Review: Emergency Lighting with the Aladdin Mantle Lamp

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When it comes to non-electric lighting, there actually is a genie in the bottle.  Oh my gosh, if you only knew how long I have been waiting to say that!  So now you ask:  Genie? Bottle?  What the heck?

Many of you have mentioned that you have a kerosene lamp.  Some have been of older vintage, passed down from grandparents or purchased for a song at a garage sale.  Others have a newer lamp, purchased specifically for prepping purposes.  And then there are the rest of us, lamp-less and yearning to learn more.

Emergency Lighting Aladdin Mantle Lamp | Backdoor Survival

Today I am super excited to introduce you to the Aladdin Genie III Lamp, and, thanks to the generosity of Galen Lehman (yes, THAT Lehman), have a complete Aladdin Lamp setup to giveaway to one very lucky reader.  More about that later but first, let me tell you about the Aladdin Lamp.

The Aladdin Lamp

I first learned about Aladdin lamps when I read a draft of Book 6 of Ron Brown’s Non-Electric Lighting Series.  Prior to that, I  knew very little, if anything about Aladdin table lamps.  I  knew what they looked like but not much more.  Mostly, I had no idea that these old-timey lamps were still being made.

Here is a ten thousand foot summary description of Aladdin lamps:

Aladdin lamps are mantle lamps that burn kerosene.

It is the mantle that emits light from the flame which is why an Aladdin is so much brighter than a wick-only lamp.

They are not pressurized so they don’t hiss or flicker.

They produce up to 60 watts-worth of smooth white light. The Aladdin is bright!

They have been on the market over a hundred years, since 1909 to be exact.

Aladdin’s have a cult following and there is even a worldwide collectors club, The Aladdin Knights of the Mystic Light.

You can purchase an Aladdin brand new as well as used.

And that is just to begin with.

Setting Up the Aladdin Lamp

One nice thing about the Aladdin is that everything you need to set it up is included with the exception of fuel.  At Galen’s recommendation, I used genuine Aladdin Oil and did not test other lamp fuels.  It is my understanding, however, that other fuels such as Klean-Strip Klean-Heat and pure K-1 kerosene will produce satisfactory results.

After unwrapping all of the parts, you need to fit the mantle to what is called the gallery.  The gallery, or slip-gallery, is the upper portion of the burner.  It is the section that holds both the mantle and the chimney.

Emergency Lighting Aladdin Mantle Lamp | Backdoor Survival

A “before” picture to the mantle.

The next step is the only step that requires some care.  Before using the lamp, you need to burn off the mantle coating by touching a flame to the top of the mantle.  The dicey part is that you only want the flame to touch because if you accidently touch the mantle with your match stick, it will disintegrate.  How do I know?  I was being extremely cautious and failed at my first three attempts to light the mantle.  I was using short matches and they extinguished before I succeeded.  Mr. Know-It-All, Shelly, wanted to try and within 2 seconds, shattered the mantle.

Emergency Lighting Aladdin Mantle Lamp | Backdoor Survival

This is what will happen if you are not careful.

Luckily, I had a spare mantle and it lit up easily.  It helped that I used BBQ wand but you can also use a longer match or even a standard BIC.

Emergency Lighting Aladdin Mantle Lamp | Backdoor Survival

The next step is to add the wick to the bowl, screw the burner into the bowl and then fill it with your fuel of choice, Aladdin Lamp Oil or K-1 kerosene.   My Genie III had a fill hole making this easy to top off using a funnel.  Note that the first time around, you need to let the wick soak for an hour.

Emergency Lighting Aladdin Mantle Lamp | Backdoor Survival

The last step is light the burner, again using a match, and attach the gallery/chimney section.

Ready, Set, Light!

I was pretty anxious to see how my lamp worked and whether it lived up to the hype.  To be honest, at first I was disappointed.  Apparently this is a normal reaction for a first-timer because we expect to see a full-blown glow right away.  The reality is that it takes a while for the burner to warm up (10 to 15 minutes is my guess) and after that, you need to adjust the wick to obtain the desired illumination.

Emergency Lighting Aladdin Mantle Lamp | Backdoor Survival

This is my favorite photo.

Emergency Lighting Aladdin Mantle Lamp | Backdoor Survival

It is difficult to tell from the pictures, but the Genii III lived up to it’s reputation.  Not only did it give up a significant amount of light. but there was something charming about watching it burn.  Okay, I get excited about the oddest things but honestly?  I loved the way it looked and right away wanted to jump online and get not only a lamp shade, but another Aladdin lamp.

Emergency Lighting Aladdin Mantle Lamp | Backdoor Survival

When it comes time to extinguish your lamp, turn the wick knob until it stops, and blow across the chimney.  The flame will go out.

Note:  The Aladdin Genie III will burn for 12 hours before you need to refill the oil reservoir.

A Word About Mantles

As I found during my testing, mantles are fragile and need to be treated with care, especially during the initial set-up.

