Bic Lighter Lifespan

Discussion in 'Vintage Topic Archive (Sept - 2009)' started by dirtimdebbie, Feb 9, 2008.

  1. dirtimdebbie

    dirtimdebbie Guest

    If it takes 3 seconds to light the tinder under a fire how many fires will a Bic lighter start?
  2. Thayldt21

    Thayldt21 Senior Member Member


  3. As a smoker I really prefer Bic brand lighters over the cheap knock off brands. Bic's not only last longer but they do not "break" as easily as the cheaper brands do. Provided I do not loose a lighter the large size Bic will last for months.

    If a person has two Bic type lighters in their survival kit I think that would cover many a nights fire.
  4. Kelotravolski

    Kelotravolski Member

    Really windy here so I generally run out of flint before I run out of fuel. Have to keep flicking to get a flame.
  5. The Bic that I am using currently has lasted over 5 months and gets used daily. I would say if you carried 5 - 10 of them in your BOB you'd be good for quite some time. Also, they are small, light and don't take much space so keeping quite a few of them around isn't hard to do.
  6. Ari

    Ari Guest

    I was told that the bics dont work well when it is really cold. Is this true?
  7. Thayldt21

    Thayldt21 Senior Member Member

  8. Kelotravolski

    Kelotravolski Member

    Try to roll the steel and push the button when your fingers are purple. Not only does it not work but it really hurts.
  9. I don't think I've ever studied the lifespan of disposable lighter. I use a Gander Mtn butane lighter myself. Don't have to worry about wind, just have to keep a little bottle of butane around.
  10. urotu

    urotu Member

    Just like any other gas, when it's cold, the gas tries to turn to liquid.

    In the cold any butane lighter, including a Bic, is harder to light and the flame is smaller. The warmer the lighter, the bigger the flame.

    I have found that warming it in your hands will seriously improve the flame.

    Bic's should last a good long time, even as a smoker, they last for months at a stretch.
  11. dirtimdebbie

    dirtimdebbie Guest

    I got in touch with Bic.

    They say the lighters are good for minimum of 3,000 strikes.

    If you build one fire per day that would be 8.2 years of fires. (don't think I'll be needing the mag bar/spark rod for a while)

    Their answer to the cold problem was, "keep the lighter in your shirt under your coat".

    I did not ask about the cold fingers part. I think they would have said to put on your gloves.
  12. Kelotravolski

    Kelotravolski Member

    Lol. that would have been great.

    "That sir... is not our problem."
  13. During the winter it can be a real pain to get a disposable lighter going if you hands are cold and wet and the lighter is also cold. When I am out hunting in the cold of winter I make sure I keep the lighter either in my shirt pocket or the inside pocket of my hunting coat. This keeps the lighter warm enough to be used without having any problems. I also keep a pair of gloves handy to keep my fingers warm, this makes a BIG difference in how easy/hard it is to get the metal roller and striker to work.

    Another problem with disposable lighters is they wont work when soaking wet... duh! To avoid this you can get a small water proof bag, or carrier pouch, that will still fit in a pocket. This will ensure that your lighter is ready to use when you need it.

    My Get Home Bag and Bug Out Bag fire making kits are kept in small Rubbermail food containers. Even if my bags are soaking wet my fire making implements will still be bone dry and ready to strike up a fire so I can warm up and dry my clothing out.

    As a rule I carry three to four ways to make a fire and have 2x everything, one set is in the main pack and the second set is in a waist pack or small shoulder carry shooting bag. I have 2 Bic lighters in my pack and 2 more in the waist/should pack, not to mention water proof matches in each, mag bars, fire strikers and lots of cotton balls soaked in petroleum jelly for tinder.

    When it comes to survival stuffs I am a fire making and flashlight guru...LOL!
  14. 69burbon

    69burbon Well-Known Member

    I couldn't help but think of the old tootsie pop commercials. "How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie pop?"
  15. You can put it in your armpit for a min or 2 and it will light right up!!! Yeah it gets cold in the field!!!! The first 15 sec or so sucks though lol lol
  16. neothespian

    neothespian Member

    Ya know, I hear a ton of chatter on how stuff like the iPod/iPhone or the SUV is the "Greatest Invention" ever from alot of the trust fund types who populate this ski town...

    But when I actually sit and think about something like the .99 cent bic lighter, I'm seriously in awe.

    Who'd of thought a little piece of plastic has changed our life SO much, we don't even notice it anymore! I mean...EVERYONE has one! EVERYONE!

    I use one at least once a day to shrink-tube electrical wiring and to seal off end of nylon rigging rope. My G/F uses it for her disgusting habbit (Smoking). My father uses it many times a day to light pilots on furnaces. My brother uses it for everything from seating window seals on busses to shrink tubing wiring on the buses and Diesel pushers as well.

    Got to love a good tool!
  17. Strangerous

    Strangerous Member

    Let's put it like this, i smoke and i use bic lighters, no matter the wind, i have a proven method to light my smoke.
    First, put your back to the wind.
    then, with the cigarette in your mouth, look down, chin to chest if needed
    With your lighter in your left hand (striking position) and your left hand making a "shield" placed on top of your right hand, hold it to your chest, placing the cigarette 1" from where the flame will appear.

    I've lit a smoke riding in the back of a pickup truck doing 40mph with this method.

    How long do bics last? 'Ell if i know, because i lose them way before they are out of flint or fuel! (but magically find them after i bought a new one, I've got a black one, 2 orange ones, and a blue one at the moment)
  18. Strangerous, that sounds about right dude. I have 3 sitting on my desk right now, and the only one that I actually paid for was the blue one.

    The lighter that I really like to use though, even though you have to keep cans of fuel around for it, is my Zippo. The thing that IS convienent about keeping the zippo fuel around is you can also use this in your fire starting process, but it does burn out way too fast, and sometimes doesn't ignite the tinder completly and has to be repeated. Vasoline soaked cotton balls are by far the better method.
  19. Neo, actually the Zippo lighter was listed as one of the greatest inventions of the pre 1950 20th century.
  20. 5kknives

    5kknives Member

    SE WI
    One problem with all the lighters is that the flint isn't.

    Isn't flint i mean, it's a composite that deteriorates with time and moisture. Not a problem unless you have a stash of Bics that you dig up 3-4 years from now and expect to work, they probably wont.

    Same problem with the magnesium blocks with a "flint" strip or the "Eternal Match things as well as the Zippo flints, and the highly favored "flint and steel" rods with scrapers. damp and time deteriorate them.

    After you use, your magnesium block for example, first chance you get, give the "flint" a light coat of laquer, (or fingernail polish). It had a coating on it when you bought it, you scraped it off the first time you used it, replace it and the whole combo will last as long as you need it to.

    'Course a chunk of real flint or chert and a striker doesn't have that problem but you'll want to practice a bit before you decide to rely on that method, unless you hunt with a flintlock of course :D in that case your probably in pretty good shape for starting fires anyhow!

    I was always taught you always carried 3 ways to start a fire, matches, lighter and flint and steel for example. Or even 2 lighters and matches.

    Theory is that if you need a fire the chances are you NEED a fire, and probably RIGHT NOW!

    IMHO of course, YMMV