SunwayLED
Results 1 to 18 of 18

Thread: I need a lighter while I'm high (altitude that is)

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* flownosaj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Fayetteville, NC
    Posts
    1,235

    Default I need a lighter while I\'m high (altitude that is)

    Okay, so I did the move to Colorado Springs this week. My wife tried to light a candle last night with a Solo butane lighter--the lighter failed to light. I handed her my Colbri Quantum-force lighter that makes a great blue windproof jet of flame--it failed to light as well.

    I check the fuel levels and they are full. I start thinking that the rarified air up here (nearly 7K feet) makes for a difficult light. I did a little Googling and found that I may need a flint lighter instead of a piezo-electric modle.

    So, anybody around here have a model that works at high altitude, makes a windproof jet, is still small and pocketable, and won't break the bank?

  2. #2

    Default Re: I need a lighter while I\'m high (altitude that

    Can you turn the flame adjustment (if any) down? That should increase the oxygen available to combust. I've also heard the Vector gear does better than most at higher altitude, but not as good as a Zippo. (but the Zippo's fuel evaporation. ugh.)

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* flownosaj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Fayetteville, NC
    Posts
    1,235

    Default Re: I need a lighter while I\'m high (altitude that is)

    One of the first fixes I tried was to turn the mixture down. I finally got the Solo to fire most of the time, but it's a different style flame. A Zippo is out of the question--I have one but I hate to carry it and I hate filling it up more.

    I went to a ciggar shop today to see what they had--nearly half of the single jet flame styles failed to light. The owner said that they just wind up returning those to the manufacturer. Pretty bad when a premium lighter fails to light. He only really recomended full flame (non-jet) styles to his customers.

    I was told that if I wanted the windproof jet, to get either a Vector Gear ($60+) (as Frangible suggested) that's made to run in a 'lean burn' and tested up to 12K feet, or to get a Colibri Xtreme that's nearly $100, (but can be found on the net for a similar price to the Vector). The only one of the two on hand was the Xtreme: it was round, bombproof, lit flawlessly with an external adjustable carburator, and looked every bit the mini-lightsaber--but it was awfully big for daily carry. The jet was firing inside a standard full flame, so you get the best of both worlds...

    The other option is to just find a style I like, make sure it fires consistantly in the store, buy it and then try it as I drive up Pikes Peak (14K feet). If it will fire up to the timberline, then I don't have anything to worry about next time I go camping. The problem with that is that I can see a lot of returns and a lot of hassle since the store didn't have too many jet styles that were weatherproof--a big requirement for camping.

  4. #4

    Default Re: I need a lighter while I\'m high (altitude that

    Might also check out the ye olde Bic. I've heard they do well at high altitudes as well. They use a flint rather than piezoelectric ignition. They are not windproof or waterproof, but will light if you can dry one out.

    If you are not using the lighter actively, but just as a "suvival" item, you can also get a military issue magnesium/flint bar. They're small, perfectly reliable, and work anywhere, but relatively annoying to light compared to a lighter.

    Finally of course, there are matches. Which should work as well.

  5. #5

    Default Re: I need a lighter while I\'m high (altitude that

    http://www.essentialgear.com/index.php?id=77

    Found that on Google. Might help as well.

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* JimH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Posts
    2,716

    Default Re: I need a lighter while I\'m high (altitude that

    Piezoelectric sucks at high altitude. It's not that the gas won't light, it's that the piezo won't spark. I spend a lot of time 4 wheeling at 8000 to 10000 feet. At that altitude, you just have to switch to either a flint igniter or a battery powered igniter.

    A plain ol' Bic with a flint striker works fine, but it's not windproof.

    One option, although it's far from pocketable, is a continuous ignition butane match (8" to 10" long) - available from most RV stores.

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* Xrunner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    1,594

    Default Re: I need a lighter while I\'m high (altitude that

    Welcome to CO flownosaj! It really depends on the lighter, but if you are looking to purchase a nice windproof one that will work at altitude expect to spend around $100 or more. Bics/Aim-and-flames are good for around the house, but are far from "storm-proof".

    -Mike

  8. #8

    Default Re: I need a lighter while I\'m high (altitude that

    [ QUOTE ]
    it's that the piezo won't spark.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Are you sure about that? I thought it was because the oxygen content in the air is decreased and the "spark" from a piezoelectric isn't as big or capable of lighting a low-oxygen fire as well as the spark from a flint can.

    If piezoelectrics didn't work at high altitudes, computers, radios, watches, autofocus cameras etc wouldn't work. But they do.

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* JimH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Posts
    2,716

    Default Re: I need a lighter while I\'m high (altitude that

    [ QUOTE ]
    Frangible said:
    [ QUOTE ]
    it's that the piezo won't spark.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Are you sure about that? I thought it was because the oxygen content in the air is decreased and the "spark" from a piezoelectric isn't as big or capable of lighting a low-oxygen fire as well as the spark from a flint can.

