myself because the provided directions are pretty rudimentary. After some research on the W.T. Kirkman website, I found that Klean-Heat kerosene subsitute is recommended for indoor use due to lower odor. Since both my G.F. and I are sensitive to strong scents, I went and picked some up at Home Depot. It makes a difference, but you can still tell that a kerosene appliance is being used in the room. I used it on a scout camping trip. It definitely isn't a substitute for a pressurized, mantle style lantern, but it illuminates a small area nicely, especially if it's dark. It's also silent and runs unattended for a long time.

I was visiting my grandmother a couple weeks later in Port Angeles. I had to pick up some items from Swain's, a local variety store. They had a few lanterns on clearance, six #10 Monarchs and a #20 Junior.
Deitz #10 Monarch.jpg
Deitz #20 Junior.jpg
I picked up one of each priced $15 minus 30%. I also got a couple of spare fuel caps, a small stainless funnel, and a spare globe which fit my Air Pilot.

I gave the Monarch to my girlfriend to use as an emergency light source or just for atmosphere. Since it is a hot blast lantern, it doesn't generate as much kerosene exhaust, but it is still noticeable. I took the other two lanterns on a trailer camping trip a couple weeks ago. I used them outside to mark the driveway of our site. This is what it looked like in the dark:
dark.jpg
and this is what it looked like with at f 5.6, 1 sec., ISO 1600:
exposed.jpg
They were sitting out for four days straight. I turned them down low at night and higher during daylight. The Air Pilot ran about 24 hours on a filling and the Junior ran about 12 hours.

I was visiting my grandma again last Sunday. I stopped in to Swain's to see if I could get another Monarch for myself. They had moved all lantern related stuff to the clearance aisle. There was one Monarch left and a D-Lite which wasn't there last time. I bought them and a spare globe which fits the D-Lite.
Deitz #90 D-Lite.jpg


The same day I stopped at a antique mall in Tacoma. This was the first time I'd visited one since I'd gotten in to lanterns. I was surprised at how many there were. Most were in poor shape and overpriced. I bought an old #100 Little Giant with a red globe for $25. It only needed a good cleaning and a fill up to run like a champ.
Deitz #100 Little Giant.jpg

Now I own six lanterns with five different globes. I think I'll stop for now, although I'm tempted to order a Comet from W.T. Kirkman just because they're so cute. It would probably be good to have some spare parts as well.
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Re: Kerosene Lanterns for the prepper or camper

Postby evan price » Tue Nov 11, 2014 7:26 pm

The thing about lanterns is that they really aren't that expensive to collect, and they have made them for a hundred years. Theres no reason for old ones to be more expensive other than "but it's antique!"
Plus you get the enjoyment of using them, and they are great for preps.
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Re: Kerosene Lanterns for the prepper or camper

Postby Weetabix » Wed Nov 12, 2014 5:00 pm

The expansion tank went Tango Uniform on my boiler. It's leaking merrily. So I shut it down before it tried to drain the system and kick on empty.

I'll be pulling out my lanterns to light the rooms we're in tonight for the bonus heat.
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