Apr 10, 2013 at 8:10 pm #1301558
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?Apr 10, 2013 at 8:12 pm #1975133
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.Apr 10, 2013 at 8:16 pm #1975136
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..Apr 10, 2013 at 8:45 pm #1975146
Nick GatelBPL Member
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
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.Apr 10, 2013 at 8:48 pm #1975149
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.Apr 10, 2013 at 9:10 pm #1975170
Jason GBPL Member
@jasongLocale: iceberg lake
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 generalApr 10, 2013 at 11:06 pm #1975207
Edward JursekBPL Member
@nedjursekgmail-comLocale: Pacific Northwest
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.Apr 10, 2013 at 11:08 pm #1975208
Dale WambaughBPL Member
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
Alcohol gel hand cleaner is easy. A small spark is all you need to set it off.Apr 10, 2013 at 11:49 pm #1975212
Hikin’ JimBPL Member
@hikin_jimLocale: Orange County, CA, USA
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.Apr 11, 2013 at 3:57 am #1975234
David NollBPL Member
@dpnollLocale: Maroon Bells
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.Apr 11, 2013 at 5:20 am #1975241
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.Apr 11, 2013 at 5:52 am #1975247
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.Apr 11, 2013 at 6:58 am #1975261
Derrick WhiteBPL Member
@mikuLocale: Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada
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.
DerrickApr 11, 2013 at 7:01 am #1975262
Cayenne RedmonkBPL Member
@redmonkLocale: Greater California Ecosystem
Scrape some of the cube to increase the surface area.Apr 11, 2013 at 1:08 pm #1975391
Robert KellyBPL Member
@qiwizLocale: UL gear @ QiWiz.net
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.Apr 13, 2013 at 9:59 am #1976207
Kevin BabioneBPL Member
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.Apr 13, 2013 at 11:05 am #1976225
Don AmundsonBPL Member
@amrowincLocale: Southern California
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.:-)Apr 13, 2013 at 11:07 am #1976226
"I carry a couple of trick birthday candles"
Brilliant! Thanks Kevin.Apr 13, 2013 at 11:19 am #1976229Apr 14, 2013 at 9:44 pm #1976700Apr 15, 2013 at 6:36 pm #1977014
"I carry a couple of trick birthday candles and use them to light"
I got some of these two years ago for a trip and things didn't turn out as planned. Most of them melted in the car on the way. The ones I rescued wouldn't stay lit in the wind well enough to get anything going that didn't already want to. They'd sputter and pop as they burned out, and sometimes almost got restarted, but then they'd be out again in a second. Much as my life-long experience might tend to suggest that I was born fire-impaired, I suspect I started to go wrong by picking the wrong brand. Do you know what kind worked well for you, Kevin?
PS to the hand sanitizer Esbit-lighters – this didn't work well for me, either, at least not at low temperature and high altitude. Some sanitizers are ~60% EtOH, others are ~ 70%. I suspect it makes a difference. Of course, I had the lower proof stuff.Apr 16, 2013 at 5:34 am #1977195
Kevin BabioneBPL Member
Sorry – I have no idea what brand I used…I just grabbed a couple from our "Party Drawer" at the house and threw them in my kit. I've had the same three candles in my bag for a couple of years.
I light a candle with my lighter and then, holding the candle as vertically as possible so it doesn't burn too quickly, light either my fire or the Esbit. I then extinguish the candle by either dunking it in a puddle (which always seems to be nearby when I need a candle) or just wet my fingers and extinguish the candle with a quick & soggy squeeze.Apr 16, 2013 at 12:43 pm #1977345
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