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Thread: Matches vs Lighters what & WHY do you prefer the method?

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    Senior Member Wise Old Owl's Avatar
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    Default Matches vs Lighters what & WHY do you prefer the method?

    Lets just get this out in the open... Everyone has an opinion. I would like to know why some folk prefer matches over the modern lighter... and why some still prefer the flint, steel, & carbon patch.

    I have been "playing" with flint & steel, making patches over the last few weeks. Even having a little fun with a pocket magnifying glass. Ok I am not impressed. The cotton patches I made after much reading can catch a spark and smolder well. I can light them on a bright day and they smolder. Ok they suck compared to a micro light bic. I even took the carbon patches and added a little vaseline like a cotton ball and vaseline.

    For those that dont know me... I keep thinking the Pioneers of 200 years ago like "George Washington" were incredibly gifted or the Gomer Pyle of survival.
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    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    I like them all. When hiking, my fire kit contains them all. Matches get wet (yes, mine have been water proofed), lighters run out of fuel, sometimes you need fire when it's cloudy, or at night, ferrocium rods will always make a spark, char cloth is great, so are other man made and natural tinders. I like options.
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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crashdive123 View Post
    I like them all. When hiking, my fire kit contains them all. Matches get wet (yes, mine have been water proofed), lighters run out of fuel, sometimes you need fire when it's cloudy, or at night, ferrocium rods will always make a spark, char cloth is great, so are other man made and natural tinders. I like options.
    I agree, I also carry a lot of options, but am working on mastering making fire with nothing purchased, or carried, as my goal.
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    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    Yes, options are the key. Along with knowledge and practice.

    I used to have a lighter 24/7, then quit smoking. I keep multiple lighters in the vehicles, but not on me any longer.

    I do keep a small ferro rod in my keychain med container (nitro opills for the ticker) and I have a mag bar in each vehicle along with the lighters and book matches in zip locks in the packs that stay in the vehicle. I actually look at the book matches as barter/good samaritin items to be left as good will to people not as fortunate as ourselves.

    There is also a small magnifier on the keychain, combined with a compass/thermometer.

    Flint and steel is a learned skill like any other. Some use charcloth, some use other substances. Knowing the basis for spark based fire is simply another option. You can get sparks from a lot of places and knowing what will catch them and smolder is part of the skill set.

    So is the firebow/fireplow/spindle, and knowing how to make them on the spot.
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    I can't really think of any reason matches would be better than a lighter. I carry a bic and a ferro rod every day just like my pocketknife. Knowledge is really the key and knowing how to make a single spark turn into a bonfire is a skill in itself. How you get that spark really makes no difference in the grand scheme.
    I prefer a bic because even if it runs out of fuel, it'll still throw sparks and I know lots of things that will make a flame with a little spark. A match is pretty much a one shot deal. Multiple methods helps ensure you'll have your bases covered no matter the situation.
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    Senior Member Ole WV Coot's Avatar
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    I keep options as most folks do. I don't smoke but Bic lighters have been my favorite. Never fail, cheap and easy to pack or carry. A rod or matches are backups only.
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    Wild Explorer Vulspire's Avatar
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    Well lighters require fuel, Then again if you carying matches if the striking pad gets we then your screwed unless your carying strike anywhere matches but if those get wet then your still screwed. Personaly i would perfer matches, but dont ask me why lol.
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    With matches and lighters you can get away with less preparation on the smaller level, which is important if you are cold and wet and miserable.

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    Senior Member Wise Old Owl's Avatar
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    Well a match is one light, a bic is a thousand lights - provided it too isn't wet.

    A good skill is too learn to remove the child proof clasp.
    "Never work against mother nature"--Caesar Milan.

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    Quality Control Director Ken's Avatar
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    Bic is the way to go. I have a few matches as a back-up, for use after the 5 bics I carry are used up.
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    I have a few options when I am out and about. If I have my fire kit with me I have three ways to start a fire; firesteel, bic lighter, and storm proof matches.

    For EDC I carry a mini bic and yes my firesteel as well.... I like to have different options.

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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    All of the above.

    Quote Originally Posted by WOO
    I keep thinking the Pioneers of 200 years ago like "George Washington" were incredibly gifted
    Nothing gifted about them. That's all they had so they used it. They would probably be in awe if they could see what we have today.

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    "Real men" use Highway FLARES and gasoline. "Real Women" just give ya that look, and the fire starts.
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    This is pretty cool ! waterproof lighter, > http://www.opticsplanet.net/brunton-...ter-storm.html

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    Quality Control Director Ken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Justin Case View Post
    This is pretty cool ! waterproof lighter, > http://www.opticsplanet.net/brunton-...ter-storm.html
    It's waterproof until you remove the screw cap. After that, all bets are off.

    Back in the day when I smoked and was always on a boat, I had a windproof lighter - a freebie from the cigarette company. Thing worked really well so long as it was dry, which wasn't very often.
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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    You were Blackbeard?! He was back in the day, smoked and was always on a boat.

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    Junior Members Survival Guy 10's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wise Old Owl View Post
    Well a match is one light, a bic is a thousand lights - provided it too isn't wet.

    A good skill is too learn to remove the child proof clasp.
    i washed my bic about 6 times and it still works
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    Super-duper Moderator Sarge47's Avatar
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    Cool Well, since you brought it up...

    I'm with those who like options. Water-proof matches/lighter are my back-up. It it's good enough for the Boy Scouts.....
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wise Old Owl View Post
    Well a match is one light, a bic is a thousand lights - provided it too isn't wet.

    A good skill is too learn to remove the child proof clasp.
    I use the flat Scripto-like lighters you get in a three-pack: After disabling the child-proof thing and the flame adjuster
    they make a heck of a flame. Plus they are see-thru so you know how much fuel is left.
    I also carry waterproofed strike-anywhere matches, magnesium sticks and ferro rods.

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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    But there is that wet and cold thingy along with the, "Heck, I ain't scared no more with this fire," thingie.

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