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Lighters in high altitude

Discussion in 'Bushcraft' started by Bishop, Sep 3, 2018.

  1. Bishop

    Bishop Monkey+++

    Well as most of you know I went elk hunt in Colorado this last week we camped and as always I had my Zippo lighter on me and noticed that it did not like to light and when it did it would go out at first I thought low on fuel I refilled and it would do the same thing is this because of the altitude.
    Zimmy, Motomom34, Gator 45/70 and 2 others like this.
  2. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner Brewery Monkey Moderator

    Limited oxygen? Hmmm... now I know why I get headaches at altitude. Flame goes out! :rolleyes:
  3. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grudge Monkey

    Electric or arc lighters are best at high altitudes! You can tune a Zippo to burn at high up, but they go through the fuel quick!
  4. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    Ha, Try a Bic disposable at 1000/2000 ft. Looks like a crack lighter!
    SB21 and Dunerunner like this.
  5. oldawg

    oldawg Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    I use zippos and the best luck I have with them is to lengthen the wick a bit. Just below the top of the wheel. Make sure you don't overfill so that you get a wet wick. Blow on the wick before striking so as to lean out the air/fuel mixture a bit. Make sure you keep a good(fresh)flint in it. I have also had decent luck with white gas rather than zippo or ronson fuel But if you're in a propane/iso propane camp you probably won't have any.
  6. Thunder5Ranch

    Thunder5Ranch Monkey+++

    Anything above 2000/2500 feet a Bic or Matches is about as good as it going to get. Mountains hate Zippos :) I did find when I used to travel higher elevations that fuzzing the wic up a bit helped.
    DuxDawg, oldawg, Dunerunner and 3 others like this.
  7. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    That is part of it. The oxygen shortage very definitely the cause of your headaches. Takes a few months but it will go away. (I used zippos, bics and Ronsons at 6000+ feet for several years. Pull your zippo wick out a bit and fray it like T5R says)
    oldawg, Dunerunner and Gator 45/70 like this.
  8. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

  9. Hanzo

    Hanzo Monkey+++

    When my buddies and I were at the summit of Haleakala, about 10,000 feet, we noticed several things. First, it was freaking cold waiting for the sun rise. But we had to do it. Haleakala means house of the rising sun. Gorgeous!!

    Second thing we noticed was we got winded more quickly going up the hill.

    Third, on guy was a smoker. And when he lit a match, there was barely a flame.

    So lack of oxygen. Also, high altitude and smoking don't go well together. Think he was getting light headed trying to smoke his cigarette.

    If you ever go to watch the sunrise, pack winter clothes. Our light clothes, even layered and with a hotel blanket really did not cut it.
    Gator 45/70 and Motomom34 like this.
  10. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    Altitude sickness is a real thing for some people.
    I spent a significant portion of my growing up at 7k feet and high energy at that, except that when I came down for sporting events the smog really got to me . my kryptonite= smog .
    Cooking you have to allow more time because water boils at a lower temperature .
    In the boating industry we typically drop 5 pitches in the prop for engines to perform as best they can at 7000 feet.
    Airplanes (anfibs) that land on the lake have a rough time getting off the water ,so much so we would drive our fastest boats to break up the water in the early morning ahead of the plane so it can break loose .
    Usually air filters on our vehicles are restructured to breathe better buy altering to allow larger elements , it gets tricky when trying to accommodate certain cars with limited space under the hood . It made a difference, marginal but noticeable . Shorter or lesser diameter wheels are almost essential in some situations because like boats dropping the pitch makes a big difference .
    So far as sleeping in the cold it's no different than any where else except that at altitude it is usually dryer which means the cold you feel is more genuine . After about 20 degrees F all the humidity drops and freezes which is why your skin dries out faster . Maintaining hydration is important.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2018
    Hanzo, DuxDawg, Gator 45/70 and 2 others like this.
  11. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    I bought a few of the flamesless lighters. I am not impressed. They are bulky, heavier then a regular lighter plus you have to recharge them. It is not as easy to start a fire with an flameless lighter.

    I get real tired when I go into the flat lands. I always feel drained my first day or two when I go back East.
    Hanzo and Gator 45/70 like this.
  12. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    All true, and I hate them. But, if you're in high altitude and want to light a smoke, it's a pretty solid choice.
    Hanzo, Gator 45/70 and Motomom34 like this.
  13. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    You know that smoking reduces your oxygen intake ?
    Gator 45/70 and Hanzo like this.
  14. nmpops

    nmpops Monkey+++

    I've been living between 5400 to 7100 feet the last 30 years and I've never noticed anyone having issues with butane lighters or matches, campfires and wildfires seem to burn just fine also.
  15. aaraaron

    aaraaron Monkey

    That's right, this kind of lighter is the right choice for survival. I usually bring a bic without any difficulties. I found it very important that its activation mechanism is not accidentally triggered. The design of this lighter has a very strong seal so I can feel comfortable with it in my pocket or backpack. I will use this as my main lighter in future backpacking trips.
    Gator 45/70 likes this.
  16. DuxDawg

    DuxDawg Monkey+

    The "flint" in lighters is made of ferrocerium. Spark that onto char, punkwoods, piths, etc then you'll have an ember. Embers are easily brought to flame. If you're prepared, all this takes maybe ten seconds longer than flicking a Bic.
  1. Hanzo
  2. Bishop
  3. Hanzo
  4. Hanzo
  5. hot diggity
  6. Brokor
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