Prepper Book Festival 10: Kerosene Pressure Lanterns (The Non-Electric Lighting Series)

Gaye LevyGaye Levy | Jul 2, 2019
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The author of this next book needs little introduction since he has been a contributor to the Prepper Book Festivals almost since the beginning.

Ron Brown, author of Kerosene Pressure Lanterns is once again sharing his wisdom relative to non-electric lighting sources.  This particular book covers a wide range of topics relative to pressure lamps: theory, Coleman’s, Petromax (as a type and as a brand), safety, and, just to keep things interesting, the Aladdin Lamp which is not a pressure lamp at all but it does burn kerosene!

Kerosene Pressure Lanterns | Backdoor Survival

Is your head spinning yet?  If it is, or you just want to learn more, read the interview with Ron then enter the giveaway to win one of five copies that are up for grabs in Prepper Book Festival 10: The Best New Books to Help You Prepare!

Special note:  Even if you are not interested in Kerosene Pressure Lanterns, be sure to read the interview.  Ron shares some very wise prepping wisdom.  Very wise, indeed.

An Interview with Ron Brown, Author of Book 6: Kerosene Pressure Lanterns

One question on everyone’s mind is what they would do if a disaster or even a collapse occurred in their own back yard. If that happened to you, would you bug-in or bug-out and why?

My natural inclination is to bug in, to hunker down in-place. That’s where my supplies are, where my friends are, where I feel the most secure.

On the other hand, last spring we almost had to evacuate the house because of flooding. The car was packed. I sat up with a 1000-lumen flashlight most of the night watching the water rise in the back field. It was a close call.

So I guess the best advice is simply, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” There are any number of reasons why a person may be forced to get outta Dodge.

Even though I don’t want to leave, I do feel the need to prep for that eventuality. In our garage, therefore, lined up against the wall, are boxes that can be tossed in the car on a moment’s notice. Food, clothes, blankets, gear. Plus enough gasoline to top off the tank. Plus a road atlas. You do remember them, right? Maps printed on paper? From olden times? Before GPS?

The stockpile in the garage does not include drinking water because, in New York State, it would freeze in the winter. So in the basement are some cartons of store-bought drinking water in sealed bottles. They’re not touched for day-to-day use.

We have a fireproof, waterproof mini safe in which we keep important papers (e.g. passports), cash, and an external hard drive for computer backup. The safe and the water are the only things we must get from inside the house. All else sets beside the car, ready to go 24×7. (Medicine is equally important but is a case-by-case individual affair.)

Having bug-out preps in place gives me some peace of mind but really, in my heart of hearts, I want to bug in, not out. THIS is where I have land and tools and a garden spot prepared. A solid house with a good roof. This is where I could, if push came to shove, live a sustainable, independent, secure life for many years. This is home.

If you did decide to hunker down and bug-in, what items would you include for comfort? Or would you?

Comfort food, you say. Hmm. Chocolate, whiskey, and a stack of Playboy magazines. I mean, what else is there?

No doubt I just now revealed great cultural sensitivity and depth of character, eh?

Home defense and protection from the bad guys is a big deal. That said, not everyone is prepared or even qualified to use firearms. What do you recommend in that case?

This is a powerful question. Survivalist articles all seem to be written from a macho-man point of view. But how about the kid in the wheelchair? The blind grandfather? The pregnant wife in her last trimester? They deserve to live, no?

There’s an old pro-camouflage adage to the effect that, “They can’t shoot you if they can’t see you.” Fair point.

Many moons ago, attending college, I had a room off-campus. Each day I walked past a Mama-Papa grocery story on the corner. An old man, living upstairs over the store, was robbed of his coin collection.

I thought of it every time I walked past the store. I realized it had to be an inside job. The only person who could steal those coins was someone who knew the coins existed. There’s a message in there for anyone who boasts about their preps to family and friends.

“Loose lips sink ships.”

For the people who promote guns, please note that one discharge of a firearm will change your life forever (as well as the lives of your entire family).

No matter who’s right or who’s wrong, pull the trigger just once and it is you who will end up in court; you who will end up in police custody. It doesn’t require a thousand rounds of ammo to put you in hot water. One warning shot aimed at the sky can start you down a very slippery slope. Just sayin’.

