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The 5 Best Emergency Candles For Camping or Home Use


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It's time to update your emergency kit with candles that will give you a light source when you're camping or when your power goes out.

Power outages happen in heavy rain in the summer or heavy snow in the winter, and they can be quite a nuisance. They also are known to happen due to power line damages (which can occur anytime!) and even from overloaded grids in the summer. Sometimes restorations can take days (take it from a Texan who experienced the 2021 winter storms). However, you can be prepared for a few hours or days without electricity thanks to emergency candles. They'll come in handy for getting around the home - especially lighting the bathroom, kitchen, and garage. While solar lanterns are a great way to keep things extra-bright and charge up your devices, if you want to preserve them or use them sparingly, emergency candles are an excellent addition to your kit. We recommend keeping both on hand. An emergency candle will also come in handy for the outdoors -- and we think every hiker and camper should pack one. Remember: they don't need solar, charging or batteries to work, so they're a must-have as a back-up. We rounded up the best emergency candles to prepare you for anything, and our favorites are below:

1. Our Top Pick for Camping

SE Survivor Series 3-Wick 36-Hour Emergency Candle - Amazon, $9.99

Our pick for the best 36-hour candle (12 hours per wick) for camping is lightweight, has a cover, and comes in a reusable and water-resistant aluminum tin. It's perfect for using at the campsite and is easy to pack in your bag. It has a soy wax top layer but burns to a bottom layer of palm wax, which is known to be one of the longest-burning vegetable waxes. The bottom layer also has three dividers, so you can light one, two, or three wicks at a time, depending on how much warmth or light you might need.

2. Our Top Pick for the Home

SDS Liquid Oil Candles (6-Pack) - Amazon, $36.99

Oil candles are great options for smokeless, odorless, and soot-free candle burning. This one has a plastic container and a screw top lid to prevent evaporation, spills, and breaks. Many agree that oil candles are safer than regular wax candles for that reason alone, and one of these will last for 115 hours, making it the perfect option to store in your home. These candles will burn every last drop, whereas wax candles will typically have a leftover layer of wax you'll have to throw out.

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3. Best Soy Wax Option

Red-E Home Emergency Candle - Amazon, $16.95

This soy wax candle is an American-made candle made with sustainability in mind, and features a recyclable jar, lid, and packaging. It's also unscented and clean-burning -- and free of fragrance oils, dyes, phthalates, and parabens. It's a great option for anyone who doesn't like using candles because of the soot. We should note: don't expect your entire bathroom to be lit up upon lighting this option. For this natural option, you'll just be able to see enough to get you around each room safely.

4. A Votive Candle Option

Emergency Preparedness 120 Hour Emergency Survival Candle (2-Pack) - Amazon, $38.63

This made-in-the-USA candle set comes with two votive candles that have burn times of 120 hours each -- or about five days worth of light. With nearly a week of burn time, you'll have peace of mind, and these tall candles are perfect for the kitchen or living room. Customers are impressed with the quality of the thick glass jars, but unless you pack them carefully, it's probably not the best to travel with these. Consider these best for at-home use.

5. A Slow-Burning Tea Light Option

6-Hour Tea Light Candles (40-Pack) - Amazon, $16.15

These tea lights might not be our top pick for emergency situations, but they're good to keep around if you're ever in a pinch or only think you'll lose electricity for a few hours -- plus, you can also use them for decor or entertaining. A top review said these wicks could be lit more than once and that they're also odorless. These 100% paraffin wax candles come in packs of 40 or 80, making them perfect for lighting up lots of rooms. The 6-hour tea light candles can easily be shared so everyone has a light source. Pair them with these affordable tea light holders if you don't have any.

This post was originally published on October 24, 2019.

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