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

  1. #41
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pepper
    cheating probley
    No such thing in the woods. Whatever is fast and easy.


  2. #42
    Coming through klkak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wise Old Owl View Post
    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.
    From my experience.

    Matches are great as long as you keep them dry (my first choice). They work in extremely cold weather. I use with parafan soaked cotton balls.

    Bic and similar type liters are good also as long as they don't get wet (don't carry one). They don't work in extremely cold weather.

    Ferro rod and steel always work regardless of the weather (my second choice). I use with parafan soaked cotton balls.

    I don't use char cloth.
    1. If it's in your kit and you don't know how to use it....It's useless.
    2. If you can't reach your kit when you need it....Its useless.

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  3. #43

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    I've been lighting 40 to 60 fires a day since I started smoking over 40 years ago. The Zippo does not fail. If it gets wet you blow it out, if it gets cold you warm it in your pocket and if it breaks I fix it (it's not a complex piece of machinery) and will burn any flamable liquid so running out of lighter fluid is not the end of it's usefullness. Bics are lighter and when shaving ounces for hiking and my choice but they are also disposable and when used up are used up so long term the zippo is better. The other methods are toys for people playing at survival and when it is not a matter impressing people with your mastery of survival skills and just want a fire don't screw around with all the other crap.

  4. #44
    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskan Survivalist View Post
    I've been lighting 40 to 60 fires a day since I started smoking over 40 years ago. The Zippo does not fail. If it gets wet you blow it out, if it gets cold you warm it in your pocket and if it breaks I fix it (it's not a complex piece of machinery) and will burn any flamable liquid so running out of lighter fluid is not the end of it's usefullness. Bics are lighter and when shaving ounces for hiking and my choice but they are also disposable and when used up are used up so long term the zippo is better. The other methods are toys for people playing at survival and when it is not a matter impressing people with your mastery of survival skills and just want a fire don't screw around with all the other crap.
    That may be your take on other fire starting methods, but I disagree. I don't carry and use multiple ways to start a fire to impress you or anybody else with my ability to use them. I carry them because they work for me. When I'm home lighting a fire in the outdoor fireplace I use a Benzomatic torch much like the one you use (mine has a piezoelectric igniter). I have no need or desire to carry that while hiking. When I want fire, I want fire and could care less if it impresses or mystifies somebody that may not use those methods, or does not know how to use those methods.
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  5. #45

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    The market for those that have to build fires are and have been dominated by the the most effective ways of doing it. Survivalists seem to need some kind of gimmick. The sillyest thing I have seen is starting fire with steel wool and a battery. Then there is bringing dryer lint from home. What, did they forget to bring toilet paper? I am speaking only to those that take thier survival serious. If building fires is important to your survival then to should be a means to accomplish it.

  6. #46
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    Most of the fires I start there's no one around. I've used char cloth and fire steel. I've used lighters with PJ cotton and I've used matches. It just depends on conditions and what mood I'm in. Sometimes the only fire I start is my stove. I don't think it's gimmicky to know how to use something a bit odd. You may find yourself with only odd things when you're in a bad situation and having played around with something out of the ordinary might spark an idea (pardon the pun) of how to use what you have on hand.

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    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    Well, believe it or not, they've been starting fires outside of Alaska for some time now. What seems silly to you, might be something that saves somebody else's life. You want to carry a propane torch and canister of fuel into the woods - more power to you. If your zippo works - great. Just know that there are other methods that may not work for you that do work for others.
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  8. #48

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    Has nothing to do with being in Alaska. Smokers don't use the gimmicks, they just want to smoke. If the other methods were anywhere near as effective they would be using them. I have been in mining camps that by the end of the first month I became a very popular person because my Zippo was the only fire around. There is a difference when this stuff becomes your life and you have other things to do. Some people are just dead weight because they spend all thier time next to the fire or trying to prepare a meal or won't get out of thier sleeping bag. I have seen this too many times and recognize the same thinking here. If it takes all your time for survival or camp shores not much else will be accomplished.

  9. #49
    Quality Control Director Ken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskan Survivalist View Post
    Some people are just dead weight because they spend all thier time next to the fire or trying to prepare a meal or won't get out of thier sleeping bag.
    I musta' missed something. Ain't those some of the best things in life?
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  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskan Survivalist View Post
    Has nothing to do with being in Alaska. Smokers don't use the gimmicks, they just want to smoke. If the other methods were anywhere near as effective they would be using them.
    Well, I used my BIC when I was a smoker. I havnt touched a smoke in years and I still have that same BIC. Still gets the job done and I never worry about if the fluid dried up. I can just shake it and listen for proof that it will work.
    "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." - Albert Einstein

  11. #51
    Quality Control Director Ken's Avatar
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    I just carry one of these. Kinda' tough on the backpack, though.

