Heat from candle

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zimmerstutzen

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About forty years ago, A buddy came up with a loose unscientific formula that on a still night, a single candle burning in a 8 x 8 wall tent with flaps closed and bottom perimeter closed would warm the interior about 9 degrees over the exterior temperature. So if it was 40 degrees out and he wished the tent to be 67, he would need three candles burning continuously. Over the years, this seemed a reasonable guesstimation. Not that I wanted a bunch of candles lit, especially if sleeping, but one late fall rondy with wife and 2 small children and a freezing rain on a 10 x 10 wall tent, for an afternoon and evening we kept 6 candles burning and stayed above "see my breath" temps. ( I had a small wood stove by the next rondy). Just wondered if anyone had come up with a similar rule of thumb.
 

Rich44

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So since maybe you might not have a thermometer to tell the temperature you can at least say it was a 6 candle night to your friends. And I would imagine a 12 candle night is time to pack it up and go home. I just used a very good sleeping bag and sometimes dressed in it.
 
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No idea ... but interesting! At least until one heads off to sleep, LOL!

Searching online, I found heat output values for candles ranging from 40-100 watts, where most say use 80 watts, if of good flame point. Multiply watts by 3.412 to get BTUs.

 
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I remember as a kid when I would visit my Dad in Wisconsin, he would keep a cold weather kit in the trunk of his car. I discovered the kit one summer and understood what the blanket was for, but he always carried a few candles, matches, and a coffee can. He said the candle and coffee can was to keep you from freezing to death if you got stranded in the winter time.
 
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I have (among others) a Deutz Jupiter kerosene lantern. It has a much larger fount than their other lanterns. 84 ounces capacity, 75 hours burning time. When I bought it I read on W.T. Kirkman's site that this model was originally produced to heat greenhouses, to prevent freezing. On that site it says its thermal output is approximately 1400 BTU per hour. 75 hours burning time allows leaving it unattended over a weekend. Of course that's way more heat than your candle puts out, but the principle is the same.
 

zimmerstutzen

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I have (among others) a Deutz Jupiter kerosene lantern. It has a much larger fount than their other lanterns. 84 ounces capacity, 75 hours burning time. When I bought it I read on W.T. Kirkman's site that this model was originally produced to heat greenhouses, to prevent freezing. On that site it says its thermal output is approximately 1400 BTU per hour. 75 hours burning time allows leaving it unattended over a weekend. Of course that's way more heat than your candle puts out, but the principle is the same.

I was just on the Kirkman site this afternoon. I have two Deitz lanterns and was researching how much heat they produce. I recently had some one ask if I knew where they could get one of those old cannonball lights that highway departments once used with kerosene/drain oil to put lights out to warn of ditches etc. They were round like cannonballs about 8 inches and had a little round cap sticking up with a fuse. They would burn all night at road construction sites. Haven't seen them in use since around 1960. They were used in fruit groves when frost was forecast.
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About 30 years ago my nephew came to stay with me for the summer, which turned into the fall, which turned into winter.
that particular winter the snow depth and ambient temperature was such that you could carve snow blocks 2ft wide 5ft long and shave into a taper for the length. perfect for an igloo. so with his immature uncle's exuberant urging Bob built a 8 foot diameter igloo that capped out at 6' in the center. i let him talk me into sharing it for a night. we had the traditional low crawl entry tunnel and everything. i could hardly contain his glee at how well it turned out.:D
anyhow we first had a twig fire in a ring in the center but that started to melt the snow blocks from the top of the dome . soon we had drips forming so i snuffed the fire. Bob volunteered to slog over to the house and get some candles.
we used two long tapers, one on each side of the "room" and soon had stripped to our pants and tee shirts! i had some furs and we rolled into them to sleep. between the heat from two bodies, the candles both burning were too much while wrapped in the furs.
ended up snuffing one candle. the out side temp that month never got above 10*f. that igloo was snug enough we slept in it for the month.
somewhere i have a picture of me sitting wrapped in furs with a Hawken sitting on the back side of the fire ring. got to find it.
 

