Are you truly prepared?

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by GrayGhost, Jan 12, 2016.


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  1. GrayGhost

    GrayGhost Monkey

    Last summer, a situation presented itself on the evening of the 3rd day of a 12 day camping trip. Redundancies that I have in place for most all equipment and scenarios left me wondering how this could have happened, and more importantly, what we could do in the future to reduce future occurrences/failures.

    Our outdoor excursions involve the wilderness, though not the type you will find in a campground. Living in the woods. No traffic, other campers or passers-by, just you and God's creatures.

    All cooking and heat in our camp is done by the campfire....always has, always will. Nothing like a meal from the fire, around the fire, to warm the belly and the spirit. As such, I always have the means to create said fire, which in this case, happened to be seven Bic lighters stashed about the rig. Well, through the course of the third day, starting at breakfast and on through the following lunch and supper, disaster struck. Or what could have been, easily, for someone not so equipped to deal with the situation at hand.

    It happened on this trip, that the odds were stacked against us. I never, in my wildest dreams, would ever believe that all seven of those lighters would fail. Yet they did. So much for redundancy.

    As it happened, this turned out to be one of the greatest and most memorable trips our family has taken. What could have been a lost vacation at best, or tragedy at worst, turned in to a valuable lesson and learning experience for all of us.

    You see, I strive to rely on only myself and my wits. And part of this path to self-sufficiency has been learning the many ways to make fire. It was this same skill that I introduced to my then future wife during our second date in my backyard. Needless to say, the kiddos got introduced to and practiced their fire-making stills that trip. All was not lost by any means.

    I guess my point to all of this is: it may not be so much what you stash in your pockets or pack, but rather what you stash in the great mind God you.

    Any other stories to share?
     
    Aeason, UncleMorgan, duane and 4 others like this.
  2. AxesAreBetter

    AxesAreBetter Monkey++

    7 lighters is NOT redundancy. Redundancy, in this context, means carrying different Methods to start a fire, not simply more of the same method.

    I often have the same problem as you did, and I NEVER rely on a lighter. Always bring matches in a safe, and a ferro rod, and at least a tinder tin if not a full tinder box. Not getting on your case, for the record, just tired of having this argument. Haha. Glad y'all made it out fine. Seems like you had it handled. +1 in my book.
     
  3. GrayGhost

    GrayGhost Monkey

    Point taken. Though the methods employed ended up being char cloth, mag bars, and ferro rods. Redundancy in this case is nothing more than just another tool to accomplish a desired result.

    Having lighters are just for a matter of convenience, nothing to be relied upon for sure! It was a great learning experience for the kids, that's for sure. Prepare and take care in all you do.

    Thanks for the input...cheers.
     
  4. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Moderator Moderator Site Supporter++

    A dead lighter still creates a spark. Scrape some lint off your pants or sock and flick the lighter (dead) next to the lint. It will light. Takes some patience but a dead lighter is a still usable to start a fire.

    I will have to think on what disaster or incident when I realized I had overlooked the obvious. Those palm to the forehead moments are some of the greatest learning tools.
     
  5. AxesAreBetter

    AxesAreBetter Monkey++

    I live in a very wet area, and I never seem to find myself out and about without the sky falling out. Worst case scenario fires make up 80% of the fires I have ever built.
     
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  6. GrayGhost

    GrayGhost Monkey

    Thanks for pointing out the flint...sometimes it's the little things right in front of us that get overlooked. A spark is a spark, no matter the source.

    Incidentally, all but one failed due to lack of butane. The flint on the other had corroded and stuck to the wheel...nothing but dust. During one of my morning tinkering sessions around camp, I was able to replace the flint and wheel from another to make a usable lighter. And let me tell you, big hands working with tiny, spring-loaded parts can be a challenge!
     
  7. GrayGhost

    GrayGhost Monkey

    There is truth in that statement!
     
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  8. Pax Mentis

    Pax Mentis Philosopher King Site Supporter

    I have been known to light a lighter with gas but no flint by holding a lighter with no gas in the gas stream of the one with no flint and flicking it while pressing the tab of the other. It usually works pretty easily.

    [flm]
     
  9. GrayGhost

    GrayGhost Monkey

    I have as well, though I always enjoy a challenge. Plus, it gives me something to do while the family sleeps.
     
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  10. Legion489

    Legion489 Shining the Light of Truth

    The idea of lint works well, as long as it is cotton! Most other stuff either melts before it burns or just won't burn at all (the whole garment will melt). if you REALLY need to get a fire going, use baby clothes! They go up like a torch!
     
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  11. GrayGhost

    GrayGhost Monkey

    Being a welder/fabricator by trade, I've seen many synthetic items melt, some to skin. Not a pretty sight.
     
  12. Kingfish

    Kingfish Self Reliant

    Nothing beats a couple zippo lighters and a small can of lighter fluid. I think we have like 4 of them and three are new.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2016
  13. duane

    duane Monkey++

    Must agree with Kingfish, sometimes the old tech is best. Airplane fuel does not work well in a ZIPPO, and yes I found that out the hard way. But they were refuelable and had a spare flint in the lighter and were not sold as "disposable" which may perhaps be a hint, and yes you should have a couple other ways of starting a fire when Murphy shows up for the party. Its the little things that can kill you and best to find them while you can still correct them.
     
  14. UncleMorgan

    UncleMorgan I eat vegetables. My friends are not vegetables.

    Don't forget to take the baby out first.
     
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  15. GrayGhost

    GrayGhost Monkey

    Ah...the trusty Zippo! Still have a bunch of tem from years ago. I guess it's time to break out the stash once again.

    Is there a story you would like to share there??
     
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  16. GrayGhost

    GrayGhost Monkey

    Glad to see humor is not lost here!
     
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  17. UncleMorgan

    UncleMorgan I eat vegetables. My friends are not vegetables.

    I confess I'm lazy and don't like having to overcome unscheduled challenges. Among all the other fire-making things I carry, I include a happy handful of lighter pine in fine 6" splits, any one of which can be lit from a single match. Or any other available flame. One will get the average fire off to a roaring start, several will thaw and dry a fire-lay very effectively. And they're super for lighting off a Swedish Torch fire, whether the log or bundle of sticks version.
     
  18. chimo

    chimo the few, the proud, the jarhead monkey crowd Site Supporter+

    Which brings up another lesson....Murphy dictates that you use your "stuff" regularly, he loves messing with unused stuff!
     
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  19. Tully Mars

    Tully Mars Metal weldin' monkey Site Supporter+

    Agreed.
    Neither of us smoke, but we have a bunch of the bic type lighters all over the place. A couple of zippos put back. Folks talk about bics for barter and that's fine. It's also the reason the zippos are saved back.
     
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  20. duane

    duane Monkey++

    Yes, kind of like ugly black rifles for trade and an 06 bolt action for long run survival. I know, that is old school.
     
    Aeason likes this.
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