As much as we love getting out into the back and beyond, far off the beaten track, it’s worth remembering that things can go wrong sometimes. This means that if you spend a lot of time out in the wilderness, it’s good to be aware of the safety risks so that you can be prepared if and when the unexpected happens.
One way that you can be prepared is to make sure you pack up some essential survival gear when you head out on your adventures. There are plenty of gadgets out there that can come in handy when things take a turn for the worst, such as an emergency radio or GPS device.
Yet these devices can be expensive and sometimes bulky too, which isn’t ideal if you’re packing light. Fortunately, survival lighters are one bit of kit that can make all the difference to your fate when you’re out in the wilderness and, the best part is, they’re a relatively affordable bit of kit.
Making sure that you can light a fire if you’re out after dark is essential to keep your body temperature safe, and it can help you cook and game that you might be depending on as a food supply. What’s more, they can be used to catch the attention of passersby, and you can even use them to illuminate your path home.
Sounds like having one in your pack is a good idea, doesn’t it? Here is our list of the best survival lighters around to help you find the one that’s right for your next trip.
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If you’re after a durable lighter that you depend on in an emergency, no matter what the weather, then look no further than the lcfun Waterproof Lighter.
Constructed from an ABS and zinc alloy, this rugged lighter can certainly handle some bumps and scrape, making it great for trips out into the wilderness. It comes with a chunky lanyard too, so you can make sure that you’ve always got this beast close to hand.
The cover of the survival lighter is a metal ring seal which, combined with a locking clasp, means that you don’t need to worry about some serious splashes (although we don’t recommend leaving it outside overnight in a monsoon either). This same sealing mechanism also keeps out dust and other debris, so don’t worry if this lighter takes a tumble into the dirt at some point.
But we haven’t got to the best part yet… you don’t need any butane or gas for this lighter to work – just make sure you remember to charge it up (via its USB-friendly lithium-ion battery) before you head out and you’re good to go. Not only is this far more eco-friendly than burning gas, but it will also save you money in the long run, what a winner.
This electric lighting mechanism avoids the use of a flame and, instead, relies upon an arc mechanism, which means you don’t have to worry about protecting your flame from the wind (which we all know can be a nightmare when you’re out in the elements).
Overall, for a great price, you’re getting an incredibly durable plasma lighter that’s windproof, waterproof, and doesn’t waste money on fuel… need we say more?
Next up we have another fantastic lighter by Icfun, the Icfun Portable Lighter.
As the name suggests, this lighter is a little more travel-friendly than its bulkier relative. The sleeker design reduces the overall weight of the lighter, and it makes it easier to store in tight pockets.
It features a gas and propane-free arc lighting mechanism, which you turn on by simply holding down a button on the exterior – and no need to worry about the wind (yay).
As with the larger model, this survival lighter features a metal ring-sealed cover and a sold locking clasp, so debris and splashes won’t stop you from lighting a fire when you need it the most.
Another feature that we absolutely love is the fact is has a flashlight on the end of it. This means that if you truly find yourself in a pickle, with this unit, not only can you start a fire but you can also light up the path in front of you or attract attention via signaling – such a great feature in a survival lighter.
Like its counterpart, it also comes with an included lanyard, so you can make sure you have this lighter close just when you need it.
The battery life is slightly shorter and will get drained by the flashlight if you use it, but otherwise, this is an excellent and slightly more portable alternative to the previous Icfun lighter reviewed above.
If you’re looking for a super convenient, and surprisingly affordable, way to make sure you’ve got a lighter ready for any survival situation, then you should definitely check out the True Utility FireStash Lighter.
This teenie little lighter weighs in at less than 3 ounces, and is so small you can leave it attached to your key chain and hardly notice that it’s there – so there’s really no excuse for not having it with you at all times. It comes with a keyring loop attached but, if you prefer, you can always choose to clip it to your pack or even wear it around your neck rather than keep it attached to your keys.