In his book, Ron recommends Philippine-made mantles and further indicates:

I recommend you buy them only direct from Lehman’s (https://www.lehmans.com/). Lehman’s is a major player; its inventory turnover is high; that means you’ll get mantles that were recently produced. (In the interest of full disclosure, please know I have zero financial interest in Lehman’s.)

In every case, no matter what Aladdin mantle you buy or where it’s from, open every box and check every mantle individually. I have received shattered mantles in perfect boxes from trusted sellers. On eBay, buy only from sellers with a 100% satisfaction rating from their customers.

Galen Lehman advises, “Lehman’s (and most reliable retailers) will replace mantles that arrive to customers broken.” And that’s great. Except what I have done is to buy a dozen mantles in one shot, receive them neatly packed in a carton, check one and, finding that one to be okay, set the entire box on a shelf. Ten years later (after I’ve long since forgotten who the vendor was) I discover that some of the mantles in that carton are not so good. So, again, my advice is to check them individually when first received.

I agree, and to add to that, recommend that for emergency purposes, you have a couple of spares.

Something else to watch for black spots on the mantle that may appear while the Aladdin lamp is burning.  This means that the mantle has been over fired.  I am uncertain of the ramifications but all you need to do to correct this problem is turn down the wick.  That is easy enough to do using the knob on the side of the burner.

Safety Concerns

Safety concerns are always an issue with any type of emergency lighting that produces a flame.  The Aladdin is no exception.  Never leave an Aladdin lamp (or any kerosene lamp) unattended.  If by chance it becomes over-fired, it will pose a fire hazard.

Also, keep in mind that fresh air is required if the lamp is going burn properly.  Never use your lamp in a tightly sealed, indoor area.  If you are indoors, keep a window or door slightly cracked.

Finally, do not burn gasoline in your Aladdin lamp; it will explode and there will be no good ending to that event!

Galen Lehman Weighs In On Preparedness

I have had an opportunity to get to know Galen Lehman and, perhaps unknown to you, have had some of my articles shared on the Lehman’s Country Life blog.  In preparation for this article, I asked Galen to answer a few questions so you can get to know both Aladdin and Lehman’s a little bit better.

Can you explain for my readers how you came to own the Aladdin Lamp business?  I have heard through the grapevine that you started out as a collector.

Lehman’s has been an Aladdin dealer for something like 50 years.  No one can even remember when we started, but we’ve found mentions of Aladdin in early advertising from about that long ago.  When I started working there in the 1970’s, one of my first jobs was putting them away.

I was so intrigued by how they worked, that I soon fell in love with them.  I read Bill Courter’s book, Aladdin, The Magic Name in Lamps from cover to cover and joined the collector’s club.

Victor Johnson started the company in 1909, and his family still owns the original company today, but they made the difficult decision to sell the lamp division to new owners. That company, which was eventually named Aladdin Lighting Technologies, had as one of its original investors my father, Jay.

After 15 years running Aladdin Lighting Technologies, Jay and the other owners began looking for a succession plan.  They reached out to Lehman’s. At the time, Lehman’s was their largest customer, and they felt we were uniquely positioned to understand the brand and its legacy.  I jumped at the chance to take over, and in early 2015 we purchased all of their assets and incorporated under “Crownplace Brands, Ltd.”

We chose the name “Crownplace Brands” because our intent was to sell other related products under other brand names.  So it is today, that Crownplace Brands sells Aladdin Lamps, Dietz lanterns, Feuerhand lanterns, Diamond gas refrigerators and Dometic gas refrigerators to Lehman’s and about 200 other dealers.

For my review, I pretty much started with zero knowledge of how to operate the Aladdin Lamp although I did cheat and watch a couple of YouTube videos.  There is method to my madness since I know that not everyone (i.e. my husband) is willing to read the manual before using a new piece of equipment.  That said, what tips do you have for the first time user of an Aladdin Lamp?

Well, my first tip is to read the owner’s manual! J

That said, there are few key operating hints we like to give every user:

1. After you fill it for the first time, make sure the wick is “wet” with fuel before lighting.  This will take about 20 minutes, in most cases.  When the wick is ready, it lights easily without any smoke.

2. When lit, the lamp begins working immediately, but will not achieve full brightness for about 20 minutes.  When you first light it, set it so about half of mantle is illuminated.  It will reach full brightness on it’s own, and the whole mantle will glow with full brilliance.

3. The wick must be clean, straight and properly shaped.  We provide a small tool with the lamp to do this.  (It’s shaped like a thimble.)  It takes only a few seconds to use and instructions for cleaning are in (you guessed it) the manual.

There are also some important safety rules

1. Never leave a burning lamp unattended.  Because of changes in ambient air temperatures, drafts in the room and the fact that as the lamp warms it tends to get brighter, it is important to monitor the lamp as it burns to make sure it’s not causing flame, fumes or smoke.

2. Keep away from combustibles.  For example, keep 36” from the ceiling unless you have the optional chimney heat shield.

3. Do not refuel the lamp while burning.

4. Always make sure the lamp is properly assembled before lighting.

Switching gears, I know that my readers love the products offered in the Lehman’s catalog because they mostly do not require modern technology to function.  Can you share with us your three top selling products?

