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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I see a lot of people post the contents of their BOB or "Must Have" list and there aren't many that include a lighter. Yea I realize that lighters are mechanical devices and out the field what can go wrong.. will go wrong.. but as a former smoker I could use a lighter for months without any issue.

Starting a fire can be the core element of our survivial. Cooking, water purification, heat, visibility for search parties, self defense .... the list goes on.

I would rather depend on a lighter than a foil wrapped pack of matches any day.

Yes I would certainly have my other methods of fire starting including magnesium block, magnifying glass, bow & drill. But for the amount of space that they take up in your pack I'd say that the lighter would be one of my most appreciated inclusions.

Am I wrong?
 

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i agree with you i dont know why people use matches more than lighter, i always thought a lighter is more efficiant than matches, with a lighter you could start hundreds of fires, with 18 matches? how easyy they blow out it aint alot but i may be wrong
 

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Yeah, I agree. Every time I think about it, I buy a 3 pack or 5 pack of bic lighters and throw them in a drawer for hard times. I think they are a terrific bargain when you consider ow long they last and how cheap they are. And as you said, they beat the socks off of matches. I only buy the bic brand now because a few years back all the others started making theirs with tiny little flames that couldn't be regulated. The bics I buy no longer have the flame adjustment either, but at least they are of reasonable size. I also stock up on those bar-b-que/fireplace lighters. They are real good for starting a campfire with. The bic has a tendency to start frying fingers if you can't hold it upright while lighting the kindling.
 

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veldskoen no socks
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Mmmmm traditionalists maybe, I carry a lighter in my kit but will always use the steel!!
Maybe its just the bushcrafty thing to do and use the lighter when all else has failed.
 

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Yeah I don't know I am a smoker too, used to be two packs a day. No longer thank god but anyway a Bic will last a long time and I have used them wet, frozen, banged up yadda yadda yadda. I agree on always having a backup like a firesteel, but my thinkin is that if I am cold why mess around with sparks when you got instant flame. I take the safety guard off the wheels with a knife though. Makes em easier to use when your hands are cold and numb.
 

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Although I dont smoke and I never have and never will but a Lighter is a great device good tool to have. I own a very nice metal Zipo and keep good amount of fluid on hand for it. I don't care for plastic throw aways. Although of course I keep lots of matches on hand in stock as well.
 

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Information is Ammunition
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look at it this way- even when your'e out of butane in the lighter- you still have flint & steel ready to go!
 

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Inglourious Basterd
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And on the same note, lighters are small enough to carry several. You could have 5 or more in different pockets of your pack ,2 in jacket pockets a 1 in your pants pocket and would have enough to make fires for years and they are almost weightless.
 

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glock snob
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i havent smoked in years but i cary a lighter every day . it serves multiple purpuses it is a flashlight ,witch is what i use it most for but also gives me the avantage of fire whenever i want it i have carried the same lighter for 2 years ,!!!! it is part of my every day cary !
 

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I used to smoke and used bics all the time. A few observations...
1. If your hands are going numb or just very very cold then it can be difficult to operate the little wheel while holding the lighter.
2. If the lighter gets good and wet then forget it, try again when it dries.
3. If the temperature is pretty low then often a butane lighter can be difficult to light because of the nature of the fuel. This is easily solved by holding it in your armpit, takes a few minutes tho.
4. Wind sensitive.
5. After a couple months of just sitting around mine always seem to be empty or nearly so. This is without using them. Is the butane evaporating?
6. In a pack they can be easy to discharge without you knowing it.
7. They often tend to grow legs and walk away. Usually to one of your buddies pockets.


On the positive side they are cheap, colorful (easy to spot), everyone knows how to use one and can be bought nearly anywhere.

For my patrol pack I used to keep one. Often needed to be replaced so I just stopped buying them. For starting fires I prefer jelly balls ignited by a fat spark from my fire steel.
 

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25 Or 6 to 4
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We don't use zippo lighters they are extreme fuel hogs and can dry out after laying in the sun for a day.

We use scripto vue lighters. Into the view chamber we pour about 2 dozen flints. We pick ones that have ad dividers or dice or things like flies we can remove easy. A medium plastic bottle of fuel plus the scripto should be about the life of a flint and steel or longer and start fires in the blowing wind. We keep two and a fuel bottle in the pack and a single one in each day pack.

If we need to refine foreshots off a still somewhere we will have plenty of fluid to last a lifetime.When we find broken ones we save the flint and wheel mechanism that pulls straight out in one peice. We have spares in tiny ziplocks should the flint get wet in the lighter. Its simple to pull the wet one, slide in a dry one ,and flick the wheel to fire it up. Parts and supplies from canibalizing broken ones.

Still we keep 12 packs of bic lighters as well. While I do the bow and drill as good as anyone I have seen, I would rather not, and flick my bic.

Come out of the caves and stand in the light.
 

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cute is not always enough
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IMHO lighters are a must. I want two mini-bics for my go bag. but a reliable backup is a must as well.

I have never had a bic lighter dry up on me. I have one that I know has been around the house for at least a year. I do use it for lighting the BBQ and other stuff but it is still half full.

I think part of the issue is that a lot of the posts and stories are 'worst case' scenarios. not many people are going make a post on taking some dry tinder and well seasoned wood and making a fire. it is almost impossible to get that wrong.

only a moron would be out making a fire with a bow drill every time (unless that was the only option). the sensible person makes fire with the most convenient and economical way available. but it would be equally stupid to assume the easy way would always be available so people practice with the hard way and the harder way and the hardest way so they know what they are up against.
 
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