Diesel Pressure Lanterns – 500 Candlepower -Prepping 101

Throughout the years of Prepping 101 I have had the luxury of checking out luxury products. This is one of those times, and it is interesting that this particular product was where I ended off back in 2016 when I temporarily shelved Prepping 101, because you guys thought clot shot Trump was going to save us all. Well he didn’t, and everyone seems to be talking about empty supermarket shelves. The whole Trump thing was most likely a phsy-op to get the patriots to take take the warp speed train to the grave. And some of you geniuses are still showing up at his rallies.

So for those of you who survived so far, and those of you who saw what was going on, didn’t take the shot I’ve been dusting off some of the products that I never covered. So far they haven’t crashed the banks yet, so most of you can afford luxury products like this one. Just make sure food is your first priority. A shitload of it.

For those of you who camp, as you can see, this is not a standard Coleman propane lantern. For those of you who don’t, and had no idea what this was at all, before the days of LEDs, when electric lanterns only lasted part of a night on four D batteries, a lot of us used a lantern a lot like you see here. They burn “white gas,” otherwise known as Coleman fuel, which is just distilled gasoline. The mantles are much you see in this lantern, and they are also in the newer propane bottle lanterns as well.

Mantle lanterns utilize a cloth bag that is burnt to ash, and the ash captures the atomized fuel and it burns white and bright. There is no smoke and all of the carbon monoxide is burned.

The lanterns are fine indoors. They don’t smoke, and the white flame burns all of the carbon monoxide, so they aren’t dangerous, except that they are of course a rip roaring fire and generate at least 5,000 BTU of heat.

In most of the United States, though not where I live (and where you quite possibly are trying to move to), winter is particularly favorable to a really bright fuel burning lantern that produces a lot of heat. In the winter it both gets dark early, and it s cold. That is the beauty of this product, as well as other mantle lanterns. If you live where it is not cold in the winter, and where you will be also absent air conditioning if you are absent light, it may not be for you. Outside it will still be useful when you need a lot of light.

Five hundred candlepower is really bright. It is sufficient for a large room, or for a gathering of people outside to be able to see each others faces. The only brighter off grid lamp you will find are the two mantle Coleman lamps, most of which burn gasoline as well as white gas well. There is an Amish supplier of two mantle kerosene lamps, but they come and go in availability.

Even in daylight these lanterns light up everything around them.

These lanterns burn kerosene, and for our purposes, diesel, which is a fraction of the price of kerosene in the most of the US. And this is one product meant for kerosene that I would say to be careful with as to the quality of the diesel that you burn in it. Before the final path to the ceramic atomizer, it has a pinhole atomizer at the end of pressure chain, and the hole is actually the width of less than a pin. So I would stick to highway grade diesel. Off-road diesel and home heating oil are probably not a good idea, but K-1 kerosene is of course also great.

Highway grade diesel is not the fuel it was every several years ago. It is no longer yellow, and no longer smells like sulfur. It is the same stuff as K1 kerosene. Some jackass already posted in the Youtube comments that diesel gets moldy after a few months, but the yellow can of diesel you see here in the video had been sitting, half full, for over five years. No mold.

Diesel is also way safer to store than gasoline, and does not require specialized containers. I personally use any HDPE container to store diesel, but you can do as you wish. For large quantities, I use an IBC tote, which you can usually find locally on Offerup or Craigslist. Again, that’s just me, not advice. Unless you heat diesel, it is super safe. It has no flammable fumes like gasoline, and you can throw a lit match into a pool of room temperature diesel and the match will go out.

This model lantern is the Sea Anchor 950, made in China. You are welcome to leave scathing comments on buying things from China, but until these things are made in the US, I would prefer that the idiot commentators just wait it out. The last version of a kerosene pressure lantern sold in the US, at Cabelas, Bass Pro, Dicks, etc., was the Wenzel, and it was not as good as this model because it didn’t have the preheat cannon, as you will see in the video. I have one of these and will compare the two in a future column. For some reason I lost the video I shot for this one.