The most popular items change by season.  But, I can give you some examples.

Aladdin Lamps themselves are one of our most popular items.  Thousands of them have been sold since 1908 and they are still selling today.  People who buy Aladdin lamps buy them to use.  For that reason, we not only stock new lamps, but parts for the entire line, going back almost to the beginning.

Gas refrigerators are a key part of our line, too.  There is no other efficient way to refrigerate when there is no electricity.  Our gas refrigerators are in use from the mountains of northern California to salt-sprayed islands off the New England coast.  In fact, we’ve sold them all over the world!

Another popular item is our wood-fired cook stoves.  There are lots of ways to cook, but woodstoves help you do it in a way that uses less technical resources and produces food that tastes AMAZING!

And finally, as you know, Backdoor Survival readers come to this website because they want to learn self-sufficiency so they can take care of themselves and their families in the event of a disaster or what I like to call, a disruptive event.  Do you personally prepare and if so, what are you personally preparing for?

I think it is critically important to be prepared.  You don’t go grocery shopping or out to eat with friends without making a plan.  Why would you not plan for things that we know are going to happen, like wide-spread disease(1), extended electric failure(2) or terrorist attack(3).

My method of preparedness is two-fold.  I believe we should be 100% ready for any short term disaster.  This means having all the food, fuel, water and (if you live in a cold climate) heat for short term disruption.  Under that plan, we start with the assumption that national infrastructure stands and eventually musters enough talent, manpower, money and materiel to solve the problem.

After that, one has to consider long-term disasters where national infrastructure fails.  The cost and effort required to prepare for those events is overwhelming.  So, we are less prepared for them.  Preparedness in this case means having some way to grow food, appliances that don’t require fuel supplied by the infrastructure (like wood cook stoves) and finding a source of water (like a hand-pumped well).  The goal is to answer the question, “What will I do after my stored supplies run out?”

(1) New diseases are always finding their way in.  My opinion is that the current biggest threat is malaria.  Malaria’s reach once covered much of the USA, and antibiotic resistant versions are in play once again.  If we don’t find a solution, it will be back in the USA again.  When malaria is pandemic, friends of mine in Africa have told me it can cripple the infrastructure, overburden hospitals and sicken critically needed talent.

(2) I believe an electro-magnetic pulse is our biggest threat, whether the result of attack or solar flare.  But any major storm could have a pretty devastating effect…just a few years ago, I personally went for nearly two weeks straight without electricity (easily surviving in a warm house with water, food and light, because I was prepared).

(3) Terrorist attack on physical infrastructure is our main threat here.  The kinds of attacks we most commonly see now, on planes, trains and buildings, have no impact on our national infrastructure.  But an attack on our food supply or transportation system would be another story.

The Giveaway

This latest Backdoor Survival giveaway is for a Genie III Aladdin lamp, a spare mantle, and a bottle of Aladdin brand lamp fuel.  Are you excited?  I hope so because I am!

To enter the giveaway, you need to utilize the Rafflecopter form below.  Select one or more of the options after signing in using your email account or Facebook, the choice is yours.  The best way to start is by clicking on “Free Entry for Everyone”.  After that, each option you select represents an additional entry.  There are a number of different options so pick and choose or select them all.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The deadline is 6:00 PM Pacific next Tuesday with the winner notified by email and announced on the Rafflecopter in the article.  Please note that the winner must claim their prize within 48 hours or an alternate will be selected.

Note:  Due to Customs requirements, this giveaway is only open to those with a shipping address in the United States.

The Final Word

In the beginning, my preps were focused on water storage and purification, and food.  Later, I turned my efforts to first aid and wellness in a survival situation.  These days, my needs and interests fall more into learning how to embrace old-time skills.  This does not mean that I do everything by hand; far from it.  Instead, I seek affordable tools and items that will make survival in an austere setting a bit easier and more comfortable, with electricity or without.

To that end, I am thrilled to be given this opportunity to review a genuine Aladdin Lamp and also to give you an opportunity to win one of your own.  In addition, I am working with Galen and Lehman’s  to continue to share more reviews of products that are not dependent on technology.  In the meantime, for more Information about Aladdin Lamps, the go to place to visit is www.aladdinlamps.com and especially the Aladdin Learning Center.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
Gaye

If you enjoyed this article, consider subscribing to email updates.  When you do, you will receive a free, downloadable copy of my e-Book, The Emergency Food Buyer’s Guide.

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Bargain Bin:  Below you will find links to items related to today;s article.  Plus, an article about emergency lighting would not be complete without a selection of some of my favorite light sources.

Fireplace Matches:  This is something I encourage you to add to your supplies.  There have been so many times where a standard sized match would not cut it.  Plus, as much as I like those BBQ wands, sometimes they run our of fuel just when you need them the most.  This is for 3 boxes of 40 matches and shipping is free for everyone.

BIC Multi Purpose Lighter One Value Lighters:  I like BICs so this is what I use.  Note that these are not the refillable type.

