Don’t fret if you’ve forgotten your camping lantern.
If you are stuck in the woods and have forgotten your lantern or tiki torches, you can make an emergency lantern with a can of Mountain Dew. Just an empty soda can and other materials you have on hand to make a lantern that’s weatherproof, repels bugs and easily transportable.
1. Pop open the can of Mountain Dew and drink it. There is no use in wasting good soda just to make a lantern. Once you finished the soda, wash out the empty Mountain Dew can. It’s preferable, according to Leave No Trace and backcountry ethics, to wash the empty can away from the stream or water source. Use purified water and drink the water from the can so there’s no impact upon the environment.
2. Use a piece of paper to form a funnel going into the top of the can. The stiffer the paper, the better the funnel will be when you pour the oil into the can. If you don’t have a piece of paper, use a large leaf or a collection of leaves interlaced together.
3. Pour the citronella oil into the can. Citronella oil is also the same as tiki torch fuel and serves not only as a weatherproof, slow burning fuel, but is also a natural bug repellant. If you accidentally spill some citronella oil on your hands, simply wipe the oil over your arms and legs. However, don’t get any citronella oil in your ears, nose, eyes or mouth.
4. Take a piece of cloth, such as cotton, and roll it up into a cylinder that’s long enough to reach the bottom of the can. If you have a piece of string, tie the bottom and mid-section of the cloth cylinder so it doesn’t unravel. Stick it into the hole of the can and allow it to soak the citronella oil. If you have cheap braided rope that isn’t made out of plastic, you can also cut a length and use it as a wick.
5. Light the emergency Mountain Dew citronella lamp. The height and width of the flame will vary according to the size of the wick is coming out of the can. Trim the wick or pull more out from the Mountain Dew can in order to adjust the size. Remember that the larger the flame, the more fuel it will burn through.