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Firestarter as stove lighter?
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Mark Watson
(mwbike) - F

Locale: Northwest
Firestarter as stove lighter? on 12/06/2006 12:55:45 MST Print View

What do you light alcohol stoves with?

I've never used an alcohol stove. But I've seen others do it (pepsi-can-type), with a Bic-lighter. And they almost burned their hand from turning the lighter upside-down & when the primer-pan lit.

I was thinking of using a Firesteel or Spark-Lite to light it. Would this work? What are the potential problems?

Thanks in advance,

Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
Re: Firestarter as stove lighter? on 12/06/2006 13:28:51 MST Print View

we use a firesteel and priming tray - according to my hubby it lets him keep the hair on his knuckles

(dealtoyo) - F

Locale: Mt Hood
Re: Firestarter as stove lighter? on 12/06/2006 14:51:31 MST Print View

I've used several differant alcohol stoves- home made pepsi, Vargo Triad XE, and currently use a Brasslite Turbo F. I've used lighters before but never again. Lighters usually place your hand too close to the fuel. The best that I've found is a plain old wooden match. Not as fancy or as cool as a Firesteel or Spark-Lite but just as effective and there's no need to aim the spark anywhere. Just touch the lit match to the alcohol and you're off and running.

Douglas Frick
(Otter) - MLife

Locale: Wyoming
Re: Firestarter as stove lighter? on 12/06/2006 15:22:04 MST Print View

> What do you light alcohol stoves with?

I don't like using up my matches, so I generally use my Spark-Lite (0.2 oz), which I carry along with the rest of the Spark-Lite Kit (+0.5 oz). It works well, requiring only one or two flicks to light my stove. I use it with both primed and center-lighting stoves. The Firesteel (1.1 oz) makes more sparks than the Spark-Lite, and will probably last longer.

I also have a refillable Solo Extend-A-Flame Lighter (1.4 oz) which can be extended about two inches. I usually only bring it when hiking with a group, when somebody else might need to borrow it to light a gas stove.

Edited by Otter on 12/06/2006 15:35:32 MST.

Pamela Wyant
(RiverRunner) - F - M
Mostly I use matches. on 01/10/2007 01:28:25 MST Print View

I usually just use matches.
I've also had good luck dipping a small twig into the alcohol in the stove reservoir, lighting the twig with a lighter, and then using the burning twig to light the stove.

G Cowen
(coweng) - F
Re: on 01/10/2007 08:50:47 MST Print View

I use a firesteel to light my stove no problem. I ditched the steel striker and use my knife...

Joe Kuster
(slacklinejoe) - MLife

Locale: Flatirons
Piezo starter on 01/10/2007 12:25:17 MST Print View

I have only used matches & bics but what about a trimmed down piezo starter with a small bit of wire to the primer pan? Anyone used this method? They aren't very heavy, but it would be more single use than most other methods.

Joshua Mitchell
(jdmitch) - F

Locale: Kansas
Fun with Piezo Starters... on 01/10/2007 14:53:08 MST Print View

yeah, running the wires to the al stove could work... if you take apart one of those long-stem fireplace lighters, the've got a little piezo in them... it makes a nice shock stick too...

James Pitts
(jjpitts) - F

Locale: Midwest US
Re: Firestarter as stove lighter? on 01/10/2007 15:38:19 MST Print View

Sparklite. Works really well. I still carry a mini Bic lighter but I save that for if I must make a fire.

Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Re: Re: Firestarter as stove lighter? on 01/10/2007 16:11:52 MST Print View

When I first started using alky stoves, I made a piezo lighter by vandalizing a fireplace lighter and making an extension to the piezo unit from an aluminum arrow shaft with a vented and wind-protected wicking tip . It worked great in the house. Unfortunately, and to my lasting disappointment, it did not work at temps below 50 degrees. The electric spark needs a fuel-laden atmosphere. It cannot ignite liquid alcohol. Even with a wick to encourage vaporization, it wouldn't work.

Eric Eaton
(ericeaton) - F
Re: Firestarter as stove lighter? on 01/16/2007 11:09:52 MST Print View

Hey Mark,

I use a Spark-Lite. I keep a second Spark-Lite in my fire kit as a backup to my stove-dedicated one and also as a...well, a fire starter for my fire kit.

Never have had a problem with burned fingers, but then again, as a cat owner, I'm quick. (Although the thought has occassionally occured to me that if my cats were large enough, they'd probably eat me...Hmmm).


Terry Boldt
(TeeDee) - F
Re: Re: Firestarter as stove lighter? on 01/16/2007 15:50:50 MST Print View

"Never have had a problem with burned fingers, but then again, as a cat owner, I'm quick."

Hmmm - from my experience I've always thought it the other way around - cats are human owners.

Eric Eaton
(ericeaton) - F
Re: Re: Re: Firestarter as stove lighter? on 01/16/2007 18:51:53 MST Print View

Yep, true enough.

Some days I feel lucky they let me live here.

Other times, I wish I could die and come back as a cat in my house - with two servants named "Can-Opener" and plenty of nice furniture to sharpen my claws on, and nice sunny spots to nap in...


Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
re:Firestarter as stove lighter on 01/16/2007 19:07:46 MST Print View

I use pepsi, Trangia, and a Brasslite Turbo F. I dip my eating utensil in the alcohol, light it, and use the flame to start the stove. Sparklite is good, but I conserve those "1000" available sparks and use a mini-bic if I have it.

Frank Deland

Locale: On the AT in VA
matches on 03/30/2007 20:06:43 MDT Print View

Matches work fine. The spark igniter sold at this website works, too, but matches work best.

(cuzzettj) - MLife

Locale: NorCal - South Bay
Firesteel on 07/02/2007 11:48:47 MDT Print View

I know I a bit late on this but I use fire steel all of the time. It lights every type of stove I have, from alcohol to canister. The life of the fire steel is what I like best. I have had bics get stuck open in my pack. I pack them in a case now... if I bring them at all.

Edited by cuzzettj on 07/02/2007 11:50:52 MDT.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Firesteel on 07/03/2007 13:51:56 MDT Print View

Jason, a Bic will still light a butane stove when out of gas-- the spark wheel still does it. Some brands of lighters (Cricket is one) come with childproof locks that also keep them from dumping fuel. An o-ring added to the fuel lever on the Bic will lock it and prevent fuel leaks.

I agree, a firesteel throws a good shower of sparks. To light an Esbit, I put it right down on the fuel tab and spark away. Add a little alcohol gel hand cleaner and you can get the Esbit going with one stroke on the firesteel.

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Re: Re: Firesteel on 07/03/2007 14:41:54 MDT Print View

The last 1/4 inch of your ferrocerium rod is where your hottest spark will come from. I made my own ferro rod holder using the replacement flints for welding torch ignitors. I now carry with me a small ferro rod on my keychain and a single edge razor blade in my wallet. I always have my keys and wallet with me 24/7. Always prepared. The razor blade is wha I use to Flick-off a good spark right where I want it.

Here is some good information pertaining to Sparks

Here is a photo of my keyring ferro rod. The day that the photo was taken is the day I replaced the well worn/used one on my keyring.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Edited by zelph on 07/03/2007 14:46:38 MDT.