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Firesteel vs. Bic
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john Tier
(Peter_pan) - M

Locale: Co-Owner Jacks 'R' Better, LLC, VA
Safety pin ring on 08/24/2009 16:25:55 MDT Print View

John,

By essentially wraping the head end of the safety pin in plastic the gummy stuff of the duct tape does not transfer, thus I don't have to put up with it if the pin is ever used "for other uses" in an emergency.

Pan

A D
(wentworth) - F
firesteel on 08/24/2009 18:56:12 MDT Print View

I use a firesteel most of the time. I think the reason people have issues lighting natural tinder with them is lack of technique. I see people flicking them with the striker as though trying to use flint and steel.

I use the back of my knife blade on the ferro rod, as though trying to carve a sliver off it. This hard, controlled movement produces great sparks. Flicking it quickly will just give you a pretty display of sparks.
Once you get the technique, you can even light feather sticks with them.

Someone mentioned the firebow as an alternative... I've lit quite a few fires with this method, but have found that if there is even a hint of humidity, the ember doesn't ignite. Certainly wouldn't want to rely on it as my primary method.

Buck Nelson
(Colter) - MLife

Locale: Alaska
Wet Bic? Just dry it out on 08/24/2009 22:56:51 MDT Print View

>>Better carry your BIC in a ziploc bag, wet wheels dont spark or barely spark. Have fun with it in a downpour, I do when trying to light my cigarettes. :)

I do carry at least one of my Bics where they'll stay dry. And I don't light fires in a downpour unless the tinder is protected from the rain!

Seems like Bics are pretty easy to dry out. I've done it many times. I just soaked a Bic and had it going in 10 seconds. See the video mentioned in the original post.

To me it's sort of like down vs synthetic bags. Yes, a case can be made for dire circumstances where synthetic is better. Personally, I am going to use down because for me it works better and gets the job done and I have faith in my ability to keep it dry or to deal with the consequences of getting it wet.

Taeji Nedilsky
(roadtopines) - F
Re: Lantern Lighter on 08/09/2010 16:15:58 MDT Print View

Careful with that Ozark Trail lighter! Been known to leak and flare. Others have found that the trigger breaks, so it becomes unusable.

While it's attractive to have the reach to light a flame beneath and within tinder and kindling, I find a lot of barbeque-type lighters to be flimsy. And, of course, more bulky and heavier than Bics.

http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml99/99088.html
http://www.moshannonfalls.com/ozark-trail-windresistant-lighter-fail/