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  1. #1
    Registered User DrRichardCranium's Avatar
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    Default What's wrong with a cheap Bic lighter?

    In wilderness survival shows they always use those magnesium sticks to start fires. On my hike I found a Bic lighter in the first shelter that lasted all the way to Maine and beyond. Why not just use a regular cigarette lighter for fires, instead of magnesium sticks, waterproof matches, steel wool & battery, etc.
    "Katahdin barada nikto."

  2. #2
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    Nothing wrong at all, I think that's what most people use.
    Everything is in Walking Distance

  3. #3
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    those shows are stupid. the AT ain't wilderness survival. Bic lighters are fine and all ya need

  4. #4

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    It's all I use but always carry two with the second one a mini Bic inside a protective container to keep the depress button from getting accidently pushed. One time I had a Bic lose all its gas when the button got pressed in my ditty bag.

  5. #5

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    I have never used a box lighter for outdoors. What's wrong with matches? :-)

    Sent from my GT-N7000 using Tapatalk 2
    Let me go

  6. #6

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    Bic lighter

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    Let me go

  7. #7
    Registered User FarmerChef's Avatar
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    Matches? I carry enough road flares for my trip. It gives you lots of time to get your fire started plus they work in the rain!

    Seriously, I carry both the firesteel and the lighters though I've switched to the full size over the mini. When my hands are cold, I have a hard time getting the flint wheel to spin. Most of the time I just use the firesteel to start my alcohol stove or campfire. With practice it's really easy and I don't have to worry about the gas running out. This is provided I can get my hand on some good dryer lint for tinder. Starts so fast you'll rethink that annual dryer vent cleaning.
    2,000 miler. Still keepin' on keepin' on.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by FarmerChef View Post
    Matches? I carry enough road flares for my trip. It gives you lots of time to get your fire started plus they work in the rain!

    Seriously, I carry both the firesteel and the lighters though I've switched to the full size over the mini. When my hands are cold, I have a hard time getting the flint wheel to spin. Most of the time I just use the firesteel to start my alcohol stove or campfire. With practice it's really easy and I don't have to worry about the gas running out. This is provided I can get my hand on some good dryer lint for tinder. Starts so fast you'll rethink that annual dryer vent cleaning.
    You remind me to say I always pry off the child proof thingie put on Bic lighters as it seriously interferes with my thumb flicking a flame. Can't stand that little piece of useless metal. I haven't used matches since 1978 as they tend to get wet, even the protected ones, they often won't light and they throw nice little sparks out onto firm Thermarests.

  9. #9

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    I use the lighter Bic lighter, the Mini Bic, when I can find them, rather than the big brother.

    As with all lighters that use a wheel and flint (or similar striking material), if you get the wheel mechanism wet, it will sometimes (not always, though) fail to light. I have a Windmill lighter that I take as a backup in the winter. It's relatively heavy, but bombproof, and it's refillable. I just learned that there's a company which makes a needle that screws onto a typical stove canister, allowing you to fuel your refillable lighter with a better cold weather mixture of gas other than the straight butane usually offered as a bulk lighter refill.

    Windmill lighter: http://www.moontrail.com/accessrs/a-.../windmill.html

    I got mine here, free, when I bought my Hilleberg Akto tent.

    As the link says, keep it in your pocket in extreme cold to ensure reliable use (the gas contracts in the cold, lowering internal pressure. It remains liquid and will not come out).
    Last edited by Tinker; 11-30-2012 at 14:38.
    As I live, declares the Lord God, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn back from his way and live. Ezekiel 33:11

  10. #10
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    For survival kit purposes, a firesteel is a good idea. A lighter has the potential to dry out over the years, although I think I've only seen one lighter dry out, but it's possible that someone else drained it and didn't throw it away. All of my lighters are at least a couple years old, and some are several times older.

    In short, a lighter is just fine for a long hike.

  11. #11
    Getting out as much as I can..which is never enough. :) Mags's Avatar
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    Cause those survival shows want to "look cool" and a simple Bic lighter does not have the "Burly Mtn Man mystique"...

    http://www.collegehumor.com/video/65...an-vs-wild-rpg


    For your viewing pleasure..
    Paul "Mags" Magnanti
    http://pmags.com
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    The true harvest of my life is intangible...a little stardust caught,a portion of the rainbow I have clutched -Thoreau

  12. #12
    Registered User FarmerChef's Avatar
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    Interesting on the cold weather gas. On my last hike I discovered (I'm sure daily lighter users know this already) that butane just doesn't want to make a big flame when it's cold. So I had to walk with the lighter in my pocket as we got into camp just to get the gas warm enough to make a decent flame.
    2,000 miler. Still keepin' on keepin' on.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mags View Post
    Cause those survival shows want to "look cool" and a simple Bic lighter does not have the "Burly Mtn Man mystique"...

    http://www.collegehumor.com/video/65...an-vs-wild-rpg


    For your viewing pleasure..
    Talking about your burly mountain man mystique, check out the new replacement for Dual Survival---

    http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment...-survival-pro/

  14. #14
    Registered User Drybones's Avatar
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    A Bic lighter is what I use, also carry a backup.

  15. #15
    Registered User TheYoungOne's Avatar
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    I have a real small swedish fire steel as a backup in my daypack, but I usually just use bic lighters.

    Some people need to look tactical, or make starting a fire more exciting. For me I just want to eat or get warm.

  16. #16
    Registered User FarmerChef's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post
    Talking about your burly mountain man mystique, check out the new replacement for Dual Survival---

    http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment...-survival-pro/
    What happened to Dave?
    2,000 miler. Still keepin' on keepin' on.

  17. #17

  18. #18
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    The Magnesium spark thrower will always work, while a lighter might not work when you need it the most. But most of us get away with a Bic lighter and always have a spare for when one fails or gets lost.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post
    It's all I use but always carry two with the second one a mini Bic inside a protective container to keep the depress button from getting accidently pushed. One time I had a Bic lose all its gas when the button got pressed in my ditty bag.
    Ouch! Murphy's at it's best. I'm guessing you had a spare?

    Cat in the Hat

  20. #20
    Registered User vamelungeon's Avatar
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    As an ex smoker I've had bics let me down, but my firesteel always works. I don't care how it looks because I'm normally alone when I use it. Whatever works best for you, hyoh.
    "You're a nearsighted, bitter old fool."

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