Marvin's Kero lighting Instructions

Instructions and How-to from members. Safety posts.
Super Colemanaholic
Posts: 1146
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 2:26 pm

Marvin's Kero lighting Instructions


Post by warren »

(Thanks go to Marvin for this write up)

Well, I will tell you the ways I light mine. I say ways, because Coleman kerosene lanterns light usually much easier than European kerosene lanterns.

The previous posting is one way one can light theirs and one finds that their lantern will sometimes like to be lit it's own special way.

For my Coleman, I start with a full cup of denatured alcohol. I have some pressure pumped up in the fount, but not a lot. I light the alcohol and let it burn till it's almost consumed. I then crack the fuel valve and let some kerosene into the generator just enough to get it started. I usually let just a small amount in and the close it till the kerosene starts to vaporize and lights the mantles. I then open the valve and let it burn. Now some will like turning it on fully and some will like it being turned open slowly, you will find what yours likes. I then pump up the pressure and enjoy!

On a Petromax type lantern and Tilleys, I start with no pressure at all. These lanterns will not light right if you pressure them up before trying to light them. The Tilley will flood raw kerosene all over the place if you try to pump it up before you heat the generator to where it vaporizes the fuel. One controls the amount of fuel to the generator by the amount of pressure in the fount. I start with a full cup of alcohol as before, and let it burn almost away, then I tighten the fuel cap, and begin to pump just a little pressure as in Marc's posting. It takes a bit of practice to learn how a Tilley or Petromax type lights,. Once one learns how to light them, one can light any kerosene lantern one comes across. I might add that Tilley lantern use a removable preheater that consists of a spring and 2 cups with an asbestos type material that one clamps over the generator to preheat it.

All of that being said, I also light my Coleman's like this too sometimes. I start with no pressure at all in the tank and light it like a Euro type lantern.

I think you will enjoy being able to light a lantern that can be difficult to light if one does not do it right and will also enjoy using something not everyone has. Kerosene has more BTU potential, so it can and will produce a brighter light if everything is in order and also it will produce more heat.

With the kerosene lanterns, one can use other fuels in them such as citronella oil, but NEVER use white gas in them unless they have been designed to use it too. NEVER EVER use white gas in a Tilley or Petromax type lantern as they do not have a positive shut off and if anything happens, you have a lantern you cannot shut off safely. Coleman has a positive shut off (except their COL-MAX lanterns), and so many of their kerosene lanterns were also capable of using white gas.

Feel free to either post again if you need more advice, or email me directly if you would rather.

I own probably 15 or so kero lanterns of all types. I am probably the only person in the town where I live that has a Wenzel lantern that has been used more than once! I've got 2 and would love to have more! They are a real workhorse and I don't mind taking then to the lake as they will never be a display lantern for me. They get filled with citronella oil every time I go out.

As to the spark lighter, I don't think you would even need it nor want to use it as the generator HAS to be preheated.

#1 in the 223B club
Gatlinburg, TN