But there are steps you can take to protect yourself. Don’t put yourself in a compromising situation (like walking the streets on the wrong side of town at 3:00 AM). Don’t present yourself as a tempting target, a victim waiting to happen. Take some self-defense or karate classes. Have a dog. Or the tape recording of a dog barking? Install a surveillance camera. Or a fake surveillance camera?

If yours is the only house in the neighborhood with bars on the windows, you’ll come across as paranoid. Or, perhaps, ‘What treasure do they have stashed in there that needs all that protection?’ In that case the bars become bait, not protection. On the other hand, if yours is the only house on the street WITHOUT bars on the windows, you come across as stupid, easy pickin’s.

Join a neighborhood watch group. Or any group. Rod-and-gun club, square dance club, church group. Friends look out for each other. Be kind to people, generous. Share with others. Take care of your neighbors. In return, they’ll look out for you. Repeat after me: “You’re only as strong as your friends are.” Again: “You’re only as strong as your friends are.”

These days, it seems as though a new book about survival or preparedness is released daily. How is your book different from the others and why should we read it?

Survival books and blogs and on-line forums are chockablock full of bogus information. A reader of one of my books commented, “Good but save a penny and Google it instead . . . Nothing you can’t find online, my suggestion is skip it and search YouTube and wiki DIY.”

And he’s right. Unfortunately, every bit of good information on Google or YouTube comes sandwiched with ten bits of bad information. And how do you sort out the pepper from the fly specks? Crunch time is NOT the time to discover your Coleman doesn’t run on kerosene as you always believed.

How about this one? In 2014, I wrote a series of propane articles for Backdoor Survival that replaced an earlier series. One of the reader’s comments from the preceding series was that, on one-pound propane cylinders (the kind used on camping lanterns), the wraparound paper label should be removed else moisture would be trapped beneath the paper and promote rusting.

Sounded like a good tip. Logical. Believable. And false.

I went to work in Canada for a couple of years and stored half a dozen propane one-pounders in a tin shed behind my house for the duration. When I returned from Canada, the shoulders on the propane cylinders were all rusted, all corroded. But UNDER the paper label, both paint and metal were perfect. Perfect. What part of ‘armchair science’ don’t you understand?

Rusted top of Propane Cylinder| Backdoor Survival

Survival books are compiled by copyists. Nobody has enough time for first-hand research on everything – growing food and measuring radiation and childbirth. Not to mention butchering, first aid, cabin construction, cooking recipes, ammo reloading, sewing, auto repair, shortwave radio, home canning, and ice fishing.

So well-intended people copy over what other well-intended people copied over before them. And some of it is wrong. But after enough trips through the Xerox machine, bad information morphs into accepted fact.

How are my books different? I do my homework. At least I try.

Galen Lehman has expressed an interest in stocking my books. Galen is President of Lehman’s, the online (and offline) catalog store. In a recent email (introducing me as well as handing me off to one of his buyers) Galen said, “Ron Brown publishes a series of books on non-electric lighting.  They are technically astute, very readable and well-written. I would like to see them on our website . . . No one has written anything as in-depth as he has.” [// ]

Hey! Outa sight. He did my bragging for me.

What is your favorite survival, disaster, or post-apocalyptic film or TV show?

Don’t have one. The things we really need to fear never appear on those shows. Do you know someone who is bi-polar? Or schizophrenic? They make pretty scary roommates. A few days after TSHTF and the meds run out . . . and you have to ride the elevator with one of those guys . . . Katy, bar the door.

Survivalist movies show vegetable gardens with chickens scratching in the dirt. Picturesque for sure. But there won’t be any chickens.

We’ve done our level best to remove ‘broodiness’ from poultry. It takes three weeks for mama hen to hatch out a chick from an egg. What a waste. She could have laid 21 eggs in those 21 days. For the past hundred years we’ve employed electric heaters for hatching and carefully selected the next generation of hens from those who never wanted to set on a nest anyway.

So when TSHTF, no electricity equals no chicks. No longer will the Delmarva Peninsula (where Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia come together near Chesapeake Bay) produce a billion pounds of chicken meat a year.

