Best lightweight firestarter for an urban EDC?

Other provisions not covered above that may make survival easier if your life is tossed out of the norm. This section is for discussing everything from arc welders to underwear.

Moderator: ZS Global Moderators

Post Reply
User avatar
majorhavoc
ZS Donor
ZS Donor
Posts: 7024
Joined: Wed May 12, 2010 10:06 am
Favorite Zombie Movies: 28 Days Later, ZombieLand, Dawn of the Dead
Location: Maine

Best lightweight firestarter for an urban EDC?

Post by majorhavoc » Thu Feb 02, 2012 6:37 pm

I'm trying to settle on a light and reliable fire starter for my EDC. As far as EDC, I'm a minimalist. Besides my keys, wallet and cellphone, all I carry around with me is a mini multi-tool and a Leatherman S3 flashlight. I'm always toying with adding some paracord or a FAK, or some other functionality. But in my mind, the only EDC that makes sense for me is one that I'm willing to always have on me, every single day.

My GHB is always in my car and has a multitude of fire starters: waterproof matches, fire steel, and a butane lighter. But what one fire starter should I have on my person everyday? Bear in mind my area of operations is work in a fairly urban setting, but I live in the country. My daily commute involves about 30 miles round trip on a mix of highway and secondary roads. While the need to build a fire is not beyond the realm of possibility, a more likely scenario would be lighting a candle or maybe a small pack stove. Or using an open flame to seal the ends of paracord or a fraying seam on a pack or nylon jacket.

After reading Spyderco Monkey's outstanding review of lighters, I'm jonesing for an IMCO. But topping off the lighter every Sunday as he recommends seems burdensome for a non-smoker who can go weeks without needing to make fire for anything.

From a practical point of view for my EDC, I keep coming back to a humble book of matches tucked into a miniscule small zip log bag. Not sexy, but that could slide right into my wallet.

Anyone have any alternative ideas?

WhoShotJR
* * * * *
Posts: 1562
Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 7:26 pm
Location: OTP Atlanta

Re: Best lightweight firestarter for an urban EDC?

Post by WhoShotJR » Thu Feb 02, 2012 7:19 pm

I'd carry a mini Bic lighter, much more durable than a pack of matches and will start more fires. For small size and occasional use they're hard to beat.

User avatar
spyderco monkey
ZS Member
ZS Member
Posts: 644
Joined: Thu May 21, 2009 6:35 pm
Contact:

Re: Best lightweight firestarter for an urban EDC?

Post by spyderco monkey » Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:17 pm

Very glad you liked the review man.

For your needs, a keychain mini-bic is what I suggest. You can make one yourself for about $2 using the following tutorial:

Image

http://www.good-kit.com/diy-keychain-mini-bic/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Or you can buy a Keychain Bic Kydex sheath for $8.50 shipped from Matt: studeyknives@yahoo.com

Image

Either one is a good choice as it allows you to have a lighter that is very hard to lose. Either hooked to your keys, or connected to a jacket zipper pull.

If you're looking for a more intense lighter for around $40, you should get a Blazer PB207 or Blazer "little buddy." These are made in Japan, and have a lock on fuel lever and 20 minute burn time, making them tiny blowtorches instead of just powerful lighters.

Image

http://www.good-kit.com/prince-pocket-t ... fire-tool/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

A nice middle ground in terms of reliability and price is the Ronson Jetlite. I do not have a review on this, but they can be had for $5 at most CVS, Walmarts, and other drug stores. They're 100% metal, pretty heavy, and have a near legendary reliability according to numerous reviews on the Cigar forums. Not the sexiest, but they are reliable and offer pretty high performance for the price.

Image

Whatever you choose, they are all better than matches due to the increased level of fire (250-1000 lights per lighter) vs. 20 matches, 1/2 of which will blow out.

And +1 to Doc on road flares, nothing works better, although they can be had for about $1 each at ACE hardware.
“Few will understand me, but I write for the connoisseurs, trusting that they will not be offended by the confidence of my opinions.” Field Marshal Maurice Comte de Saxe, My Reveries, 1732

For honest, in-depth gear reviews, please visit:
http://www.good-kit.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

User avatar
majorhavoc
ZS Donor
ZS Donor
Posts: 7024
Joined: Wed May 12, 2010 10:06 am
Favorite Zombie Movies: 28 Days Later, ZombieLand, Dawn of the Dead
Location: Maine

Re: Best lightweight firestarter for an urban EDC?

Post by majorhavoc » Fri Feb 03, 2012 8:44 am

docdredd wrote: I started carrying flares in my fire kit after trying to start a fire in a January rain storm here in Ky. It had been raining for days and everything was soaked I tried every trick in my book and ended up having to drain some oil out of my car to get the soaked wood to burn. After that I Decided that I would never have that issue again, I figure If I cant start a fire with a road flare I deserve to freeze to death.
I actually thought your first response was a joke. While I'm sure a signal flare will quite reliably make fire, it doesn't exactly meet the criteria I indicated in my initial post.

