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Types Of Lighters: For Your Man Vs Wild Experience

Lighters type
Dennis Owens
Written by Dennis Owens

Fire is one of the greatest discoveries of humankind. Surviving in the wild is unimaginable without fire. From giving you warmth at night to scaring away the wild beast, you need that initial spark of energy. A reliable and a robust lighter is the best initiator of your life-saving spark and your best friend in the whimsical world of wilderness.

With a lighter, you can tap the power of heat energy in a matter of seconds. Choosing the best lighter that will be your continuous source of fire is crucial.

Tisurvival flame titanium lighter

Nowadays, the market is flooded with multitudinous varieties of lighters. If you are a keen hiker or a wildlife enthusiast and looking for the most authentic lighter, then you have come to the right place. We have done a transparent investigation (We tried our best) of all types of lighters so that you can choose the best for your critical adventures.

Read this article and buy the most appropriate lighter before setting off to wilderness.

How to Choose The Best One?

While deciding to buy a lighter, it can be a lot confusing for you, as the market is flooded with infinite varieties of lighters.

Choose your lighter

Before I delve any further and start talking about different types of lighter, I would like you to focus on the following qualities that you would want in your lighter.

  1. Sturdiness. It is one of the main criteria for a good quality lighter. You should ALWAYS choose a lighter which keeps working even under the dangerous and inevitable weather conditions like heavy rain, storm, snow, etc., Even under powerful physical impact, your lighter should not falter and break. In the fiercest of rain also, your lighter should be torch like, undaunted and steady in the face of the blowing wind.
  2. Water Resistance. Well, this quality of a lighter is a must if you are trekking to places known for heavy rainfall. However, encountering a water body while hiking is a common phenomenon. In such situation, you do not want your lighter to stop working by coming in contact with water. Hence, apart from being sturdy, a lighter should be water resistant. Check out this article on how choose the best waterproof lighters for your survival needs.
  3. Direct Flame. You must have seen cigarette lighter producing a yellow flame. It is not storm and wind resistant.  Direct flame is very powerful and is not affected by water, moisture or storm. This would be a better choice for producing the flame in moist and damp conditions. See our reviews of the top windproof lighters to give you more options.
  4. Portability. Portability is another important thing needed while choosing the best lighter. You want your lighter to be lightweight as well as sturdily built. The ergonomic design of the lighter should be good enough to prevent leakage as well as breakage.
  5. Use and Throw or Refilling? You have to choose refillable lighters for those long and arduous adventures. If you are going for a short trip, then you can opt for one-time use. However, I always recommend going for refillable lighters as unpredictability is the motto of any adventurous plan. It is always advisable to be well equipped with lighter fuel and a refillable lighter before venturing out for an outdoor adventure.
  6. Hands-free lighter. It belongs to the ultimate category of the smart lighter which uses the technology of locking the flame.

Hence, this gives you the advantage of using both hands for doing your work. It enhances your efficiency in desperate times and in times when one of your hands is injured. If technology has blissfully provided, then buyers should not overlook this amazing feature of a lighter.

Now, you know the qualities that you are searching for in your lighter. It’s time for me to introduce you to different types of lighters popular in the market. After learning about their advantages and disadvantages, you are sure to make a better buy in the end.

Zippo Lighter

Since its inception in 1930, Zippo Company has worked relentlessly in producing high-quality lighters for people.

Zippo Lighter

Zippo Lighters are known for their characteristic click sound. For survival purpose, Zippo Windproof lighter has been redesigned and refurbished many times for the best service.

Pros:

  • Very Durable: Zippo Lighters are known for their 100% metallic built and sturdiness. They are made out of authentic brass and come with lifetime warranty.They are durable and suitable for everyday use.
  • Wind and Water Resistant: Zippo Windproof lighter use liquid naphtha for fuel. It uses the technology of wick covered with naphthalene which gives it an added benefit of being more wind resistant than butane lit lighters. Hence, they are very reliable for windy situations and high gusts of wind. If you are faced with unpredictable drizzle, then your lighter will still work for you. Needless to say, you cannot keep the flame on if it’s raining sharks and crabs.
  • Simple to use: You just have to flip open the cap and turn the flint wheel with your fingers. The flame will be kept on without any further assistance of your hand. This will give you more efficiency. If you want to snuff the flame, just close the camp. IT’S VERY SIMPLE.
  • Adjustable: The wick is adjustable in nature to give you the required amount of flame.
  • All Zippo lighters come with cotton balls inside which are highly flammable. In times of need, cotton can be used for producing a flame.
  • The design of the lighter is crafty as it remains upright if you keep it on any flat surface. This simple feature can be used to warm your cup of water during your hiking.