First Alert Tundra Fire Extinguisher Aerosol Spray: These spray cans are so darn handy to have around.  They are single use and much easier to stash in a kit than a traditional fire extinguisher.

Ultra Bright LED Lantern – Collapsible:  I admit to now owning 3 of these collapsible lanterns. It uses 30 different LEDS and is powered by 3 AA batteries, including rechargeables.  Instead of a switch, you turn it on by extending the lantern from its collapsed condition.  With a lifetime warranty and over 1,350 close to perfect ratings, I can see why this is popular.  Currently $9.99 with free Prime shipping.

BYBLight TML-T6: This flashlight is extremely bright, casts wide angle and, when zoomed, a very focused beam.  I swear that if there were a rattlesnake out in the desert outside my back yard this flashlight would find it.  It’s a sturdy thing with an aluminum casing that is not at all heavy.  It has 5 built in modes including the standard high, medium, low plus a strobe and SOS mode. It includes a rechargeable battery and a charger plus an adapter to hold AAA batteries.

BYB Flashlight 250

Just to see it stacks up with my other favorites, here is a photo showing the differences in size and form factor between the BYBLight, Coast HP1, and the UltraFire Mini-Cree.

Book 6: Kerosene Pressure Lanterns: Ron covers Aladdin Lamps in this book even though the Aladdin is not a pressure lamp.  Highly informative, I recommend that you have the complete Non-Electric Lighting Series in your survival library.

Aladdin, The Magic Name in Lamps:  If you are interested in learning more about Aladdin lamps, this book is the classic you will want to read.  It may also be available at your local library.

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Which are the best oils for your survival kit?  This article describes my top picks.

9 Best Essential Oils for Your Survival Kit | Backdoor Survival




Comments

Review: Emergency Lighting with the Aladdin Mantle Lamp — 112 Comments

  1. Many years ago I had an Aladdin lamp… they are beautiful as well as very functional. As with any tool.. they have their place, and their strengths and weaknesses over other forms of light… (and heat). They are very bright and silent… they would be a welcomed light source in any circumstance where electric lighting is not possible.

  2. Excellent article, Gaye! Super! If you buy a used Aladdin (to save money) as I would tend to do, what you will likely come home with is a Model 23. They were produced for 46 years and are most common. But the Model 23 is very inconsistent from one lamp to the next. So for the folks who might buy a second-hand lamp, I think the following quote (from my book “Kerosene Pressure Lanterns”) is relevant:

    “Of late, I came in contact with Galen Lehman, an Aladdin collector as well as President of Crownplace Brands . . . Galen wrote me: ‘The best thing I can say about any #23 burner, in summary, is that the quality was inconsistent. One of the Aladdin collectors told me that he has two #23 burners. Using the same “40 cp” mantle on both burners, he gets 23 cp [candlepower] from one and 60 cp from the other!’

    “Further, Galen recommended the Model B burner: ‘Might I suggest a #B burner . . . I think the Model B will outperform all the others. Certainly, the #B is held out as “the best” by many collectors. Personally, getting to “Model B performance” is my ultimate goal [for our new generation of Aladdin lamps].’

    “For me, that finally answered the question, ‘Which one is a good one?’ And Model B’s are not truly rare. Some four million were produced between 1933 and 1955. That’s 3500 a week for 22 years. There’s always a few on eBay.”

    So . . . for preppers who might be inclined to buy used instead of new, I think knowing about the Model B is worthwhile. And what I just presented about the Model B is not my opinion. It’s Galen Lehman’s opinion. You can’t go much higher than that, eh?

    • Great insight and thanks again for your Kerosene Pressure Lanterns book I won here last December. Loved reading Gaye’s post here to learn all I can about the topic. I grew up in Amish country so I can well appreciate the need for these lamps and lanterns.

  3. Maybe information on how to take care of some of the “old-time” hand tools, other than screwdrivers, pliers, etc. Like what are the best saws to cut down trees, hand drills,chisels, etc. what would be the best way of cleaning them, sharpening them, etc. I don’t use Facebook and YouTube. My grandfather used to have a very well equipped wood shop (his hobby) and had all sorts of hand tools but back in the day girls weren’t encouraged to learn much more than using a hammer or screwdriver.
    I would dearly love to win an Aladdin Lamp. Mine are inexpensive wick lamps with lamp oil.I can’t afford an Aladdin right now, BUT they are on my wish list.

  4. Great article. The simple tools are the best at times. I like this article, I have use lamps but not with the mantle. Thanks.

  5. For hand tools, I have wanted to get a manual hand drill. I have a battery powered drill now that the batteries have capped out on, it would be nice to have something that just needs human power.

  6. We have had several kerosene lanterns in the past, somehow got away from them, but things as they are, we need to go back to them…in addition, I have never seen one with a mantle, my coleman lantern had a mantel and they worked great, I am sure this lamp will too……hummm,, hummm, my mantra seeing my name drawn for the lantern LOL

  7. I’ve loved kerosene lamps since I was little kid. Your lamp is beautiful! Thanks for this review; now I really want an Aladdin. And I don’t blame you for the “genie in a lamp” – I mean really, who could pass that up?

