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Q:
would you guys reccomend a zippo in a survival situation.

Question by J4huntfish. Uploaded on January 17, 2010

Answers (29)

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from Edward J. Palumbo wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

I don't smoke, so it's unlikely I'd carry one. I have brought a small magnifying glass with me, and it earned its keep.

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from mcdlacrosse9 wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

I'd go with matches in a waterproof container myself.

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from combat.medic wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

I would only bring a zippo with plenty of extra fluid. I figure I would probably be tempted to use the fluid as a fire starter. I would be more likely to bring windproof-waterproof matches in a waterproof container and a couple mini bic lighters. There's also a few field methods that, depending on experience, you could use in a tight spot. Also consider what you would use for kindling. If you're caught in the rain, you need something dry. If you click through the survival links on Field and Stream's site, you should be able to find the survival kit in an altoids can. I might not go with that exact kit, but it brings up a lot of good ideas.

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from johnycakes wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

Anything you can start a fire with is good.

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from Hobob wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

I always carry a plastic lighter because its cheaper. Zippo style lighters I have owned were leaky sometimes but they were cheap ripoffs.

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from bigjake wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

I carry several Bick lighters when in the outdoors, Zippos leak fluid occasionally which has a smell most game can easily detect.In my experience Zippos are usually empty or low on fuel anytime you need em.

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from Brian Phipps wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

i like to carry a couple bic lighters in someting waterproof as well as a magnesium fire starter(coghlans makes a good one that is pretty cheap)

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from country road wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

In addition to the reasons already stated, I think Bic lighters are better for survival because they can lie around for months without drying out like Zippos. I used to use Zippo lighters years ago before I stopped smoking---now I carry a Bic and find myself using it often for such things as lighting the fireplace and burning the end of synthetic cord to keep it from fraying.

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from Edward J. Palumbo wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

I asked a shooting associate how he started a campfire without matches, and he replied, "I usually rub two Boy Scouts together." I think the Zippo is an improvement over that, but I agree with those who suggested matches in a waterproof case. I carry a small quantity of dryer lint in a 35mm film container to use as tinder, and a friend improved on that by adding a small quantity of Sterno fuel or vaseline petroleum jelly to the lint.

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from combat.medic wrote 4 years 13 weeks ago

I'm not so sure that I would rub two boy scouts together... some might get offended or start cracking Michael Jackson jokes... but I do like the dryer lint idea. that stuff is pure kindling edge, so it would go up quick. And if you can get ahold of a couple ounces of C4, that would work pretty well too. most people don't realize, C4 actually burns quite well, and won't explode unless you put it under pressure... so just light it and don't shoot it... if you manage to get ahold of some in the first place. I understand the government doesn't like the average person to have stuff like that!

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from country road wrote 4 years 13 weeks ago

Edward---You've got it wrong. You're supposed to rub a Boy Scout and a Girl Scout together. One of the best fire starters around is Fritos Corn Chips---just don't eat the kindling. Doritos work, too.

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from MLH wrote 4 years 13 weeks ago

Just don't forget to periodically replace those Zippo flints. Cheaper and more dependable to just flick your Bic.

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from hnestle wrote 4 years 13 weeks ago

Carry a bic, if the cotton in a zippo gets wet it won't dry out.

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from BrigMarine wrote 4 years 13 weeks ago

yes

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from PSEbowhunter wrote 4 years 13 weeks ago

i prefer sticks and shoelaces to make a friction bow...its a challenge

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from Sourdough Dave wrote 4 years 13 weeks ago

A zippo is one of the fire starters I always carry. I have found that butane won't always light in cold weather( usually when a fire is needed most) I also carry a matchsafe filled with "strike anywhere" matches mixed with toothpick sized slivers of wood to use as tinder. Fire is so critical to survival, I learned the hard way to always carry more than one way to make fire. I live where a winter night out without at least fire will deffinately kill you and have been in that predicament. In addition to the above, when I go out I also carry a magnesium fire starter in my pack and a film canister of cottonballs smeared with petroleum jelly, and on a cord around my neck I carry a swedish fire steel with its striker and another waterproof vile of petroleum jelly smeared cottonballs. The popular bic is unreliable in the cold and unreliable can kill. With the mittens off you don't have time to dink around with lighters that don't want to light. Been there.

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from Teodoro wrote 4 years 13 weeks ago

I went camping two nights ago. I was above 5,000 feet in Va., with between a foot and a foot and a half of snow in most places, depending on drift.

I used a little newspaper, a cotton ball swabbed with petroleum jelly and a mini bic. I also scrounged some carboard and aluminum foil to keep the fire off of the snow.

I also had strike-anywhere and conventional matches in a variety of waterproof containers stashed throughout my pack.

I also used lighter fluid to stack the deck.

Everything worked great, and I had a lovely hot dinner before hitting the sack, which turned out to be a wet, windy, lumpy experience.

I have noticed that my swabbed cotton balls are starting to dry out, even in their zip-lock bag. I'll have to use them up around the house, and make a few new ones.