And just because it’s small don’t let it fool you into thinking it can’t stand up to challenging survival scenarios – it features a neoprene O ring to keep water, debris, and dust out, and it’s constructed from a highly durable zinc alloy material that can withstand some bumps and scrapes.
We were pleased to see that the actual lighter component is refillable (earning it some eco points), but make sure you pick up some fuel too because it doesn’t come with any included – and remember, it won’t store as much fuel as larger models so it might be a good idea to take some fuel on your trip too.
Overall, if you want to be prepared for a survival scenario, but you want to be stealthy about it, then this nifty little survival lighter could be the one for you.
Ahh Zippos, a household name for most of us. While the Zippo Matte Pocket Lighter hasn’t been designed specifically with survival situations in mind, that doesn’t mean that it’s not one of the best lighters out there for such a situation.
So, what is it that makes a Zippo lighter so good? Well, the all-metal construction means they really can take a beating (trust me I’ve had one of these for years), which means you don’t need to worry about it getting knocked about in your pack. Plus, in the unlikely event that you do run into trouble with your Zippo lighter, it’s covered by a lifetime guarantee anyway, winning.
Another feature that we love is the windproof flame, so you can light up even in blustery conditions (just make sure you keep it dry as these lighters aren’t at all water resistant). Although we really like the matte finish of the lighter, it actually servers a larger purpose than just aesthetics – it’s scratch resistant and lightweight too. But, if you are into aesthetics, it comes in a whole bunch of colors.
The sleek design means that you can slip this survival lighter into your pocket or pack without causing a scene, and it’s helped to keep the weight down to (less than 3 oz in total). Although you’ll need to purchase replacement fuel (and wicks) separately, it’s super easy to refill the fuel when it runs out.
Overall, there’s a reason why Zippos have been around for so long – they’re super tough and you can depend on them, which is just what you want in a survival lighter.
Hate running out of gas when you’re on the move? Then you’ll be pleased to know that the Single Jet Flame Torch stores far more gas than a regular lighter, so you don’t have to worry about refilling every day or two.
The large storage capacity does increase the overall dimensions and weight of this lighter-come-torch, but we reckon it’s worth it for this stress-free way to make sure you can light things up in a survival situation.
The lighter/torch is built a bit like a gun, with the gas sitting in the handle. Although these torches come in a range of jazzy colors, we love you’ll always be able to spot the gas level inside, so you’ll never get left in the dark (literally) unawares.
It’s also a super-simple device to use – there’s an ignition button on the opposite side to the flame, and holding it down produces the flame. As your hands are well away from the flame, it makes burning yourself while operating this survival lighter very unlikely. What’s more, you can choose how strong your flame is by simply sliding the level on the edge, which will help you use your gas efficiently.
Although these lighters aren’t constructed from as durable materials as the mere expensive options, these survival lighters do offer fantastic value for money… and yes, we did say ‘these’ – for an incredibly low price you can bag yourself a 4-pack of these!
We’re sure you’ve heard of Tesla before – they’re world-renowned for their electric cars, solar, and clean energy. But did you know they make lighters too?
Unsurprisingly, the Tesla Coil Lighter is an eco-friendly lighter that doesn’t require any fuel for its fire – simply make use of the USB rechargeable battery and you’re off. So no lugging fuel around with you, or splashing out on refills constantly, yay.
The lack of flame makes this lighter entirely windproof, although you’ll have to keep it away from water as it’s not water resistant. The arc lighter is super simple to use – simply push down on the ignition button that’s located well away from the arc. We also love that it won’t light up when the lid is shut, even if the button is pressed, so you don’t need to worry about it heating up accidentally while it’s in your pack.
It also features a sleek design and weighs in at just 3 oz, making it great for day-to-day use as well as survival situations. It features a durable all-metal design and is available in a couple of colors for you to choose from.
With a name like Tesla behind it, you can be sure that this one on lighter than won’t let you down when you’re fighting for survival.
Next up is another excellent portable lighter, the Everstryke Match Pro Lighter.