  8. I am striving to find some old time hand held woodworking tools such as draw knife. I have several oil lamps but not the mantle type.

  9. I have two Aladdin lamps and I love them! They put off so much more light than a traditional oil lamp. In a winter power outage, they are especially wonderful, since they give off a bit of heat, as well.

    • To clarify, all Aladdin mantles on the market today are made by just one company, the Gasman Mantle Mfg. Corp. in the Philippines. In the process of writing “Kerosene Pressure Lanterns,” I talked to Sam Blank, Gasman’s owner. Today, all Aladdin mantles are non-radioactive yttrium. Today, no Aladdin mantles are radioactive thorium. (Both yttrium and thorium are classified as “rare earths.”) Other lamps and lanterns may or may not use thorium but not Aladdin.

      That being said, it’s still a good idea to light and extinguish an Aladdin outside (on the porch or balcony or breezeway). Why? Odor control. Light your Aladdin outdoors, let it warm up for 20 minutes, then carry it (lit and burning) indoors. Later, when you are ready to put it out, carry it outdoors (still lit and burning), and extinguish it. You’ll never smell anything in the house.

  10. Is there some “ESP” going on here? This past weekend we checked all of our oil lamps. Have my list ready to purchase replacement parts and increase our oil stash. Thanks again for all you do to encourage all of us to be “smarter” preppers.

  11. I’m hooked on the Goal Zero solar powered “lighthouse” lantern, but I’ve always wanted an Aladdin for my home. They are known to b ethe best.

  12. Love this style of lamp and love lehmans. What I’d really like you to do some reviews on are alternative methods of stockpiling one’s med kit. we use livestock supply houses where you can source many different antibiotics as well as a wide variety of other meds. Keep an eye open for alternative sources. e.

  13. It took me 30 years to get my first Aladdin lamp. I had seen one in a visit I made to an Amish family in Kidron (where the Lehmans store is located. It was so pretty hanging over their dinning table. I knew then I would have one. 30 years later, retired and building a log home on 142 acres, I made the designer make a space in our living room to hang the lamp. Beside being lovely it is very effective. I live close to Lehmans and they have a bige supply of lamps and parts along with many other on electric items. Thye are in the middle of a large amish community. Which by the way is a great source of information about how to live in a simpler society. I had one contact with the Aladdin company directly and was very pleased with the response I recieved and the support. Get Lehmans catlog and visit if you can.

  14. Great article and review of the Aladdin Genie III. I think a mantle lamp would be a good addition to any prepper’s emergency lighting supplies.

  15. A friend of mine in college got an Aladdin lamp in college……I did not understand why they treated it as such a royal possession…..now I know! I live in the mountains in Colorado….our infrastructure is fragile…..I need this! Great interview with Lehman….I lived in Ohio and have visited Mecca….the joint was always ajumping on Saturdays!

  16. Nice article, as always. Question, in an emergency situation, I would need it night, and day, as I have night blindness, would turning it off, to refill, and then turning back on, he advisable? Or would I need to use a different one to be safe? Having a severely burned grandparent,(from a wood stove), fire tended to be a focus with our family. My great-grandparents, always used another lantern, I don’t know if that was a peculiarity to them, or was a safety precaution. It made me think there was a danger to using a lantern for too long. They even kept too hanging on hooks by the back door for nightly trips to the outhouse. Which again made me think there was a problem with re-lighting a freshly used lantern. I have used oil lamps before, but only during outages, only for a couple of hours before going to bed. Are these safer than regular oil lamp, or just better at providing light?

    • Jonnie, various online lamper forums (e.g. The International Guild of Lamp Researchers) will warn you to never fill a lantern with Coleman fuel (white gas) while the lantern is still burning. In fact, they’ll tell you to never fill a lantern with Coleman fuel by the light of a SECOND lantern. Why? Because there are volatile fumes floating about from the pour-and-fill process and the flame from a still-burning lantern can ignite those fumes. Once inside the lantern, however, the fuel is safe (even though it’s flammable) because the lantern is a sealed system.

      Kerosene is different. Kerosene does not evaporate fast enough at room temperature to take fire. You can throw a lit match in a bucket of kerosene (I’ve done it) and it will – pssst – go out just as if it had been tossed in a bucket of water.

      The same lamper forums that tell you to never refill with Coleman fuel while the lantern is burning also tell you, specifically, that is OK to do so with kerosene.

      The Aladdin lamp burns kerosene. So from a combustibility/flammability point of view it would be safe to refill a “freshly used” Aladdin. Just don’t burn your fingers. That would be the risk.

      The (newer) Genie III lamp has a fill cap that lets you add fuel without removing the burner. The (older) Genie II model requires you to unscrew the burner and remove it, dripping wick and all, in order to add fuel. In either case, you’ll have to let the lamp cool a bit before you can service it. But if it’s cool enough to handle, then it’s cool enough to safely refill and relight.

