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lighting esbits… something better than a mini-bic


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Home Forums General Forums General Lightweight Backpacking Discussion lighting esbits… something better than a mini-bic

Viewing 17 posts - 1 through 17 (of 17 total)
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  • #3756656
    Mark Verber
    BPL Member

    @verber

    Locale: San Francisco Bay Area

    For the last 10 years or so I have been using esbits. I typically start them using a mini-bic (either shave a bit of the tablet or using a bit of hand sanitizer to ease the starting).  In the last year I have had two failures. The first was my fingers were too cold to work the lighter. The second time the sparking wheel wouldn’t rotate. I always have some stormproof matches in my emergency kit, so it wasn’t a problem… but when something happened more than once I start to wonder if there is a better alternative?

    #3756666
    Jerry Adams
    BPL Member

    @retiredjerry

    Locale: Oregon and Washington

    These are pretty good for starting fires.

    1.3 ounces

    The torch flame is fairly small.  They also have some that are bigger and heavier.

    #3756672
    David Thomas
    BPL Member

    @davidinkenai

    Locale: North Woods. Far North.

    Be warned – those “turbo” torch lighters aren’t allowed on carry-on bags on flights (but, like Victorinox Classics, they have to notice them).  No butane lighters are allowed in checked bags unless properly secured in a TSA-approved case.  Alas, the Colibri Tranzpack TSA was $50 a decade ago and doesn’t appear to be available anymore.

    But, yes, I’d expect them to be considerably better at igniting Esbit quickly.

    And, as a bit of emergency kit, I’d prefer them if I needed to get some wet wood burning.

    #3756678
    Ryan Jordan
    Admin

    @ryan

    Locale: Central Rockies

    Caveat: the reliability of pressurized lighters will start to decrease at altitudes above 9,000 feet or so.

    I discarded a mini bic in favor of the Bic Classic. Way more reliable, and the Classic has been in the kits of high altitude mountaineers for decades.

    I always carry a backup emergency fire kit that still works when it’s been submersed in water: Tinder Quik tabs + Firesteel. Half a TQ tab (ignited by the Firesteel) gets an Esbit tab going just fine.

    #3756679
    Mark Verber
    BPL Member

    @verber

    Locale: San Francisco Bay Area

    I don’t need a mini blast torch that makes lighting ease.  Nor am I looking for guarantee to work when submerged / worse conditions. I always carry emergency fire-starting kit which survives being submerge. What I am looking for is the easy 80% solution (when it’s not an emergency):  reliable, 1 hand operation, works 0-14k ft.  sounds like returning to the normal bic might be the answer.

    #3756686
    Mole J
    BPL Member

    @mole

    Locale: UK

    For years I’ve taken a dropper bottle of ethanol fuel with me when using Esbit. A few drops onto the tab then spark it up. Gets it going. A 5 ml bottle lasts more than a weekend trip, a 20 ml for a 2 week trip. Using 3 tabs a day.

    #3756690
    Jerry Adams
    BPL Member

    @retiredjerry

    Locale: Oregon and Washington

    Yeah, if you want to go over 10K feet then you don’t want a piezo lighter

    Those mini torch lighters aren’t really a “blast torch”.  There are similar lighters that are bigger and are more of a blast torch.  That lighter I linked to is a compromise between a blast torch and a bic lighter.

    #3756694
    dirtbag
    BPL Member

    @dirtbaghiker

    If its chilly out, forget the mini bic lighter. I use a full size bic lighter now.. had the cold finger problem once.. and that was it.

    #3756708
    Mark Verber
    BPL Member

    @verber

    Locale: San Francisco Bay Area

    sort of a tangent.  for emergency lighting what do people use?  I see Ryan using firesteel.  I bring  a spark-lite and some waterproof matches.

    #3756718
    Jerry Adams
    BPL Member

    @retiredjerry

    Locale: Oregon and Washington

    I bring two lighters

    #3756728
    dirtbag
    BPL Member

    @dirtbaghiker

    I have a small ferro rod and striker. Works every time i have used it… not to light an esbit tab though… I do carry a few waterproof matches also.  Redundant yes.. but they all do not weigh much.. and in winter time I MIGHT need a fire and i most likely definitely need to get my stove lit to melt snow for water..

    #3756729
    Jon Fong
    BPL Member

    @jonfong

    Locale: FLAT CAT GEAR

    Light my fire (fire steel).  It takes practice but you can light Esbit with fire ateel.

    #3756734
    Link .
    BPL Member

    @annapurna

    #3756737
    JCH
    BPL Member

    @pastyj-2-2

    Never seen the BIC EZ Reach before.  It is a piezo ignition?

     

    #3756756
    Bruce Tolley
    BPL Member

    @btolley

    Locale: San Francisco Bay Area

    @ Mark

    In winter, I bring three sources of ignition: firesteel, matches, and a lighter.  With no moving parts and the ability to work in wet weather, the firesteel is probably the most reliable source. A Bic that is empty of butane will throw sparks but not as many as a firesteel.  The firesteel does depend on my skill in making sparks and in finding dry tinder. In summer, two lighters.

    This has been a very interesting thread.  Now I am going try my firesteel on esbit.

    #3756758
    Mark Verber
    BPL Member

    @verber

    Locale: San Francisco Bay Area

    I was never able to get esbits started directly with firesteel.  I will be impressed if you can.  I would start tinder (or hand sanitizer) which would start the esbits. I switched several years ago from fire steel to spark-lite because I wanted one hand operations.  With the mini-bic I never had a failure due to fuel… it was always the sparking wheel locking up.

    #3756787
    Chris R
    BPL Member

    @bothwell-voyageur

    I assume you have removed the shiney “ safety strip” from around the wheel?

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