Recommend a Lighter

I didn’t want to hijack the “Start that fire” with this question. Are the high tech and high price butane lighters worth the cost? What kind of lighter do you use? Oh, how I wish Ohio Blue Tips were still around.

No, not worth it IMHO
IMHO they are not worth the cost.

Mind you, this is in capacity as a “emergency use” role. For a smoker or everyday user, maybe the convenience is nice.

You may be able to light a blowtorch style lighter in 80mph winds, but it what good is that realistically going to do you in a survival situation? You can light tinder that will blow out or away instantly? Nah. Any fire that is shielded sufficiently to stay lit can be lit with an ordinary lighter.

Not to mention the fact that flint on steel is a more foolproof method than a piezoelectric ignitor.

Carry a Bic or two in a waterproof container.

A waterproof glasses container, or cellphone container, can carry several Bics, a redundant waterproof matches container, and several other little helpers.

for the money
i would rather have many cheapo bics here there and everywhere, kinda like the Chinese approach to warfair.

NO do not spend more than $6

– Last Updated: Dec-29-05 10:47 PM EST –

I got my cheap jet lighter fron wyoming river raiders, something like 4 for $20. I use them as primaries. IN the last line of defense storm matches. Several packets of them.

Jet lighters are hot but cannot be run for more than a few seconds at at time. Zippos can be opened and run to dry out wet fuel.

Searching a bit I found I have the solo storm lighter. The are packging them fancy now and you cannot get one for les than $12 or so. Use good butane fuel

Try This
Take you bic, get it wet… now try to light it… Take your Butane one dunk it… It still works as long as no water is grounding the spark out, and most have water proff caps on them and if water does get in it, just blow it out… its much harder to dry a bic flint wheel… another bonus with butane is the flame can be pointed down with out burning your fingers… great for lighting tinder or camp stoves! That said I do still carry around my Block of magnesium…

No zippos
Zippos are great for the city. They dry out. Then they’re just cool weight.

Something with a proper seal is what you want. Something adjustable too. Often I squeeze out a little extra by heating the lighter up. Nothing so stupid as using fire to heat the lighter, friction and body heat.

Those turbo lighters with piezo electric ignition are ass. I’ve seen friends spend hundreds on them. I’ve never seen one last more than a year. 2 lighters for a buck is what I spend.

I keep a Windmill Storm lighter in my kit and have used it more as a soldering, rope melting, lock unfreezing and general tool than lighting camp fires (only once when I had a student getting chilly during a rain storm). Been impressed so far. Get the translucent model as you can see what your fuel level is much easier than the opaque shelled versions.

See you on the water,


Flick Your Bic
Don’t waste money of expensive lighters. Many of them don’t work at the high altitutes you’ll find out west. Pelican makes a small about 3"x2’x1’ waterproof box that’ll keep lighters and matches dry.

You can keep it in a water proof container, but even if they get wet they dry out pretty quick

I think that multiple is the trick to this. Read the book “Build the Perfect Survival Kit” by John D. McCann. It is really a nice book, I have been reading it over all month (Man is this winter LONG already).

I have a Bic lighter in my pants pocket, then another in my first aid kit, then water proof matches in there as well. After reading the book my system isn’t changing much, but I was planning a new container.


I wrote in another thread
about having one for a year or two, leaving it out in the yard for a year then picking it up again. Still works fine. If folks do not use good fuel for those expensive lighters then they will turn to junk. (and lets face it who reads the instructions anyway.) I would not spend $45 or more for one but you can get novelty ones at the convenience store for $3 or so and if you use good fuel… Mine is used by the us military and costs all of 17 in gun metal. Being Cheap I bought the base metal one.

Found one on the river bottom, it worked. Keep them scattered all over my gear.

One caution with Bics is that the thumb lever can be pressed and fuel lost if tossed in a jumble of other items that may press up against the lever.

Variable flame
I search around until I find one with a decent flame size. Most bics have a small cigarette starting flame, I want one that blows flame enough to reach into a stove or fire. They are out there, just have to look.

Redundancy and drybags
That’s my approach. There’s a cheapo lighter in my emergency kit (in a drybag), another in my cook kit (in a drybag), and another one with my toilet kit (in a drybag). I also keep a Mg block in the emergency kit, along with fuel starter cubes.