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Old 10-06-2019, 03:52 PM
teddyearp teddyearp is offline
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Default Fire starting ~ Good old Zippo



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Yeah, we've got fatwood, char, striking sticks, bows, etc.

Who has and uses a good old Zippo? If you don't know this, they will last almost forever. I've had some that my grandfather used. What is survival about them?

I spent the $4 for a bottle of Rosonol about twenty years ago. I've never paid for flints. You can get those from old Bic lighters, usually found discarded on the ground, everywhere. Most times, you have to cut them in half to fit and they last gosh, I lost count; maybe a month, two? For each half. The fluid? Go to your local hardware store and buy some pure Naptha and refill that Rosonol bottle for convenience. Maybe $3-4/quart. I had a partial gallon I found in my dad's stuff that he bought probably thirty+ years before (I didn't start using it until he had been dead for over twenty years) last me years and years, my last quart has lasted me maybe four five years.

As long as you never let it go dry, the wick lasts, well for me, forever; all this time at the very least.

So, just sayin', don't discount the good ole Zippo from your preps.
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Old 10-06-2019, 04:03 PM
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They always go dry on me. Gave up on them many years ago because of that. They where always dead when I needed one and I didnít want a lighter that required a maintenance cycle to keep functional.
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Old 10-06-2019, 04:03 PM
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With Zippos most of the fuel is wasted through evaporation and unless you top them off frequently, so what you have left is a flint-wheel striker.

I field strip old Zippos and replace the packing with petroleum jelly infused cotton balls, a couple extra flints, pack a few more PJCBs in the cap, and I always have fire and fuel which won't evaporate.
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Old 10-06-2019, 05:52 PM
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I saw a guy on youtube cut bicycle inner tubes crossways making 1 " bands. Slip this over the hinge point area covering both sides of where it opens. He says it prevents the common evaporation of the fuel.
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Old 10-06-2019, 06:00 PM
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Evaporation was always an issue for me too. I like them, but I would rather just carry a Bic. It is a lighter lighter, and they also never fail me until they run out of fuel.
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Old 10-06-2019, 06:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exarmyguy View Post
I saw a guy on youtube cut bicycle inner tubes crossways making 1 " bands. Slip this over the hinge point area covering both sides of where it opens. He says it prevents the common evaporation of the fuel.
It "helps" some, but is not fail-safe. I have used bicycle inner tube AND wrapped electrical tape on top. If you pack the lighter away in your gear for several months and come back later you will find that the evaporating fuel eats the inner tube and also dissolves the goo on the tape, making a mess.

Gearward Ranger bands are more fuel resistant and work a bit better, but you still need to top off fuel monthly.

Most evaporation-resistant lighter I have found is the Maratec stainless steel Peanut XL from CountyComm which has a fuel-resistant neopreyne O-ring.
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Old 10-06-2019, 07:07 PM
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Sounds more like ways to make something with a serious flaw less terrible rather than an actual solution.

I do like the sound they make flicking them open and closed, but that is about it.

Sorry, but I do totally discount them for survival. I can't even think of any other kind of gear that is less reliable than a zippo.
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Old 10-06-2019, 07:32 PM
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I use them for hunting because they are cool but not in my survival kits.
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Old 10-06-2019, 08:04 PM
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I’ve got an 18 year old BIC lighter that still works. It’s only got a little bit of fuel left, but it still lights up first strike every time. Doubt you could do that with a Zippo.
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Old 10-06-2019, 08:41 PM
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Fill it up each week before you go to church and it will always work for you!

Donít know why I tend to remember it using this method, but I do!

SD
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Old 10-06-2019, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Outpost75 View Post
With Zippos most of the fuel is wasted through evaporation
I love Zippo's! They have faithfully served me without fail in 40 years of backpacking in high altitude and high wind. Bics never function in such conditions.