Cons:

  • It’s high wind resistant quality comes with a price which is the evaporation of the naphtha fuel. The act of refuelling the lighter after every two weeks can be very intimidating. If you are the ones who use lighter once in a while, then Zippo lighter can be cumbersome.
  • Due to its metallic body, it is comparatively heavier.

Stormproof And Waterproof Lighter

Stormproof lighters are specifically designed to face high gust of wind blowing at the top speed of 113 to 129 kmph. Butane is the primary fuel used in this kind of lighter.

Stormproof And Waterproof Lighter

Let me demystify this lighter for you by laying out its advantages and disadvantages in a transparent manner.

Pros:

  • Completly Windproof: You can do a simple test. Rev up your home fan to its highest speed. Place your stormproof lighter in front of the fan. Your stormproof lighter will keep on producing a steady flame even in the face of the strong, sweeping wind. A unique technology of catalyzer coil is used in this kind of lighter which makes it highly resistant to the wind. This unique technology works in the following way. The piezoelectric ignition system (uses mechanical push of your hand to produce voltage spark for ignition of fuel) ignites the butane gas and produces the flame. This flame heats up the catalyzer coil which in turn becomes red hot. This red hot coil continues to produce flame by burning the butane gas even in the stormiest weather.
  • Completely Waterproof: The lighter comes equipped with an O-shaped sealer which does not allow water to enter the fuel chamber. Now, it ensures that your lighter can produce a flame for you even when you are submerged in water.
  • Sturdy Build: The lighter has a relatively strong built with a lanyard which can be easily used to tie it to your backpack. A protective cap is also present which is used for cover.
  • Non – Evaporating Fuel: Unlike Zippo lighter which uses liquid naphthalene as fuel, stormproof lighter DOES NOT suffer from the drawback of gradual fuel evaporation. Thus, you can use this butane fueled lighter for a long period of time without any fuel loss

Cons:

  • Fails in Cold Weather: In cold condition, stormproof lighter does not work at all. This is due to the less vaporisation of butane gas in cold weather. Hence, you cannot rely on this kind of lighter if you are planning to go on an adventurous trail to a cold weather place.
  • Uneconomic Fuel Usage: Stormproof lighter runs out very fast. This means that you have to use it prudently and should always equip yourself with the extra fuel supply. Most of the manufacturer claims that 4 gm of butane produces 1000 ignitions.
  • Expensive: You might have to burn an extra hole in your pocket for a stormproof lighter. Also, there is an extra expense for the company manufactured fuel for time to time refuelling.

Compact And Waterproof Lighter

This lighter comes in the shape of a small capsule and is 100% water proof. In my list of lighters, this capsule sized lighter is the smallest in size.

Compact And Waterproof Lighter

It is advisable to attach it to a keyring so that you do not lose it easily.

Pros: 

  • Waterproof: The O-shaped seal ring does not allow water from entering the fuel chamber of the lighter. You can submerge your capsule lighter in a glass of water for an hour, and it will still work.
  • Extremly Light – Weight: It is very light and compact. Along with the small built, it is quite sturdy and highly durable.
  • Convenient to Refill: This lighter runs on naphtha fuel. The fuel can be easily purchased at any local store for refilling.

Cons:

  • Not Windproof: Capsule Lighter does not give you the promise of producing a flame in the face of stormy weather and heavy rain.
  • Fuel Evaporation: As this lighter uses naphtha fuel like Zippo lighters, evaporation of fuel is a major problem.
  • Loose Cap: The lighter cap does not come equipped with a reliable clip. Sometimes the lower part of the lighter can get detached from its upper cap. Hence, the user should always ensure that the cap is tightly fitted.
  • Fails in Cold Condition: In freezing condition, it becomes difficult to start the ignition of the liquid fuel.

Floating Lighter

The lighter gets the name “floating” from its exceptional ability to produce flame even while floating on water.

Floating Lighter

Let us discuss the pros and cons of this lighter:

Pros:

  • Waterproof: This lighter promises to give you flame even after you are submerged under water which is quite mind-blowing. The well designed O-shaped seal ring around the cap keeps it waterproof. The cap comes with a reliable clasp and ensures that the cap remains closed in all situations.
  • Wind Resistant: Some floating lighters are equipped with the catalyzer coil technology enabling them to produce flame even when the wind is blowing at a speed of 129 kmph.
  • Sturdiness: The outer case is made from waterproof and impact proof ABS plastic which is durable as well as light.
  • Adjustable Flame: You can adjust the size and the intensity of the flame easily. This feature comes in handy when you have to save your fuel.

