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Tips for lighting Esbit in High Winds
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Kevin Schneringer
(Slammer) - MLife

Locale: Oklahoma Flat Lands
Tips for lighting Esbit in High Winds on 04/10/2013 21:10:17 MDT Print View

I love esbit but here in OK the wind blows constantly. I have trouble getting my Esbit tab lit in winds above 10-15 mph. Evenusing my wind screen.
Any tips or tricks that could be shared?

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Tips for lighting Esbit in High Winds on 04/10/2013 21:12:24 MDT Print View

Carry a small bit of alcohol and squeeze a bit on your tab to help light it. Dale W. also once suggested using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer to do the same thing.

Kevin Schneringer
(Slammer) - MLife

Locale: Oklahoma Flat Lands
Re: Tips for lighting Esbit in High Winds on 04/10/2013 21:16:49 MDT Print View

Thanks Doug

Just to clarify are we talking denatured alcohol? I read the post n the hand sanitizer trick but found it lacking( or I was lacking) anyway looking for something that works well and does not add additional weight. I guess a 1oz bottle of Denatured alcohol would be easy enough..

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Tips for lighting Esbit in High Winds on 04/10/2013 21:45:55 MDT Print View

I hold the tab in one hand close to my body, scrape an edge with my fingernail to break a few particles loose. Then light it with my mini-Bic. Once the tab catches fire I place it on the stove holder, put the wind screen in place and wait for the water to boil.

Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Yes a PITA on 04/10/2013 21:48:51 MDT Print View

Like Nick said, scraping some will help. I prefer to carry a bic lighter for Esbit.

Edit- in other words, everything Nick just said and nothing else to contribute.

Edited by IDBLOOM on 04/10/2013 22:04:05 MDT.

Jason G
(JasonG) - F

Locale: iceberg lake
es on 04/10/2013 22:10:21 MDT Print View

I do the same. carry a little bottle like this..

with some denatured alcohol or Heet and drop on 2-3 drops if need be. Its not only for high winds but good for lighting pesky esbit in general

Edward Jursek

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Esbitmin high winds on 04/11/2013 00:06:18 MDT Print View

I use a mini bic and in couple of cases used storm proof matches from REI. I carry a little strike pad and 6 of the matches, weighs next to nothing and they have proven effective for me.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Esbitmin high winds on 04/11/2013 00:08:53 MDT Print View

Alcohol gel hand cleaner is easy. A small spark is all you need to set it off.

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Orange County, CA, USA
Re: Re: Esbitmin high winds on 04/11/2013 00:49:29 MDT Print View

I was just out tonight and could not get my ESBIT lit with a conventional lighter. I switched to a torch type lighter, and all was well. Torch type lighter of course typically have piezo ignitions. Piezo ignitions on lighters start failing somewhere around 8000 feet/2400m above sea level.

Alcohol is reliable at all altitudes. I've found liquid alcohol works better than hand sanitizer, but YMMV.

Adventures in Stoving

David Noll
(dpnoll) - MLife

Locale: Maroon Bells
Tips for lighting Esbit on 04/11/2013 04:57:30 MDT Print View

I also always carry some REI storm proof matches for wind and high altitude for when my mini bic doesn't get the job done.

Kevin Schneringer
(Slammer) - MLife

Locale: Oklahoma Flat Lands
NEW Tips for lighting Esbit on on 04/11/2013 06:20:45 MDT Print View

Wow seems like I was really close. I have most of the fire making material listed above. Just needed to better utilize what I already had in my pack.

Thanks for all of the great tips . I even had some pride left too. When I see guys that are much more "seasoned" having an issue it makes me feel like I'm not a complete dope.

j lan
(justaddfuel) - F

Locale: MN
Re: NEW Tips for lighting Esbit on on 04/11/2013 06:52:21 MDT Print View

One thing about the alcohol, you have to light it RIGHT AWAY after putting the alcohol on, it will evaporate/soak in fast.
Worse comes to worse, light it in your jacket like smokers do in high winds.

Derrick White
(miku) - MLife

Locale: Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada
+1 on Storm Matches on 04/11/2013 07:58:53 MDT Print View

I once struggled with using my bic and esbit but now take a storm match for each esbit tab I carry. I place the esbit in the Trail Designs Gram Cracker, lay the lit match on top, put on windscreen (TD fissure) and insert pot. It never fails to work even in gusting winds. It is so reliable that I no longer wait for the match to burn out and check the esbit is lit. I just carry on with other chores and come back in 8 mintues to a boiling pot of water. It works for me.

As for alcohol, I find using that to light esbit a bit redundant. I carry esbit to avoid using alcohol.


Willie Evenstop
(redmonk) - F

Locale: Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
Tips for lighting Esbit in High Winds on 04/11/2013 08:01:37 MDT Print View

Scrape some of the cube to increase the surface area.

Robert Kelly
(QiWiz) - MLife

Locale: UL gear @
Secret tips for lighting Esbit in WINDY conditions on 04/11/2013 14:08:35 MDT Print View

Use a good windscreen. Form it into a circle.
Carry a few cotton balls, each with a little vaseline rolled up inside.
Pinch off a bit of one of these cotton balls (it takes very little) and make a thin wick with it. Put one end of the wick under one end of the Esbit cube in the tray of whatever Esbit burner you are using.
Shelter the cube and wick as best you can with your windscreen, body, pack, natural objects, whatever you have.
Light the wick with a match or lighter and get your windscreen down all the way around in place right away.
This should do it.

Kevin Babione
(KBabione) - MLife

Locale: Pennsylvania
Lighting an Esbit (or a campfire) on 04/13/2013 10:59:54 MDT Print View

I carry a couple of trick birthday candles and use them to light either an Esbit tablet or often to light a campfire. I've burned my fingers too often trying to light either with my mini-Bic.

Don A.
(amrowinc) - M

Locale: Southern California
Tips for lighting Esbit in High Winds on 04/13/2013 12:05:34 MDT Print View

I've tried a lot of techniques. At issue for me was my lighter flame would blow out before I could get the esbit lit. Once "well" lit all was well as long as I got my Caldera Cone over the burning esbit quickly. So I started looking at disposable lighter alternatives. I learned from a young guy that Scripto disposable lighters with the flame adjuster could be modified into a torch by pulling of the metal shroud and moving the flame adjuster arm a few gear notches over from the factory setting. The modification worked some magic. I've since modified a regular size Bic lighter by cutting away some of the bottom area of the red button that acts as a stop to prevent the flame from going to high.
I've done no testing to figure out increased fuel usage but as much fuel as I used to use trying to get the esbit lit it would probably make any increase a wash.
I make no claims as to the safety of the modification.:-)

Edited by amrowinc on 04/13/2013 12:31:20 MDT.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Lighting an Esbit (or a campfire) on 04/13/2013 12:07:10 MDT Print View

"I carry a couple of trick birthday candles"

Brilliant! Thanks Kevin.

Daniel Fish

Locale: PDX
... on 04/13/2013 12:19:46 MDT Print View


Edited by on 06/09/2013 09:39:49 MDT.

Daniel Fish

Locale: PDX
... on 04/14/2013 22:44:20 MDT Print View


Edited by on 06/09/2013 09:41:44 MDT.