A new in the box Wenzel recently sold on Ebay for over $300. The wooden box is cool, and as I said I have one, but the lantern is made by Sea Anchor, and the sticker on the box says Made in China.

This Wenzel is made by the same company in China, but it is not the preheater model, so you would have to use alcohol to light it unless you want a smoky mess.

When you open the 950, unscrew the side nuts, and lift the preheat assembly off. It is a little sticky because there is paper around the glass, and there are two plastic inserts that must be removed before lighting.

Fill the tank with two cups of fresh diesel. And take one of the rubber washers from the spare parts bag and put it in the fuel cap. I frustrated myself with that little detail a bit at first.

To install the mantle, watch my video here, because I show you how I puff it out after tying it. The ultimate shape of your mantle is a shrunken version of the starting shape, so if you don’t want folds that create dark spots, make sure it is fully puffed out. Be careful tying the mantle on. The strings are super frail and break easy. Double knot it or the mantle will fall off.

Make sure you puff out the mantle before you light it becuse the ultimate shape of the ash will resemble the mantle before it is lit.

Gentle drop the mantle inside the preheater tube. Diesel/kerosene must be heater before it is lit (unless it is super atomized as you’ll see with the cannon), so that is why that pre-heater tube is there. Put the arrow on the adjustment knob in the straight up position, and make sure the preheater cannon door is closed.

Make sure the locking screw on the filler cap is also tight, and pump the lantern until it reaches the red line on the dial.

Now, if you just let some fuel in and try to light the mantle, as you would with a white gas Coleman, it will not light reliably, and it’ll smoke like a chimney until it does, blackening your globe and filling the top with soot.

In the bottom of the lantern you will see a pre-heater cup made of brass. It is for alcohol, should you want to preheat with that. The Wenzel relies on this method in fact.

Kerosene and diesel do not burn at normal outdoor temperatures without a wick of some kind. They have to get up to above 145F or so. The mantle is of course a wick, so it technically does not need a special preheating system. You could just let some fuel in, light the mantle, and let it heat the preheater fuel tube. But by then your lantern globe would be black. That is why you see the little brass cup in the bottom of the lantern. it is for alcohol, which is what these lantern traditionally use as a starter fuel, because it does not smoke. This 950 model dispenses with the need for alcohol by providing a direct flame atomizer on the side. It preheats the tube in a matter of seconds, allowing you to light the lantern easily, with no alcohol and no smoke.

The 950 doesn’t have to be lit this way. As you’ll see in the video, it has a preheater device that atomizes the pressurized fuel so that it can be lit for preheating. It is literally a flame cannon, which is why we of course use a mantle when we want to just get a nice light from a lantern. The cannon lights easily, and only needs to burn for a little bit before you can open up the main fuel line to bring fuel into the mantle. You do this by turning the red dial sideways.

At first you will see yellow flame around the mantle, but it really doesn’t smoke much. The mantle will gradually get more and more white, and when there is no more yellow flame, then you can adjust the lantern as you wish. You may need to re-pressurize a bit after using the cannon.

As you turn the fuel on it will create a yellow fire around the mantle until it is all ash.

The mantle turns to ash, and will last a long time as long as you don’t give the lantern a good knock, or knock it over. As time goes on the mantle will get more and and more susceptible to breakage, and then it will just start to break and you will see flames coming out of the holes. It is then time for a new mantle. You get lots of hours out of one if the lantern is stationary.

The other wear part on the lantern is the ceramic atomizer on which you tie the mantle. But I don’t know how long it takes them to fail. Star & Bullock sell both the mantles and the ceramic. The lantern comes with an extra brass pinhole atomizer, a leather for the pump, and a gasket for the fuel cap, as well as a couple types of nipple pick. Full english directions (written by someone Chinese so just eh) also come with the lamp.

You may want to pick up an extra ceramic atomizer. It is the other wear part not included besides mantles. The lantern comes with an extra pump leather, fuel cap gasket, and pinhole atomizer.

