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justaddfuel
nom nom



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nom nom
PostMon Sep 19, 2011 9:09 am 
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Are you sure it was your lighter failing and not the gas mixture? How full were your canisters? You might want to look into a remote canister option so you can turn the canister upside down.

Also i have noticed the big problem with lighting bics seems to be the childproofing and cold fingers, super easy to remedy that problem:
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DaleW
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PostFri Sep 23, 2011 8:01 am 
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+1 on the mini Bic surgery. Another trick is to find an o-ring that will fit around the top and under the fuel lever so it can't accidentally dump the fuel. I just took mine to a *real* auto parts store, where they usually have a box with a selection of different sizes. If you want to hang it on a lanyard, duct tape a safety pin the side.

I always carry a Light My Fire mini firesteel on my "survival" keychain and that will work at any elevations. That keychain has a Fenix E01 AAA LED flashlight, a Leatherman CS Style mini tool, a whistle, a Bison "spy capsule" with Tinder Quick fire starting tabs, and a smaller capsule with medications. With that and my ever-present pocket knife, I always have the basics on my person.
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Allison
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PostFri Sep 23, 2011 8:50 am 
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Quote:
Are you sure it was your lighter failing and not the gas mixture?

Yes, I'm sure the lighter was failing at elevation. All of them were. The piezo, well, it has been finicky at all elevations, as they are sometimes.

Quote:
How full were your canisters? You might want to look into a remote canister option so you can turn the canister upside down.

rolleyes.gif

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hiker1
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PostFri Sep 23, 2011 9:54 am 
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I've used the Bic outdoor lighter for years with no trouble, but not at high elevation.
http://tinyurl.com/3btkk8x

I also have a jet butane lighter, again not used at high elevation. Got it from DealExtreme, which also has one that's windproof.
http://tinyurl.com/42aqzdz
Plenty of other types of lighters on this site, including oil ones, and parts for lighters, like flint stones.

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falling leaves / hide the path / so quietly
~John Bailey, "Autumn," a haiku year, 2001, as posted on oldgreypoet.com
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Grannyhiker
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PostFri Sep 23, 2011 11:07 am 
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I haven't had any trouble with Mini Bics, in the Wind Rivers or elsewhere.  Do remove the childproofing strip from the lighter as shown above--it makes a BIG difference.  What makes a big difference is the below-freezing weather found most nights at really high altitudes, even in mid-summer.

In below-freezing weather, regardless of altitude, you definitely have to warm up both the lighter and the fuel canister.  This can be a really stimulating wakeup experience--spending 10-15 minutes with an icy fuel canister in one armpit and the lighter in the other!  Or you can keep the canister with you in your sleeping bag overnight, if you don't mind the clunk every time you turn over.  A sleeping bag can get rather crowded on a 15*F night when you add the fuel canister, camera and other battery-powered appliances and the water filter!  The canister needs to be kept warm while it's in use, too (I use a windscreen that shields the canister, checking frequently to be sure the canister isn't getting too hot).  Otherwise you burn off all the propane while the rest of the fuel mixture remains liquid or at least reluctant to vaporize.

The alternative, mentioned by several others, is a stove that uses a remote upside-down canister, which solves the problem of the propane part of the mixture burning off first.  Of course that setup is heavier, although not as heavy as a white gas stove.  On the other hand, this setup is a great alternative to a white gas stove for winter.

