WhiteBlaze Pages
A Complete Appalachian Trail Guidebook.
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  1. #21

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    I carry a lighter and a flint. I use both to light my alc stove, just depends on how I feel. One of the guys I hiked a section with a week ago only used a flint. Lighters are by far the most common that I saw but flints were no surprise to anyone. Just a thing for me but I always carry a backup for starting a fire.

  2. #22

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    I actually prefer the cheap Asian lighters that don't require you to press that little tab down to ire up the bic.
    I've had problems when my hands are very cold and the hypothermia setting in with those things.
    But those cheap ones can go dry much quicker as the flame can be set to go a lot higher. (which can be nice when trying to start a fire also)
    Don't know where you buy them in the states.
    I'd hit chinatown in a major city to look probably.
    Don't let your fears stand in the way of your dreams

  3. #23
    Registered User rusty bumper's Avatar
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    Mini Bic and a dozen waterproof matches in a ziploc.

  4. #24
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    I'd prefer to carry a 3rd lighter in a baggie. Hiking done right isn't survival, it's an extended picnic - in my opinion.

  5. #25
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    A small container of lint or cotton soaked in Vaseline, kerosene or even your cooking oil would be more helpful than flint and steel. Even the sparks from a dead lighter could conceivably get that combination going. And in the end that would be using flint and steel.

  6. #26

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    If you have trouble starting a fire with flint and steel its probably because you're not using them correctly. Properly done it shouldn't take you any longer than using a bic lighter, which I agree most people will lose before it fails on you.

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by 750ml View Post
    A small container of lint or cotton soaked in Vaseline, kerosene or even your cooking oil would be more helpful than flint and steel. Even the sparks from a dead lighter could conceivably get that combination going. And in the end that would be using flint and steel.
    I can attest that works. Last winter, deep in the heart of some very cold weather, my lighter didn't want to work but the sparks did indeed ignite the cotton ball with Vaseline.

  8. #28
    Registered User 4Bears's Avatar
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    I carry a Bic and a few stick matches, also have a fire steel that is hanging on a zipper pull. Not one for a fire when hiking, find it too much work unless absolutely needed, burning enough calories walking, without foraging for firewood for anything more than a cooking or survival fire. If tinder is needed I usually have a chip bag along, throw a little tinder inside and light it off, handy when it is a bit windy.
    "You have brains in your head/You have feet in your shoes/You can steer yourself in any direction you choose." - Dr. Seuss

  9. #29

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    I have a small diameter Swedish Firesteel to draw toward me across my zelph Starlyte stove. It's fun.

    The weight penalty isn't much. It weighs less than a mini BIC lighter.

  10. #30
    Registered User Doughnut's Avatar
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    I met a honey mooning couple in the 100 mile wilderness who was carrying a 40' rope from a shrimping boat! His new Uncle-In-Law told him "You'll need this on the trail" Of course the Uncle has never hiked,,,, Look at the source of what you'll "need". before you pack it!!

    That' why White Blaze I such an awesome sight!

  11. #31
    Registered User Kookork's Avatar
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    I carry a small Bic for normal situations and a small flint & steel for very cold situations. Here in Canada in dead of winter Bic is not reliable to start a stove and I have been in occasions that my hands and fingers had lost it's dexterity to use a Bic lighter that is not designed for extreme cold.
    I can always rely on a flint and steel in any situation ( extreme cold and wet weather) but I can't rely on a lighter to save the day. If not hiking in very cold weather then a Bic ( or two) does the job.

  12. #32
    Registered User pdmayfield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarcasm the elf View Post
    I carry a mini bic in my food bag and keep a backup one in my first aid kit. Bics almost never fail, the biggest risk is losing them.

    To me those firesteel type strikers are primarily a novelty. They do a great job of keeping boy scouts occupied in a productive fashion while outdoors (I probably went through 10 of them in scouts), but there are just far more practical ways of making fire for my purposes.

    There are some people who swear by firesteel for lighting my alcohol stoves, but that's not my are of expertise.
    Recently I have been exploring bushcrafting. Also, recently did a 30 mi section. I made two fires on this section. Carried ferro-rod (aka firesteel) and a bic lighter. never used the bic lighter and made the fastest fires I have ever made in my life. I'll always carry a bic and/or matches in my fire kit as back up, but i'm using ferro-rods from now.

  13. #33
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    I carry a box of waterproof matches sealed in a Food Saver bag as a back up. I use a Bic lighter for lighting my stove.

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    "Chainsaw" GA-ME 2011

  14. #34
    Registered User lonehiker's Avatar
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    I only carry a tiny flint and steel. Works perfectly for my alcohol stove and I don't burn the hair on back of my fingers as I did with the mini Bic.
    Lonehiker

  15. #35
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    I carry a flint & steel with two bics as my primary fire source if needed. I use a large steel washer about the size of a quarter to strike against the flint, I feel it works better. (more sparks)
    Kookork brings up an excellent point, that in front of our computers or on warm days our hands will work perfect, but when cold sets into them flint and steel can be very difficult to use. I know that we need to prevent hands from turning into blocks of wood, but it does happen. It happened to me two weeks ago taking my mitts off to take a few pics.

  16. #36
    NOBO toBennington, VT plus 187 mi in MH & ME
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    I had a Boy Scout Flint and Steel kit as a youth. Came with a handful or straw. I must have spent a week over the years, trying to start a fire. Never came close.
    Recently, I saw a frontier reenactor use flint to start a fire and it was "Like using a match". Then, I googled and the secret seems to be "char cloth". It is cloth carburized inside a tin (like altoids") in a fire. One spark on the cloth and blow and VIOLA!!
    Grinder
    AT hiker : It's the journey, not the destination

  17. #37
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    A few cotton balls smeared with a bit of petroleum jelly tucked away in that Altoids tin with the firesteel is all you need.

  18. #38

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    Any Zippo fans out there?

  19. #39
    Clueless Weekender Another Kevin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wormer View Post
    I carry a flint & steel with two bics as my primary fire source if needed. I use a large steel washer about the size of a quarter to strike against the flint, I feel it works better. (more sparks)
    Kookork brings up an excellent point, that in front of our computers or on warm days our hands will work perfect, but when cold sets into them flint and steel can be very difficult to use. I know that we need to prevent hands from turning into blocks of wood, but it does happen. It happened to me two weeks ago taking my mitts off to take a few pics.
    On the contrary, I find that a Bic is hard to work with cold hands. A firesteel is much easier.
    I always know where I am. I'm right here.

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