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    “Learning is not compulsory. Neither is survival.”
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  12. #52

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    Quote Originally Posted by Camp10 View Post
    Well, I used my BIC when I was a smoker. I havnt touched a smoke in years and I still have that same BIC. Still gets the job done and I never worry about if the fluid dried up. I can just shake it and listen for proof that it will work.
    That's a valid point but the bottle that refills the zippo does not dry out. Usage has a bearing on it. If you are not using it everyday then a bic would have some advantage.

  13. #53
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    Don't get me wrong, Zippo's are great. I still have many laying around from my smoking and collecting days. Onboard Submarines you could not bring fuel for them, nor could you bring a bic. Many used matches, but I (along with others) used our Zippo lighters. We used isopropyl alcohol for fuel once what was in the lighter ran out.
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  14. #54

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskan Survivalist View Post
    I've been lighting 40 to 60 fires a day since I started smoking over 40 years ago. The Zippo does not fail. If it gets wet you blow it out, if it gets cold you warm it in your pocket and if it breaks I fix it (it's not a complex piece of machinery) and will burn any flamable liquid so running out of lighter fluid is not the end of it's usefullness. Bics are lighter and when shaving ounces for hiking and my choice but they are also disposable and when used up are used up so long term the zippo is better. The other methods are toys for people playing at survival and when it is not a matter impressing people with your mastery of survival skills and just want a fire don't screw around with all the other crap.
    Well to be quite honest I really like the idea of a refillable lighter,ANY refillable lighter. I also am a smoker, But just can't get past the taste of Zippo fuel. Honestly I would much rather light a smoke with a natural piece of wood straight out of a fire. Since my main problem is the taste of the fuel, I don't carry one. So By not carrying one I have to find something else to light a fire with.

    Now as to carrying a lighter that is out of fuel to use starting a fire. An empty lighter has a very small ferrocerium rod that we call flint. Sooo if using ferrocerium to start a fire, why not just use a larger version that can throw a heavier shower of sparks for a further distance?

    Really It doesn't matter what method you use, as long as it works for you(and is safe). Some peoples methods seem like overkill to me. For example about 2-3 years ago these people in the next campsite's idea of fire starting was dump a half gallon of gas on the wood and throw a match. It worked, but it got every ones attention with the big flash and the "Wooosh". They needed seasoned wood which they didn't have, but they kept a big fire going for about 2 days. Could have drove their pickup about 40-50 miles on the gas they used, but they had a fire while they were there.

    I just like having options,and durability. Ferrocerium/flint and steel provide those for me. They take up so little space, I figure why not? Besides by carrying them I have them with me to practice with. As for "Impressing people", Yeah some people are impressed by a firesteel starting a fire, some people though think just the opposite... they think "What an idiot". Oh well, whatever floats their boat, it's all cool.

    I have seen times when I wished I had had a firesteel, so now I carry one with me....always. It's part of my "EDC". I have left home without my wallet... but far less times have I left home without a firesteel. It's just more important than my wallet. It is probably second only to my knife in importance of carrying. I think if nothing else it is what we feel comfortable and confident with.
    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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    Senior Member sh4d0wm4573ri7's Avatar
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    Always have my bic handy , however I am partial to my Strike Force for most everything
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  16. #56
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    Matches work better in the bafroom.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BENESSE View Post
    Matches work better in the bafroom.
    LOL, LOL, LOL,LOL.....And cheap cigars work well in those public pit toilets, emptying RV holding tanks, port-a-potties and other tasks that require a masking cloud.
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  18. #58
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    No sparks or flames are permitted anywhere near our bafroom. One does not want it to become the kaboom room.

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    I prefer the lighter. Matches may get wet and if they aren't waterproof you're screwed! Lighters that get wet will dry out and light again in the future. So if you drop your matches into a stream, you can be screwed, but a lighter would still be okay. Plus, matches won't burn out easily. A lighter is releasing a stream of gas continuously. But I love the smell of matches.
    Last edited by Firecraft; 06-18-2011 at 11:44 PM.

  20. #60
    Super-duper Moderator Sarge47's Avatar
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    Cool Hmmm...

    Come to think of it, AS's booze would make a great fire starter! That being said, when I'm out camping I usually use a long barreled charcoal starter...you know, like a big lighter? Matches and my Strike Force are my back-up. As far as matches go, I like the MRE book matches as they're damp-resistance. I keep them in a qt. size zip-lock.
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