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#43880 - 07/19/05 03:59 AM Re: In Condemnation of BICs
Paul810 Offline

Registered: 03/02/03
Posts: 1428
Loc: NJ, USA
I guess it comes down to how good can something be that cost less then a dollar and is sold everywhere from Walmart to a gas station. Does it do all it is meant to do? For the most part, yes. Would I rely on it as my only means of fire? Not likely. Is it better then nothing? Definately!

#43881 - 07/19/05 05:43 AM Re: In Condemnation of BICs
benjammin Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/06/04
Posts: 4020
Loc: Anchorage AK
Hold on there a moment sport. I would advise against making generalizations of any sort, including such statements as "these Yanks". I am an individual yank who has said nothing derogatory about any frenchmen, individuals or groups, or their country. There are a majority of individual yanks here who've likewise done the same.

Individuals have individual opinions, and it is just as wrong to refer to the opinions of one, or even a few as representative of the majority, or even a significant demography. Likewise, I don't give credit to the French for inventing the bic, but to a handful of scientists/engineers that happened to be in or from France that came up with the great idea.

So let's get back to the point: bics are what they are, a cheap, disposable lighter made in mass quantity that serve a specific purpose, which is to consistently provide an ignition source under most conditions for a minimal cost. They are not the end all-be all for making fire, and they and their equivalent are a deisrable item to add to any survival pack as one of many options for starting a fire. Matches are inexpensive and practical as well, and also have their limitations. I have no idea where they were invented or by whom, but I am just as glad they are available as I am for bics. Do I use either of these for making fire? Yes I do. Are there more reliable/more expensive alternatives? Yes there are. Did someone else besides an American, a Canadian, or a Frenchman invent some of these alternatives? To be sure. Does it matter one iota who came up with these ideas? Not in the least. The fact that they exist and that I can acquire them is all that matters. If Martians came to earth and gave us this neat little rock that all you had to do was wave it over a piece of wood and mutter some incantation and suddenly the wood burst into flames, I would say Hallelujah, I need one of those, and find some way to get one for myself, assuming I have the means.

I believe your final statement is a fact.
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
-- Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)

#43882 - 07/19/05 01:42 PM Re: In Condemnation of BICs
norad45 Offline

Registered: 07/01/04
Posts: 1506
I'm pretty sure that his (randjack's) post was partially tongue in cheek, written in a way that would get a rise out of people.

Looks like he succeeded. <img src="/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

As far as Bics go, I carry one every day. While hunting, if my Bic conks out, I reach in my shirt pocket for my spare. If that one bites the dust, I grab the one in my outdoor PSK. If that fails, I'll use either my metal match, my treated strike-anywhere matches, or the cut-down Sparklite stored in the handle of my Becker Crewman. Sometimes I carry my stinky ol' Zippo too.

But I've never had 2 Bics fail me yet, let alone 3. And I smoked for 16 years.

Regards, Vince

Edited by norad45 (07/19/05 01:45 PM)

#43883 - 07/19/05 05:19 PM Re: In Condemnation of BICs

" I'm pretty sure that his (randjack's) post was partially tongue in cheek, written in a way that would get a rise out of people."

Good guess -- glad you could tell. Next, let's do para cord.

#43884 - 07/19/05 05:43 PM Re: In Condemnation of BICs

A BIC, just like any other piece of equipment, has it's own operational merits and quirks. It has no adjustable flame. It has a constant flame which I like - it doesn't allow for accidental flipping to full power which singes facial hair or leak fuel at an excessive rate when the actuator is accidentally depressed. The actuator design allows for easy installation of a 4" cable tie to prohibit accidental activation.

It doesn't handle cold or water exposure well. Neither do I. Both will work extremely well when warm and dry. Both will work at reduced efficiency when cold and damp. Both are easy to dry when wet.

The BIC doesn't readily reveal how much fluid remains. On the lighter colored models, I use my light behind the barrel/fuel storage tank and I can see what's left. On the dark models, I look through the fuel window at the base of the lighter to get an idea of how much fuel remains.

My BIC lighter doesn't have any politics. I don't care where it came from as long as it's not made by slaves and/or its purchase doesn't support a PHRASECENSOREDPOSTERSHOULDKNOWBETTER. economy and government. Whether or not France's current politics have any merit here isn't even argueable - we're talking gear merit not political theory.

Put simply, I can live with BIC's quirks. They work well for me and fit into my lifestyle and I rely upon them as a part of my emergency gear loadout...


#43885 - 07/19/05 06:00 PM Re: In Condemnation of BICs
frenchy Offline

Registered: 12/18/02
Posts: 1320
Loc: France
now, let's not forget whoever invented the bic style lighters, did not intend to create a survival specialized item, with all the extraordinary requirements we, ETS forumnits (sp ?), would like to have if such a device existed... .......

As for the tongue in the cheek thing, I indeed did think it was Randjack intention to put some heat around this subject....
And the proof is there : BIC can light that kind of flame too ..... <img src="/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

#43886 - 07/19/05 06:24 PM Re: In Condemnation of BICs

How cold are you getting that lighter??? I've carried bic's (and their immitators) in 0 and -0 weather, and the only problem I've ever had was having to warm them up if I left them in an outside pocket, 'never had the plastic break/shatter. And that being mentioned, the ONLY lighter that I've found to light consistently in severe cold is... you guessed it, a well filled Zippo. I'm having a hard time understanding all the debate... Zippo in one pocket, Bic in the other, and all the bases are covered. It can't be the expense, I've read posts extolling the virtues of an $80 flash light here, and neither lighter is big enough or heavy enough to be an issue, so come on... what's the point?


P.S. By the way, I'm a smoker, so any lighter I carry gets a regular workout, and a back-up is always at hand.

#43887 - 07/19/05 06:24 PM Re: In Condemnation of BICs
frenchy Offline

Registered: 12/18/02
Posts: 1320
Loc: France
AAMOF, I don't know where Bic lighters are manufactured ... so I tried to "google" it ... I did not find China among the manufacturing countries (but it was a quick look acrooss some info sheets...)
But I found out something else ...

Do you know BIc also makes kayaks ???
see this web site .
Could these be an answer for the "Survival Vehicle" thread ???? <img src="/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" />


#43888 - 07/19/05 07:07 PM Re: In Condemnation of BICs
GoatRider Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/28/04
Posts: 835
Loc: Maple Grove, MN
Bic makes windsurfers too. I own 3 of them, and sold one more. They're pretty good for a mass-produced board.
- Benton

#43889 - 07/21/05 06:13 AM Re: In Condemnation of BICs
KyBooneFan Offline

Registered: 06/19/05
Posts: 233
Loc: West Kentucky
In all the posts, I didn't see anyone mention a Colibri lighter. They are rather expensive but a quality lighter with a big selection. You will find them at most tobacco stores. Take a look:


And remember what I said in an earlier post somewhere. Check the flint in old lighters you have stashed here and there. The flint will disintegrate over the years and literally turn to powder. FWIW.
"The more I carry, the less I need."

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