Well, it’s not a billion pounds. That was a few years ago. It’s a lot more than that today. BTW, did you ever see a cooking recipe that called for eggs? There ain’t gonna be no eggs. Maybe you can substitute applesauce.

And . . . are your shots up to date? Are you prepared for cholera, rabies, and typhoid fever? Don’t break your eyeglasses. Don’t run out of toothache drops. There will always be unwanted babies and abortions. Always. And what butcher will perform that procedure, pray tell?

You will for sure find yourself out in the vegetable garden for hours at a time, a place wherein you’ve never lingered before. Or standing on the squishy edge of a pond, trying to get some water in your bucket or attempting to catch a fish. But you won’t be alone. You’ll have swarms of mosquitos for company. At that point, what will you be willing to pay for some REALLY GOOD bug spray? Not the cheap stuff on sale. Not the homemade stuff. Something that WORKS.

Did you ever see any of this is on TV or in the movies? Did you ever see bug spray on a list of 20 top barter items? I suspect there are preppers around who WANT the stuff to hit the fan. They’re tired of being underdog. They wanna be top dog for a change. And to them I say, “Be careful what you wish for. It ain’t gonna be like you see on TV.”

It is said that everyone has a book inside them. What advice do you have for the budding author?

My first job out of college was for a man whose son was New York State spelling champ. The guy was hell on wheels for proper grammar and spelling. Later on I worked for a man who was equally compulsive about number accuracy. Turn in a report that didn’t add down and across properly and you could expect him to be standing by your desk, tapping his foot, when you returned from lunch.

I worked for each of these men several years. And I hated both of them. But they pounded skills into me, discipline into me, that has paid off again and again and again. So tough-love piece of advice #1: If you want to be a writer, learn the basics (verb tense, punctuation, spelling). Can you, at this very moment, name the parts of speech? That’s Eighth Grade stuff. If not, if you’re not willing to study and learn the fundamentals of English grammar, then you’re wasting your time.

#2. Join a writers club. There will be a lot of brain cells in that room. Shut up and listen. Don’t argue or run your mouth or make excuses. Shut. Up. And. Listen.

#3. Self-publish something on Kindle. It’s a great learning experience. And include an ‘active’ Table of Contents. That’s what allows the reader to navigate an eBook. Don’t know how to do it? Learn. If you don’t have an ‘active’ Table of Contents then your reader must navigate to a specific short story in the middle of the book via 350 individual page-clicks.

#4. You can easily publish a book in both formats. Later, if something is wrong with the eBook, you can remove it. A few keystrokes and it’s gone. But the paperback you cannot kill. There will always be secondhand copies for sale (or there might be) and will not allow you to totally kill it EVER. Not today. Not next year. Not in this lifetime. Did you know that? Oopsie.

You’ve now written six books on emergency lighting in addition to the 2000-hour flashlight book. What got you started on this theme, this genre? And how long have you been at it? And how many more books will there be in The Non-Electric Lighting Series?

My interest began with the blackout of 2003 across the Northeast United States. I’d just started work in Toronto. The company put us up in a fancy apartment for a couple of months (maid service, pool, all that stuff) and two weeks later the lights went out. We were NOT prepared. Not in any way, shape, or form.

So when I retired in 2005, emergency lighting became a hobby. (That sounds better than obsession, eh?) That means I’ve been at it ten years. It seems like every closet and shelf in the basement is loaded with lamps and lanterns and candlesticks and flashlights. No. It doesn’t just “seem like.” Every closet and shelf in the basement truly IS loaded with lamps and lanterns and candlesticks and flashlights.

How many more lighting books? At least two. One on propane and one on alcohol-fueled mantle lamps. In World War II Europe there were many restrictions on petroleum fuels. As a consequence, farmers made what was essentially moonshine whiskey and used it as fuel in mantle lanterns. I want to revisit that technology and make sure it’s not forgotten.

On the listing for The NEW 2000-Hour Flashlight, one reader commented: “I live in South Florida and wish I had had this information when after Hurricane Wilma we were 3 weeks without electricity!”

Such a comment makes me feel both good and bad at the same time. Good because I know there’s a legitimate need for what I’m doing.

But also sad because I know that for every person I’ve helped there are a hundred or a thousand others stumbling around in the dark.

