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

  1. #21
    Super-duper Moderator Sarge47's Avatar
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    Cool Hmmmm...

    (Note to self: Do NOT go camping with Alaskan Survivalist. He lives in freakin' Alaska where it gets really freakin' cold & he don't want a freakin' fire! How can you toast freakin' marshmallows without a freakin' fire? )
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    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarge47 View Post
    How can you toast freakin' marshmallows without a freakin' fire? )
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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarge47 View Post
    (Note to self: Do NOT go camping with Alaskan Survivalist. He lives in freakin' Alaska where it gets really freakin' cold & he don't want a freakin' fire! How can you toast freakin' marshmallows without a freakin' fire? )
    I second that.
    I actually go to the woods to do other stuff, like hunting fishing, rendezvous, working/building on something, canoeing, whatever, and I like being reasonably comfortable.

    I look at "camping" as "Living in the woods", not necessary just "surviving".

    OK, there I said it, so I like the "camp fire thing", BS, beers, burnt marshmellows, the whole deal..........What do you mean ..No freaking fire!
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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    Next he'll be telling us he walks on snow barefoot and lives 450 miles from the nearest person.

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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    Clothes insulate you from heat? Oh, no. No, no, no, no, no. Case in point. One young apprentice cable splicer on a two man ladder working on a lead sleeve for the first time. Wearing insulated coveralls in winter. This young lad, who will remain nameless, was watching intently at the graceful art of removing a lead sleeve with a torch. A job the much older and wiser journeyman was demonstrating. It took, oh, maybe, six minutes from the heat of that lead to soak through the insulated coveralls. The dripping hot lead having been expertly placed there by the journeyman on said apprentice's legs centered below the sleeve....where he told me to stand. One of the few times in my life I really did scream like a girl.

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    Well am with many others and like options. I'm certainly not going to hold out if in a major blizzard and try the bowdrill/flint-steel etc. Give me a bic lighter anyday or some stormproof matches. Nothing wrong with using technology for its purpose.

    That being said, I do prefer the old school method of friction, flint/steel, fresnel lens, etc if patience and nice weather are with my bushcraft outting. Its good practice and a nice habit to get into providing you don't make your outting miserable for yourself and others because of it.

  7. #27

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    I love matches. There is just something so satisfying in striking it on the box, watching it burst into flame, and cradling it into your pile of feather sticks.

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    Super-duper Moderator Sarge47's Avatar
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    Cool Well now...

    1st, I do agree with A.S. about clothing insulating from the cold; this is seconded by outdoor survival expert Mors Kochanski in his booklet: "Tools of Survival and Survival Training." Just keep away from the hot lead!

    2nd, a campfire is not only great for cooking food, it builds cheer, lifts morale, keeps a coffee pot of hot water ready for either hot chocolate, tea, or coffee ready at all times, melts ice & snow for drinking/cooking water, boils suspected water to kill potential parasites as does the same with meat! Try eating freeze-dried food raw, & don't even talk to me about eating meat or fish raw; there can be parasites there too!
    SARGE
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    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    I just like fire. Does that make me a bad person?
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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    Only if you stand across the street and watch the fire department put it out.

    Quote Originally Posted by AS
    If you have multible ways to make a fire you don't have confidence in any of them.
    We'll agree to disagree on that. The first time that Zippo fails you (no flint, no fuel, mechanical failure, lost it) and the weather is bad then your life may be at risk. You've been doing the AK thing a long time so there's nothing I can say about that. I just want a backup and a backup to my backup because I know Murphy goes with me on just about every trip. He and I are pretty good buds but he still ticks me off on occasion.

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    Super-duper Moderator Sarge47's Avatar
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    Cool Yep!

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick View Post
    Only if you stand across the street and watch the fire department put it out.



    We'll agree to disagree on that. The first time that Zippo fails you (no flint, no fuel, mechanical failure, lost it) and the weather is bad then your life may be at risk. You've been doing the AK thing a long time so there's nothing I can say about that. I just want a backup and a backup to my backup because I know Murphy goes with me on just about every trip. He and I are pretty good buds but he still ticks me off on occasion.
    Well said! In the land of Murphy there is but one law!
    SARGE
    "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe."
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    Proud father of a US Marine....SEMPER FI!

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  12. #32

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    I think of making fire by various methods as a hobby that adds to my options in a survival situation. If I always use a lighter and some how I lose my lighter, I want a back up.

    Could you carry a zippo on your person in an airplane?

    Fire can ease the mind, it works as a very good signaling method both day and night, it can be used to ease the onslaught of insects, boiling water as well as all of the other uses already mentioned.

    Think of all the things that we do on a daily basis that requires fire in a power outage. Make coffee, hot water to wash up with, make breakfast. Cook dinner and even just gather around and talk. Might not be a high priority, but, think how comforting it would be to a stranded smoker who lost their camoflauge zippo when he got that little fire started and was able to get a cig lit. A little comfort like that can make a huge difference in moral.

    When we lost power for over a week after Wilma hit, I had family and friends coming over to hang out that already had their power back or were running generators. I didn't have an modern amenities. But, we had fire and were grillin and chillin!

