Tips n tricks

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This topic contains 10 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Crow Bar 1 year, 8 months ago.

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  • #5331

    Mouse Wizard

    I’ll start.

    Zippo lighters. Two things besides the obvious of stocking spare flints and wicks:

    1. You don’t need Zippo fuel. Naptha is the same thing without the pretty odor and you can buy it by the gallon from any hardware store.
    2. Blue painters tape. Wrap it around the seam and joint between lid and body. The tape stays stuck unlike other tapes, and the lighter fuel lasts for weeks instead of days.


  • #5334

    Crow Bar

    Pretty odor?

    My wife smokes.  Pretty odor is not what I would call it.

    The on board fuel supply of a Zippo lighter is not infinite.  Based off my wife’s use, pretty limited.  Even if it were sealed, with even light use that supply will not last long.

    Unless you want to hump that gallon of lighter fluid in your pack/BOB.

    Water proof matches, wax based fire starters, cotton balls rolled in vasaline, might be a better bet.  At least then you know exactly how much is left vs wondering if every time you open the Zippo, will it light?

  • #5337

    Mouse Wizard

    Depends on how long you’ll have to be doing the lighting. There’s a reason your wife doesn’t use matches. A small bottle of naptha in your BOB will yield more successful fires than a pack full of matches, and will work in the wind where matches or a Bic lighter will fail repeatedly. Zippos are designed to do that.

    So if your bugout plan is only days to a week long, matches will do fine as long as you have those wax based fire starters to keep the flame going. For a “get home when stranded on a trip” pack, I’ll take the Zippo and fuel.

    And the blue tape.

  • #5344

    Crow Bar

    Actually my wife only uses the Zippo to light her cigarettes.

    We use matches for the candles and the wood stove and the wood furnace.  Nearly every day.  Unless we have a bed of coals to work with.  Then we add some tinder, and thin cut wood strips to start.

    A Bic or a Zippo gets hot, burns the user (believe me, I know via personal experience), and the fuel does not last long, especially in a non-perfect environment, like when it has been raining all day, or in the snow.

    That is when matches and your own tinder, or wax based fire starters come in handy.

  • #5383

    Mouse Wizard

    Well, I think that about covers it for Zippo lighters. Does anyone have other short tips and tricks they’ve learned over the years?

  • #5404

    OldMt Woman

    This doesn’t speak to long-term Stuff Hits Fan.  But if anyone is using the air-activated hand/feet warmers…you can save their hours of use.  Say you have a packet that will keep heating for 7 hrs.  You go out and do chores and are back inside within 2 hrs.  You can save the other 5 hours of use by sealing the packs in a small airtight container.  We just use small Ziplock bags..which are not that air-tight but ok for this.  The pack will continue to use up the air in the container….and then shut down the chemical reaction.

    Next day you open them up to air again…and stuff them into your gloves.  Repeat until they have used up the chemical causing the heat reaction with air.


  • #5418

    Mouse Wizard

    Now that’s what I’m talking about! Keep ’em coming guys.

  • #5424

    Crow Bar

    Cheap firestarters.

    Cardboard egg cartons.  Dryer lint.  Old candle wax.  Run your banking statements/medical records/etc. through a shredder and you can add those too.  I have added wood shavings, torn up cardboard, in the past.

    A “dozen” only weights 9oz.

    One will burn for a good 10minutes.



  • #5432

    Crow Bar

    Clarification:  When I say “one,” I mean one of the egg compartments.

    Not the whole dozen.

  • #5440

    Osito Arelano

    Also cheap firestarters

    Cotton balls and vaseline.

    Just smother the cotton balls in the vaseline. Store in anything you can make mostly air tight.

    You really only need one cotton ball to start decent kindling. Not as long of a burn as Crow Bar’s, but I’ve had success with it.

    Found a nice article on it

  • #5441

    Crow Bar

    @Osito Arelano,

    Good one!


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