I arranged for Star & Bullock Hardware to bring these lanterns into the country, so if you like to stay away from grifters in the prepping space, you can go try to find one elsewhere. Good luck. There should be enough to get through the initial wave of orders from this article and video, and if more can be had it will take some time, and will most likely be more expensive due to production and shipping costs skyrocketing. So if you want one, it might be prudent to get it now at this price.

Sea Anchor 950 – At Star & Bullock Hardware

{ 29 comments… add one }
  • Russ Hamilton January 20, 2022, 11:37 am

    Another anti-Trump chump. Leave politics out of a hardware review please. This thing looks like a piece of cheap chinese shit.

  • Reynaldo Gonzalez January 20, 2022, 11:24 am

    Before you go throwing the s word around you like a lot of people want the government to solve all your problems BTW how’s the gas prices going for you!?

  • James Spangler January 18, 2022, 10:47 am

    Getting back to the topic of the article, this looks like something everybody should have at least 1 of and a box of spare mantels as well. That said the thing about storing diesel is algae. IF your storage tank is outdoors it’s more of a problem than indoors but what happens is as the temperature varies in the tank heat expands the tank and as it cools and contracts it draws air into the tank. Depending on the humidity level at your storage area some moisture IS going to accumulate inside of vented storage tanks at the bottom of the diesel. Algae can eventually accumulate, live and multiple in the WATER at the bottom of the tank breaking down and eating the hydrocarbons that fuel is made of. How you prevent this from happening is use clean storage containers, buy quality (premium) diesel from reputable stores, there are no federal standards on diesel additives, only on the sulphur content in diesel (15ppm). Raw #2 diesel looks a lot like gasoline with a tan-ish tint and is usually sold as budget diesel at a lower price because it has zero additives. . Premium #2 diesel is treated with additives like Cetane, Antifoam agents, water disbursement agents and proprietary additives including anti-gell agents and detergents to clean fuel systems and kill algae and remove carbon buildup in the injection system and usually costs more and is dyed blue or green depending on the company’s specs. Offroad diesel is dyed red and is untaxed. It may be treated lik Premium diesel or not depending on the blendspecs of the reseller. Biodiesel has fewer BTU’s than petroleum diesel, usually 4000-6000 less per gallon for B-100 Biodiesel. Biodiesel is usually sold as B-2 (2% bio, 98% petroleum diesel) B-5, B-10 all the way up to B-100 and is dyed yellow, urine yellow. Biodiesel of any amount is a lot more subject to water and algae intrusion at a faster pace and the same rules apply to storage of it, clean, quality, properly stored, treated diesel of any bioblend will last decades like petroleum based diesel if done right.

  • David C. Hetzer January 17, 2022, 5:02 pm

    I just bought the 950 Anchor lantern from Star and Bullock Hardware with extra mantels and ceramic atomizers. Where do you buy a extra glass globe for this lantern? I enjoy all your articles. Thanks again.

    • Paul Helinski January 17, 2022, 5:37 pm

      As far as I know it is the standard size for Coleman lanterns, but I’m sure they have the measurements on them.

  • Bob W January 17, 2022, 4:59 pm

    I’m from New York City so I always knew Trump was a draft dodging piece of shit long before he ran for President but I was really surprised to see that I’m not the only gun loving Republican who thinks trump is a piece of shit. Thanks pal. Welcome to the club.

    • Notsure January 17, 2022, 6:44 pm

      You are a piece of shit, thanks pal. Don’t want in your club.

  • Pete January 17, 2022, 2:09 pm

    WELL SAID, there indeed are w hole lot of ignorant, under-educated, stupid folks out there that accept the BS trump is still spouting – UNBELIEVABLE, that after ALL the evidence folks still go like lemmings to his absurd rallies. BE ADVISED HE IS A DANGER TO DEMOCRACY – YOU WILL BE IN AN AUTHORITARIAN STATE WITH HIM AND THE CURRENT CROP OF SELF-SERVING REPUBLICANS.
    BTW, thanks for the update and info on the lanterns, good review, keep em cumming.