      Aside. I suspect the two lanterns your grandparents kept by the back door were his and hers models (just as you might do with emergency flashlights today).

      A yell from the outback: “Hey Martha! I forgot the TP.”

      “Well how am I supposed to get there, Harry? It’s dark, remember? And you took the lantern with you.”

      • Thank you for the information. It’s good to know these things, I had thought kerosene was as as dangerous as gas. It makes me feel better knowing this. I’ll stock up on kerosene, instead of gas, for my lanterns, I will still use l.p. for the camping stove.

        • Jonnie, kerosene is safer (from a flammability standpoint) than Coleman fuel. However, some lanterns are designed for Coleman fuel and won’t run on kerosene. Other lanterns are designed for kerosene and won’t run on Coleman fuel. Your saying that you’ll “stock up on kerosene instead of gas” makes me a little nervous. It’s no good to stock up on one thing (kerosene) if your lantern runs on something else (gas)………….

  17. Big things are Laundry and Cutting/sharpening/grinding and drilling. I know how to clean clothes by hand, but maybe some tutorials on wheel mounted tools like sewing machines for grinding

  18. When I think about “tools” I need, I’m kind of stumped over what to use for keeping warm in a condo. I am unable to put in a wood burning stove and the fireplace will be useless with no power. I’ve heard about the “Buddy” kerosene heaters but am leery of using one. I’ve never camped so it’s very much a foreign object to me.

    I don’t think you’ve done a review on kerosene heaters and I’d appreciate your input.

  19. My bucket list prep would be portable solar panels. I was in Hugo and i know that things can happen at a moment notice. The things would love to know more about are life hacks for survival. For example when hugo hit we had no idea that you could store water in a top loading washing machine. It wouldnt be used for drinking without boiling, but can be great for washing hands. Or say filling up milk jugs and placeing them in a deep freezer. This keeps electricity down if the freezer is not filled with food, and is extra water that can be used for bathing or drinking…(if the water is boiled first if the jug was a milk jug origionally) Those type of topics are my fav. Keep up the good work!!

  20. the basic tool I’d like more info about is making fire. Won’t do me a bit of good to have a fine Aladdin lamp or wood cookstove once I run out of matches and lighters. and rubbing sticks together to light either could prove impossible.

  21. My favorite tool is a solar flashlight, I keep it on the windowsill and it’s ready when I need it. I’m an apartment dweller in a major city so space is a premium and I have to get creative.

  22. One thing that I would like to see reviewed are water filters that remove everything. It should take out bugs, giardia,etc. and heavy metals,toxins, medicines, floride, and all the other garbage that is in the water now.

  23. Would love more information on non-electric tools – which ones we should have, how to use them, how to care for them, etc. Information for people who have never used tools except a hammer and screwdriver.

    • I agree. You can figure it out, or think you can, not liking using it, and with bad results. Then someone comes along and says your using it wrong. Once you are told, or showed how to use it properly, you begin to like using it, and begin getting great results. That is a common event for me.😁

  24. I love Lehman!!! I found them a long while ago while looking for a store that sold stuff the Amish use.. I haven’t been able to afford to buy their stoves yet but I will!!! If you haven’t seen what they have to offer yet you sooooo need to! But a word of warning! make sure you have the funds in the bank to make a large purchase!!! I can just about guarantee you will be making a big one once you start looking through the site!

  25. I really like that lamp, thanks for reviewing it. A tool I’d like to get for myself is a proper buck saw and/or a crosscut saw.

  26. I have an old Aladdin lamp that I would love to restore. It’s a dark green color, which I was told was fairly rare.

  27. I’ve sold and used Aladdin lamps for 30 years or more. Some of the things I prefer, although they may have been phased out are the standard chimneys, not the Lox-on. Standard chimneys just slip into their adapter. Always!! have extra mantels. And now, for the best advice I can give you. Avoid using the wick-cutter/cleaner. Remove the chimney. Dial the wick so that it is near the top of the flame spreader, which is the round perforated piece the wick slides up and down on. “Tweak” its nose with your thumb and forefinger gently to rub away built-up carbon. This maneuver shapes the wick to keep the flame from “streaking.” Go wash the kerosene smell off your hands.

  28. If there was a long term power outage, weeks or months our reliance on long ignored hand tools would be prominent again. All hand tools would be invaluable and my guess is not many people have them any longer. Kitchen Tools like, hand mixer, manual can opener, manual grinder (spices & coffee). Gardening Tool: hand shove, post hole digger, ax, maul, wedges (for splitting firewood). Shop tools, draw knife, wrenches, hand drills, saws (various types). hammer, good screw drivers, nail pullers. I’m sure I missed a lot and the list could get very long. It’s not just owning the tools that will be invaluable, it’s knowing how to safely use and properly care for them. The last thing anyone would want to do is get seriously hurt because you used a tool wrong. And you don’t want to break something that already is nearly impossible to replace. Most times these tools can only be found at garage sales and flea markets.

    • You are right. I need to start getting hand tool. I’m also trying to find non electrical small appliances. I saw a blender, that was hand cranked, so I’m looking for solutions that are hand, or foot powered. I would use them now, if I could find them.