  13. #33

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    Batch, On a scale of 1-10 my paranoa level is a good solid 9. I quit flying on commercial airlines. I used to fly to Las Vegas every winter for 3 weeks and had a timeshare there. When I could not sell it, I gave it away. I love Las Vegas but I am seriously never climbing on a commercial airline again. Some levels of preparedness become habit and you don't forget or loose them. Like putting on your pants or shoes. I did get good with a bow drill as a backup but have not had to rely on it yet. I was a Boy Scout and "Be Prepared" is a way of life for me.

  14. #34
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    Batch - That's a big maybe. Depends on how you pack it. Not on the plane but in checked luggage.

    http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtrav...d-items.shtm#9

    Fire is cool....is that an oxymoron?

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    Senior Member huskymill's Avatar
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    i always have a ferrocium rod kit and a zippo that i carry with me when im out camping or hiking. something that is awesome that i have found is alcohol swabs. they are great for carrying with you cause you can use them as tinder and for first aid. throw a few sparks on one of those and it will light right up and burn long enough to get a good fire going.
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    OK kind of a "trick" question... and you most of you did not do well. I am not going to point fingers, you didn't form the answer into a good question and I am not Alex Trebek.

    In most cases a micro bic is the way to go for thousands of lights - EXCEPT high altitude, purchase one UP there or suffer.

    As people buy a soda in Phily don't open it in the Poconos.
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  17. #37
    Senior Member NightShade's Avatar
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    I usually have a Bic.... but when I'm out in the bush I always carry at least 1 other method of building fire... usually a flintsteel or magnesium/flint firestarter..

    Here are 4 things that have happened to me , on more than 1 ocassion, that caused a lighter to fail...

    1. Lighter ran out of fuel... duh.. the obvious.
    2. Lighter broke... Flint wheel sparker won't give off a spark and light... even though I have a full load of fuel..
    3. Lighter got wet, either in rain, when i fell in a river, or dropped in puddle... each time i couldn't get a flame until it dried.
    4. It can get pretty cold in New England during the winter.... If I'm outside for awhile and have a lighter in more of an exterior pocket, rather than close to my body, I cannot get a flame. This has happened at work, out hunting, and just out hiking around.
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    fire to me is a source of comfort the same way my 10mm is ,its good to have even If I dont need it . I was given a lighter that you can almost weld with , I always carry matchs , and in a baby food jar ,if the wood is damp I carry a chunk of fire starter and small pcs of fat wood (for fireplaces )cheating probley but if you are hurt / lost its fast ,reliable and always lights if you are out somewhere and you twist / sprain / god forbid break an arm/leg/get shot snake bit or have to boil water to drink, my baby food jar is a a fast way to get heat and like I said fire to me is a comfort .

  19. #39
    Senior Member r0ckhamm3r's Avatar
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    I carry two bic lighters in a waterproof bag and a ferrocerium rod. I like redundancy. I have never been a big fan of matches, one fire per match is just not a good ratio to me. Considering the size weight and utility, one lighter is worth about 1000 matches. IMHO 1000 matches is a lot to carry.
    Last edited by r0ckhamm3r; 01-19-2011 at 01:15 PM.

  20. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by r0ckhamm3r View Post
    I carry two bic lighters in a waterproof bag and a ferrocerium rod. I like redundancy. I have never been a big fan of matches, one fire per match is just not a good ratio to me. Considering the size weight and utility, one lighter is worth about 1000 matches. IMHO 1000 matches is a lot to carry.
    I carry 3 or 4 Bic lighters almost always, as well as 1 Ferrocerium rod.... sometimes 2 or 3 of those as well, Depending on what bags I have with me. I also carry one in my vest, I have flint and steel and char cloth in my pack too. So depending on what I have with me I may have a dozen(Just guessing) or so fire making items. Let's say the bics quit working, Then I would fall back on the Ferrocerium rods, IF They run out, I then have flint and steel. So for what I carry I could make fires for quite a long while, years probably decades. IF it came to it this would give me ample time to improve my fire by friction methods. One thing about magnifying glasses... they are only good for about 1/4 of the time you have them on you. Magnifying glasses don't work at night, cloudy weather(doesn't have to be raining), early morning or late afternoon. Basically the times of day I would need fire most. However they are good for getting splinters, and I could get a fire going with one if conditions are right.

    You can drop a bic in the water and it won't light, However these won't affect a Ferrocerium rod or Flint and steel as much. Wipe them off and get started. Let's suppose it's winter, you fall in a river/pond/lake and you are in danger of developing Hypothermia. Your lighters are now pretty much useless(Yes even the zippo as it's fuel is now mixed with water) You discover that somehow your plastic bags have developed holes and EVERYTHING is now wet. What do you do? My Firesteel (Ferrocerium rod) is now my best bet at saving my life. Wipe it off and get started making a fire. Just my thoughts......
    Because a survival situation carries an aura of timelessness, a survivor cannot allow himself to be overcome by it's duration or quality. A survivor accepts the situation as it is and improves it from that standpoint. Prologue from Outdoor Survival Skills by Larry Dean Olsen

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