LIGHTING

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. I purchased a number of oil lamps in the 90's for Christmas gifts to help our family members work on their survival stash. With 90's prices at WalMart running $5-7 dollars for standard lamps, $3 for a gallon of oil, and $.97 for 3 extra wicks, an oil lamp was 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; just be careful with them as candles are a major source of house fires. 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. Today there are all kinds of battery-operated LED lights and lanterns. If you can find the kind that take rechargeable batteries, or are solar powered, all the better. You should be able to find an LED lantern with rechargeable battery for about $20 at Target or Amazon. Don't forget rechargeable flashlights of multiple sizes for those times you might need to go outdoors at night! Get at least one with a magnetic base to light up an outside workspace.

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.

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