Starting a fire is one of the most valuable survival skills you can have, and while I think everyone should know and practice different ways to start a fire, one of the best pieces of fire-lighting equipment you can bring is a good survival lighter. old style While armchair survivors can laugh at the idea and go on forever when they have seen Bear Grylls or Survivorman start a fire with 20 different methods, during a survival situation, do you want to complicate things or do you want to survive?
Personally, I want to survive and I want to make things as easy as possible for myself. You will already be dealing with multiple different stressors; the last thing you need during a crisis is extra work and stress.
So yes, I carry fireproof steel and other tools for starting a fire, but I also carry a lighter as part of my EDC and have one in every bag and kit I own. In a survival situation, where I’m cold and need to warm up quickly, I’m not joking with matching drills or the bow; the first thing I look for is that lighter.
What is a survival lighter?
While nine times out of ten a Bic lighter will likely work, when looking for something to keep in your survival kits and bug bags, I recommend looking for a dedicated survival lighter.
A survival lighter should be resistant to weather, wind, and water; it should also be made of high-quality materials that ensure it lasts and works when you really need it. Keep in mind that the environments you will start fires in are an important consideration when choosing which type of lighter to go with.
Fuel Types and Ignition: Which Fuels Are Best?
When choosing a lighter, keep in mind that there are many different options. Let’s take a look at your choices.
Lighter fuel: The lightest fluid can be found virtually anywhere. It will be one of the easiest fuels to find, which is always a plus when looking for prep related equipment. The ability to find supplies during a disaster is always an important factor in the equipment I choose, so the fact that this fuel is everywhere is something you should consider.
There are two types of lighter fluid: 1. Petroleum-based using naphtha, a mixture of volatile flammable liquid hydrocarbons and 2. Alcohol-based fluids such as Charcoal lighter fluid, an aliphatic petroleum solvent.
Butane: Butane is an organic compound; is highly flammable, colorless and used in refillable butane lighters and torches. Many of the “windproof” lighters you will find on the market generally take butane.
Electric arc and plasma: Plasma and arc lighters are completely flameless and do not use combustible fuels. Most are powered by rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. Unlike open flame lighters, they do not heat the lighter tip; they focus on the exact area you are trying to illuminate. I’m also windproof. The downside to these types of lighters is that once the battery is drained, you are out of luck unless you have a way to recharge them.
The best survival lighters
The Bic lighter
While technically not waterproof, throw one of these bad boys Waterproof case for cigarette lighter, and you won’t be able to find a better disposable lighter on the market. They’re cheap, easy to use, and even if they get wet, it’s often enough to blow on the glitter element to get them working again.
Why we like Bic:
- They are inexpensive and usually found for less than $ 1 on the lighter. Since they’re so cheap, there’s no reason not to hide one in every kit, bag, and vehicle you own.
- Each BIC undergoes more than 50 quality checks during the manufacturing process.
- A single Bic will last quite a while; in fact, up to 3,000 lights per lighter are rated.
- They are Made in the USA!
The classic Zippo lighter
When it comes to survival lighters that have stood the test of time, there isn’t another lighter on the market that has the history and history of the Zippo.
During the Second World War, Zippo stopped all commercial production and dedicated the entire line to supplying the military. Since then, millions of military personnel have taken their Zippo into battle and the term Zippo has entered the military lexicon. During Vietnam, the term “Zippo” was used whenever a fire or flame was used. Indeed, the launch of flames M67 tank it was referred to as the Zippo.
Because we like the Zippo
- They are hard as nails! Most are made of metal or brass, and it’s not uncommon to find a working Zippo that’s decades old. To top it off, every Zippo comes with a lifetime warranty.
- The zippo windshield makes them windproof and stays on even in adverse weather conditions.
- Because they are so iconic and because they come in so many styles, carrying one won’t look weird, even in an office.
- They are refillable and are powered with butane.
- They are also made in the United States
Lotus Cyclone triple torch Vertigo cigarette lighter
Although technically sold as a cigarette lighter, it is one of the most reliable lighters you can find. They are made for cigar smokers, so they are meant to be used a lot. It uses butane as a fuel and the tank can hold quite a bit, so it should last a good amount of time. The triple flame makes it quite wind resistant and tends to hold up quite well in adverse weather conditions.
Lcfun waterproof lighter
Ifcun Explorer is a windproof and waterproof electric arc lighter, great for emergencies. The flameless lighter is light, durable and uniform
light when wet. What I don’t like about these types of lighters is the fact that you need a charged battery for them to work, that being said they are improving and hold a decent amount of charges.
I’m not a big fan of Arc lighters, but if you’re planning to buy one don’t get sucked into buying one that costs more. These are definitely imitations, but in my experience they work better than the ones produced by the so-called survival brands.
Lighters to stay away from
Unfortunately, 99% of the survival sites you find online are run by internet marketers or magazine conglomerates who doesn’t know shit about survival!
Tesla coil lighters
If you see a survival website promoting Tesla Coil lighters, they are full of shit! These lighters suck, you can’t get them wet, they only last a couple of days and have no reason to be on a survival equipment list.
Anything manufactured by UST or Ultimate Survival Technologies
I really wanted to like these, but every UST lighter I’ve ever owned got me shit in less than a week. If you see them promoted on a survival site, the person writing the article has never used them in the real world!
Survival Lighter Hacks: Make the most of your equipment to light the fire
If you follow the site, you know we love multipurpose pieces of survival gear and love being able to hack or find new uses for the equipment. So here are a couple of survival items and tricks that can make you even lighter.
MecArmy X4S multifunction torch EDC lighter
The MecArmy X4S takes up the lighter concept and transforms it into a multitool EDC. The X7S can be used as a lighter, USB rechargeable flashlight, self defense Kubotan and IPX8 waterproof mini survival kit. It is made of high quality 304 stainless steel and features a CREE XP-G2 LED, with a maximum output of 130 lumens.
Lighter cases improve budget lighters!
Cases like the Exotac Firesleeve take disposable Bic lighters and turn them into waterproof and weather-protected floating instruments. They also protect the gas button from being accidentally pressed, so you know you always have fuel when you need it.
Turn it into a Mini EDC survival kit:
Before I put a lighter in my kit or pocket, I take a couple of minutes and turn it into a mini survival kit.
- Wrap your lighter with duct tape. In a pinch, you’ll be able to remove the tape and use it for any situation that arises.
- After wrapping with duct tape, I put two fishing hooks on one side and some cotton and some sewing needles on the other side.
- Then, wrap everything up with about 100 feet of 20-pound line. The line can be used for fishing, gear repair or fabrication pitfalls and traps.
You now have a mini survival kit that you can take with you anywhere.