  29. Great post, I was unaware the Lehman’s, I will be checking out there business in a moment. I know Aladdin lamps, my mother had Antique stores, and they would come through from time to time, I had no idea they were still being made today,very cool to know. I hope I win the give a way, but if not I am going to buy one, and stock up on some fuel.
    One neat thing about being around the Antiques were all the old tools, I have had several really cool tools over the years, unfortunate most were stolen a few years back, but I used them often, and new steel isn’t the same, much lower quality.
    Again, thanks for the post, and bringing up such great memories.

  30. I think that the big non-electric *tools* people would need would be solar power, refrigeration, some form of heating and cooking. Lighting certainly falls into that as well–I could see an Aladdin lamp being very useful!

  31. I don’t want to think of anything new to learn I am still working on the old ones I am learning. Too many irons in the fire! Would love to have one of those lamps though.

  32. I’m just now becomming interested in non-electric/gas powered lawn mowers. As with everything, I assume there are good ones and ….well….not so good ones. Would love to hear your experience and expertise on the various models. I learned a LOT from your article on the lamp. To be honest, I’m a little intimidated by all I read….but I’m sure, after the learning curve, I’d be fine. As always, thanks for your time and effort you put in to your blog.

  33. Back in the old days, water was brought to the house from a well or stream using a bucket. Luxury was having a pitcher pump in the kitchen. What would be some of the ways people can save time and effort bringing water home, without having to use buckets?

  34. I buy many things from Lehman’s but the very best is the SoapNuts for laundry. They are organic and inexpensive because they are reusable and they clean great.

  35. As we all know, not everyone will be able to bug out. My wife has health issues and we might have to stay regardless if autos are knocked out with an EMP. I’d like to know about hardening the home in SHTF situation. Also, about water – how to store larger amounts, purification, and opsec while having to travel a mile or so in SHTF situation. Thanks for all the great articles and products. Keep Looking UP

  36. On my bucket list is more basic foodstuffs such as extra beans, corn, rice, etc. But actually you’ve peaked an overlooked interest with this lamp also! I have hurricane lamps, flash lights, etc. but I think I’m going to be looking into this a little deeper starting about, uh, right now.

  37. Cool Lamp. I’d like to have several of these plus a bunch of extra wicks. Coleman Lanterns (using white gas) are probabably a better choice safety wise, albeit more expensive

  38. I would like more information on doing laundry. I have a plunger type device to “agitate” dirty clothes and a mop wringer built in over a plastic tub on wheels. I plan to use it to wring out clothes if there is no electricity. How did people used to wash things in a cast iron pot over a fire? What did they use for detergent? Some info. on alternative soap solutions like yucca and soapwort plants would be helpful.

  39. Great article. I love Aladdin lamps, have owned a few for 30 years or so, and recently bought a few more decorative ones. Always keep a few extra mantles, and a wick or 2 if you plan on using them much.

  40. I am trying to get my hands on a hand crank drill for the husband. We have gone thru his tools and a couple of lists I found on other web sites to see recommendations and then reviewed what he already had. We will need another type of hand saw (there are different types of hand saws for different jobs)and a sharpening wheel to be mounted on his work bench. On my list are three gardening tools we should have like a hoe, metal wide tooth rake and bigger cutting tool/pruners. For the kitchen I still would like to have a hand crank mixer for large mixing jobs.

  41. Used Aladdin lamps in the Peace Corps and they work fine. Bright light, hot and I think you could cook over them in an emergency.

    Only thing is you need to keep a close eye on it or you’ll have a big black spot of carbon on the ceiling!!!

  42. There are a lot of hand tools that need to be sharpened periodically to work well. I’ve tried to do a little reading on this and folks keep talking about holding different tools at different angles to sharpen. For some reason, I can’t seem to “get” this. A basic tutorial would be great. You have a way of explaining things so that I can understand (the light bulb comes on). LOL

  43. Thirty-Eight years ago I owned one. It was GREAT! And they look just the same now as they did back then!! When my first husband and I divorced he got the lamp. Sure wish I had it. It would light up the whole living room (smaller room) and I could read a book. And it is beautiful also! A real nice lamp to have. Can’t really say enough nice things about it. I think I will have to order one but winning one would be fantastic too 🙂

  44. I would be interested in learning how to store food and water in an alternate location without losing a lot of shelf life and make sure it’s secure from someone stealing it. It’s very hot and humid where I live and the alternate family location where I might bugout is too small to store much inside where it’s cool. I want to make sure that location is properly prepared but I don’t want the food and water to ruin in just a few years.

  45. For the answer to your question, I feel you cant have to many gardening tools. Shovels, hoes and rakes.
    As far as the Aladdin lamp, I had no idea. An internet friend of mine once bragged that he had “stolen” one at a yard sale. I didn’t understand why he was so excited. Now I will have to sell some of my ammo to buy a lamp. Its all your fault.

