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Allison
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PostSun Sep 18, 2011 3:22 pm 
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Any suggestions for a good one? The old trusty Bic just doesn't cut it, especially at elevation. Refillable is fine, ridiculous weight/cost are not. I might start with your basic convenience store crack lighter.

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alpinelakes
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PostSun Sep 18, 2011 4:28 pm 
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Bic is the industry standard for disposables. The cheap-o bic knockoffs are seriously inferior. They usually run out of propellant when they're still half-full of fuel.

I've used bics above 14,000 feet and they work just fine...

I don't like the mini bics. They run out suddenly and do not resurrect. Regular sized bics are like squeezy toothpaste- you can always get one more hit...

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Hulksmash
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Joined: 20 Apr 2008
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Cleaning up.
PostSun Sep 18, 2011 5:15 pm 
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I have a SOTO Pocket Torch



This thing gets stupid hot.  I used it last week to heat up some corroded cir clips on a set of U joints last week.  Pretty sure ya could solder with in a pinch.
Oh yea, it will light some wet wood on a windy day too. biggrin.gif

It's sold empty, so ya need to pick up some fuel before use.

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"Bears couldn't care less about us....we smell bad and don't taste too good. Bugs on the other hand see us as vending machines." - WetDog

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Hiker Boy
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Hinking Fool
PostSun Sep 18, 2011 5:32 pm 
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I have always used cheap Scripto disposable lighters because they don't come with that infuriating childproofing and the flame can be adjusted to up to a lengthy two inches(which is great for starting campfires or tempermental stoves).

They are pretty much sold the same places you find bics. Scripto

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marzsit
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Dork
PostSun Sep 18, 2011 6:20 pm 
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i carry the regular bic lighters, usually 3 of them (one in my first aid bag, one in my cooking bag and one in my pocket) and have never had a failure. you do have to keep them warm in order for them to work well at altitude, but that's not a problem really...
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DIYSteve
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seeking hygge
PostSun Sep 18, 2011 6:54 pm 
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Allison, butane is the issue.  Butane has limitations at altitude and colder temps, whether it's in a refillable, Bic, etc.  A Bic kept next to my body under insulation layers has always worked for me, even in cold weather.

Butane is used to refill refillables.  The exception is a gizmo made by Brunton  which allows one to fill a refillable from a isobutane/propane canister.  The lower boiling point (14F for isobutane vs. 31F for butane) might make a difference.  I may try it.
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mike
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PostSun Sep 18, 2011 7:44 pm 
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Picked up a Colibri from STP on sale. Refillable, weighs a couple oz. Does a decent solder joint but haven't tried brazing yet.  biggrin.gif
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Allison
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Feckless Swooner
PostSun Sep 18, 2011 7:44 pm 
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Thanks for the info Steve. The lighters worked Horribly in the Winds. Luckily I found the Jetboil Sol would light with the piezo if I tipped the whole rig a bit so that the piezo deal was up top.

By the by, the Sol worked fairly well over 10k, would have been much better if we had brought the heat exchanger pot, alas, it was a weight thing and I wasn't going to try to cook food in the little bitty pot.

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Allison
Feckless Swooner



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Location: putting on my Nikes before the comet comes
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Feckless Swooner
PostSun Sep 18, 2011 7:48 pm 
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BigSteve wrote:


Butane is used to refill refillables.  The exception is a gizmo made by Brunton  which allows one to fill a refillable from a isobutane/propane canister.  The lower boiling point (14F for isobutane vs. 31F for butane) might make a difference.  I may try it.

I have one of those gizmoids so will probably try a refillable with stove fuel. I wonder which blend works best up high.

More issues at 10k than I expected, including non-functioning lighters and freezing cameras.

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Riverside Laker
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PostSun Sep 18, 2011 9:02 pm 
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Our knockoff lighter worked great in the Sierras at 11,000'+. It's all in the flick of the thumb.
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GeoHiker
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PostMon Sep 19, 2011 12:19 am 
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Back in the old days they made a wooden match if waxed would work  99.9% of the time.  You put 50 or so in a waterproof container and you never had to worry about fire.  I guess that's changed now? lol.gif


Throw a couple Bics in a zip lock bag and a mag. striker.  For a couple oz there's no excuse not to have multiple back ups.  For so little weight it just makes sense.  If you say it didn't work in the Winds I'm going to puke.

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DIYSteve
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PostMon Sep 19, 2011 7:03 am 
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Allison wrote:
I wonder which blend works best up high.

Get something which is mostly isobutane, e.g., MSR IsoPro, Snow Peak.  Avoid anything with butane.  Blends don't come out of the can in the same proportion as what's originally in the can.  In cold temps, a higher proportion of propane comes out of the tank because it has a much lower boiling point.  Also, a lighter is not built to contain liquid propane, which requires a thick-walled container (e.g., BBQ tank) because pressures get way up there in the temps we PNWers typically hike.  In theory, butane should require a somewhat more robust container than butane if one is topping off the container (in this case a refillable lighter).  My guess is that you therefore cannot or should not fully fill a refillable lighter with isobutane.  That should not be a problem if you've got stove canisters in your pack.  I'll be putting this to a real time test soon.
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Ziploc
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PostMon Sep 19, 2011 8:17 am 
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I wonder if the Solo Storm would work. They say their butane is a high quality butane/propane mix (in faq section). I've owned one for years but can't say I've used it at 10k.

Quote from their website:

ALTITUDE

Performance and regulatory altitude issues

• Butane lighters are subject to altitude problems, they are a function of fuel to air ratios as each type of fuel has mixture parameters that must be present for efficient burning.

• All combustions require the ratio to be adjusted as altitude increases or decreases, as you go higher, the air being less dense contains less oxygen; go lower, air density increases and contains more oxygen.

• You must decrease the butane flow - rotate adjustment clockwise (-) as you go higher in altitude; and increase the butane flow - rotate adjustment counter-clockwise (+) as altitude decreases.

• Experiment with the adjustment at altitude and you will find the lighter works properly, we’ve successfully tested SOLO® lighters in excess of 12,000 feet.

• If the lighter was fueled at a lower altitude than you are operating it at, an air lock can occur just in front of the valve, a partial release of pressure with the adjustment valve positioned above the tank will equalize the pressure and eliminate the air lock.
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JennieEl
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PostMon Sep 19, 2011 8:21 am 
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I've never had a problem with the disposables.  I much prefer the ones that fire up on a push button rather than the old wheel ones, which my hands are sometimes too stiff for.
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Opus
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Wannabe
PostMon Sep 19, 2011 8:56 am 
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I carry a min-Bic and it's usually been fine.  I used it the whole JMT in elevations up to 12,000 ft too without issue.  I keep it in my pocket to stay warm and it lights up fine.  I also have one of those Colibri lighters that I found in the REI basement.  Pretty much a tiny blow torch.

Jetboil Sol also works great the whole JMT, even at 12,000 ft and right around freezing.
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