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Survival Lighter Buyer’s Guide

If you have ever spent a day or two in the wild, you cannot agree more about why a reliable survival lighter is essential!

With a survival lighter, you can ignite a fire quickly for cooking and for keeping the predators away.

Do you know how to choose the best survival lighter? Well, there are multiple types and options available in the market that choosing the right lighter becomes daunting.

But with this survival lighter buyer's guide, you can choose a terrific lighter that will make your journey easy while you are out in the wilds.

Why Do You Need a Survival Lighter?

There are a multitude of benefits of having a survival lighter handy all the time. Not only will it help you in burning fire quickly, but also you don't have to struggle with stone and survival knife to ignite it.

Here are some obvious reasons to get a survival lighter:

It Keeps You Warm

Surviving in the wild means battling with excessive cold, and you can’t carry a blanket or quilt with you. In this situation, a survival lighter will be a boon as it lets you ignite a fire in seconds. Just put some efforts into finding dry woods and bushes, and you are good to go.

Lets You Boil Water

Clean water is one of the essential things you will miss in the outdoors, but with a survival lighter, you can boil water to make it drinkable. Survival lighters are water and windproof so that you can ignite the fire easily without any hassles.

Keeps Predators Away

To keep the predators away, you need firelight, as it is the only viable option to prevent predators from coming closer to your camp or site. And you need a survival lighter to light up the firelight.

They Don’t Get Wet

Unlike matches, survival lighters don't get wet, provide that you have a waterproof one. The lighter will even work if you have crossed a river, or the conditions are too humid to burn matches.

There are umpteen benefits of having a survival lighter, including these. So it is a must to get a good survival lighter before you plan your next adventure to some certain place.

Critical Factors to Consider Before Buying a Survival Lighter

There are tons of essential factors that impact the lifespan of a survival lighter. Furthermore, choosing a lighter based on these factors will help you in selecting the best option for the money. Not all the survival lighters are windproof, nor are all refillable, so you have to make a wise choice, and this buyer's guide will be a big help.

Types of Survival Lighters

We have classified the types of survival lighters based on the fuel and technology they use. You will see a plethora of options available to choose from, and you can choose the right type with the following information.

Butane Lighters

Butane survival lighters are excellent and handy. Also, these are more affordable, and the fuel tends to last longer without any issues of leakage. But you will face some problems during the cold.

Butane survival lighters aren’t reliable in freezing temperatures, so you should avoid them if your next destination is in the snow. For warm and humid weather, butane survival lighters are the right choice.

Lastly, refilling butane lighters is challenging as butane tanks aren’t very portable.

Propane Lighters

Propane survival lighters are better as compared to the butane counterparts, as these work well in cold temperatures as well. Additionally, propane tanks are portable, and you can have one handy to refill the lighter whenever required.

However, there are no significant differences in terms of size and handiness of the lighter.

USB or Electric Survival Lighters

USB or electric survival lighters tend to be a viable option as the lighters work anywhere and anytime. There are no restrictions of altitude, and temperature and you can quickly ignite a fire. Also, another best part about USB lighters is that there are no chances of fuel leakage, and you don't have to carry a tank.

You can recharge the lighter to keep it running every day.

Wick-Based Lighters

Wick-based lighters may be an appealing option for most users, as these are good to use in cold weather. However, the chances of fuel leakage are high, and you have to be extra careful while using this lighter.

Every survival lighter type has some distinct pros and cons, but you can quickly make your decision based on the statements as mentioned above.


Refillable lighters are better as compared to disposable survival lighters if you travel more frequently. Also, if you are on a more extended trip, you can refill the lighter to keep it using day and night. On the other hand, disposable lighters are good for use and throw.

After the fuel runs out, you have to toss the lighter into the bin as there's no other option left. Buying refillable lighter costs more depending on the type you are going for. So the choice is ultimately up to you whether you want to continue the voyage with just one lighter or you need a bunch of disposable lighters at cheaper rates.

Overall, refillable survival lighters always make a better option in the long-haul. You can stock some fuel to refill the lighter on the go, so you have your favorite lighter with you all the time.


Generally, most of the survival lighters are durable as these are manufactured to withstand even extreme weather conditions. But there are some models available that are extra durable and you can expect a considerable lifespan with them.

Refillable survival lighters are more durable than disposable ones, and the reasons are evident. Always go for a durable lighter even if it costs more so that you don't have to struggle to safeguard it.

Buying branded lighters is a good idea, as these last longer, and you get the assurance of excellent after-sales service. Some popular survival lighter manufacturing brands are ICFUN, Zippo, TG and much more.

Water Resistant

A wet survival lighter is of no use provided that you have a water resistant one. It can rain anytime, or there are some other factors as well that can rinse the lighter making it unfit for use. But if you have a water resistant survival lighter, then things will be in your favor.

Even if you drop the lighter in a puddle or wash it intentionally, a water resistant survival lighter will work flawlessly. You don’t have to wait for the lighter to get dry, and that can save you from the disaster.

Consider checking the water-resistance feature beforehand, choosing a survival lighter.

Wind Resistant

A strong blow of wind is enough to blow the flame, and therefore you have to ignite the lighter multiple times. There are numerous survival lighters available that have a windproof flame so you can ignite a fire quickly.

The most common type of wind resistant lighters is USB or rechargeable lighters. These lighters offer plasma or other heating lasers instead of a direct flame. Wicked and butane lighters are prone to blowouts if strong currents of wind are blowing in the area.

The Altitude or Elevation

How high are you planning to go? If the altitude is very high, then there's a chance that you will find some problems with the lighter as it needs oxygen to burn the fuel. Electric lighters work well on all altitudes as there is no flame in them.