Wow. That’s an upbeat ending, yes?


The Giveaway

Ron has reserved five copies of the print version of Book 6: Kerosene Pressure Lanterns for this Book Festival Giveaway.

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 Tuesday with the winner notified by email and announced on the Rafflecopter in the article.  Please note that the winner must claim their book within 48 hours or an alternate will be selected.

The Final Word

Before closing, in the foreword to Kerosene Pressure Lamps I wrote:

It has it dawned on me that what Ron Brown is doing throughout his entire Non-Electric Lighting Series is documenting knowledge from yesteryear that might otherwise be forgotten. To take things one step further, this is knowledge that may be needed down the road if our reliance on electricity becomes compromised. It could happen, you know.

For that reason, I think it would be wise to have this set of books tucked away in your reference library. One thing for certain is that they are priced right – even downright cheap. As I like to say, knowledge is power and the information in this book, as well as the others in the series, is powerful stuff.

Given the “not if, but when” likelihood of an EMP or cyber-attack on our power grid, it seems to prudent that we all learn as much as we can about non-electric lighting.  I am not saying it is going to happen but we could be in the dark for a long, long time.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

If you enjoyed this article, consider voting for Backdoor Survival daily at Top Prepper Websites!

In addition, SUBSCRIBE to email updates  and receive a free, downloadable copy of my e-book The Emergency Food Buyer’s Guide.


Spotlight:  Book 6: Kerosene Pressure Lanterns (The Non-Electric Lighting Series)

Lanterns that use mantles produce light on par with electric lights. And KEROSENE mantle lanterns have an advantage over lamps that use Coleman fuel. Kerosene is more generic, more widely available.

The book has four main sections:

(1) It describes six different Coleman models, old and new, made specifically for kerosene. Collectors’ items (expensive) and orphans (no spare parts) are ignored. The emphasis is on practical, day-to-day lighting.

(2) It gives the specifics on converting nine different Coleman gas lanterns to kerosene (what generator to use, etc.).

(3) It explains Petromax lanterns, a pre-World War II German design. World-wide, there are more Petromax lanterns (and Petromax clones) in existence than Coleman.

(4) And it explains Aladdin lamps, kerosene lamps that use a mantle but are not pressurized. Aladdins have been around over a hundred years and a new model is on the verge of being introduced – the first new model in 46 years!

And – oh yes! – this book names eleven different lantern models that, given the right generator-mantle combo, will burn diesel fuel. That alone is worth the price of admission!

If you picture yourself being forced to live off-grid for an extended period of time, then THIS is the book you need. You don’t have to cook supper or fix the car or deliver a baby by the light of a candle. You can have light equivalent to a 50 or 100 or 200 or 300-watt electric bulb. Pressurized kerosene lanterns come from another day and age but are known, established, reliable technology. This book is not artsy-fartsy. It’s nitty-gritty.

Plus: The Preppers Guide to Food Storage

No list of books would be complete without my own book, The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage.  The eBook print version is available.

Help support Backdoor Survival. Purchases earn a small commission and for that I thank you!




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56 Responses to “Prepper Book Festival 10: Kerosene Pressure Lanterns (The Non-Electric Lighting Series)”

  1. I use my battery operated lights in my travel trailer.

  2. Thanks Gaye. As a boy, I remember trying to figure out Coleman lanterns – don’t think I ever did. My grandmother taught me how to trim the wick and handle with care. This book looks like great knowledge for anyone wanting to learn about and keep up a lantern. Appreciate the information! Keep Looking UP

  3. Ron you are performing a real service to the preparedness community since the more we can learn now about alternative means of lighting the better off we will be when TSHTF. Thank you.

    • Thanks. Remember the Alan Jackson/Jimmy Buffet song “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere”? Well, there’s always a blackout somewhere. I really wish more people knew the information contained in The Non-Electric Lighting Series. Life would be a lot easier for a lot of folks. Wouldn’t these books make great Christmas or birthday presents? Wedding gifts? Baby shower? OK, I’ll stop now.

  4. If the standby is not running, we have various ways of lighting. Flashlights, Camping lanterns with appropriate fuels, candles.

  5. I have several very beautiful oil lamps that are at the ready all the time.

  6. Without a doubt Ron is the most interesting person you have interviewed. IMHO. I am glad he keeps writing and you keep interviewing him. I really appreciated Ron’s two cents onwhat it will really be like when SHTF. For me, I believe we will be working so hard to stay alive that getting up with the roosters and going to bed with the chickens will be our new lifestyle, if there are any chickens as Ron pointed out. I keep building my candle and rechargeable battery collection for my solar charger, but I’m not expecting to use much light at night. I believe that unless it is a short emergency, we need to start adapting on day one.

    • Just had a thought on storing candles. They take up a lot of space and would be difficult to move them to a car. And they are useless outdoors in the wind. I better get started with lanterns!

    • Please don’t be too hasty. Right after Y2K I bought a shoebox PACKED with candles for 25 cents at a yard sale. I thought the lady quite foolish for dumping them as she did; they had obviously been acquired over an extended period. To anyone who already has a hoard of candles, I would recommend hanging onto them even if your thinking changes and you go in another direction for your personal lighting needs. Candles store well, don’t rust, don’t spoil, and require minimal packing. In a SHTF scenario they will be premo barter items. I fully expect that someday I’ll be able to sell that shoebox of candles for 50 cents and double my money.

    • Thanks for the praise. Regarding the notion of going to bed when the sun goes down, however, I don’t think that will happen. Technology has given us a lot of free time. Drilling a hole or sawing a board or slicing and dicing in the kitchen is a lot faster today with an electric assist than it was in the good old days. Should we ever be plunged back to an 1800’s lifestyle, there just won’t be enough daylight hours to do everything that needs doing. Tractor repair, sewing and mending, searching medical self-help books, sorting seeds, building shelves, installing a wood stove, learning Morse code, husking corn . . . the list is endless. We’ll need to start adapting on day one? Couldn’t agree more. We’ll need to start WORKING on day one. The “new normal” will be 12-14 workdays. And that will require a source of artificial light.

  7. We have decided to go to emergency lighting that can all “fueled” by solar power. Not knowing how long a disaster might last or how long we would have to be prepared to bug out for, it is difficult to stock the “right” amount of fuel. So after much deliberation be decided to go with flashlights, lanterns & spotlights that can be charged with solar panels. They can also be charged other ways – with electricity, USB, crank, etc., but the primary way is solar. I would appreciate hearing Ron’s thoughts on solar powered lighting.

    • I’m certainly not opposed to solar-powered lighting. Or battery-powered. Etc. My book “The NEW 2000-Hour Flashlight” should establish that. What I believe is that there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the lighting problem. The guy in a condo on the 25th floor of a high-rise and the guy on a houseboat and the guy in an old farmhouse on a dirt road and the guy in the mobile home park all have different restrictions and perceptions of cost-effectiveness. Not to mention poor and rich, healthy and infirm, young and old. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. Like investing, there is some security in diversification. “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket” is the best I can offer.

  8. We will use Paq lights,solar flashlights and candles.

  9. TOTALLY OFF TOPIC. I was just doing more reading on portable water filters. Even though my primary plan is boiling and my secondary plan is the 4-hour tablets, I need a third plan so I gave Lifestraw another look. It states that it is for streams, lakes, creeks and ponds. That is exactly the type of water I would use it for. So it’s a good fit. If I need to clean city water, I have tablets that clean a quart per tablet in 4 hours. And I have quart size Nalgene bottles. Sorry for going off topic of today’s post.

  10. Most used at home will be our oil lamps. Easy carry battery operated lighting (from room to room) are available as well.

  11. Currently I will be using LED flashlights. Next step is to add in lanterns and the info in this book will be of great help.

  12. Given that your scenario is a storm, I would use flashlights and a battery operated lantern. I need to learn more about fuel based lighting.

  13. My first line of off grid lighting is several oil lamps w/gallons of fuel (even kerosene), second would be propane lanterns w/many of the small propane cans which could be refilled from the main tank, and third would be a combination of LED flash lights and a few candles with wind shields.

  14. Multiple oil lamps and lanterns with a large quantity of fuel, candles, flashlights – battery and hand crank, head lamps, multiple types of solar powered lights currently are stored for this family. Always looking for other options to add. Inside the house, oil lamps, solar lights, candles or other lighting options will be be used for periods of time and reserve battery operated flashlights for trips outside or emergency use.

  15. Used a Coleman kerosene lantern for a year long ago – a wonderful device and I would love to get another.

  16. Right now it would be candles used for lighting.

  17. I like having many options, including candles. They are not really difficult to store or transport in an emergency if you purchase small plastic ammo cans. Put various sizes of candles, and several boxes of matches, and lantern wicks in the box. Additionally, put metal can lids in the box. The lids take up little space, but provide immediate place to put a candle. Finally, label the outside end of the box.

    • LABEL the outside of the box??? GENIUS!

  18. We have a variety of backups available…Solar lamps and lanterns,Oil lamps with back-up supplies, Candles, Flashlights…Choices for several scenarios

  19. Candles, kerosene lamps, and LED flashlights.

  20. I would love to have a copy of this book! I have a Petromax clone (kerosene only), and liquid fueled pressure lanterns are a dying art. Propane makes it easier, and I have those too, but I like kerosene.

    Is there information on mantles in the book, too?

    • Thanks.

  21. Some of these lanterns are very good, some not so good.

    • That’s why you need a book, eh? To help sort it out.

  22. Hi David. There’s some basic mantle info (sizes and so on) plus discussion of yesteryear’s thorium mantles (faintly radioactive) versus today’s yttrium mantles. All of which is intended to make you a more informed consumer. (How to make your own mantles is beyond the scope of this book.) BTW, owning lanterns that run on a variety of fuels, as you do, will provide a range of options when the time comes that they are needed. Good move.

  23. oil lamps and solar lights, as well as candles and flashlights

  24. Another great survival book giveawat

  25. Short term? Candles and led flash lights.

  26. The more options you have the more likely you are to survive well. Electric/batteries, oil, candles and kero. Thanks for the info.

  27. Battery powered and solar lights.

  28. Candles, battery-operated flashlights and lanterns, solar power lights, oil lamp.

  29. I have lots of candles, oil lamps and flashlights.

    Does the moonshine lighting book have a potential title yet so I can watch for it?

    • Gloria, the title will be “Book 8: Alcohol Mantle Lamps.” It should be out in another month or two. Just to be clear, it explains how some lamps work and how to modify others. It contains absolutely nothing about how to make moonshine. Does it discuss methanol, ethanol, denatured, and isopropyl? Yes. Moonshine? No. So sorry.

  30. I keep a flashlight in the headboard of our bed and one in each of at least two pairs of pants. They will let me get to my Coleman lantern!

  31. We’d use flashlights. We do have a battery lantern and candles to use, also.

  32. In my apartment I have candles, but to walk down the stairs I have several flashlights, one that shakes and does not need batteries, so I know that one will always work–has so far anyway.

  33. Currently we would use candles and propane lanterns.

  34. Great info and thanks for the giveaway!

  35. LED flashlights & candles.

  36. So far my preparations include candles and battery operated lanterns. After reading your articleI(s) I’m going to consider the kerosene lanterns

  37. I love Aladdin lanterns! I have two, and one I bought my father years ago, but it needs repair. They are very expensive and hard to find used. I also keep an array of led flashlights and extra batteries, and oil lamps. I do have a few candles and lots of bic lighters.

  38. There has been a storm and the power is out. What form of non-electric lighting will you depend on most to light your way? I have several kero lamps…I also heat with Kero, place is 320 SF and it can get blazing hot.

  39. I still remember my mother using kerosene lamps when I was little and therefore purchased some lamps years ago. The only thing that has always bothered me about the need for using them, is the smell of the kerosene. The last time the lights went out and I went to use them; …the smell reminded me why I dislike using them. Is there something to address that issue?

    • Janette, you raise a great question. Let me give you an honest answer.

      The smell of kerosene results from its sulfur content. K1 kerosene (or K-1 or 1-K, all the same stuff) contains 400 ppm (parts per million) sulfur regardless of brand. Kerosene, based on its flash point above 100-degrees F, is classified as “combustible.” (Ditto for mineral spirits.) Gasoline and white gas and Coleman fuel all have flash points below 100-degrees F and are termed “flammable.” Flammable gas takes fire more easily than combustible kero.

      Based on flash point, mineral spirits (sometimes used as paint thinner) qualifies as kerosene and can safely be used in kerosene lamps. (I fully realize that this contradicts a lot of info – BAD info – that you’ll find online.) “ODORLESS mineral spirits” has a sulfur content around 10 ppm. It varies slightly by brand. But that’s TEN parts per million sulfur instead of 400. If you are using simple wick-type kerosene lamps, odorless mineral spirits will help with the smell problem.

      Then there are mantle-type lamps and lanterns. Mantle-lamps are much brighter than wick-type lamps. Plus they burn so hot that everything is consumed in the flame including the smell. If you buy new, Coleman dual-fuel lanterns burn gas and the Coleman Model 629C burns kerosene. They have no smell to speak of but there is a hiss (that a lot of people dislike) because they are pressure lanterns.

      Propane lanterns use mantles and therefore have no smell but also hiss because the fuel is under pressure. Propane lanterns are cheaper than liquid-fueled lanterns. On a tight budget, propane might be your best choice.

      The Aladdin (brand) lamp is NOT a pressure lamp (so there is no hiss) and burns kerosene and uses a mantle (so it has no smell). It has a charm that’s hard to put a price tag on but is, I caution you, on the pricey side.

      So, smell-wise, those are your options. I hope this helps. As Dear Old Dad would say, “You pays your money and you takes your choice.”

    • Oopsie. There’s a typo. That should be 639C and not 629C.

    • Thank you for the information. I will check into it.

    • I have acquired 20b propane tanks, Coleman 2-Burner Camp stoves ( With Propane Conversions ), and Indian made Kerosene stoves. You can convert Coleman Lanterns to run on Regular Gasoline and /or Kerosene. Check Old Coleman Parts and forums online. Reg Gasoline has more additives and will clog Generators sooner, I’m told, so make certain you can at least remove and clean the Generator for re-usage, otherwise you must buy another Generator (Especially true with a 295 Dual-Fuel Lantern ) Coleman will tell you to use Gasoline ONLY in an emergency. Kerosene does also clog but lesser so.
      I have also refilled 1lb Propane tanks, as they are terribly expensive any way, and found that many leaked so wasn’t a great idea for me!
      Pump Kerosene here in California, when you can find it, is $5.79/gal. Clear K-1 is $8 to $10/Gal. Regular Gas is $2.50 Gal. And as we all know, Coleman fuel (The best: MY opinion ) is $14/gal.
      You can also get a 639 Generator and put it into a 290 Lantern and it is a Peach! Runs so fine on Kerosene! So bright! I also poured Regular Gasoline into a 288 Lantern without any Generator exchange, and it also runs very well!
      Ron Brown already knows these things…Thanks!

    • Allow me to give you my “take” on auto gas.

      Personally, I believe that automobile gas should never be used in a lantern or camp stove (because of the additives in it and the by-products of combustion that you, the user, must inhale).

      Coleman fuel (white gas) is 50 octane whereas automobile gas is 87 octane. It’s the additives that boost the octane level and turn white gas into automobile gas.

      If the additive is lead (like in the bad old days), it means that lead particles are floating around in the air for you to breathe. Lead is toxic. There is no amount too small not to cause the body harm.

      Today, lead has been replaced with different stuff. Stuff like MTBE. Without additives, gas would still be 50 octane. Unfortunately, Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (like lead) does not a good substitute for oxygen make.

      The newer Coleman dual-fuel lanterns (the two fuels in question being white gas and automobile gas) might operate on auto gas but I don’t think you should do it. LIGHT OUTPUT IS NOT THE ISSUE.

      My old Coleman Quick-Lite table lamp from the 1920’s will run on automobile gas. But a hard, gritty substance builds up on the glass shade that takes steel wool to remove. NO OTHER FUEL DOES THAT. It just can’t be good to inhale that stuff.

  40. For a short term power outage, we would rely on flashlights. We have many of them in various locations throughout the house.

  41. My oil lamps.

  42. Just wanted to Thank you Gaye. Hope my reply got thru to you OK, Our PC has been acting up but said my reply was sent yesterday.
    Thank you again for all the great information you have here.
    Have a safe and prosperous Holiday and New Year.


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