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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I see Zippos mentioned A LOT. Can they be used in a storm? The website communicates little about that. I did see they have the Blu butane model now.

I also looked at the Plymouth Revere Gale Force Butane Torch Windproof Survival Lighter.
What do you use?
 

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I live in Texas, lower altitudes and went camping with my brother one time in the mountains in Colorado. Don't remember the altitude but I had one of those pipe windless type lighters and it would not work. I also had some life boat matches and they would not work either. They would just sparkle but would never catch. Went back down to Denver area and everything worked great. Figured it was due to the altitude. Zippo always works great for me. As a matter of fact I have some for sell and will be posting them in the classified section for almost half of retail.
 

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Zippos are fine to use if you plan to only be out for a day or two. But if you are bring it to be your main source of fire, they are not worth it, over more then a day or two. The fuel evaporates to fast, and nobody wants to carry a container of lighter fluid around just to fill their zippo. Stick with a bic lighter, and some sort of flint. Best combo you can have. Toss in some matches too, and you're all set.
 

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Zippo Practical Uses

I find zippo's are not very usefull in camping/survival situations. The Fuel evaporates very quickly, the flint wears out fairly fast, and they require maintainence unlike a nice bic. I do however own several zippos and like them for starting my wood stove, and doing some mild tricks.
 

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Adaptable.
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I love zippos, but only use them once in a while.

Nice things about zippos:
You can fuel them with naptha (Coleman fuel), 99% isopropyl, methylated spirits (marine stove fuel) or Bacardi 151 (I do not recommend it) so if you carry a stove, you have lighter fluid.
The flip top fits perfectly in some mess kit pot holders, allowing you to lean way back when relighting a primed stove.
The zippo works better than bics in extreme cold weather, when cold butane does not generate enough pressure to light.

Frankly, I carry a bic or two every minute of every day, and carry a magnesium/flint striker in my truck, on my pack, and with my BBQ accessories. Still like zippos, but as a clandestine smoker, bics fit better in cigarette packs.
 

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My experience with the Zippo lighter I bought was terrible. I live in Wyoming and I guess that made it dry out faster, but I'd fill it up full then the next day it wouldn't even light...

Also even most of the time that it was filled, it wouldn't light. I think it was probably an issue with the wick or flint, but I'm not sure what since I pulled out the wick after it'd burned short and also there were still plenty of sparks that should have ignited the flame.

Just stick with Bic lighters, they're way more effective and loads cheaper.
 

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zippo beats bic's ass. i carry one all the time in my pocket and use it fairly often although i don't smoke anymore. the fuel usually lasts about a week, maybe a little more if i use it alot. i've had it almost 4 years and have replaced the flint only twice and trimmed the wick once or twice. long as i have fuel in it i have no problems with it. i even use it indoors sometimes (burning threads off my clothes and whatnot) with the ceiling fan on high and it lights everytime. it may blow out or the flame might whip in every direction, but it lights everytime as long as it has fuel. i've even considered buying a jumbo size flask and carrying rubbing alcohol in it in my bob. i do have a bic, matches, and a ferro rod for backup just in case. but i prefer zippo over bic everytime for practical reasons as well as sentimental ones. i bought the zippo in iraq and carryed it everyday and have almost everyday since.
 

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the art of zippo maintenance

Maybe if you are a collector, otherwise no.

Gee, do I remember tapping those things, it becomes a habit, to try to get it to light one more time, they were perpetually running out of lighter fluid. That is the way I spent the entire 1970's tapping the bottom of a zippo lighter. I still see old smokers tapping the bottom of their disposable lighters, old ways die hard. Zippo's strong point is its simple, you can replace the flints. And yes, if you are new to zippo, put an extra flint in the cotton because you will need it, ha. Reliability is not a strong point, did I tell you about running out of fluid, well there you go. People will say that you can always strike a spark even though you are out of lighter fluid, I suggest you try beating two rocks together, try that instead, ha. After you run out of fluid a few times, you will try to fill the thing to the top to buy time before the next refill. It is like topping off your gas tank, if you click the pump nozzle a few dozen times, you can drive a few microseconds longer before the next refill, ha. Once that over-filled lighter gets in your pocket is starts oozing fluid, next thing you know you wonder, what is that rash on my leg, ha. Pick up a dozen disposable lighters, and put them everywhere, they are cheap, and oooh sooo disposable. If you want a hobby, then take up zippo maintenance, and remember you are almost out of lighter fluid.
 

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Zippos are nice to have cause you can put nearly any kind of flammable fluid in there and it'll burn (just don't use charcoal barbecue lighter fluid - apparently that'll make your Zippo explode). I've used methanol, and once, when I young, drunk, and impatient I used a few sprays of cologne to fuel a Zippo so I could light my cigarette.

But honestly - I use Bics now... For the price of a $20 Zippo (not including fluid) you can get 20 Bic lighters. They're light, you can stuff them deep in your BoB and you won't have to worry about fluids leaking out all over your other stuff. And if you lose one, you're not out $20 and you have 19 backups.
 

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I hate Zippos.They suck.Take a good dunking off a canoe,that zippo gets waterlogged and useless. A bic can be dried out and will still work.
I wouldn't waste the space a zippo takes up.
 

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that's why you should always have a waterproof backup to any lighter. i have never had my zippo leak on me even when i have filled it to the point where the fluid drips out of the top while i'm still filling it. i love my zippo but i would still always carry a backup if i was going in the brush. i also carry a small box of strike on the box matches in my vest pocket in an altoids tin just in case.
also you can keep a zippo going without having to hold down that stupid little button and burning the crap out of your thumb to get something lit. major pain in the ass and the main reason i don't like bics.
 

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As an ex-smoker I have had a lot of experience with Zippos. They have pros and cons:

Pro: Fuel, can keep lit like a candle, flints are easy to carry. They are stout and simple.

Cons: Leak (zippo rash!), not waterproof, fuel evaporates (You must maintain fluid level)

However I found a solution: These pill-capsule lighters have a o-ring seal that keeps the fluid from evaporating or leaking. 2 of the 3 have a flat bottom that allows them to be used as a candle. They don't have a wind screen like a zippo, so I am unsure how they do in the wind.

From Ebay, I carry one of these all the time:



From countycomm.com, much smaller than above, I have one of these in my survival sheath, it has a round bottom:








And their stainless version with a flat bottom:




IMHO these lighters are the best of all worlds.
 

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i have been wanting to get a bunch of stuff from them for a while. i want to get steve's everyday carrying tools plus a few more things they have and a pouch to carry them all in .
 

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So far so good, I have not bought everything from them, but the things they have are reasonable on price and pretty innovative. The test tube containers are great for MOLLE equipment, fit like a glove. It is funny, they are 2 liter bottles before they are heated and filled. No special high-tech containers :)
 

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Everyday use a bic,
Survival equipment I have but haven't see in 10 years, a quart of naptha and about 20 new zippos along with flints...I use to send in for the promotional zippos that were offerer by the tobacco companies. Never used them, just collected them, who knows one of these days they may be useful. If for nothing else barter...
 

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Zippos are for domestic, civilized use. The fuel evaporates quickly. I have a brass one for sentimental reasons... from Nam....In the field I take a fire steel.
Yes I find that they dont last long I dont use a lighter often and everytime i fill it to use it once and then put it away its empty when I come back still on my frist bic... so that tells you how often i need a fire.. I like zippos because I collect them but i would recomend if you dont use it often to use it for lighting fires the fuel really does evaporate to quickly.. For looks though they do look cool
 
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