  46. I’d really like to know more about the best hunting/survival knives to purchase. There are so many out there that it gets confusing. The last thing I want is to invest a large amount of money on a flimsy hunting/survival knife. From expensive to inexpensive but all quality knives, and possible knives to avoid would be a great help.

  47. I have had a lantern on my wish list for some time now. It does use batteries so I should add another non-battery lantern to my list. I need so many tools, so I think those combo tool sets, similar to my multi-function knife, would be a good place to start. Multi-use tools always fascinate me and they tend to be more compact so I can carry and actually use them.

  48. Backdoorsurvival is one of my favorite sites. I’m always looking for new prep ideas, things I’ve overlooked, or have and have forgotten to update or use. I have many items from Lehman’s, but my 2 favorites are the stainless manual popcorn popper and my clothesline pulley system.

  49. Best to have several different types of lighting on hand. A basic type is a shallow dish with a wick for oil. Cooking or olive oil can be used if you don’t have anything else on hand. Will probably be a bit smoky, tho. Think of those old biblical lamps.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_lamp

    Even an old ship lantern will burn for hours. They used Anchor Lamps to mark the boat at night and had to be rugged.
    http://www.defender.com/product.jsp?path=-1|65136|2312565&id=143592

    Check yard sales and places that sell used items. You might find some workable lamps if you don’t mind a few nicks and dents.

  50. Very interesting article on the Aladdin lamps. Some of the information I did not know about it. It would be an asset in any preppers home, or just in case of storm outages that come with bad storms.
    In addition to the necessary food/water/light supplies, I think it’s a good idea to have some way to be entertained for the family – whether that is in the form of books (yes the kind you have to read manually); cards, coloring books (for kids as well as adults), crayons & markers for them; board games & puzzles. Being able to be distracted from a chaotic situation is always good.
    Have some comfort food available as well (you know what your family likes).
    We all need to look to our own future, we may be all we can depend upon very soon.

  51. I would love a grain mill to grind a variety of grains not just wheat since since I need a gluten free diet.

  52. I am so new to prepping and I am finding all of this news so helpful. It would be a most wonderful start, to own an Alladin lamp to begin my list of Most Needed Items to collect – for survival in any disaster.

  53. Test the fuel you use some produce soot and smell bad. It takes some time to run bad fuel out of your lantern.

  54. It would be nice to see some fire starters reviewed. Vic’s eventually run out!! Thanks so much for your giveaways!! They are wonderful!!

  55. Gaye, as always, a very thorough and complete evaluation, including mistakes! That helps us avoid them. It’s the same process for lighting Coleman mantles. They are also very fragile.

  56. Thank you for the wonderful info how to light an aladdin lamp. I see that I would need to have many mantles on hand. I would love to see alternative refrigeration addressed.

  57. On my bucket list is a Sun Oven and a Wonderwash. I think those would come in very handy in a long term power outage.

  58. We have recently seen so many pictures of trees in water soaked ground that have been blown over onto homes. I’ve been thinking about saws that would work without electricity or gas. I’d like more information on saws to use in various situations and how to sharpen them (in addition to how to sharpen other tools, such as knives and yard implements).

  59. I would like ideas on what to use for a clothes wringer. There’s an expensive one that can be bought (possibly at Lehman’s) for about $150. And I’ve seen suggestions about using a mop bucket that has a wringer, but I’ve not read anything from someone who actually did that. Are there other alternatives? Or has someone here used the mop bucket wringer and could tell us about it?

  60. I believe I’m covered with lanterns…my mother collected oil lanterns and I have several larger lanterns in my camping gear. I always make sure my light sources are kept in working order.

  61. I have a fair-sized investment in Aladdin mantle lamps and now regret it. The mantles always were expensive, and that hasn’t changed a bit. The new Yttrium mantle material is substantially dimmer too. And I’m sure they’re just as fragile as ever.

    I’d strongly suggest going with LED battery lamps. Far cheaper and much, much safer. For the cost of a single Aladdin lamp a person could buy a solar battery charger as well as a large supply of high-quality batteries.

    • Hi Zachary. FYI, Coleman #95 mantles, designed for the Coleman NorthStar Dual Fuel lantern, can be modified to work on an Aladdin lamp. I’ve done it. It works. And it throws off 40+ watts-worth of light. As an added bonus (as I state in “Book 6: Kerosene Pressure Lamps” by yours truly), “If you begin this project not knowing how to curse, you’ll be an expert at the end.”

      Note that I use watts instead of lumens or candlepower in rating light output. As an amateur, I can easily compare a lantern’s output to a 40- or 60- or 100-watt electric bulb.

      And, yes, I know that the Aladdin is not a pressure lamp. It is a kerosene lamp. And it is a mantle lamp. But it is not a pressure lamp. I just had to squeeze ’em in there someplace.

      Also, did you realize that you can use your Aladdin without any mantle at all. Because it has a tubular wick (like an old-time Rayo), a Model 23 with no mantle whatsoever will produce 30 watts-worth of light — four or five times as much as an ordinary flat-wick kerosene lamp.

      Hope this helps.

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