Constructed of stainless steel, this lighter packs a punch, despite its humble dimensions and lightweight. It comes attached to a sturdy clip, so you can pop this lighter on the outside of your pack, on your belt, or even attached to your wallet, so you can be sure to have it handy when you need it.
Although you will need to purchase lighter fuel for this one, you’ll be pleased to know that the replaceable wick lasts ten times longer than average, so won’t have to keep on shelling out for those. We also love that the O-ring stops your fuel from leaking out and also stops debris and water from making their way inside the unit.
Our major gripe with this light is its lack of wind protection – there are no extra features to protect the flame. However, if you want to make sure that you have a lighter with you at all times, then this waterproof lighter might just do the trick – oh, and it’s an absolute bargain at his price too.
And last, but by no means least, on our list of the best survival lighters is the SOTO Pocket Torch.
This torch-style lighter uses regular lighter fuel but the flame is far more powerful, which is great if you find yourself needing a lighter while out in strong winds or when you’re trying to light slightly damp kindling – the flame gets as hot as 2300°F!
To operate, add a disposable lighter (remember – they can be refilled so you don’t need to buy a new one when you run out of juice) and simply push the button on the side of the handle. Because it operates from a regular lighter, you can always pop one or two spares in your pack if you don’t have space for a whole fuel can, making it great for backpacking adventures.
Although it’s slightly bulkier than a regular lighter, it’s surprisingly lightweight (weighing in at under 2 oz), so as long as you’ve got space in your bag it’s not going to weigh you down. While it isn’t technically water resistant, the fact that your lighter is hidden from the elements somewhat does mean you can use this lighter in mild drizzle – but don’t expect it to work in a Monson.
It’s also not constructed from heavy-duty materials like some of the other options we’ve seen, as this would increase the weight too much. However, if you want a powerful flame that can stand up to most things, as long as you’ve got room in your pack, then this torch is a great shout.
So, there you have it, our list of the best survival lighters around. As we’ve seen, no two survival lighters are quite the same, so what is it that you should be sussing out before you pick up one of your very own?
As we’ve seen, lighters can run on gas, liquid fuel, and even electricity. Electric lighters are awesome because you don’t have to spend any more money on fuel later down the line, but if you run out of juice in the wild then you might be in trouble (you can take a power bank with you, but that’s going to weigh you down a fair bit). You can take extra gas or liquid fuel with you as a backup, but you’ll have to keep purchasing them every now and then. So, it all comes down to how much you want to pack and how organized you are.
If you’re on a backpacking trip, then portability is key. As we’ve seen, you can get teenie survival lighters that you’ll hardly know you have with you. While these nifty little things are super convenient, they won’t last you as long as a larger one will do if you find yourself in an emergency situation, so bear that in mind.
Think about how much your lighter will end up getting knocked around while in your possession – if it’s a lot, it might be worth splashing out on a heavier, but more durable, lighter. If you think it will be tucked away safely in a pack somewhere most of the time, then you can probably get away with a lighter, cheaper, but slightly less durable, lighter.
There are clearly plenty of contenders out there, but if we had to pick our top three survival lighters what would they be?
If we were shopping on a budget, our first port of call would definitely be the True Utility FireStash Lighter. This awesome little lighter is super convenient thanks to its lightweight and tiny key-chain size, yet it’s also super sturdy and can keep water and debris at bay.
What’s more, it’s refillable, so you don’t have to keep wasting money on disposable lighters.
Our top allround survival lighter just has to be the Icfun Portable Lighter. This fuel-free rechargeable lighter saves you money on fuel refills, is waterproof and dustproof, and it even comes with a lanyard for added convenience.
And if a portable, durable lighter wasn’t enough… it also features a flashlight on the end, so it really does cover all your survival basics.
But our absolute favorite survival lighter is hands-down the lcfun Waterproof Lighter. You can rest assured that you can depend on this lighter in a survival scenario thanks to its incredibly robust, waterproof design.
What’s more, it’s rechargeable, so you don’t have to worry about fuel, and the battery life on this thing is awesome. If there’s one lighter we’d want by our side when fighting for survival, this is it.