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Light My Fire (at altitude)?

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Light My Fire (at altitude)?

Postby EManBevHills » Sun Dec 27, 2009 1:39 am

Any recs for a good quality, reliable, windproof lighter that is easy to use with gloves on in winter conditions at 10-14K?

TIA
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Postby Brad Marshall » Sun Dec 27, 2009 2:37 am

A couple of BICs. Carry more than one and stash them in various places (pockets, pack lid, main pack).
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Postby phydeux » Sun Dec 27, 2009 3:49 am

Yep, lots of BICs stashed in various places. I also take a pair of better-quality work gloves to use around camp and scrambling on rock since they're more form-fitting & 'grippy' than regular gloves, and (being made of synthetic leather) they don't burn easily or freeze as easily as real leather. Usually about $10-$15US at a store like Home Depot.
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Postby EManBevHills » Fri Jan 01, 2010 9:01 pm

Yeah, I usually carry at least two Bics in reserve, and try to milk a "cone type" butane lighter for all its worth!

I guess there isn't sufficient demand for a quality, lightweight, high altitude, wind resistent lighter? All that I have seen to date is marketing fluff!
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Postby OJ Loenneker » Sun Jan 03, 2010 12:44 am

sjarelkwint wrote:Smokers :wink:

Never had any problem with a bic at 14k


Yep, me neither. I always can get that summit smoke lit... :lol: Just make sure that you keep the bic in your pocket, usually the one closest to your base layer, that way it will be nice and warm, and the butane will boil and make gas so you can light it. If the bic is too cold, it will not let the liquid butane boil, and therefore you will have no gas to light. I believe that butane boils at 40ºF, at atmosphereic pressure (14.5 PSIA) so you gotta keep it pretty warm.
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Postby Day Hiker » Mon Jan 04, 2010 12:23 pm

OJ Loenneker wrote:Yep, me neither. I always can get that summit smoke lit... :lol: Just make sure that you keep the bic in your pocket, usually the one closest to your base layer, that way it will be nice and warm, and the butane will boil and make gas so you can light it. If the bic is too cold, it will not let the liquid butane boil, and therefore you will have no gas to light. I believe that butane boils at 40ºF, at atmosphereic pressure (14.5 PSIA) so you gotta keep it pretty warm.


n-butane: -.5C / 31F
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Postby nhluhr » Mon Jan 04, 2010 6:29 pm

If you're talking about lighting a stove, the firesteels work great and are dumb-proof.

If you're talking about lighting a cigarette and you need a flame, get one of those refillable jet-type lighters and refill it with isobutane from a stove canister with a Brunton Fuel Tool. The MSR or Primus canisters should be used for maximum % of isobutane (which boils at a much colder temperature than n-butane). Avoid Primus canisters since they contain a large amount of n-butane.

http://www.cigarasylum.com/vb/showthread.php?t=22078
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Postby EManBevHills » Wed Jan 06, 2010 5:08 pm

Interesting read, that cigar thread. Thanks for the suggestions.
But as Wharf Rat on cigarassylum stated:

"Since the orifice (hole) size for the lighter is fixed, a higher pressure means that the flow rate through the orifice will be greater. For a flame to establish and hold on the orifice, the velocity of the fuel must lie in the correct range. If the higher pressure increases the velocity too much, the flame will "blow off."

As my primary concern is altitude rather than extreme cold, the ability to adequately regulate fuel flow appears paramount...
Keeping at least one lighter along with a camera battery in my inside jacket pocket has dealt with the temp issue so far.
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Postby mconnell » Thu Jan 07, 2010 3:53 pm

EManBevHills wrote:Interesting read, that cigar thread. Thanks for the suggestions.
But as Wharf Rat on cigarassylum stated:

"Since the orifice (hole) size for the lighter is fixed, a higher pressure means that the flow rate through the orifice will be greater. For a flame to establish and hold on the orifice, the velocity of the fuel must lie in the correct range. If the higher pressure increases the velocity too much, the flame will "blow off."

As my primary concern is altitude rather than extreme cold, the ability to adequately regulate fuel flow appears paramount...
Keeping at least one lighter along with a camera battery in my inside jacket pocket has dealt with the temp issue so far.


Disposable, non-adjustable lighters work fine in the altitudes you are talking about. Really cheap ones might be a problem, but I've used cheap ones (5/$1) at 19,000' without too much problem, other than the 6" flame coming off of them.
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