As a life prep­per and sur­vival expert in the high desert there are cer­tain things that I cen­ter on when it comes to my fam­i­lies safe­ty, com­fort and sur­vival. The con­cen­tra­tion for todays arti­cle is on DIY light.

Con­trary to pop­u­lar myth the high desert of Ari­zona and New Mex­i­co does not always have a full moon to light the way. There are times when there is no moon and it is inky black, sure the stars pro­vide a lit­tle light, how­ev­er, inside ones house there is a dis­tinct feel­ing of being buried alive with­out some form of light­ing.

To fix this issue with one sim­ple solu­tion I chose to con­cen­trate on eas­i­ly pro­cured 10 hour votive scent­less can­dles. The sup­plies need­ed for this solu­tion to both heat­ing and light­ing con­cerns are list­ed below.

  • Ten hour scent­less votive can­dles (I pur­chase mine by the case lot of 72 can­dles using Ama­zon® Prime – 21.99 per order) if you do not have a prime account you can shop around and find a good price, scent­less is essen­tial for sev­er­al rea­sons.
  • Left over tin/ steel food cans (2 x 28 oz. can) (2 x 14 oz can)
  • Steel awl, punch or a tri­an­gle edged can open­er last­ly in a pinch you can use a knife, just be care­ful!
  • Deluxe edge­less can open­er or a medi­um sharp­en­ing stone (You can find a good priced can open­er on Ama­zon® here.) you can also use a medi­um sharp­en­ing stone or in a pinch a piece of con­crete side­walk.
  • The last item is your imag­i­na­tion, this part is entire­ly up too you.

Some peo­ple choose to fill the cans with water and freeze them pri­or to putting the design in the sides of the cans, how­ev­er, because a freez­er is like­ly not some­thing you have in a SHTF sit­u­a­tion, there are oth­er options. I usu­al­ly hold it firm­ly in one hand while press­ing with a slow steady grip into the can. If you do this slow­ly you can eas­i­ly make pat­terns or sim­ply place holes as desired for light. If you want to place it in the cen­ter of a room, put holes around the entire out­side of it, how­ev­er, if it is going to be on one side light­ing the rest of the room enhance the light by plac­ing holes along one side only and aim that side into the room. One or two of these will quick­ly bring light into your house and a ten hour can­dle will allow you to enjoy a game or two of cards.

There is an addi­tion­al ben­e­fit to these light types, they can be used as cook­ing stoves as well. Use the larg­er cans and after plac­ing holes in the small­er ones you can fill the larg­er cans with water and set them gen­tly on top of the small­er cans. They will boil based on your ele­va­tion with­in 10–20 min­utes or so. I keep one or two cans in a nest­ing sit­u­a­tion with­in my go bags along with can­dles. Nest the cans one inside anoth­er and place two or three can­dles in each set up, I usu­al­ly tamp them in with some type of mul­ti­ple use fire-start­ing mate­r­i­al and or hygiene mate­r­i­al. They are light weight and inex­pen­sive.

Obvi­ous­ly there are many oth­er uses for emp­ty tin food cans and I encour­age you to expand your minds and be cre­ative. After all, this is a quick and inex­pen­sive way to recy­cle mate­ri­als in a sur­vival sit­u­a­tion. You will also notice in the pic­tures that I date my sup­plies, this is to tell me the expi­ra­tion date print­ed by the com­pa­ny. I rotate my stock reg­u­lar­ly so that I always have the longest amount of time avail­able.

Free the mind and the body will fol­low.

This is a guest post by Jesse Math­ew­son.  Jesse is a friend, and life­long prep­per.  Jesse Math­ew­son is an indi­vid­ual who believes in Free­dom, Non-Aggres­sion, Self-Defense, Self-Own­er­ship and a Free Mar­ket with­out state inter­fer­ence it is his firm belief that we should all be bet­ter stu­dents in life.

He is also the author of the pop­u­lar blog, and pro­vides com­men­tary to many var­ied places based on a back­ground that includes edu­ca­tion in crim­i­nal jus­tice, his­to­ry, reli­gion and even insur­gency tac­tics and tac­ti­cal train­ing. His cur­rent role in his com­mu­ni­ty is as an orga­niz­er of sorts and a preach­er of com­mu­ni­ty sol­i­dar­i­ty. As a vol­un­tary­ist and athe­ist his life is seen as crazy and wild by many, though once they get to know him most real­ize he is a blunt­ly hon­est indi­vid­ual who will give you the shirt off his back if he believes it is nec­es­sary to help you. Feel free to email him direct­ly at – make sure you put Indi­vid­u­als Talk­ing Back in the head­er or it may be mis­tak­en­ly delet­ed as spam. You can also view what he does at Lib­er­ty Prac­ti­cal Train­ing.  Thank you all for read­ing and hope to hear from you soon.

Jesse’s Blog can be found here:


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