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from casey117 wrote 4 years 13 weeks ago

im a boy scout and id use a flint an steal or a couple bics because their cheap and light weight.

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from Jeff Bowers wrote 4 years 13 weeks ago

Bic lighters are the safest and easiest. Keep them in different places, like pants, belt, pack, car, etc.

You don't have to worry about running out, because one will last months. Even if torn in half, they are still great spark producers, with a very long flint. (Has anyone ever run a flint out before the gas?)

Since the Marines teach this item in cold weather survival, I accept it as fact.

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from Arcamedies wrote 4 years 13 weeks ago

Colibri, I think that's how you spell it, makes a jet lighter that is water proof and will even light under water for about 35$

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from spartan88 wrote 4 years 9 weeks ago

I would not rely on a zippo. I love zippos for everyday use. However, I have let a zippo full of fluid sit for about a year and all the fluid had evaporated. If you fill the zippo up each time before you go out it would be fine (I do not know how well they work when wet).

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from FETTY wrote 4 years 9 weeks ago

i always carry a bic lighter they are cheap yet reliable

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from hickboy518 wrote 4 years 6 weeks ago

zippos if not used will dry out and need to be refilled bring a bic and waterproof matches as well as some otehr kind of fire started suck as flint and steel or a magnisiam fire starter.. idont know if you have looked at fire pistons but they are really neat too

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from quinnm107 wrote 3 years 43 weeks ago

I carry a Zippo in my pocket, a ferro rod on my knife sheath [www.hedgehogletherworks.com], a magnesium/ferro rod set, pro-force matches [storm matches], and different tinder items [Wet-fire cubes, jute twin, petroleum jelly cotton balls]

But like the others have said the Zippo does dry out, I live in AZ and it drys out just about every week, so I have to fill it up before hitting any trails or it won't work.

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from 6strings wrote 3 years 30 weeks ago

i prefer zippos in windy conditions they stay lit longer

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from dpatterson wrote 3 years 21 weeks ago

NO I use to carry a zippo when I was younger untill I had one freez up on me and my hands were too numb to thaw it out.Plus they stink and if it leaks in your pocket youv had a bad day

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from chaslee wrote 3 years 17 weeks ago

a Bic lighter and a small bottle of Purell hand sanitizer. The hand sanitizer burns and is great for starting a quick fire.

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from a.rank wrote 2 years 12 weeks ago

get a butane lighter with a strong flame! zippos are great but if it's windy you'll have a tough time getting anything lit besides the zippo. you can get decent ones at any gas station for under 5$. carry this, a sparking rod, and some birchbark and you're good to go!

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from william E. wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

yes

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from Edward J. Palumbo wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

I don't smoke, so it's unlikely I'd carry one. I have brought a small magnifying glass with me, and it earned its keep.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from mcdlacrosse9 wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

I'd go with matches in a waterproof container myself.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from bigjake wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

I carry several Bick lighters when in the outdoors, Zippos leak fluid occasionally which has a smell most game can easily detect.In my experience Zippos are usually empty or low on fuel anytime you need em.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sourdough Dave wrote 4 years 13 weeks ago

A zippo is one of the fire starters I always carry. I have found that butane won't always light in cold weather( usually when a fire is needed most) I also carry a matchsafe filled with "strike anywhere" matches mixed with toothpick sized slivers of wood to use as tinder. Fire is so critical to survival, I learned the hard way to always carry more than one way to make fire. I live where a winter night out without at least fire will deffinately kill you and have been in that predicament. In addition to the above, when I go out I also carry a magnesium fire starter in my pack and a film canister of cottonballs smeared with petroleum jelly, and on a cord around my neck I carry a swedish fire steel with its striker and another waterproof vile of petroleum jelly smeared cottonballs. The popular bic is unreliable in the cold and unreliable can kill. With the mittens off you don't have time to dink around with lighters that don't want to light. Been there.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from combat.medic wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

I would only bring a zippo with plenty of extra fluid. I figure I would probably be tempted to use the fluid as a fire starter. I would be more likely to bring windproof-waterproof matches in a waterproof container and a couple mini bic lighters. There's also a few field methods that, depending on experience, you could use in a tight spot. Also consider what you would use for kindling. If you're caught in the rain, you need something dry. If you click through the survival links on Field and Stream's site, you should be able to find the survival kit in an altoids can. I might not go with that exact kit, but it brings up a lot of good ideas.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from johnycakes wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

Anything you can start a fire with is good.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hobob wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

I always carry a plastic lighter because its cheaper. Zippo style lighters I have owned were leaky sometimes but they were cheap ripoffs.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from country road wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

In addition to the reasons already stated, I think Bic lighters are better for survival because they can lie around for months without drying out like Zippos. I used to use Zippo lighters years ago before I stopped smoking---now I carry a Bic and find myself using it often for such things as lighting the fireplace and burning the end of synthetic cord to keep it from fraying.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from combat.medic wrote 4 years 13 weeks ago

