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#170786 - 04/07/09 06:01 PM zippo lighters as a survival firestarter
borninwild Offline
Stranger

Registered: 03/08/09
Posts: 4
At first I thought zippo lighters were terrible survival tools because they tend to run out of fuel fairly fast. But now after using one almost everyday I came to realize their versatility. A zippo lighter can be fueled with any flameable volatile liquid. And while in the wilderness when you do run out of liquid, you have the flint sparker; and if you keep extra flints unter the felt pad, your zippo can be used just like a flint striker to ignight some tinder. Also, if it came down to it, inside the zippo you have about five cotton balls of tinder that will easily ignight with a spark.
A zippo may not give off sparks as hot as the new firesteels, but a zippo has multiple uses, and another thing I love about them is the large flame it produces, giving it a great ability to illuminate things in the dark.
Yes, zippos downside is the fuel runs out fast, but before I carried just a flint rod attatched to a piece of pitchwood, so as long as someone has the skills to locate tinder in the wilderness that will catch sparks from flint, a zippo is a much better firestarter than others just because of its many uses. This is my thoughts on the zippo lighter, please feel free to share your comments, thanks. Elkman.

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#170793 - 04/07/09 06:19 PM Re: zippo lighters as a survival firestarter [Re: borninwild]
Chris Kavanaugh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/09/01
Posts: 3824
A rock makes a pretty substantial projectile.
It's usually been around a few million years and it's cheap.

Some people decide a smoother surface will have greater range and accuracy. Before you know it, people are shooting missiles across the Sea of japan.

And darned if some of our rocks don't turn out to to be coprolites.

Few things are perfect. We hope to balance imperfections with a redundancy of perfections.

Just understand your zippo is a rock.Sometimes it's best to have a pocketfull of rocks.


Edited by Chris Kavanaugh (04/07/09 06:20 PM)

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#170799 - 04/07/09 06:52 PM Re: zippo lighters as a survival firestarter [Re: borninwild]
paramedicpete Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/09/02
Posts: 1920
Loc: Frederick, Maryland
Quote:
Also, if it came down to it, inside the zippo you have about five cotton balls of tinder that will easily ignight with a spark.


Is it real cotton or synthetic wadding?


Pete

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#170800 - 04/07/09 07:26 PM Re: zippo lighters as a survival firestarter [Re: paramedicpete]
KenK Offline
"Be Prepared"
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 2127
Loc: NE Wisconsin
Note to self: bring along a pocketfull of rocks.

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#170804 - 04/07/09 07:43 PM Re: zippo lighters as a survival firestarter [Re: KenK]
Schwert Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/13/02
Posts: 905
Loc: Seattle, Washington
I still carry a Zippo too. I don't have any use for it daily, but it is a fine reliable tool. I also carry a mini tabasco bottle of fuel....just right for a fill and a half. I like this bottle better than the Zippo fuel canister too.

I use the Pipe version of the Zippo...easier to get a vertical flame under tinder with that style than the standard version.

A good classic tool....with its own set of advantages and limitations.

I cannnot quite remember but I think I posted on here pulling some the cotton wadding out of mine and sparking it. I think I did that grin

Anyway my old Zippo has real cotton wadding in it. The pad over the wadding seems to be synthetic though.

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#170805 - 04/07/09 07:45 PM Re: zippo lighters as a survival firestarter [Re: Schwert]
Schwert Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/13/02
Posts: 905
Loc: Seattle, Washington
I forgot to add...


Wrapping a Zippo in 3-4 layers of Saran wrap preserves the fuel for several weeks. This is a good trick if you are heading out.

However I just assume my vest pocket Zippo is going to be dry....hence the Tabasco bottle of fuel.

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#170807 - 04/07/09 07:52 PM Re: zippo lighters as a survival firestarter [Re: Schwert]
Chris Kavanaugh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/09/01
Posts: 3824
The local carniceria sells some tabasco that doubles as condiment AND fuel.

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#170848 - 04/08/09 04:52 AM Re: zippo lighters as a survival firestarter [Re: Chris Kavanaugh]
Tom_L Offline
Addict

Registered: 03/19/07
Posts: 690
As long as you carry extra fuel, a Zippo makes a very reliable lighter. I've bought a number of "windproof" butane lighters but none of them is as dependable as the good, solid Zippo. The only problem is, you have to refill it very regularly and it might not even last a week in the bush before the fuel evaporates.

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#170889 - 04/08/09 05:04 PM Re: zippo lighters as a survival firestarter [Re: borninwild]
Pharaoh Offline
Newbie

Registered: 07/26/06
Posts: 49
Loc: The Hague, the Netherlands.
To counter the evaporation problem there are little brass fuel tanks for Zippo and its clones. You have to remove about two thirds of the cotton wadding and the felt pad to accomodate the tank but this works great and a freshly filled zippo will last a lot longer now.
Beyond this I've even further resolved the evap prob by cutting about one inch of bicycle inner tube and fit this around the lighter and this performs extremely well in conjunction with the tank. Just roll down the innertube enough to open the lighter and flick as usual. I basicaly works much like an O-ring. I lit my zippo on the first attempt after not being used for 4 months this way.
Give it a try !
Pharaoh.
_________________________
-Smile and the world smiles with you. Fart and you stand alone-

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#170893 - 04/08/09 05:24 PM Re: zippo lighters as a survival firestarter [Re: Pharaoh]
Schwert Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/13/02
Posts: 905
Loc: Seattle, Washington
I like the innertube idea. Got to give that one a try.

Are the brass fuel tanks for zippo fuel or butane? I have seen the butane modification at Country Comm but never tried it.


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