What are your lighting plans Post-SHTF? If you’re like most survivalists and preppers, you plan to use an oil or kerosene lantern for light.
Most preppers are grossly underestimating their lamp oil needs. Let’s do some simple math and shed some “light” on this subject.
If you use your lantern for the average of 4 hours each night you will get about 26 hours per fill up. Your average lantern as pictured to the left holds about 22 ounces, some a little more and some less.
Since there are 128 ounces in a gallon that means that one gallon of oil or kerosene will provide 150.8 hours of light (or 37.7 days per gallon at our 4 hour per day average). That is just a little less then 10 gallons of lamp oil or kerosene per year, and that is per lantern.
How many lanterns you need will depend in your family size, house size, and how many rooms you have. You should have at least three lanterns at a minimum, two to use in different rooms and one stored away as a backup. You will probably want more than the minimum, though. The general rule is if you are moving your lantern on a regular basis then you need another lantern in that room.
So at a minimum that is 30 gallons of lamp fuel per year. But wait, fuel is only a part of the story. Don’t forget extra wicks and at least one spare globe.
Kerosene Is The Better Choice
Stockpiling 30+ gallons of lamp oil can be very expensive. I suggest that you burn kerosene in your lamps, it is cheaper than lamp oil but it does have a smell. Make sure you test it before depending on it.
Turn off the lights for 20-30 mins one night and burn your kerosene lamp, see if you can handle the smell. Also note that highly refine kerosene sold in stores will not give off as bad of a smell like heating kerosene or gas station kerosene. Give them all a try and make a well informed decision.