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Great last minute gift idea: Make an emergency lighting setup

emergency lighting kit, emergency lighting, last minute gift
600 300 Survival Common Sense Blog | Emergency Preparedness

It’s Christmas in a day or so, and you need a last minute gift for that person who has everything and is hard to buy for. But the gift needs to show some forethought, practicality and usefulness. 

Emergency lighting items will be appreciated by everyone, and here is how to gift it.

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by Leon Pantenburg

Us “Be Prepared” types are always looking for new gear, or possibly some way to lure new people into the preparedness fold. Practical gifts, that fill a real need, could be a good way to get a neutral or disinterested person’s attention.

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Here are some of the items that could be included in an emergency lighting kit.

Or maybe you don’t have a clue about what to get for that person who has everything and is really hard to buy for. You don’t want to give them something they don’t need or may not particularly want.

Here’s a emergency lighting setup I put together for one of my hard-to-buy-fors. It’s reasonably extensive, but you can add or subtract items as needed. And best of all, you can go out right now to the nearest box store and find everything.

Everything needs to be organized so a light can be quickly found when the power goes out.

All the items go into a plastic tub with a top. It needs to be small enough to fit on the top shelf of the closet or kitchen – some place handy that you can find in the dark. Label the side of the box so it is easily identified in the dark, and doesn’t get shoved to the back of the shelf.


Matches: Get a  full box of the big kitchen matches, and several boxes of smaller matches. If you have time, go to REI or an outdoor store and get some of the stormproof matches.

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Put all the items together in the same place so they’re easy to find in the dark.

BIC lighters: I carry the mini Bic lighters whenever I’m out in the wild. In my experience, a BIC is the most reliable, cheap butane lighter on the market, and they’re available at any gas station. Here is how to alter one to make it a better survival ignition source. Incidentally,  a tricked out mini BIC is a great stocking stuffer!

Grill lighter: These long nosed lighters are great for lighting candles, propane burners or grills.

Chimney for an oil lamp: You can use this to shield the flame of the tea candles from drafts. It makes a safer lamp, and hopefully prevents the open flame from possibly starting a fire.

Tea candles: These small candles can be used with the chimney or alone.

Liquid candle: These burn for hours and can be refilled with liquid parafin. You may decide to add some liquid parafin to the kit.

Long burning candles: These will supply light for several hours.

Battery-powered lamp: These range in price from low cost to high end. They are the best choice for areas where small children might be.

Flashlights: Get several inexpensive ones – during a blackout you may end up helping the neighbors. Optional additions might be a quality headlamp and a more sturdy and reliable flashlight.

Extra batteries: It’s a good idea to have all the flashlights use the same size batteries, and pack spares.

Obviously, you can make this light setup as elaborate and extensive as you want to. (My personal bins takes up a whole shelf in the garage!) You may decide to add a kerosene lamp or lantern, or more battery-powered lights. Rechargeable lights are a good idea, and take a look at solar chargers and heavy duty batteries for long term use.

Make sure all the flashlights have fresh batteries, and check them periodically. Any flame adds carbon monoxide to the air, so any area they’re used in must be well-ventilated.

Give a gift that will have people thanking you during the next power outage!

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