Thursday, 3 July 2008

Candle iin the wind

Illuminating the darkness, warding off that which scares us in the primordial night has always been one of mans concerns............nothing is as comforting on a night alone in the woods as a fire, a torch ya great 0 but a fire now thats a friend.

But what about modern man in our plastic world...........susperstitions bah......... the dark holds no fear for me .............. ya right, Ive camped many a lonely week both near and far and even I get spooked by the boogey man once in a while.

The Native americans called the boogeyman the Wind-a-go spirit, a creature which whispers in your ear, twisting your thoughts - scaring you or sapping your morale - the Indians say the only way to dispell a wind-a-go is to do something positive action on a cold lonely night, in a place where a fire isnt a option I've often found a candle does the job nicely !

Ok, ok SPOOKs aside lets consider the humble candle!

I always carry a pair of tallow candles in my bergen, its a old habit learn from years of experience. Tallow is a edible veg oil so in theory a food source but better than this (you'd have to be bloody hungry to eat a candle) this type of candle has a long life - both on the shelf and in its burn time (typically 10 hours) thats a lot of illumination for a tent or shelter and its a lot of battery power saved!

More importantly a candle is a source of heat - we often burn candles in our teepees on courses to drive out the damp air - they warm the tent by a few degrees (in a snow hole this is critical) but more importantly they warm the tent to the eye casting a comforting welcoming golden glow!

Any candle will do of course - IKEA tea candle 100 for a £1 are almost as good - but I still prefer the long life candles and will often burn the tea candles saving the long life ones for real emergencies .............have you every wished you had a candle in that dark bothy or shelter?

No, next time you venture out into the woods try it - take a candle and see how you get on, not just for light but for the thousand of other uses they can be put to from lubing a bow drill bearing block to waterproofing matches .............

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