    • Notsure January 17, 2022, 6:48 pm

      Pete repete, you are dumb as a box of rocks. Crawl back to mamas basement you fool.

    • hank January 17, 2022, 8:12 pm

      YES, YES !! Wake up People!!

  • Tom January 17, 2022, 2:00 pm

    How do I unsubscribe?

  • Kane January 17, 2022, 12:19 pm

    I just read a GOA article about a lad named UK Lance Corporal Johua Leakey where a good point was raised that could also be applied to Trump.

    “There is a website devoted to Mother Theresa’s moral failings. If you’re looking for a sinless role model among us mere mortals you should prepare yourself for disappointment.” -GOA

    Never cared for Trump when he was on his “reality” shows or just fronting himself in NY. I wish he spoke less and spoke better when he was required to go on record. If something better than Trump is an option then I will transition easily to the next best. Meanwhile let’s take a very quick look at the cards the US electorate was actually dealt.

    For a longtime we have had only a two party system but the Dems will no longer be satisfied until the US operates as a one party left wing system dominated by the technocrats. Joe Biden does NOT care about the US or any of our institutions.

    Joe Biden has been in politics for more than 50 years which is roughly 20% of the time span of the US. Biden has in that same span enriched himself at every opportunity he is lazy, corrupt and without any idealism. The best reflection of Joe is the lowlife he spawned named Hunter. Joe does NOT want to be President, he calls that nut job VP the President all the time because he still thinks that the other African American (BHO) is still in charge. Susan Rice and Ron Klain or whatever his name is are actually in charge and that means the US will be run further into the ground with an idiot figure head holding the bag. Biden supposedly got more votes than any POTUS in history and in a couple of months is the most unpopular one in history.

    Since many of us feel compelled to back Trump for a myriad of reasons I want to know what options we might be overlooking. So here is my question to you Mr. Helinski, who did you vote for in the last Presidential election? In the same 50 year period that Biden and many other career politicians have run the US into the dust, can you list the best and worst US POTUS in any order you choose?

    Please take the time to edify US all.

    • Paul Helinski January 17, 2022, 12:38 pm

      Not only did I vote for Trump, we sent out two emails asking people to get out to vote to our over 1 million subscribers. I have screencaps of my AOL account email that actually hid the message when you opened it. I did not say that the stuff Trump says isn’t in the spirit of our Republic. He just didn’t do anything, and blamed it on the Russia hoax. He even signed one more federal gun law than Obama, the bump stock ban. I was the original person who discovered bump stocks back in 2012, and they are a toy. It had nothing to do with public safety, just like the warp speed vaccination. Even Steve Bannon said over and over and over again that there will be no effective vaccine, because coronavirus vaccines have never worked, and have killed animals and even people every time they are tried, including some kids in an SRV vaccine trial. Now it bears out. The vaccine is not effective, and is killing people by the hundreds of thousands. A Harvard study found that less than one out of 100 events are reported to VAERS, so do the math. I personally had a friend in his 50s drop dead of a heart attack, and now even the life insurance companies and dozens of states are starting to investigate why all cause mortality is up as much as 70% in Florida and Texas, but 0% in New Hampshire and 13% in Massachusetts.

      Yet Trump is out there still saying it is safe and effective.

      It isn’t a two party system. It is a one party system. George Carlin said it best, before they killed him. It’s a big club and you ain’t in it.

      • Kane January 17, 2022, 4:18 pm

        Looks like some posts have disappeared and I guess my time is coming. I have NOT been vaxed and this new booster seems like an attempt to cause the virus to mutate further and kill more Americans to replace with 3rd world illegals. The VA is trying to jab the needle into me but as long as there is a policy where the un vaxed are pouring in the US then I will defy their dubious pleas. Trump or Biden can take their chances anyway they want and I will do the same. If society crashes, I will probably opt out of the survival fantasy and think along other lines. I doubt most people can come up with a 1000-2000 calorie diet while digging lead from the major organs of their little squad and themselves. Most modern people are in trouble without their meds and a clean glass of water on tap.

