Cigarette Lighter Versus Matches

Discussion in 'All Resources About Fire' started by Corzhens, Jun 4, 2017.

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  1. Corzhens

    Corzhens Master Survivalist
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    When going to the woods, making fire is the primary concern. Instead of using the primitive ways of making fire, some campers bring matches. But the best to bring is the cigarette lighter, preferably the disposable lighter which can last for months of use. Some campers who are non-smokers have the habit of bringing a cigarette lighter for that purpose. They say that it is handy and easy to use. With the lighter, making fire is a breeze and it is cheap and available almost anywhere (in the city).
     
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  2. SirJoe

    SirJoe Expert Member
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    I agree. If matches get wet they will be ruined while with a lighter all you have to do is put it to the side and wait for it to dry out. Even after there isn't any gas left most lighters still will make sparks, so if you are in a really tight spot it can make all the difference when it comes to starting a fire quickly.
     
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  3. Koala

    Koala Well-Known Member
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    Yep, taking matches to light fire can be a far more risky than taking a cigarette lighter. The most obvious, like SirJoe said because they can get wet and become useless and also because if you aren't careful, some matches break really easily. I've had this weird kind of matches before where almost every single one in the box broke in half or didn't even light up properly. I much prefer the standard lighter.

    What about taking an electric firelighter? How wise is that considering those are windproof and so on? It would seem like a good idea to me.
     
  4. jeager

    jeager Master Survivalist
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    I recall a true story of two doctors on a hunting trip someplace in a wilderness.
    They got lost and caught in a blizzard and no way to make a fire.
    They gathered tinder and tried shooting into it with rifles only blowing the tinder away.
    They nearly froze to death.
    Luckily they were rescued a few days later the worse for wear.
    There is a way to start a fire with ammo but they didn't know how.
     
  5. Okaviator

    Okaviator Member
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    Great advice! I completely have to agree with you. However, there is an alternative with matches if you don't have a lighter. Online I found a pack of waterproof matches for 50c, so if you're running on a really low budget this could be the way to go.
     
  6. jeager

    jeager Master Survivalist
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    ..or make your own waterproof matches out of strike anywhere stick matches.

    Melt ordinary paraffin to just liquid and dip quickly.
    Do not soak. A quick dip will do it.
    Soaking kills the strike anywhere ability and makes the match soft.
    Can't find paraffin? Got a candle?
     
  7. zeedollar

    zeedollar New Member
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    A lighter seems better to me because if eventually your matches happens to get wet, then you might just be without a fire or use the conventional way of making a fire. So when next you are going to camp, always remember to pack a lighter.
     
  8. Jim Cobb

    Jim Cobb New Member
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    Stick with the name brand lighters, such as BIC. The 3/$1 you find at many gas stations and convenience stores don't last nearly as long. I carry a couple of disposable lighters as well as a waterproof container of strike anywhere matches. I also always have a ferrocerium rod and striker in all of my kits. That's actually my preferred fire lighting tool. I save the disposable lighter and the matches for when I truly need them.
     
  9. sakakimakio

    sakakimakio New Member
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    Better to have both of them when you camping in woods or mountains as you never expect what will happen. A lighter seems very wise option but can you imagine if its sparkwheel got off or broken? Gosh, that time curses is your only song of choices. Matches for me was good in terms of durability just make sure to dispose them properly.
     
  10. Soum

    Soum New Member
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    I agree if matches get wet it difficult to dry but if lighter get broken then, best we keep both. We can't take take risk in middle of forest. Matches and Lighter are better in forest and keep in the bag properly in bags to save the journey. Also both the thing is not going to fill large space in bags. So in my opinion carry both and don't take risk.
     
  11. Ystranc

    Ystranc Expert Member
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    A decent wind proof lighter is convenient but I've had those cheap BIC lighters burst in extreme heat before now so they wouldn't be my first choice
     
  12. kgord

    kgord Active Member
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    I would want a long stemmed lighter one with the long handles. If it is windy it is really hard to use those small lighters. I find it much easier to light fires when I have those long handled lighters and I think they are safer, although with a small lighter you could always light something like a twig and use that to get hard to reach needles and so forth.
     
  13. Scarlet

    Scarlet Member
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    Cigarette lighter is handy to carry and it is stable to fire wood, whereas, the matches will use many sticks when it fails to light after it has been rubbed. Another down side of matches is it will not be useful once it will be wet .
     
  14. SirJoe

    SirJoe Expert Member
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    I have seen them do it in some classic films but in films everything always works until you try it in the real world and it's not as easy.
     
