Tea Candle Globe
Tea Candle Lantern
This is a little idea to use a tea candle in shelters and when
camping. A tea candle works great for reading, but tends to blow
around a lot.
On my AT section hike last week, there was an evening when two of us
brought out candles to read by. (As the fall comes on us, I find it
hard to sleep from dusk to dawn - there are too many hours.)
She had a tea candle - a little flat candle about 1.25 inches in
diameter and a half inch tall, contained in an aluminum "dish."
I had a 3 inch long plumber's candle.
There was a little breeze - hardly enough to feel - but enough to fan
the flame from the right to the left.
Within five minutes of lighting the candles, mine was dripping wax down
its side, creating a little puddle next to the candle. It was
bothersome enough that I soon put my candle away and read by the light
of my LED head lamp.
Her candle was enough to read by for hours. The flame did blow around a
bit and have a lot of flickering, but when I awoke a few hours after
putting my book down, the tea candle was still burning.
When I came home, I began to think of some way to improve a tea candle
for my hiking. I found a box of ten of them at the dollar store for a
buck. So I had some to experiment with.
I kept thinking about that blowing flame and wondering if some sort of
chimney could be made that would protect the candle from the wind, yet
not be too heavy or fragile.
I ended up taking a pair of scissors to a plastic 20 oz coke bottle. I
cut around the bottle just below the label, and also just above the
bottom. I ended up with a clear "chimney" about 3 inches high. I have
only used it outdoors at my house, not yet on the trail. However, the
chimney seems to guard the candle from the wind and make it a better
light to read by.
I have given some thought about where to pack the little chimney. I
usually pack my candle in my food pouch, along with emergency fire
starting materials. I have found that the little chimney can be stuffed
with the ziplock bag of my fire starting materials, which protects its
takes up almost no room.
Result: a tea candle and chimney which weighs almost nothing (about 10
preserves my LED head lamp's batteries for a longer hike. In addition,
the candle just feels more friendly as the night becomes inky and the
owls come out to play.
A friend asked about being able to use a tea candle hanging in a
teepee. I came up with a little lantern made from a recycled soft
drink can and a water bottle. It is not very strong, but it will
last a little while if you need a lantern
Directions for building:
- cut around the can just under the "Pepsi" word.
- cut out three rectangular sections from the bottom, leaving three 1/4
inch wide strips
- flatten the bottom of the can so the tea candle sits in the middle of
- cut a cylinder from a water bottle so that it sits the same height as
the three tabs
- cut slits in the upper piece in three places for the extended tabs
attached to the bottom
- put the "globe" inside the lantern and attach the three tabs through
Directions for lighting:
- lift the "globe" and slip a tea candle in the bottom of the lantern
- lift the globe and light the candle with a match
- slide the globe down
burned the lantern for about 2 hours and the "globe" did not
overheat. I was able to carry it around in a breeze (holding on
to the bottom of the lantern). Do not directly tie a string to the tab
on top. It gets too hot. Instead, fashion a couple links
from pieces of the waste aluminum or use a little piece of wire between
the lantern and a cord. I did find that after several hours, the
globe became soft and began to wilt a little.