Survival Blog | Survival Spot

Lighter Showdown: The Best Survival Lighter




When it comes to survival, fire starting can mean the difference between life and death. So having a good lighter is paramount to increasing your chances of survival.

While many Prepper and survivalist sites will advise you to add matches and primitive fire starting materials to your bug out bag, we’re of the mindset “why make things harder than they need to be?”  Sure you can add some waterproof matches to your survival stash as a backup plan but first and foremost every smart Prepper should have several high-quality lighters at home and in their bug out bags just in case.  If you’re in a true survival situation the very last thing you want to have to worry about is trying to start a fire with two sticks or a magnifying glass.

That is why one of the very first things I advise my readers to add to their preps is a solid, well built and dependable lighter. What’s the best survival lighter you ask?  We’ve taken some of the most popular choices and compared them side-by-side to find out which lighter is the best survival lighter.

Disposable Lighters

When it comes to disposable lighters there are two basic kinds; the cheap ones and BIC’s. Flat out DO NOT use a cheap disposable for survival purposes, they extremely unreliable and your life is too important to risk over a few dollars.

Pros: Cheap

Easy to replace

Easy to buy in bulk

Cons: Not reusable (I’ve heard you can refill them, but even if it were possible you have a cruddy plastic lighter)

Don’t perform well in cold weather (butane becomes difficult to vaporize at colder temperatures making it harder to burn)

Not very durable, break easily

Zippo Lighters

Zippo lighters have been used since 1932, they are reliable, hold up in harsh conditions and reusable. Not to mention you can personalize your lighter with various cool designs.

Pros: Very reusable (fuel, wicks and flints are easily replaced)

Lot’s of accessories

Withstands a great deal of moderate/severe weather types

Cons: Not completely “wind proof”

Fuel only lasts for a week or two of heavy usage

Stormproof Lighter


Stormproof lighters are really a great survival tool. In the worst wind and wettest conditions a fire could be possible with one of these lighters.

Pros: Virtually windproof

Burn really hot

Usually very dependable

Cons: Don’t perform well in cold weather (butane becomes difficult to vaporize at colder temperatures making it harder to burn)

Storm lighters are expensive

Fuel is expensive and has short duration during use

The Winner?

The Stormproof Lighter wins our lighter showdown because of it’s outstanding performance in severe wind, rain and snow. From a cost perspective the Zippo is the best lighter but doesn’t quite meet the storm proof lighters level of weather resistance and heat of flame.

Additional Resources:

Top 100 Items to Disappear in a National Emergency

9 Unique Alternative Housing Ideas

Top 10 Survival Movies

120 Useful Books for Your Survival Library

11 Survival TV Shows Worth Watching

10 Bad A** Sniper Rifles

***This article was contributed by Chrystle Poss a.k.a. “Survival Girl”, Owner of this Survival Blog and devoted Prepper. She has been writing articles on survival and emergency preparedness since 2006. You can find her work on various websites and publications.***