I'm not so sure that I would rub two boy scouts together... some might get offended or start cracking Michael Jackson jokes... but I do like the dryer lint idea. that stuff is pure kindling edge, so it would go up quick. And if you can get ahold of a couple ounces of C4, that would work pretty well too. most people don't realize, C4 actually burns quite well, and won't explode unless you put it under pressure... so just light it and don't shoot it... if you manage to get ahold of some in the first place. I understand the government doesn't like the average person to have stuff like that!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from country road wrote 4 years 13 weeks ago

Edward---You've got it wrong. You're supposed to rub a Boy Scout and a Girl Scout together. One of the best fire starters around is Fritos Corn Chips---just don't eat the kindling. Doritos work, too.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from MLH wrote 4 years 13 weeks ago

Just don't forget to periodically replace those Zippo flints. Cheaper and more dependable to just flick your Bic.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from casey117 wrote 4 years 13 weeks ago

im a boy scout and id use a flint an steal or a couple bics because their cheap and light weight.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jeff Bowers wrote 4 years 13 weeks ago

Bic lighters are the safest and easiest. Keep them in different places, like pants, belt, pack, car, etc.

You don't have to worry about running out, because one will last months. Even if torn in half, they are still great spark producers, with a very long flint. (Has anyone ever run a flint out before the gas?)

Since the Marines teach this item in cold weather survival, I accept it as fact.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from spartan88 wrote 4 years 9 weeks ago

I would not rely on a zippo. I love zippos for everyday use. However, I have let a zippo full of fluid sit for about a year and all the fluid had evaporated. If you fill the zippo up each time before you go out it would be fine (I do not know how well they work when wet).

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Brian Phipps wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

i like to carry a couple bic lighters in someting waterproof as well as a magnesium fire starter(coghlans makes a good one that is pretty cheap)

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Edward J. Palumbo wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

I asked a shooting associate how he started a campfire without matches, and he replied, "I usually rub two Boy Scouts together." I think the Zippo is an improvement over that, but I agree with those who suggested matches in a waterproof case. I carry a small quantity of dryer lint in a 35mm film container to use as tinder, and a friend improved on that by adding a small quantity of Sterno fuel or vaseline petroleum jelly to the lint.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from hnestle wrote 4 years 13 weeks ago

Carry a bic, if the cotton in a zippo gets wet it won't dry out.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from PSEbowhunter wrote 4 years 13 weeks ago

i prefer sticks and shoelaces to make a friction bow...its a challenge

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Teodoro wrote 4 years 13 weeks ago

I went camping two nights ago. I was above 5,000 feet in Va., with between a foot and a foot and a half of snow in most places, depending on drift.

I used a little newspaper, a cotton ball swabbed with petroleum jelly and a mini bic. I also scrounged some carboard and aluminum foil to keep the fire off of the snow.

I also had strike-anywhere and conventional matches in a variety of waterproof containers stashed throughout my pack.

I also used lighter fluid to stack the deck.

Everything worked great, and I had a lovely hot dinner before hitting the sack, which turned out to be a wet, windy, lumpy experience.

I have noticed that my swabbed cotton balls are starting to dry out, even in their zip-lock bag. I'll have to use them up around the house, and make a few new ones.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Arcamedies wrote 4 years 13 weeks ago

Colibri, I think that's how you spell it, makes a jet lighter that is water proof and will even light under water for about 35$

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from quinnm107 wrote 3 years 43 weeks ago

I carry a Zippo in my pocket, a ferro rod on my knife sheath [www.hedgehogletherworks.com], a magnesium/ferro rod set, pro-force matches [storm matches], and different tinder items [Wet-fire cubes, jute twin, petroleum jelly cotton balls]

But like the others have said the Zippo does dry out, I live in AZ and it drys out just about every week, so I have to fill it up before hitting any trails or it won't work.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from BrigMarine wrote 4 years 13 weeks ago

yes

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from FETTY wrote 4 years 9 weeks ago

i always carry a bic lighter they are cheap yet reliable

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from hickboy518 wrote 4 years 6 weeks ago

zippos if not used will dry out and need to be refilled bring a bic and waterproof matches as well as some otehr kind of fire started suck as flint and steel or a magnisiam fire starter.. idont know if you have looked at fire pistons but they are really neat too

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 6strings wrote 3 years 30 weeks ago

i prefer zippos in windy conditions they stay lit longer

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from dpatterson wrote 3 years 21 weeks ago

NO I use to carry a zippo when I was younger untill I had one freez up on me and my hands were too numb to thaw it out.Plus they stink and if it leaks in your pocket youv had a bad day

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from chaslee wrote 3 years 17 weeks ago

a Bic lighter and a small bottle of Purell hand sanitizer. The hand sanitizer burns and is great for starting a quick fire.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from a.rank wrote 2 years 12 weeks ago

get a butane lighter with a strong flame! zippos are great but if it's windy you'll have a tough time getting anything lit besides the zippo. you can get decent ones at any gas station for under 5$. carry this, a sparking rod, and some birchbark and you're good to go!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from william E. wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

yes

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