Andrew Myrant - May 15, 2019
After reading the article I’m starting to question how useful matches are in comparison to lighters. Do matches still rank as a better backup than steel and flint?
Jon StokesStaff - May 15, 2019
I don’t think they do. Here’s what I’d want, in this order:
2. Fire steel
3. Stormproof matches
You don’t have to worry about a ferro rod getting too damp and not working or disintegrating on you. It’s simple, effective, and works consistently.
Andrew Myrant - May 15, 2019
That makes sense. So the reason to want fire steel is it is the most durable and ultimate in longevity as a back up. Otherwise an actual lighter is always the go to
John RameyStaff - May 16, 2019
Basically. Lighters are a wonderful prep item because they’re cheap, common, and just work. Matches are easier to use than strikers, but you can only carry so many (vs. a striker that has potentially thousands of lights).
In the end, they all work together to cover your bases for prepping, which also creates redundancy.
We’re working on the sister articles for matches and strikers now.
Bo Mack - August 10, 2020
what about zippo.
hikermor - March 11, 2021
I’ve been in situations where I really needed fire, mostly in my youth, and matches (common ordinary kitchen matches) worked every time. Today I carry stormproof matches in a waterproof case, ferro rods, and a Bic lighter, also waterproofed. pretty sure I will have heat and fire when necessary…..
Jay ValenciaContributor - March 11, 2021
Bo Mack, while I absolutely love my Zippo, it isn’t that great a lighter for survival and preparedness. Zippos leak and evaporate the lighter fluid you put in it. Even if I don’t use my Zippo, I still have to fill it up every week because it evaporates so quickly.
And then there’s the butane BIC lighter that I’ve had sitting here for 5 years without any loss of fluid. I’d much rather rely on a BIC lighter for an emergency than a Zippo.
Jay ValenciaContributor - November 30, 2021
There’s a plasma arc insert for a Zippo that I may get sometime that I just came across.
Weeksecret - July 12, 2021
What about the Douglass field S? I’ve never tested it, but it’s suppose to be air thight, waterproof, no cap to loose, a back up fuel tank, a spare flint rod and can use many type of fuel like a zipo, seem like a good one for prepping
But it’s really expensive
平子温 - December 27, 2021
I checked the structure and review of that lighter.
I think it is a good lighter, but I don’t think it is suitable for preparation.
It requires regular maintenance due to the large number of parts and complexity.
I don’t think it will work properly if left for more than a year.
However, I would like to have a third option because peanut lighters are not sold in my country.
Jay ValenciaContributor - December 27, 2021
Hey Weeksecret, I got around to looking at the Douglass field S lighter and am very impressed. Here’s a video review I saw on it:
It looks to be very high quality, I like the windproof design that BICs don’t have, the O-rings will stop fuel evaporation and make it waterproof, and it has nice features like extra fuel and flint storage.
I agree with this other user 平子温 that it does have a large number of parts and many many O-Rings that will need replacements.
I would say that it is a good preparedness lighter, but have a backup flame source and replacement parts handy.
平子温 - December 30, 2021
Thanks for the new information.
I did some research after that, and it seems that there are two other famous oil lighters, RONSON and IMCO.
They are not as good as MARATAC, but they seem to be more sealed than ZIPPO. These are also available in Japan, so I will go check them out.
Weeksecret - March 1, 2022
Genuine question though, is one o-ring really better than a bunch? They should last the same no?
What about the sainless one? If properly stored, I don’t think rust will be a problem no?
Jay ValenciaContributor - March 1, 2022
I would like to get an IMCO lighter. They have a similar build to the Douglass but have a few other nice tricks like variable flame height adjuster and ability to take out the entire flame housing and use it like a candle or stick it into tight places.
IMCO was an Austrian company until like 2002/03 when they were bought out and manufactured in China. I don’t know if quality improved or declined after the buyout, but be aware of that. If you want an Austrian one, buy a used one on eBay.
Stainless shouldn’t rust if properly stored, and O rings will probably wear at at different times depending on which ones are used and exposed more than others that aren’t. O rings are very cheap and readily available online or any hardware store. Not a big deal.
平子温 - May 15, 2022
It has been a while.
I purchased an IMCO lighter in January of this year and after
I filled it up with oil on Feb. 23rd and tried every week after that to see how long I could ignite it.
The fact that it recently stopped igniting on May 12 confirms that it can be ignited for about 3 months once it is refilled.
We also confirmed that it can ignite even after being stored in the freezer for almost an hour.
While it would not be suitable for EDC like MARATAC, it appears to be a sufficient application for use after a disaster has occurred.
Jay ValenciaContributor - May 15, 2022
If the fluid lasts in there for 3 months, then an IMCO really is a good option to use after a disaster. That is impressive, I can only get about a week out of my Zippo.
Thank you too for testing it in the freezer. Not sure if you saw my post about that Which lighter is best for use in cold weather?
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