Crayons for Light, is it a myth?


On face book and other sites I keep getting all of these survival tips, now don’t get me wrong I like to get them.  But at the same time look at some of them with a bit of skepticism.  It seems like everytime I turned round for the last week or so, I have been receiving a survival tip about using crayons for light.

They have a very nice graphic that shows a crayon burning and underneath it says that a crayon will provide 30 minutes of light.  This afternoon I got to thinking that it would be nice to know if this really works.  You never know when some extra light may be a big help.

So I had my wife find me a crayon and a pie pan.  I stood the crayon in the middle of the pan and attempted to light it.  All I got was some melted crayon and a burned finger.  My second attempt also failed.  By now, the crayon was melted down almost to the paper.  So I made a third try.  Surprise I got a flame, the paper caught and I though success.  Well the flame lasted about a minute and went out.

I tried all kinds of different ways to light a crayon and none would stay burning more than a minute.  Now I don’t know if they were using a different brand or whether I was doing something wrong, but unless something new comes along it is off my list of survival tips.

The point that I really want to make with this is that regardless of what information you receive, you want to try it for yourself.  There is always a learning curve.  If any of you know what I did wrong let me know and I will try it again.

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5 thoughts on “Crayons for Light, is it a myth?”

  1. Crayons may not burn like candles, but when I taught school I used them added to paraffin to colour the candles we made for Christmas gifts for parents. – Margy

  2. It needs a wick. Ever try to light candle wax without a wick? Same thing. Margy is right about coloring plain wax for candles.

  3. A good emergency candle is a cotton swab dipped in petroleum jelly. Dip one end in and turn it over and stick the other end in the jar to hold it. It will last a few minutes until you can find something more long lasting.

  4. HI i looked it up on Snopes. I think you maybe did do it incorrectly. Apparently you need to “break the point off and light the paper label at the end of the crayon. As the wax melts, the paper becomes a wick and one crayndle will last about 30 minutes”.
    I did not try this but that’s what Snopes said.

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