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3/20/2017 5:03:23 PM
Posted: 3/2/2013 3:34:19 PM EDT
Have a question for my fellow preppers. My wife and I went snow-shoeing/backpacking today and stopped to boil water to make coffee. I use solid fuel tabs to heat and had a hard time with both 'BIC' lighters igniting and staying lit. It was around 20 degrees and I had this happen last time I went backpacking in the cold. Do colder temps influence the function of butane lighters?...And if so, what would you recommend for a Lighter that would be more dependable?...Thank you ahead of time!
Link Posted: 3/2/2013 4:07:16 PM EDT
Cold gas does not like to turn to vapor. The lower the temperature, the lower the gas pressure in the lighter.
Link Posted: 3/2/2013 4:13:24 PM EDT
Originally Posted By sixbolt:
Cold gas does not like to turn to vapor. The lower the temperature, the lower the gas pressure in the lighter.


Aha! I suspected this...but what would you recommend in it's place...maybe a Zippo?

Link Posted: 3/2/2013 4:33:05 PM EDT
High elevation and low temperatures will effect the butane vaporizing.

A liquid fuel lighter like a Zippo will work in situations where a butane lighter like a Bic will not.

The down side is that the fuel will evaporate. Make sure it works before you go somewhere and depend on it.

If you are carrying a butane lighter in the cold and it won't light simply warm it up in your clothes for a few minutes. Rubbing it between your palms will warm it as well. Also a cottonball saturated with vaseline should light with just the sparks from the flint of a Bic.

...Might have to go test that one right now to make sure I'm correct.
Link Posted: 3/2/2013 4:33:27 PM EDT
Originally Posted By dab2:
Originally Posted By sixbolt:
Cold gas does not like to turn to vapor. The lower the temperature, the lower the gas pressure in the lighter.


Aha! I suspected this...but what would you recommend in it's place...maybe a Zippo?



I keep a zippo and a little bottle of fuel along with a couple pbis in my BOB

I've used a zippo below freezing I'm not sure what they are rated for
Link Posted: 3/2/2013 4:37:52 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Fincho:
Originally Posted By dab2:
Originally Posted By sixbolt:
Cold gas does not like to turn to vapor. The lower the temperature, the lower the gas pressure in the lighter.


Aha! I suspected this...but what would you recommend in it's place...maybe a Zippo?



I keep a zippo and a little bottle of fuel along with a couple pbis in my BOB

I've used a zippo below freezing I'm not sure what they are rated for


It takes a while for the Bic to work but you can warm it up with your hands.

The Zippo gas has tendency to evaporate from the wick and won't last forever when stored. You still may have to add lighter fluid later because it evaporates over time.
Link Posted: 3/2/2013 4:50:35 PM EDT
Keep it in your glove or close to your body... Warm it up before you try and use it
Link Posted: 3/2/2013 4:53:44 PM EDT
Originally Posted By 420ollie:
Originally Posted By Fincho:
Originally Posted By dab2:
Originally Posted By sixbolt:
Cold gas does not like to turn to vapor. The lower the temperature, the lower the gas pressure in the lighter.


Aha! I suspected this...but what would you recommend in it's place...maybe a Zippo?



I keep a zippo and a little bottle of fuel along with a couple pbis in my BOB

I've used a zippo below freezing I'm not sure what they are rated for


It takes a while for the Bic to work but you can warm it up with your hands.

The Zippo gas has tendency to evaporate from the wick and won't last forever when stored. You still may have to add lighter fluid later because it evaporates over time.

Yeah I keep it dry ill fill it up if needed


I EDC one as well I fill it once a week
Link Posted: 3/2/2013 5:07:10 PM EDT
Think I saw a thread on survival lighters.

Matches are always an option.
Link Posted: 3/2/2013 5:11:29 PM EDT
Keep your Bic in your pocket. Problem solved

You could also shove it in your armpits for a minute

Ask any smoker.
Link Posted: 3/2/2013 6:30:43 PM EDT
As a smoker, who works outside, in New England;

The best thing you can do for a cold Bic is put the business end in the palm of your hand and make a fist around it. Then shake the ever livin shit out of it, open palm and light it.



Zippo works too, but in my honest experience its just a hassle carrying one of those around. The fuel evaporates even if you don't use it, so you HAVE to carry fuel with you too.
Link Posted: 3/3/2013 5:01:42 AM EDT
Thank you for your replies fellow preppers!
Link Posted: 3/3/2013 10:49:39 AM EDT
Originally Posted By dab2:
Thank you for your replies fellow preppers!


get an all weather butane torch style lighter, cabelas sells them and im certain you can get them on amazon. bics hate cold weather and high elevations
Link Posted: 3/3/2013 1:43:34 PM EDT
Originally Posted By ShadowsNight:
Originally Posted By dab2:
Thank you for your replies fellow preppers!


get an all weather butane torch style lighter, cabelas sells them and im certain you can get them on amazon. bics hate cold weather and high elevations


I will look that up, thank you!

Link Posted: 3/3/2013 4:34:11 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Covertness:
Keep your Bic in your pocket. Problem solved

You could also shove it in your armpits for a minute

Ask any smoker.


The pocket is the best idea.
Link Posted: 3/3/2013 4:48:29 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/3/2013 4:53:14 PM EDT by sandboxmedic]
At least one means of starting a fire should always be on your person, not in your pack. Butane lighters need to be carried in your pocket near your body to keep them warm but be aware that the fuel button can be depressed in your pockets, front pockets seem to be worse about this.

Always carry a backup and in cold weather always carry a backup to your backup. Matches are lightweight and easy to pack as is a striker style fire starter. Lifeboat matches are always a good bet but you can also waterproof strike anywhere matches with a little melted wax; carry them in a waterproof container. Cotton balls or dryer lint mixed with Vaseline make good fire starters as does charcloth. You can also get a magnesium block that you shave or spend money on stuff like Maya Dust from Light My Fire. With disposable lighters, you may have to remove the metal shield on the front to get a good spray of sparks. Having a couple of candle stubs with you can also help get a fire going.


On a side note, when I go paddling in cold weather I also carry a small road flare for emergencies. If you've ever inadvertently gone swimming in freezing conditions you know fine motors skills are the first thing to go and trying to strike a match is almost impossible; with the flare you can pile up whatever wood you find and shove it in the pile to start a fire quickly and easily.

ETA Example of small flare for outdoor use- Orion
Link Posted: 3/3/2013 5:15:34 PM EDT
For those who want liquid fuel but don't care for the Zippo the IMCO lighters are pretty nice. I really like them a lot over the Zippo actually.

They will still dry up, but I feel the take longer to do it, they spark like crazy too, very few second strikes ever needed.
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