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View Full Version : Best Lighters?


98XJSport
April 18th, 2010, 15:25
Im looking for a good easy to carry lighter for camping and general preparedness I guess you could say. Something windproof and freezeproof. Something I can use starting the campfire every weekend as well as rely on if I go through the ice and it's -30 or so.

Anyone carry something they have had good luck with? Zippos perhaps, or something else?

5-90
April 18th, 2010, 16:42
I keep a regular ol' Bic in my pocket, and "backup lighters" in strategic locations. They go into two small ziploc bags, and thence into a quart-size freezer bag (heavier plastic) with some other essential small supplies.

All of my vehicles have flares in them - and if you can't get it lit with a flare, it's just not going to happen.

joe_peters
April 18th, 2010, 19:56
Problem with Bic or any other "fuel" lighter is given enough time they quit working. You should mark them with the date of purchase and throw them away after a reasonable time--ask me how I know this!

I always carry a flint and steel and keep a couple of 35mm film cans stuffed with steel wool handy--those will still work after getting wet. The modern magnesium starters work great too.

kastein
April 20th, 2010, 08:52
Magnesium+flint starter goes in my back pocket every morning... very good to have around. Mini vice grips go in the other, wouldn't believe the number of times those have saved me trouble.

I'd bring a small butane torch or even a 10 dollar propane torch and a small cylinder of the requisite gas. It takes a lot more wind to blow out a torch than a normal lighter, they don't leak gas quite like the lighters, and you can start them with the magnesium starter's flint and any knife, or with a match/lighter, while you are sitting in the vehicle out of the wind.

98XJSport
April 20th, 2010, 16:33
Im looking into the small butane torch lighters, they seem to be able to do what I want. Flint type starters are something I want to always have in my jeep and available, but want something more practical to carry and use a handful of times a week.

Thanks for the tips so far :cheers:

gambit4000s
April 20th, 2010, 18:26
Bic's stashed everywhere in your car, but a plumber/solder propane torch will light anything and has a thousand other uses.

I keep a torch head and a few cans of fuel for the grille, same fitting.

You can buy a case of disposable lighters and a propane torch for the price of a decent butane torch lighter.

5-90
April 20th, 2010, 21:22
Problem with Bic or any other "fuel" lighter is given enough time they quit working. You should mark them with the date of purchase and throw them away after a reasonable time--ask me how I know this!

I always carry a flint and steel and keep a couple of 35mm film cans stuffed with steel wool handy--those will still work after getting wet. The modern magnesium starters work great too.

True - I'd forgotten to measure that (I also tend to write the dates on "maintenance items" when I replace them - plastic pressure tanks, fan clutches, hoses, ...)

Steel wool is handy, but if you want something that can give you more effective starts, try this:

- Take a number of cotton balls and some petroleum jelly.
- Knead the jelly into the cotton thoroughly. You want to get the stuff mixed with the cotton as much as possible!
- Pack the 35m/m film cannister (or whatever you're using) with the cotton balls after you're done.

To use, just pick out some cotton, fluff it back up, and light. It's waterproof, you can carry much more of it than steel wool, and it's just as effective of a firelighter (I've found.) Will light readily using a standard lighter or a flint/steel.

NB: If your Bic lighter runs out of fuel, peel the upper stamped guard off of it - presto! You now have a flint & steel with a handle and an easy-to-use thumbwheel!

Want to make emergency matches? Take some Blue Tip O-Hi-O (Strike Anywhere) matches. Melt some paraffin in a double boiler. Hold the plain end of the matchstick with a tweezers or something, and quickly dip about 2/3-3/4 of the length of the match in the paraffin wax. Hold up to dry.

When you put them in a cannister (of whatever variety,) stick a piece of 80-120 grit sandpaper inside the lid (striking surface.) Depending on how thoroughly you dunked the match heads, you can either strike them on the sandpaper or you'll have to strip some of the wax off of the tip with your thumbnail.

Waterproofs the matches, and enhances the burning so they can start a fire more effectively. Test them before storage. Shelf Life: INDEFINITE

Evergreen boughs make great kindling, particularly if they're dry. Keep the needles on - that's the part you want! If they're dry, you can also get them going with a shower of sparks from a good flint & steel (a Bic is borderline for this.)

Learn to use a "fire bow" - when all else fails, you damned sure can staart a fire by rubbing two sticks together. Using a fire bow will save you wear and tear on your paws - the bow and blocks can be improvised in the field, and you should have some decent string in your field kit anyhow (you can strip some of the string - that's why you use a natural fibre - to make kindling as well. Cotton, jute, hemp, and manila will all work well for this.) You won't get a flame directly from the bow itself, but you can get enough heat (from friction) to get something smouldering - and then pick it up and feed it air to get a small flame. It grows from there.

It's getting harder to find, but everyone should own a copy of The Boy Scout's Handbook. Period. Especially if you've a hobby that takes out "out into the blue" for any length of time. You won't need everything in the BSH - but about six knots, basic skills, and ID of what to eat (and what not to eat!) can make all of the difference in the world!

Johnnie Walker
April 21st, 2010, 00:23
http://www.thinkgeek.com/gadgets/tools/754d/
http://www.thinkgeek.com/gadgets/tools/7f02/
http://www.thinkgeek.com/gadgets/travel-outdoors/38cc/
Just a few ideas..

kastein
April 21st, 2010, 06:08
Evergreen boughs make great kindling, particularly if they're dry. Keep the needles on - that's the part you want! If they're dry, you can also get them going with a shower of sparks from a good flint & steel (a Bic is borderline for this.)

It's getting harder to find, but everyone should own a copy of The Boy Scout's Handbook. Period. Especially if you've a hobby that takes out "out into the blue" for any length of time. You won't need everything in the BSH - but about six knots, basic skills, and ID of what to eat (and what not to eat!) can make all of the difference in the world!

Xamillion on these. Every year (if I put one up that year) I take the christmas tree out back with a pair of lopping shears and take all the branches off, then pack them into a large cardboard box or two. Cut the trunk up too. I leave them in those boxes till the end of camping season when they are very, very dry and still loaded with sap, then use them as kindling and simply to make the fire really big :flame:

Last time I went camping I threw a couple on the fire right as the park ranger went by without realizing it, he accused me of throwing gas on the fire. Of course, I had to prove him wrong... he loved it once he realized it wasn't gas.

To add to the Boy Scout's Handbook, get yourself a copy of The American Boy's Handy Book. I grew up reading that book, it has some really great stuff in it.

JoesXJ
April 25th, 2010, 14:55
http://firesteel.com/

beakie
April 25th, 2010, 23:05
if your looking for a single lighter... brunton (sp?) makes a pretty good lighter. carried one for bout 8 years now, no problems... top it up once every month with butane and it's all good.

98XJSport
April 26th, 2010, 01:53
I was looking at the brunton helios, it gets mixed reviews but somthing along those lines.
http://www.basegear.com/bruntonhelios.html

ECKSJAY
April 26th, 2010, 10:06
Road flares.

joe_peters
April 26th, 2010, 12:29
Old school: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0039DG98W/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_2?pf_rd_p=486539851&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=B0039DMFCQ&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=1YW6YXX1KHWA9NEH32G6

Google "WWI lighters" there are some interesting things out there.

Jeepman401
April 26th, 2010, 19:31
not a lighter, but this will light just about anything, and it can be used one handed in case you get hurt
http://www.basegear.com/blastmatch.html

joe_peters
April 27th, 2010, 12:18
not a lighter, but this will light just about anything, and it can be used one handed in case you get hurt
http://www.basegear.com/blastmatch.html

Impressive.