        Trump is NOT a 2A person and never will be, he is someone who got involved in politics and makes some bad compromises. Still you have to look at the alternative, BHO broke laws to run guns into Mexico and his Administration pushed through a policy of banning anyone receiving benefits through the SSA with the assistance of a representative payee would lose their 2A rights. Tens of thousands of decent people were going to be disarmed and/or made criminals by bureaucrats behind a computer screen. There was no need for this laws since there are other safety valves in place to keep firearms from being legally purchased by those ineligible. The BHO admin and the SSA knew this was an illegal gun grab. Trump reversed the BHO policy and you have to recalculate your score card on that point alone.

        BTW, my list of worst to less worst POTUS had Biden as the run away worst of all time. When I weigh the bump stock ban (that I thought had fallen to legal challenges) against 13 military members getting blown up because the self soiling CinC does NOT give a flip then I choose protecting the military members from Biden, Miley and the other dangerous fools. Meanwhile I will settle for Trump until something better comes along.

        • Notsure January 17, 2022, 6:50 pm

          Yep.

    • Notsure January 17, 2022, 6:50 pm

      Amen.

  • Kevin January 17, 2022, 9:43 am

    I live in Ky and drive a VW TDI (diesel), a 95 Chevy truck diesel and have a Diesel Kubota tractor. I can assure you the fuel is in fact is yellow and is not the same as kerosene. However Diesel is virtually the same as fuel oil (but not kerosene)

    • Paul Helinski January 17, 2022, 10:01 am

      Yes throughout this column many people have reported that where they live the diesel is yellow, so it must be different refineries. I actually showed pouring it on a recent article on wick stoves, and it is clearly blue, not yellow, and there is no smell in our diesel at all. I suspect that your diesel will work equally well in these lanterns though, because it has to pass the same emissions testing theoretically at least. You can actually get a Coleman funnel that has a ceramic filter built into it, and for the yellow and offroad diesel maybe it might be a good idea to use one. You probably use the same highway diesel for your tractor. So who knows.

  • Howard Ellsworth January 17, 2022, 9:20 am

    Are you familiar with the BriteLyt Petromax lanterns?

    • Paul Helinski January 17, 2022, 9:41 am

      Yes but they are hard to find, and I have not seen a new one for sale.

      • Howard Ellsworth January 17, 2022, 10:25 am

        Try https://britelyt.com/
        I have one of the original military versions but have not fired it up yet.

        • Paul Helinski January 17, 2022, 11:21 am

          Oh that’s cool. Too bad they are twice the price. It claims that it has a patent for multi-fuel, so that’s interesting, and I called and they are not made in China. Officially they use “mom and pop shops” to make the parts, then they are assembled in Florida. I got one to compare them with different fuels head to head. It is definitely another option. I’m just not sure it was needed, but I’m willing to get one and see.

  • Gary Fowler January 17, 2022, 8:28 am

    Robert is partially right, diesel will allow algae growth to occur. However it will not grow algae without water in the fuel. Keeping your diesel clean and water free will allow indefinite storage of diesel. I have a tote container that I filled with 250 gallons of fuel over 5 years ago and it is still algae free. I keep my storage containers for gas and diesel inside my insulated and enclosed storage shed where the temperature remains fairly constant and mostly dark. I have been doing this for 11 years and never had any problem with water in the fuel nor algae growth in my storage tank or my equipment.

  • Robert January 17, 2022, 7:33 am

    I do like your articles, however I think you should know algi does live in diesel fuel. It’s a common problem with vehicles in high humidity areas. Just maybe you should apologize to the ( jack ass ).

    • Paul Helinski January 17, 2022, 8:14 am

      This is a survival column. My fuel is stored in florida. The algae problem in diesel either no longer applies, or it is not relevant enough for these appliances. Parroting something with no life experience is indeed jackass territory.

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