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Today’s topic is candles.
Candles can be a very useful part of your fire kit. Whenever you light a match or lighter use it to light a candle. Use the candle flame to ignite your tinder and kindling. This strategy helps conserve your supply of matches and fuel. A couple of birthday cake candles will fit into a compact fire kit.
Today, however, I am looking at the use of candles for illumination. In a long term survival situation candles or other sources of light such as oil lamps or rush-lights can conserve your supply of batteries.
The first item of interest is a Japanese device called a “Gando” . This resembles a small bucket with two hinged hoops inside. The bucket directs the light while the hoops ensure the candle (or other light source) remains upright. If you place the bucket rim down will the candle extinguish or keep burning? I don’t know. There are doubtless ways to construct the device so the light can be hidden without being lost.
The second item of interest is this candle holder, designed with a spike so it can be driven into a post. It happens to resemble a socket bayonet and many readers will be aware such bayonets were often driven into trench walls to be used as candle supports. This candle holder could be used as a push dagger or as an awl for less aggressive tasks.
That brings me nicely to the third item. Serge Mol’s “Classical Weapons of Japan” calls this a “kittate” and attributes it to the ninja. I have been unable to find a photo of this on the internet so I have scanned one. This is another candle holder. The long point can be driven into a wall or tree trunk and a candle placed on the smaller spike. Like many ninja items it can also be used for more aggressive purposes. Essentially it is a small kama or push dagger. The addition of a cord and weight turns it into a compact kusarigama. The handle end can also be used as a kongo for striking. Such an implement readily lends itself to many of the sentry stalking techniques I describe in “Crash Combat”.