Nut Lamps

Nut lamps

Nut Lamps

As we sit in our camp the fire flickers and shadows dance across the dark forest. Shapes appear and disappear like spirits in our peripheral vision. We have asked the kids to keep their head torches off because we are going to light our way naturally. The awe and wonderment of our summer camp kids is great to see as they know we are going to make lamps to guide us.

Our ancestors have been lighting the way for over 40,000 years. Illuminating caves to help them see what they were drawing and to light dark spaces. Fast forward 40,000 years modern humans still light up dark spaces and our modern day caves but we usually use electricity.

Our ancestors kept everything simple (that’s not to say they were simple people, they were in fact at the peak of natural technology, in perfect understanding of their environment) stone for tools, animal furs and skins for clothing and bone for needles to give a few examples. Resources that nowadays most feel grossed out by and materials that tend to get discarded.

We are going to be looking at easy to make nut lamps.

To make these lamps all you will need is:

  • Clay either air dry or natural
  • Moss
  • Coconut oil
  • Nuts we used two a pecan and walnut (in shells)
  • Hammer stone or something to crack open the nuts
  • Matches or lighter
  • Wick – Jute



Crack the nuts open and pound up into a as fine a mush as you can. This is when all the oils are released and you should see this when pounding. Once this has been done make the mush into a pyramid, this shape will act as a wick.


nut pyramids

For the Coconut oil lamp make a small pinch pot with the clay.

Add the coconut oil, moss and a piece of jute with its fibres pulled apart. IMG_6584

fat lamp buring

Nut lamps

Now both lamps are ready to be lit. The nut lamp should burn for aproximately 10 minutes. A great help to lighing a fire in difficult situations if needed. The coconut oil lamp depending on size should burn for a few hours.

Have an experiment with different nuts and oils and see which works best.


Check out our video Nut Lamp






Ready to do something?

Whatever the time of year, the wild world is out there just waiting to be explored