  15. GS AutoTech

    GS AutoTech Expert Member
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    We keep a small horde of disposable lighters. If the SHTF we will have plenty of fire on hand while everyone in the family becomes a pro with more primitive technology
     
  16. branchd77

    branchd77 Administrator Staff Member Gold Supporter
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    I would carry both. In my experience, it is way too easy to break a lighter without even trying to. Seems lately the disposable lighters I have been buying have been garbage, except for a few good Bics. Probably wouldn't hurt to pack a fire starter stick as well.
     
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  17. iamawriter

    iamawriter Well-Known Member
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    I agree with a few here who say one should take both. Not a big deal as they are tiny bits that fit in one's pocket. May even two or more lighters. I do not know what kind of lighters are available these days but the one I know needed refilling them with butane. Am I on the same page?
     
  18. Tom Williams

    Tom Williams Moderator Staff Member
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    Allways carry more than one way to start the bic or zippo are fine a zippo a bit better it refills with any thing that burns matches waterproofed are a fine choice if needed two one placed in with tinder helps get tinder going when struck and both added to tinder a magnife glass with sunlight works well a good compass has one built into it and gets a fire started a knife with a ferous rod works well and a fkint and steel works well now the rubbing of sticks is a hard skill but works use pine or other soft word as the rub into a hard word as the heat comes up it will start a glow with that glow very fine timber placed near and just a light blow from lips will get the tinder to go again never have just one system for fire once fire is going dont let it go out fire can be moved and carried. To a new spot with it you will allways have fire fire provides light warmth hot food pure water but gives a camp a homey secure feel it is a must have
     
  19. GS AutoTech

    GS AutoTech Expert Member
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    I'm a former smoker. Thank God... IMHO the standard Bic is just about the most rugged in the disposable class. Family of 6. So 2 Bic lighters each plus Ferro rod each, then each has the primitive starter kit that they have successfully used. All in dry bag.
     
  20. Tom Williams

    Tom Williams Moderator Staff Member
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    Never carry just one way to start fire with all the ways to start a fire the importance of a fire the ease of carry why just one multi kits so if lost your still good i carry a zippo it refulls with any liquid that burns yes carry flints and wicks to maintain a altoid tin carry lighter and supplies a belt knife and ferous rod works fine a good compass has a maganifeing glass build nto it that works with sunlight waterproof matches are a must have buy in bulk two or thr used right make quick tinderto help get tinder going now once fire is going it never goes out fire can be carrryed and moved easy please dnt place your life on just one way BE PREPARED. OH AND YES THOSE LONG BBQ LIGHTERS ARE GREAT FOR A FIRE STARTER YOU FIBGRS ARE AWAY AND SAFER read look explore youtube and ither site learn all you can
     
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  21. Tom Williams

    Tom Williams Moderator Staff Member
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    Some will say in wrong on the bow or stick rub with hard wood and soft wood but my indian freind showd me his way ut easy to bring the hot gloing soft wood up to lips to gently blow on it then it works like match to light and blow into tinder
     
  22. airfightermax

    airfightermax Member
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    Yeah the lighter is the better of the two I think. Matches are not that really reliable especially when they get wet. You can't use it if it's wet.

    I also think you get "more" fire out of the lighter. The matches are only about 50 sticks per box while the lighter lasts longer.
     
  23. TexDanm

    TexDanm Master Survivalist
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    When it comes to having fire you can't have too many ways available!! I take 5 matches and a little piece of emery board and seal them in plastic with my vacuum sealer. I also usually have at least one type of lighter often two. I like the bics for convenience but also have carried a Zippo off and on for decades. I'm never without a ferocerium rod and makings and usually have a Fresnel lens in my billfold. If I could only have one it would be the ferocerium rod. thousands of lights and nearly indestructible.

    Matches these days are sort of old school. When I was a kid I had a metal match safe that was always in my pocket. I remember being dropped off one night in the woods with 1 match a canteen of water a raw egg and my boy scout knife at a Scouting Camp. They would drop you right before dark and pick you up the next morning. They might not be as convenient as a lighter but they teach you to do it right and prepare well before you strike that match.
     
  24. Tina Thompson

    Tina Thompson New Member
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    Definitely something to have in your survival gear. Don't throw them away when they're empty either. They have a tiny cloth in them that can help start a fire, and you can get a spark for a long time with a lighter you think is dead. It's pretty amazing what you can do with everyday items.
     
  25. SouthernMama

    SouthernMama Active Member
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    I usually have both matches and a lighter with me when I go camping. I use the lighter a lot more and only resort to the matches when I can't find my lighter. Lighters are very cheap and something we should stock up on.
     
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