*The Crayon Emergency Candle*
12 July 2014
A good number of survival and life tips website have articles about using crayons as an emergency candles. These candles can burn for 15-30 minutes. The gist of the theory is the wrapper serves as external wick and the wax acts like, well, wax in a traditional candle. I decided to put this to the test. If it works, I got a ton of emergency candles at my disposal. If not, I got a ton of crayons to keep myself occupied.
For my test, I made a simple catch plate using some household foil. For the crayon, I used a Crayola crayon. I have mostly Crayola brand crayons and just went with what I had.
After constructing my catch plate, I used a match to melt the bottom end of the crayon a little bit. The crayon was then stuck upright on the foil. I held it there for a moment for the wax to cool and glue the crayon in place.
It took several matches to melt enough wax for the wrapper to catch on fire. I did not like this. Once I had a sustained flame, I started the time keeping. First thing I noticed was that I had a dirty flame. A bit of black soot and smoke. I was not liking this either. Once the flame got going, it was large for the candle flame. I estimate the flame to be about 3-4 inches. I was not liking this as well.
About 4 minutes in, the "candle" started leaning to the side. A few moments later, it fell over completely. A little after 5 minutes, the flame was out.
In my limited experience, crayons do not make good emergency candles. Between the height of the flame, the short run time and the black soot/smoke it produced, I felt this was not a good option. Of course, there are always the variables that I didn't try. What if I had this inside a jar or a globe of sorts? What if I used a generic brand? If I got a solid 10+ minutes or the flame was shorter or cleaner, I could see maybe spending more time trying out the variables. I think someone would be far better off stocking extra candles or, Better yet, investing in a solar panel setup. In a tight pinch or something, this can be useful. It would be prudent to make good choices to where you do not have to rely on crayons for a candle.Landwire
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