Cons:

  • Fails in Cold Conditions: This butane powered lighter also fails to produce a reliable flame in cold weather conditions.
  • Fuel Expense: The user has to spend on Quadruple-refined butane fuel for the best working of the lighter. Other kinds of less refined butane fuel do not work properly.

Disposable Lighter

This one time use lighter can come in handy during your survival situations.

Pros:

  • Though they are NOT refillable, waterproof and stormproof disposable lighters are extremely cheap and can be bought in bulk for use.
  • They are very light and portable.

Cons:

  • They are NOT sturdy and durable.
  • They do not work well in cold, windy and rainy conditions.

Though disposable lighters can be used in bulk, they are not very reliable for your extreme survival situations.

However, it is wise to keep a small bunch of disposable lighter in the corner of your backpack for emergency purpose.

Electric Lighter

This is a revolutionary lighter which uses powerful electric arc for lighting purpose.

Pros:

  • No Refilling: With this lighter, you are saved from the cumbersome act of refilling your lighter again and gain. This lighter does not depend on upon any fuel like butane and naphtha. The lighter comes with a USB charging support, and one full charge enables the user to use it for about 2 weeks (100 to 200 clicks) without any hassle.
  • More Powerful: Unlike the spark fuel technology, this lighter uses electrodes that produce an electric arc which is hotter than an open flame. Though a direct flame is not produced like in butane powered lighter, the arc intensity is sufficient for lighting.
  • Wind Resistant: As the arc does not produce any direct flame, the lighter is completely windproof.

Cons:

  • Expensive: Being equipped with the Lithium Ion battery, the lighter is very expensive.
  • Not Durable: The lighter is less sturdy than other butane powered lighter. The user should be very cautious while using it.
  • Small Flame Size: Though the arc produced is hot, the resultant flame is not as large as butane and naphtha-powered lighter. This can be a problem if you want to produce a good fire.

Conclusion

We have carefully decode every single type of survival lighter present in the market. Every product comes with its dose of benefits as well as drawbacks.

Electric lighter

For survival purpose, you cannot be entirely dependent on one product. With your personal preference and survival need, you can choose the lighter of your liking. In the long run, you can opt for buying more than one type of lighter to be safe and well equipped in emergency situations.

Don’t forget to see our must-read article on the best survival lighters to help you survive in any dire situations!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dennis Owens
Dennis Owens

Dennis Owens is a graduate of National Camping School and REI Outdoor School. He knows everything about what gear to take with you, how to plan your trip to stay safe and what to do if you get lost in the mountains. We are lucky to have Dennis with us as he is a ‘walking encyclopedia’ when it comes to the wilderness.

  • Albert Greens

    When camping or hiking, I always bring three lighters and matches with me. Call me exaggerated, but better sure than sorry. You’ll never know when you’ll lose your lighter out there so it’s better to bring extras. Out of all the type of lighters mentioned in this article, floating lighter is my favorite. Why? Because it has only few drawbacks and I rarely go hiking.camping on cold weather.

    • Dennis Owens

      That’s not an unusual habit because as a camper, you must be prepared for anything and bringing various lighter options will surely give you better coverage it starting a fire regardless of the environment you are in.

  • Ray Orson

    I never head off on a hiking, backpacking or camping trip without a Zippo lighter in my pocket, they are, by far, the best lighters you can buy. They’re extremely durable, I’ve dropped, thrown, kicked and stepped on my Zippo more times than I care to remember, and it still never fails to light the first time. There is, however, a downside to Zippos, particularly for those who plan to use it in emergency situations or for longer backpacking or camping periods and that is fuel evaporation. Zippos are not air tight which basically means, even when unused, the fuel inside will eventually evaporate, and unfortunately, there is no way for sure to determine how quickly that will happen unless you have a PhD. in Chemistry. It may evaporate in a week or it may evaporate in a month. So if you’re planning to take a Zippo with you on a long trip, it is advisable to also take a fuel canister too.

    • Dennis Owens

      If your kindling and lighter requirements are low to moderate, you can always go with a Zippo lighter because it is readily available and is durable as well. If you want to explore more, there are a lot of variations for windproof and waterproof lighters worth checking out.

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