There’s nothing more aggravating than trying to light a grill or campfire with a weak, wimpy lighter. The flame flickers away. The breeze blows it out. Packing a quality lighter might seem like a no-brainer, but too many folks show up in the backyard or the backcountry with old lighters with worn spark wheels and barely enough fuel to juice a spark. Here are three lighters that will light a campfire, backyard grill, citronella candle, or tiki torch no matter the conditions.
These feature a handy storage hook that retracts into the handle. BIC
A time-tested lighter model takes the guesswork out of cranking up a flame. For general tasks like lighting a candle or a charcoal chimney, a small barrel lighter is really all you need. You’ll want to look for a child-proof safety guard that prevents small fingers from working the spark ring, and a pre-adjusted flame that provides a consistent light time after time. And one of the big advantages of a simple barrel lighter is they are inexpensive enough to buy a bunch and stash them in multiple places—kitchen drawers, workshop counters, even inside a grill so you’ll always have it on hand.
The bright colors means it’s nearly impossible to lose one of these in your drawers. BIC
Sometimes you need a lighter with a little bit of reach. Think about lighting a camping lantern or starting a campfire. Choosing a wand lighter makes life just a little bit easier, but don’t scrimp on quality. Look for a lighter with a sturdy metal wand and a comfortable grip so you can keep your hands well away from the fire. A two-stage safety trigger is a good idea—you’ll have to push one-tab forward to release the fuel, as another finger clicks on the spark. That keeps young children from playing with fire. And many wand lighters are still inexpensive enough to keep multiple units handy.
Still works in extreme winds. RONXS
Want to go seriously high-tech? Consider a flameless arc lighter. By producing a tiny plasma arc at the tip of the lighter, these next-generation tools are windproof and splash proof and reduce the use of plastics and fuel. Many are easily rechargeable using common USB technology, and come with very flexible necks that can be twisted and bent.