Yes, there is a price to pay for such high performance. High maintenance. Yes, "most" of the fuel is wasted through evaporation - a fraction of a teaspoon a day. I simply plan on adding the teaspoon in the AM before breakfast and the PM before dinner (and cigars). I have several gallons of White Fuel and take a pint with me for my backpacking stove. Never had a problem.

I admit a Bic is easier IF it does not crack or run out of fuel - and you are not at high wind conditions. One other disadvantage of Bics is that they are not made to light for more than 30 seconds. Zippo's can stay lit while having both hands free.
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Old 10-06-2019, 09:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterEnergy;19815068.....Bics [U
never[/U] function in such conditions...
BICs will work in subzero weather as long as you carry them next to your body in a shirt pocket under your outer garment. If you have a cold BIC which won't light, park it under your armpit for a few minutes and then light your fire.
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Old 10-06-2019, 09:32 PM
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When I was in the army I practiced and perfected the sling the Zippo open and snap my fingers to spin the striker wheel trick. I guess I thought it was cool.

Now I don't smoke so I occasionally sling my Silver Falcon folding knife open, the sound is similar and people think I have a switchblade. The things we do for amusement.
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Old 10-07-2019, 12:27 AM
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When you pack your Zippo away, add a small bottle of fuel.

Until you can light a Bic and set it on a table still burning, the Zippo will never be replaced.
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Old 10-07-2019, 12:31 AM
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Zippos suck, because the fuel evaporates rapidly.

There are flint wheel type lighters out there that the fuel cannot evaporate from. The one pictured below was stored 11 months & lit like the day I stored it away.





There are also vintage Ronson flint wheel lighters, that if double ranger banded will hold fuel far more than a month, without the fuel evaporating dry.

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Old 10-07-2019, 01:46 AM
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I use to carry Zippos all the time, but I stopped smoking back in April so I don't even carry a lighter on me anymore. For SHTF though, I would leave my Zippos at home. You'd have to carry the lighter and the fuel for it which would take up room in your pack which could be used to store other stuff. In my bag, I have a couple of BICs. They are good for hundreds of lights each, are lightweight, small, and they work pretty much every time. As much as I love my Zippos, They would be left behind in a SHTF situation.
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Old 10-07-2019, 05:43 PM
teddyearp teddyearp is offline
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I guess I'd like to add, yeah sure they dry out. But check it. Say the supply really dries out and 5-10 years later, there isn't a BIC/butane lighter to be had. At the bottom of a drawer is a Zippo all dried out. In the Garage is that quart of Naptha. The flint is probably still good in the Zippo and in a few seconds, you have a working lighter. And fortunately, you were in the habit of saving the flints from all those disposable butane lighters along the way so you almost have a lifetime supply. To have enough BIC lighters to outlast a quart of Naptha, you would need quite a few. Maybe hundreds.

Now how about that space?
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Old 10-07-2019, 06:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bunkerbuster View Post
Zippos suck, because the fuel evaporates rapidly.
My plate sucks because the food on it evaporates rapidly.

Seriously, I just plan on reusing my plate, adding food with each use ...
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Old 10-07-2019, 07:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterEnergy View Post
My plate sucks because the food on it evaporates rapidly.

Seriously, I just plan on reusing my plate, adding food with each use ...

You must have an unlimited supply of food & lighter fluid

Seriously though, in on foot survival situations people don't usually pack an unlimited supply of lighter fluid.

This is how much lighter fluid I pack on foot.







BTW, In the not to distant future, you will see these waterproof cases for sale.
Which resolves the Zippo fuel evaporation issue.
As a Zippo insert fits perfectly inside one.





Molle compatible and/or belt clip

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Last edited by bunkerbuster; 10-07-2019 at 08:23 PM..
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Old 10-07-2019, 09:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bunkerbuster View Post
You must have an unlimited supply of food & lighter fluid
Ha! Iíve always been more limited in food than lighter fluid.

Too many here equate all survival situations with minimalism. I thought this thread was about the love of Zippo lighters for fire starting, not survival.

The most important fire I plan to start with my Zippo is my cigar.
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