Info on canister stoves--especially the "cold weather operation" section

Extreme cold weather situations

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May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.--E.Abbey
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DIYSteve
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PostFri Sep 23, 2011 11:22 am 
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The issue of operation of canister stoves in cold weather is a bit off topic, but since GH opened the door, I'll provide some comments.  First, the MSR Reactor works better in cold temps than all others because the Reactor has a bigger throttle and a regulator.  Second, a heat exchanger can be made by spinning copper wire around the canister (then cover it with closed cell foam) and making a coil from the other end of the Cu wire and placing it near the stove flame -- I've used can fuel right down to the last drop using this technique in temps <10F.  Third, a warm water bath works quite well even down to 0F if you do it right; a combination warm water bath and Cu wire heat exchanger works great.  Fourth, avoid any mix with butane (BP = 31F) and go for mixes of propane and isobutane (BP = 11F).  Fifth, I have seen some nasty flareups with upside down canister systems; can stoves are designed to burn gas, not liquids.  Sixth, insulate the canister (or water bath if you are using one) from the snow and/or frozen ground with closed cell foam or a piece of wood.  Seventh, cooking inside a tent minimizes the ambient temperature problem but can be dangerous in a tent with a floor because O2 supply can be deleted quickly; a floorless tent (e.g., MegaMid) -- which allows lots of O2 to enter through the sides (and lacks a flammable floor) -- is the safer option.  It's common in Canada and Alaska for people to pack in a MegaMid or Oware 'mid as a "kitchen tent" on cold weather trips.
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Tom_Sjolseth
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PostFri Sep 23, 2011 11:33 am 
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I've used a Bic at >20,000' before (quite a bit higher than anything in the Wind River Range) and didn't have any issues.  I keep it in my pocket to keep it warm.  Done deal.
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Allison
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PostFri Sep 23, 2011 11:43 am 
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I don't think I ever mentioned having canister issues.

There were zero canister issues on either trip. We used 2 different JB Sols and they don't tend to misbehave, except the minor piezo glitch already discussed.

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Slugman
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PostFri Sep 23, 2011 12:31 pm 
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Light, cheap, windproof, reliable  I know this from lots of personal experience. This lighter worked just fine at 9,820 feet the other day. Virtually windproof. Typically they light about 5,000 times before you need to worry about them malfunctioning. And even then it's usually just the "safety cover" won't open, so I just remove that, and I'm back in business. I have bought numerous items from Deal Extreme, they are completely reliable. The price per lighter of $2.70 includes shipping from Honk Kong. Be prepared to wait three weeks for delivery. In really cold weather, the lighter may require warming in the hand to light, as do many lighters. Turning up the flame also works under those conditions. Since the whole bottom of the lighter turns to adjust the flame, no little tool or key is needed to do the adjustment.

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Allison
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PostFri Sep 23, 2011 12:35 pm 
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Sluggy, at $5.40/2, I just ordered them up. Willing to give it a shot.

Do you know if they will run canister fuel? I have one of those gizmoids for filling from a canister.

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Grannyhiker
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PostFri Sep 23, 2011 12:41 pm 
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Of course there's always the old-fashioned alternative--matches!  Those emergency matches from REI burn seemingly forever (a lot longer than needed most of the time) and can't be blown out.  I take a few of those (striker pad packaged separately for obvious reasons) and a match book as emergency backup.

Lighter fuel is butane which liquifies at 31*F, which is why it has to be warmed up, and why most canister stove fuel doesn't use plain butane any more.  I remember trying to use one of those old Bluet Camping Gaz stoves (pure butane fuel) during a snowstorm in the Wallowas back in the 1980's--turned it on and nothing happened!

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May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.--E.Abbey
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Tanore
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PostMon Sep 03, 2018 5:50 am 
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I apologize for bump this old thread, but I would like to share my experience in this matter

I have one of those hurricane lighters. The one I have is made by UST. It's windproof, waterproof, and it floats. I bought it to carry on my kayak after losing a brand new Bic overboard. I think it was around $20 at West Marine, but its probably available for less somewhere else or online. It works great, as advertised. It lights in strong wind. It lights wet things well and lights when the lighter itself is wet. It can adjust from a small flame to a large flame. It's refillable and the fuel lasts quite a while with only occasional use. I'm still using a 2.5 oz. bottle of Ronson butane fuel purchased at a Lil' Champ convenience store in Florida circa 1999, with no signs of needing to get more anytime soon. It is small, durable, lightweight (about 1 ounce with fuel and a homemade paracord lanyard) and easier to use than stormproof matches. Like I said, I originally got it for kayaking, but always toss it in my pack for day hikes or backpacking trips and it works a treat. There are dozens of different brands and designs of these type of butane lighters https://coolerexp.com/best-torch-lighter-review/  but I suspect they all work about equally well. The only advice I would give is get one where the cap/lid opens 180 degrees (my UST lighter only opens 90 deg.) it makes lighting tinder a lot easier and more comfortable. For 20 bucks and a fuel bottle that lasts almost 2 decades, you can't really go wrong.
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