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Mini-Bic lighter
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Terry Trimble
(socal-nomad) - F

Locale: North San Diego county
mini bic lighter on 05/13/2011 21:15:50 MDT Print View

I use a zippo slim that is smaller lighter Zippo sometimes but the fuel dissipates fast.
A lighter alternative
I use to use the Permanent Match for backpacking I would get the Camel cigarette Permanent Match with a plastic body because my grandfather had about 100 of them because he smoked 3.5 pack of camel non filters a day. They worked pretty good but they would run out of fluid fast. The government recalled the Camel cigarette Permanent Match.
But here a company that makes the Permanent Match out of steel.

Edited by socal-nomad on 05/13/2011 21:26:27 MDT.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Re: Re: Re: Titanium Split Pea Lighter on 05/13/2011 22:30:20 MDT Print View

"Do you typically take two mini bics?"

I normally take one mini Bic plus a BPL FireLite Mini sparker. I normally use the mini Bic for everything, and the FireLite Mini is my trusted backup. The mini bic is 11.6g and the FireLite mini is about 14g.

I like mini-Bics, but I don't trust them that much. I've had many strangely run out of pressure or fail for other reasons. One easy way to wreck a mini-bic is to accidentally try to use it with greasy/oily hands. This might sound easy to avoid, but if you are preparing a meal and then you need to light your stove, you may just grab your lighter and give it a quick flick without thinking much about it. It only takes one spin with a moderately oily thumb to wreck the lighter. The oil gets gets transferred from the wheel to the flint and then it no longer sparks. Sometimes if you spin it for a long time it'll start sparking but other times it's garbage. You can also wreck one by stepping on it. Plus anytime you get it a bit wet it's out of commission for a few hours.

Edited by dandydan on 05/13/2011 22:31:31 MDT.

Jeremy Platt
(jeremy089786) - F

Locale: Sydney
not so happy with bic on 05/14/2011 01:08:46 MDT Print View

I'm glad this thread came up as the last three times I have been hiking with three separate mini-bic lighters they have failed to light after a day or two. This is usually ok as I use gas stoves and can make do with the spark.

To be honest I usually leave them hanging around camp and am not particularly careful with them, but it seems like alot of people on here get them started whilst wet. Has anyone else had these kind of experiences with these lighters? Am I doing something fundamentally wrong (I have removed the little tab)?

Scott Pulver
(Scottp77) - F
Bic for the win on 05/14/2011 01:31:22 MDT Print View

I have been using Bic lighters for decades and as long as there is fluid in one I have been able to get it to light. When having difficulty lighting it is often the flint that is the cause. One trick is to reverse the strike wheel a few times then try to light.

I have never had problems with Bic lighters and moisture, even after the lighter has gone for a swim. Tonight just for funzzies I submerged one for ten minutes and it lit right away. If it gets oily, just use some dry soil to clean, it's natures grease remover :)

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re:BICs on 05/14/2011 10:19:43 MDT Print View

BIC seems to have added a new failure mode when they redesigned the spark wheel. It used to be solid metal but is now a metal spiral wrapped around something else (plastic?). I've had the new version become jammed and unusable. I've also had the flint mysteriously vanish.

When operating correctly flint lighters work much better than piezo lighters at altitude. In fact I've never had a piezo lighter work above, say, 7k feet. I guess there's just not enough spark for whatever happens to the fuel:air mixture up there.

As a coda, matches aren't what they once were, so I feel better with a second BIC as backup rather than matches.



Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Trick butane lighter on 05/14/2011 11:37:09 MDT Print View

I prefer my trick butane lighter that has a photo of a girl in a bikini on it. When I click to light it automatically makes her bikini disappear... ;)

But it's far too "valuable" to take backpacking so I take two mini BICs and FireSteel W/tinder.

Randy Martin
(randalmartin) - F

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re:BICs on 05/14/2011 20:47:14 MDT Print View

"In fact I've never had a piezo lighter work above, say, 7k feet."

I had the piezo lighter on my Jetboil work just fine at 11,500 ft. Perhaps there are differences in the quality of the lighters.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: piezo lighters on 05/14/2011 21:35:38 MDT Print View

I could see where the spark generated could vary significantly and I wouldn't expect a mass market cigarette lighter to have much oomph. I disassembled one and the piezoelectric section is tiny.

The real downfall on the piezoelectric Bic is that it takes a fair amount of pressure to hold it down-- the spring is fairly strong.

One trick to increasing the reliability of the flint wheel Bic is to put an o-ring around the lighter and under the gas lever, so it can't release gas accidentally, leaving you with an empty lighter.