Phoenix Bird


Since you'll get bored with the "up at dawn, in bed by dark" routine rather quickly, you'll need a light source. Kerosene or dual-fuel lanterns, oil lamps, battery-operated lights, and propane lights are all worth considering. We purchased a number of oil lamps in 1999 for Christmas gifts since we wanted to help our family members work on their survival stash. With prices at WalMart running $5-7 dollars for standard lamps - now $13-20, $3 for a half-gallon of oil - now $8, and $.97 for 3 extra wicks - now about $7 for (2) 12-ft rolls of wick material, an oil lamp is hard to beat as a stationary light source. Propane or kerosene/dual-fuel camping lanterns are also a great light source but not quite as inexpensive. Candles fall into the fireplace category for romanticism, but are not practical for long-term lighting use, although candle lamps give off better light than a candle by itself. Whatever you choose, make sure you have plenty of fuel and batteries, since sitting (or stumbling) around in the dark isn't a lot of fun.

1999 prices included for an inflation context. In the cabin I had kerosene and propane lanterns, propane globe lights mounted on the center beams, battery-operated closet lights, candles and a contraption my father made using a mayonnaise jar, round wick, and a 50-50 mixture of kerosene and lamp oil which made a great nightlight. It was very dark out in the boonies! I used a closet light for an outside light, for a light over the medicine chest mirror and as a bedside light - they ran on D-batteries and since I was conservative in their usage, I hardly ever had to replace the cells. With the soft light from the Fireview and a comfortably-cushioned Boston rocker, I did a lot of cozy and peaceful late-night reading by the fire.