Aug 23, 2013 at 7:13 am #1306853
@pgasbyLocale: North Carolina
First – I get the impression that many here favor a non piezo stove for a few reasons – weight savings being one, reliability and versatility being others.
I was fiddling with my new jet butane lighter which is bigger and heavier than a mini bic that I usually carry – and other than the gadget factor was wondering whether it was worth taking on a trip. But the thought occurred to me that even a mini bic likely weighs more than the piezo ignitor on, say, my Snow Peak GS-100a gigapower. A bit of research seems to indicate a piezo for the SP is .06 ounces. A mini Bic based on the weight of a three pack is around .40 ounces (subtracted a bit for packaging so this is a guess, albeit a ballpark one). when you're at fractional ounces it would seem like the versatility of using a mini Bic for other things – and altitude performance, wet performance, etc… make it a clear winner even if weight savings is a red herring…
I have a backup fire source like most (firesteel and petroleum jelly cotton balls) – but would not rely on matches for example as my primary option due to wind mostly.
I will say that I keep my Gigapower for a couple reasons even thought I have a Litemax that I use more – it is a dead reliable stove for my Scout son when he gets stove qualified – and the auto ignitor for a younger scout is arguably easier and more reliable than a lighter.
Still – I was curious if anyone uses something other than a mini bic regularly and with what kind of stove? I get the sense some alcohol users employ steels rather than a lighter as they can be hard to light without the risk of burning your hand with a lighter.Aug 23, 2013 at 7:22 am #2017889
I like using firesteel with my starlyte alky. To get it to work though, you need to dribble a little fuel… alcohol will only light by spark if directly exposed.
To avoid knocking the stove over pull the rod away form it rather than pushing the striker towards it.
There is a little fiddle factor in this but I like that it'll work even if wet.Aug 23, 2013 at 8:01 am #2017896
USA Duane HallParticipant
@hikerduaneLocale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
I still always bring matches. Matches work the fastest for me lighter profane. :) I do have a hand held piezo lighter thing and a firesteel which is nice.
DuaneAug 23, 2013 at 8:10 am #2017902
"I get the sense some alcohol users employ steels rather than a lighter as they can be hard to light without the risk of burning your hand with a lighter."
I use a caldera cone with the 12-10 stove. The stove has a depression around the central opening where I add a little alcohol when fill the stove. Lighting that with a miniBic is easy.
Another way to light any alcohol stove is to dip a small twig into the alcohol, light that, and use it to light the stove.
So while Some users like to add gear "to keep things simple", lighting an alcohol stove isn't really that hard.Aug 23, 2013 at 8:17 am #2017904
"Matches work the fastest for me lighter profane. :)"
Yeah, matches are actually pretty good in wind. When I was a smoker I'd light my smokes, walking into wind, on just the burning sulfur. I'm pretty sure it'd apply pretty well to lighting a stove too.Aug 23, 2013 at 9:35 am #2017925
@eagleriverdeeLocale: Eagle River, Alaska
I use a bic. A lighter can be handy for more than just lighting a stove.Aug 23, 2013 at 9:55 am #2017933
mini bic here.. i have a pack of paper/bar matches as backup.Aug 23, 2013 at 11:15 am #2017956
@davidinkenaiLocale: North Woods. Far North.
>"A lighter can be handy for more than just lighting a stove."
+1. Starting a campfire. Sealing synthetic rope or fabric. Lighting/melting nylon or polyethylene to repair holes or cracks. Sterilizing a needle or a blade. Back-up/emergency lighting.Aug 23, 2013 at 11:41 am #2017962
My Soto OD-1R has the only piezo I've known that still works after several years of use…
I still carry a lighter and a firesteel with my cook kit in case I need it.
After all it's less than 40 grams and it might just save the day IF I ever need it :-)Aug 23, 2013 at 1:06 pm #2017989
2 mini bics (one as backup)
They work fine up to at least 10,000ft but you may need an alternative above 15,000ftAug 23, 2013 at 1:44 pm #2017998
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
I've had trouble with ordinary paper matches burning above 15,000 feet.
The match heads would strike and smoke and fizzle, but never burst into flame.
–B.G.–Aug 23, 2013 at 3:54 pm #2018048
@davidinkenaiLocale: North Woods. Far North.
>"I've had trouble with ordinary paper matches burning above 15,000 feet."
Just pry the oxygen generator out of the overhead compartment on your next flight.
But seriously, is there a difference between strike-anywheres and safety matches?Aug 24, 2013 at 10:39 am #2018212
I just carry a mini bic. I actually carry two – one with the stove and another in my kit bag. But I've never had one fail in probably 25 years of taking them. When snow camping I put it in my pocket to keep warm. Many times I light the stove without a flame – just the spark from the lighter does it. I haven't taken matches for probably just as long. Have not owned a stove with Piezo, and from reports I have heard of poor performance at altitude I would carry a lighter anyway, so I see no point in the piezo for me.Aug 24, 2013 at 11:47 am #2018223
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
I've used BIC before that got wet. Then it doesn't work. Until it dries off in pocket.Aug 25, 2013 at 9:02 pm #2018622
If you pry the childproof safety tab off a Bic lighter, it can be used with your forefinger, which reduces the risk of burning the thumb. This was described in Mike Clelland's most recent little green book and it works great. I normally use a Bic with a firesteel as backup. I bought the separate MSR piezo lighter and it works on canister stoves, but on alcohol forget about it.
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