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Read similar in an old outdoors magazine 40 years ago or more...

Having used it here in N Florida (got to 17 one February when I was out camping...) and the real key is that you must have a relatively still airspace without a lot of air flow. And because of that you gotta watch the CO2 and CO and such....

Sometimes better use is very contained fire source to heat a little water for coffee/soup/etc when stuck in a tent or under a tarp during rainy weather
 
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Going back over half a century or so I remember a long burning candle/ heater made of a short coffee can featured in "Boy's Life" magazine. A corrugated cardboard strip an 1 inch or so shorter than the can was tightly wound and inserted into the can. It was then filled with paraffin and wick(s) inserted in the middle. I think it was illustrated heating an ice fishing shanty.
 
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I have a couple glass and steel candle holders, meant to be hung by a top loop. A good beeswax candle will keep you fairly toasty in a 2-man tent at -5F.
And as a kid, I, too, was an igloo builder, really more of a snow cave. And a candle inthat small space would keep you very comfy . We sat it on a rock, right inthe middle of the "cave".
 
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I was just on the Kirkman site this afternoon. I have two Deitz lanterns and was researching how much heat they produce. I recently had some one ask if I knew where they could get one of those old cannonball lights that highway departments once used with kerosene/drain oil to put lights out to warn of ditches etc. They were round like cannonballs about 8 inches and had a little round cap sticking up with a fuse. They would burn all night at road construction sites. Haven't seen them in use since around 1960. They were used in fruit groves when frost was forecast.View attachment 166118
I have a pair of copies of those in shiny silvery metal, probably stainless. Got 'em at Walmart many years ago. The burners on mine don’t work that well, and when they get rained on water intrudes. A fun thing I have is a reproduction "Yellow Dog" oilfield lamp. Need to get out and light up these things!
 
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Easy to make and I use small pint cans Keep them in the truck for emergencies

BTW: these aren't 120 hour candles..they are about half the size of the ones in the video. I have used them in the garden and burnt them for around 50 hours and they still had some left to burn. since they are in cans, they don't put out much light, but they don't break and the lid keeps everything inside.
 
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toot

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I remember as a kid when I would visit my Dad in Wisconsin, he would keep a cold weather kit in the trunk of his car. I discovered the kit one summer and understood what the blanket was for, but he always carried a few candles, matches, and a coffee can. He said the candle and coffee can was to keep you from freezing to death if you got stranded in the winter time.
a candle in a can in a car will not expfishiate / smother you.
 
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roll of toilet paper some rubbing alachol in a tin can works well also, I think Mark Baker has discussed the candle trick set between your legs and a blanket wrapped around you while sitting with your back to a fairly large tree.
Eckart mentions a similar trick in The Frontiersman, except instead of a candle Kenton would burn white oak bark under his blanket to avoid detection as it is supposedly smokeless.
 

Tom A Hawk

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I have never experimented with candles however I have two Aladdin lamps that keep the living room comfortably warm when the outside temp dips to the low 40's. Not quite cold enough yet to light the wood stove but low enough to be chilly. The lamps have a mantle over the wick and a tall glass chimney. Their heat output is quite significant.

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On the other hand, while sleeping in a tent during deer season, I had to get out of my sleeping bag every couple of hours to feed the stove in order to be comfortable.

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roll of toilet paper some rubbing alachol in a tin can works well also, I think Mark Baker has discussed the candle trick set between your legs and a blanket wrapped around you while sitting with your back to a fairly large tree.
I have used a sterno tin under a poncho to keep warm in Quantico in freezing rain. I think it was the only thing that kept me from looking like the dead frozen trapper in "Jerimiah Johnson". Still have a couple of the little ones in my pack for emergency fire starting in wet weather.
 

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