what can be used as alternative lamp wicks?

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Still not having a good feeling about recent events, and then noticing that the TVA has more coal than I have ever seen in the 4 years I've lived here, sitting down at the power plant, I thought I'd ask what else can be used as an alternative lamp wick if my oil lamps and kerosene lamps become my only source of light for an extended period of time?

-- Eric in TN (eric_m_stone@yahoo.com), October 30, 2001


A piece of cotton cloth,any kind just so that it is cotton, folded if need be, raw edges to the inside so the threads won't get caught in the wheel or the edges sewn on thick cloth.

-- Thumper (slrldr@yahoo.com), October 30, 2001.

I was thinking cotton canvas like those book bags with the two handles at the top. It's very thick and when you cut it it doesn't curl or anything. Perhaps you could find one at a re sale shop. one would sure last a long time.

-- Doreen (bisquit@here.com), October 31, 2001.

One of the survival forums I used to frequent suggested using old, clean feed sack strings for either lamp wicks or candle wicking. You would need to make a very simple loom by tying the string to a pencil or something similar, then braiding or weaving them together to get the desired effect. If you run out of kerosene, you can burn fat. You place a metal button or washer with a small piece of cottom cloth run through it in a shallow dish of animal fat. Coat the cloth with fat, let it soak in a minute, then light it. It will make a smokey fire, but will make some light. It is the same principle as the the old Aladdin style lights used in ancient times (not the Aladdin kerosene type lampls). You can also make your candles out of hard animal fat by dipping the wicks in and out of the melted fat, then letting them harden and dip again. I know you knew most of this Eric, but thought someone out there might not.

-- Green (ratdogs10@yahoo.com), October 31, 2001.

Thanks all. Found some extra lamp wicks and picked up a small kerosene lantern for $5.00 as well, so am feeling a little better. Just finished cleaning it up in fact, and plan to get some kerosene in it and test it out in a while here. Also have enough candles, matches, lighters, lamp oil, and kerosene that I should be good to go.

-- Eric in TN (eric_m_stone@yahoo.com), October 31, 2001.

Wal-mart carries oil lamp wicks for .49 cents, I still have about 30 left over from my Y2K stockpiles :-)!!!

-- Annie Miller in SE OH (annie@1st.net), October 31, 2001.

Cotton cloth (all cotton) works best. (Which should give you some idea of how safe it ISN'T around an open fire, by the way.)

When I was in college in Alaska a bunch of us went on a retreat to a Forest Service cabin. We were traveling in three boats (this was in Sitka, where you can't do much of anything without a boat) and when the first batch of us got there and unloaded, we realized the lanterns were in one of the boats that was coming later. It was starting to get dark, so one of the Eskimo boys made an Eskimo lamp with a large clam-shell, some vegetable oil, and a strip torn off the bottom of his cotton t-shirt. It worked just fine!

-- Kathleen Sanderson (stonycft@worldpath.net), November 02, 2001.

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