    If piezoelectrics didn't work at high altitudes, computers, radios, watches, autofocus cameras etc wouldn't work. But they do.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    You're probably right. All I know is that at sea level I can see a spark, and at altitude I can't. In any case the result is the same - no fire.

  10. #10
    Flashaholic
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    AZ
    Posts
    85

    Default Re: I need a lighter while I\'m high (altitude that is)

    Speaking from experience -- Replace the butane with the triple refined stuff - that you get from cigar stores. Regular Ronsonol type does not work at higher altitude.

  11. #11
    Flashaholic* JimH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Posts
    2,716

    Default Re: I need a lighter while I\'m high (altitude that

    The cheap stuff works fine for me when I use a lighter with a flint striker.

  12. #12

    Default Re: I need a lighter while I\'m high (altitude that

    Well, if you want to use a lighter with a piezoelectric ignition, you might have to use the "uber" fuel to compensate for the lack of oxygen at higher altitudes.

    You can use the Bic, of course. But the Bic isn't waterproof or windproof.

    Your call, really. Neither is a perfect solution. I'd prefer the cost of the uber fuel over the weaknesses of the Bic, personally. But that's just my opinion, and you may weight things differently.

  13. #13
    Flashaholic* JimH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Posts
    2,716

    Default Re: I need a lighter while I\'m high (altitude that

    Okay, you've convinced me to give it a try. I'll get some uber fuel and load up one of my wind proofs so I'll be ready next time I'm in the mountains. If this works, it will definitely save me a lot of frustration.

    Thanks for the tip.

  14. #14
    Flashaholic* flownosaj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Fayetteville, NC
    Posts
    1,235

    Default Re: I need a lighter while I\'m high (altitude that

    Franglible--thanks for the link. Tried the reccomendations with no success.

    LEDSmith-I've only used the good stuff in my lighter. I may try purging it tomorrow and starting from scratch.

    JimH--what kind of rig are you driving there?

    Overall, I think I may like the Vector. Although I can't find a place that sells them locally, they look to be smaller than the Xtreme and better for daily cary. The Xtreme just seems too big for pocket cary and I don't feel like holstering it.
    The lighter will be with me most of the time, but for camping it won't be my primary source of ignition--NATO matches handle most of those lighting tasks.

    Thanks all. I'll let you all know what I decide and how it works

  15. #15
    Flashaholic
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Huntsville, AL
    Posts
    346

    Default Re: I need a lighter while I\'m high (altitude that

    Hi flownosaj,

    I used this lighter without issues in the Saguache, CO area (7694') about 1.5 years ago. I had to adjust the flame when I first arrived and after I left, but it fired up every time for me. I only had problems with it when I took it from Des Moines (957') to Baton Rouge (53'), where it simply wouldn't fire reliably. The body is cheap plastic on these. I've gone through 2 of them so far and the paint rubs off the plastic pretty quickly. Also, the spring that opens the cap broke at the 8 month mark on both of these.

    About 3.5 years ago, when I was in Albuquerque (4955'), I had two of these which performed admirably after dragging them along from San Antonio (809'). I really liked these lighters except for the plastic cap and release catch. Both of these eventually (6 months usage) wore down to the point where the cap wouldn't stay closed.

    I'm currently using this lighter, but it has its own issues. It's extremely sensitive to pressure changes both environmentally and from differing levels of butane tank fullness. In the 1st month of use, the "gunmetal" enamel coating was so badly scuffed that I removed the rest of it with a dremel and polished it up. Also, the cap-spring broke recently (6 months of usage) so I had to fix that too.

    I also use Colibri brand butane in all my lighters all the time. I also bleed out the lighters before refilling, and use compressed air to blow out the valves every ~3 months.

    pb

  16. #16
    Flashaholic* JimH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Posts
    2,716

    Default Re: I need a lighter while I\'m high (altitude that

    [ QUOTE ]
    flownosaj said:

    JimH--what kind of rig are you driving there?


    [/ QUOTE ]

    '94 Grand cherokee, 4.5 inch Rubicon Express long arm lift, 31" BFG AT tires, 4.11 rear end, Arb lockers front and rear, ARB bull bar with Warn 9000 winch in front, and lots of heavy duty custom body armor everywhere else. CO2 tank, recovery gear, and 12 ga pump up top. 2 dogs inside.

  17. #17
    Flashaholic* JimH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Posts
    2,716

    Default Re: I need a lighter while I\'m high (altitude that

    I have discovered the perfect survival lighter - windproof, waterproof, altitude proof. I've had it a couple of months now, but this last weekend was my first oportunity to test it out at altitude.

    I was on a 4 wheeling trip in the Sierras. We were up above 8000 feet, and the lighter worked flawlessly. You can get info on it here and here .

  18. #18
    Flashaholic* flownosaj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Fayetteville, NC
    Posts
    1,235

    Default Re: I need a lighter while I\'m high (altitude that

    I've just been waiting for one to pop up on ebay. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

    I may have to break down and just order one soon--it's getting cold outside.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •