View Full Version : Favorite lighter/Fire starter?

John Browning
12-01-2011, 4:59 PM
What is your ultra favorite lighter or fire starter?

The Geologist
12-01-2011, 5:37 PM

12-01-2011, 5:42 PM
Strikeforce or a good oldfashoned block of magnesium.

12-01-2011, 5:45 PM
http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSWJP9mlhrRXM0jTPpLJAEGogq_dWbXH JcO_cSGdOBg7fGtslGf

12-01-2011, 5:54 PM
I have a "make fire kit" in my pack - a zippo and extra fluid in a double ziplock, bluetip strike anywhere matches in a separate ziplock, and as a last resort - mag block with flint. I also keep a few small 35mm plastic film cans with cotton balls mixed with vaseline, and 4 or 5 tea-light candles.

I'm always over cautious when backpacking - like what if I get hurt and am forced to stay out longer than expected - so I like the having backups -and this really doesn't amount to a lot of added weight to carry.

SoCal Gunner
12-01-2011, 6:16 PM
Yeah, it's hard to beat a Zippo... But as for other methods, a Fire Steel of some sort and some soaked cotton balls can do wonders.

12-01-2011, 6:22 PM
A road flare has always worked well for me even with wet wood.

12-01-2011, 6:25 PM
Road flare -works everytime.

12-01-2011, 6:40 PM
lighter fluid and a match. works every time.

12-01-2011, 6:41 PM
I carry Blue Diamond Strike-any-where matches and a magnesium fire starter.

I also carry tinder (0000 steel wool).

but, I'd prefer a flame thrower. :D

12-01-2011, 6:47 PM
I like these Swedish fire steels. I don't know why, but I tend to think of the last resort as my primary resort.I do carry matches and a lighter, but I usually try a light my fire from my flint and steel sets first.

12-01-2011, 7:07 PM
Disposable lighter or magnesium bar at the moment...

I recently made some of those egg crate/paraffin/dryerlint fire starters. The first one I burned as a test had a respectable ten minute burn time (light wind/fully exposed location).

I found that having cotton patches (cut up shop rag in my case) make good tinder when using the magnesium bars. I'm going to pick up a fire steel and experiment a bit more this week.

12-01-2011, 7:20 PM
Do ya'll know how to make char cloth? Its easy and catches a spark from a flint and steel.
Basically, put some cotton or linen ina tin can, poke a hole in the lid, and heat it(usually by camp fire over coals and not in direct flame). When the smoke stops coming out of the hole, its done. All it takes is one spark to get it going. It doesn't burn like a flame but its good for lighting tinder that doesn't take a spark well, like dry grass.

12-01-2011, 7:49 PM
Do ya'll know how to make char cloth?
I think I'll add this to my "things to do" list for this week... we usually have a campfire about once a week (weather permitting). I may as well try something productive with our next one, thanks!!

12-01-2011, 9:43 PM

12-01-2011, 10:48 PM


and/or this....


They both work in wet conditions. As a few others suggested, the road flare is #1 in my opinion however.

12-02-2011, 2:38 AM
Lighters fail often and can run out of fuel fast. As far as a long lasting fire starter, my favorite is the "Light my fire 2.0" fire steel. Lightweight, doesn't take up much room, and can be used wet. I actually keep at least 6-7 different ways to start a fire in my Bugout bag

12-02-2011, 6:30 AM
Hmmm...butane torch lighter works the best, but runs out and you have to rub it against your palm to warm up the butane when it's cold to get it working.

bic lighter...then magnesium when all else fails.

Awesome tinder - Rub some Vaseline into a cotton ball until it's nice and goopy. Spread it out a little and it lights instantly and hot when hit with a spark from a magnesium starter. Burns hot for about 30 seconds. You can squish about 10 of them into a film canister or more in a zip lock.

Paper Boy
12-02-2011, 7:13 AM
Road flair
Matches that burn under water - dont remember the brand but thay are awesome
Plastic lighter
Fire steel

Usually have 2 in my bag if not all of them....

12-02-2011, 6:28 PM
I keep a Bic, a magnesium bar, and a few cotton balls in my day pack while hiking. Recently I started experimenting with waxed cotton balls as well. They definitely burn longer, I may have to make me up a batch (normal cotton balls still work great though).

Anyway, I have always gone for the mag bar first, ever since I was a kid. Originally it was because it was simply the more fun way to start a fire, but my logic now is that I should save the easier fire starting methods for when I'm too cold or injured to mess with "flint and steel".

12-02-2011, 11:36 PM
3000-10000 strikes light my fire scout model. matches are my backup.

12-03-2011, 12:13 AM
In my bag I have

1 zippo
2 blast match
1 box matches

12-03-2011, 6:50 AM
Fire piston!

12-03-2011, 7:15 AM
Historically, riflemen(also synonymous with fur traders, outdoorsmen, backwoodsmen etc..)around the time of the founding of our country, would spend several months deep in the wilderness, hunting and trapping for furs, which were their livelihood. They all carried as part of their kit, a flint rock and steel, and a tin full of tinder which they either made themselves or found. Its probably not surprising that these experienced riflemen could start a fire with a flint and steel faster than you or I could do so with a match. It all comes down to the type of tinder you use. Lots of us use the wrong tinder, or something that won't catch a spark. I mentioned char cloth earlier which works quite well, but so will tree pitch, punk wood, and a host of other things.

Last night I was washing my hands, and then went to use my bic lighter. With a wet thumb, I tried to strike the lighter. However a single tiny drop of water made its way onto the flint and nozzle area. It had to dry out for several minutes before I could use it. Matches have a similar problem(obviously there are water proof matches). But the lesson is, have more than one way to start a fire, have at least 1 flint and steel. Its ability to strike a spark is unaffected by water, and its been more reliable than lighters and matches in the hands of experienced outdoorsmen. But you got to practice! Anyone who doesn't practice making a fire, even with matches, is going to have problems when it comes time to NEED a fire.
Good luck and stay safe!

12-03-2011, 7:34 AM
I keep black shoe polish in my get away kit. Works great as a fire starter, just make sure it is not the non flammable type and clean hands before trying to light a fire. I've also heard it can repel insects and have several other uses.

12-03-2011, 8:32 AM
Coffee can with kerosene soaked shavings, hurricane match.

12-03-2011, 8:48 AM
In my kit, I have some fire sticks designed to burn in the rain, a 30min flare, waterproof matches, 3 bic lighters, and swedish firesteel if worse come to worse. I also have a block of magnesium I could use for multiple things if I need it so I've got about 5 ways in my BOB.

12-03-2011, 9:02 AM

12-03-2011, 10:23 AM
any butane lighter and a cup noodles cup

12-03-2011, 1:17 PM
I want to add: has anyone seen these self lighting coals for hooka pipes? All you do is get it started with a bic or a match, and then it burns across the whole coal. At that point,wind only fuels it, and it will remain hot for 15-20 minutes. It would be great for getting a fire going in the wind, and they are only a buck or two at most smoke shops for a whole roll of them(usually 10).

12-03-2011, 1:40 PM
It depends on the situation, planned car camping or otherwise.

For planned, a friend has one of these:


It does sounds like a jet taking off, which does add to the humor, but it works well. I use a propane torch for sweating copper pipes. Works well, lasts a long time.

For other fires, I have a Boy Scout flint (small and cheap), along with some cotton in a 35mm film container. Gun powder is also good to use as well, but concerns me more with carrying it. Just make sure that you have a proper knife for the flint. I had a good knife, but it did not work well on the flint, whereas a cheap knife worked much better.

12-03-2011, 3:17 PM
I always liked the piezeo electric disposable lighters ... they don't have the problem of not working when wet.
waxed cotton balls is a good idea.I have a mag bar fire starter... but they don't work with stainless steel knives.

12-03-2011, 9:05 PM
Awesome tinder - Rub some Vaseline into a cotton ball until it's nice and goopy. Spread it out a little and it lights instantly and hot when hit with a spark from a magnesium starter. Burns hot for about 30 seconds. You can squish about 10 of them into a film canister or more in a zip lock.

I do this, but with wads of dryer lint. The lint is nice in that it's easy to brake or pull off whatever size of tinder you're looking for.

12-04-2011, 8:34 AM
I carry a 4 pack of bic lighters. I also have the magnesium sticks. I did get a ember with a bow and drill but no fire yet.

12-04-2011, 8:51 AM
Awesome tinder - Rub some Vaseline into a cotton ball until it's nice and goopy. Spread it out a little and it lights instantly and hot when hit with a spark from a magnesium starter. Burns hot for about 30 seconds. You can squish about 10 of them into a film canister or more in a zip lock.

This is what I keep in my bags with firesteel, works great!

12-04-2011, 11:41 AM
Yeah, it's hard to beat a Zippo...
I feel quite the opposite about Zippos. I find them really unreliable due to the fact that the vapors escape so easily and render it useless after a week or two even if you don't even open it. Aside from a night out on the town, I would never want to rely on a Zippo.

A few years ago I discovered the Peanut Lighter and never looked back. So small it fits on your keychain unnoticed and you will always have it with you. An o-ring also insures waterproofness and no fuel loss. In fact, I have yet to refill the thing in nearly two years! Honestly, its been one of the best investments I've made.


Here's a link to a pretty good video review on it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XdehJC-q0HM (someone feel free to embed)

12-04-2011, 4:35 PM

12-04-2011, 6:28 PM
I use this fire starter. :)


12-04-2011, 7:52 PM
Boy some people carry more weight in fire then i do for all of my cooking and fire and water cleaner.