WhoShotJR
* * * * *
Posts: 1562
Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 7:26 pm
Location: OTP Atlanta

Re: Best lightweight firestarter for an urban EDC?

Post by WhoShotJR » Fri Feb 03, 2012 9:03 am

I've bought two of those Ronson lighters from WalMART, think the price was $2.97 IIRC. Surprisingly good quality.

User avatar
Jamie
ZS Member
ZS Member
Posts: 9345
Joined: Sun Dec 03, 2006 8:06 pm
Favorite Zombie Movies: DOTD04, Special Dead, Shaun of the Dead, 28 ______ Later
Location: Adirondacks, NY
Contact:

Re: Best lightweight firestarter for an urban EDC?

Post by Jamie » Fri Feb 03, 2012 9:45 am

mini bic and a book of MRE matches...
"I don't want to survive. I want to live. " - Captain B. McCrea

Image
My Blog and website, dealing largely with my writing projects...I've published two novels, "Here Be Monsters" and "Caretakers", along with a pair of eBooks, "Mickey Slips" and "Bound for Home"...check them out!

User avatar
Woods Walker
ZS Global Moderator
ZS Global Moderator
Posts: 9404
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2006 5:15 pm
Location: CT

Re: Best lightweight firestarter for an urban EDC?

Post by Woods Walker » Fri Feb 03, 2012 2:42 pm

A Bic and did have a firesteel on the keys but that broke off. I will have to get another.
Image

"There's no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing"
"Do not mess with the forces of Nature, for thou art small and biodegradable!"

Best of Woods Walker's posts.

connecticut_yankee
* * *
Posts: 356
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 3:13 pm
Favorite Zombie Movies: Dawn of the Dead (2004)
Location: Connecticut

Re: Best lightweight firestarter for an urban EDC?

Post by connecticut_yankee » Fri Feb 03, 2012 4:42 pm

Zippo with a butane insert.

User avatar
Towanda
* * * * *
Posts: 3668
Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2007 2:02 am
Location: Ypsilanti, MI

Re: Best lightweight firestarter for an urban EDC?

Post by Towanda » Fri Feb 03, 2012 6:38 pm

I'm a fan of Djeep lighters.
Holding a grudge is like swallowing poison and expecting someone else to die.

Image
SMoAF wrote:You could have your very own Trunk SMoAF. That'd HAVE to have some practical value for you.

User avatar
111t
* * * * *
Posts: 1864
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2008 11:55 am
Location: OLEAN NEW YORK USA EARTH

Re: Best lightweight firestarter for an urban EDC?

Post by 111t » Fri Feb 03, 2012 9:41 pm

WhoShotJR wrote:I've bought two of those Ronson lighters from WalMART, think the price was $2.97 IIRC. Surprisingly good quality.
Guess who bought Ronson...

http://www.cigaraficionado.com/webfeatures/show/id/3812" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

@ the OP I've edc'd a mini bic for several years. I recommend it for your stated use. If it gets wet blow hard on the top. I find this usually clears it up. The biggest problem i had was pocket lint which theoretically should make it work better but in my experience it didn't. It must have blocked the spark.

Imcos are cool, but zippos are better IMHO. (It may be a geographical bias) I wouldn't recommend carrying either in your wallet.
Last edited by 111t on Fri Feb 03, 2012 9:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
All the best!
-Paul

"A rifle behind every blade of grass?"
"No, but any blade of grass"

Ferrocerium...You know how to spell it... This is how you pronounce it...[fer-oh-seer-ee-uhm]
Bushcraft/Dayhiking Kit
Three season 72 Hour Kit
Ledmark alcohol cookset!!!
New Production Kerosene Pressure Stoves!!!
Car Emergency Preparedness Kit

User avatar
spyderco monkey
ZS Member
ZS Member
Posts: 644
Joined: Thu May 21, 2009 6:35 pm
Contact:

Re: Best lightweight firestarter for an urban EDC?

Post by spyderco monkey » Fri Feb 03, 2012 9:54 pm

111t wrote:
WhoShotJR wrote:I've bought two of those Ronson lighters from WalMART, think the price was $2.97 IIRC. Surprisingly good quality.
Guess who bought Ronson...
Zippo!
“Few will understand me, but I write for the connoisseurs, trusting that they will not be offended by the confidence of my opinions.” Field Marshal Maurice Comte de Saxe, My Reveries, 1732

For honest, in-depth gear reviews, please visit:
http://www.good-kit.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Post Reply

Return to “Other Gear”