The lighters use a beam of plasma or any other laser that creates high heat, and you can ignite different things with it. Wicked lighters will make it harder for you to ignite a fire on high altitudes, so you should avoid using such lighters.


Yes, all survival lighters are portable, and they will fit in your pocket easily? But what about the fuel tank that you have to carry to refill the lighter?

Also, there are other risks associated with carrying the fuel tank, such as protecting it from high heat and spilling in your bag. Again electric or USB lighters are excellent and highly portable. You can recharge the lighters anywhere, and there is no need to carry a fuel tank.

You can get a solar charging kit to recharge the lighter. Propane survival lighters are also very portable, and there are compact fuel tanks available that aren't cumbersome.

Ease of Use

Survival lighters are easy to use, and you don't have to struggle to ignite them. But there can be some struggles in refilling the lighter. Refilling a survival lighter needs precision as these are small, and you have to fill the fuel carefully.

Also, go for the options that require just one hand to ignite the fire so that you can manage other activities simultaneously. Propane, butane, electric, wicked, all are good lighters and are easy to use.


Survival lighters are available at a myriad of processes, and some of these are highly affordable. Refillable lighters are more expensive than disposable counterparts, so that you can make your choice accordingly.

We suggest you to make your budget beforehand, as you need multiple lighters before you head to the destination. Having more than one light will be beneficial as you can use the other lighter if the previous one fails due to unforeseen reasons.

FAQs about Best Survival Lighters

Are plasma lighters ideal for survival?

You can count on plasma lighters for survival as these are reliable and resistant to wind blowouts. Unlike fuel-powered lighters, you don't have to refill the lighter, and charging it again will be enough to use it further.

However, plasma survival lighters don't have good water resistance, so you have to safeguard the lighter from getting wet.

In a nutshell, if you are planning to go to a dry area, then plasma lighters can be the right choice. These survival lighters work well on high altitudes as well.

Is it worth it to buy a refillable survival lighter?

It's natural to worry whether a refillable survival lighter will be the right choice as these are pricier than disposable lighters. If considered in the long run, then refillable lighters are best. You can refill the lighter multiple times, and it is ready to serve you.

On the other hand, disposable lighters may seem cheaper, but you have to carry multiple lighters along with you. And the lifespan of these lighters is small.

What is the best survival lighter brand?

Multiple renowned brands manufacture reliable survival lighter i.e., Zippo, UCO, Tesla, Windmill, Xikar, and the list is exhausting. Ultimately, it depends on your preference and budget. All of these brands manufacture durable lighters, and you will have a decent experience with them.

Check the warranty and other terms before buying a survival lighter so that you get the after-sales service when needed.

My lighter has stopped working; what should I do?

There can be many reasons why the lighter isn’t working. You can check whether it has enough fuel to light the flame or are any signs of leakage. Additionally, some survival lighters can get damaged if exposed to water for a prolonged time.

Try to fill some fuel in the lighter and try igniting it again. So the lighter is still not working? It’s better to go with a new one, instead of spending time repairing your lighter.

Consider this survival lighter buyer's guide to finding the best lighter for your requirements.

What happens if I submerge my lighter underwater?

If you have a water resistant lighter, then nothing will happen to it. Waterproof survival lighters can bear the water, and you can use the lighter again without drying it. In case you have a regular lighter, then it can get damaged due to the exposure of water.

We recommend not submerging your lighter underwater intestinally. Keep your lighter dry so that it can serve you with a remarkable lifespan.

Can propane lighter explode?

Survival lighters are durable and made to withstand extreme pressure and temperature. But there’s still a possibility that the lighter can explode if mishandled. You have to be extra careful while using gas-powered lighters as these can explode in high temperatures.

There are no serious cases reported to date, so you can use the survival lighter by keeping extra care.

What are some best practices to use butane lighters?

Here are a handful of tips you should follow for using butane survival lighters safely.

  • Always make sure that the lighter is cold before you start refilling it again. Using the lighter for a long time can make it hot, and if you refill butane, then inevitable accidents can take place. Use your hands to check if the lighter is too hot to refill.
  • Store butane in a well ventilated area. If you are getting a butane tank as well to refill the lighter, then store it at a safe place without exposure to heat or sunlight.
  • Wear proper gear when you refill the lighter i.e., glasses or gloves, to protect your eyes and skin from exposure to the gas.

With these tips, you can use and refill the lighter safely. It’s indispensable to ensure 100% safety while using a survival lighter to curtail the chances of any mishaps.

Are Zippo lighters waterproof?

It depends on the type of lighter you are going with. There are some survival lighters from Zippo that are water resistant, and you can use them even if these are wet. Make sure to check it beforehand as all Zippos are not waterproof.

What is the most reliable survival lighter?

There is a long list of brands that manufacture reliable survival lighters. You can follow this buyer’s guide to select the best reliable survival lighter for your money. The only reason we are here with this guide is to assist you in choosing the best lighter.

How long does a survival lighter last?

Survival lighters are built to withstand extreme weather conditions. These lighters can bear intense pressure, high temperature, and wear-and-tear, so these last longer. Still, we suggest taking more than one lighter with you as these are prone to leakage and other such issues.

Try to buy different types of lighters like a propane-powered, and other electric so you can use either one in different conditions.

To Sum Up

With this comprehensive buyer's guide, you can quickly select the best survival lighter to take on your next adventurous trip. Having a reliable lighter has multiple benefits like you can ignite the fire anytime, plus most of these work even in extreme conditions.

You should never underestimate the worth of a good lighter as it can be a lifesaver for you. We kept all the critical features at the cornerstone to ensure that you can compare different lighters to choose the elite one. / - © Copyright 2020