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Check those BIC disposable lighters

Discussion in 'Survival/Preparedness Forum' started by Dirk Pitt, Mar 13, 2012.

  1. Dirk Pitt

    Dirk Pitt Millennium Member

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    Jan 12, 1999
    USA
    While going through my stuff last night I came across a package of 5 BIC lighters (disposable type) that I had purchased and placed in my fire starter box. I noticed the inside of the bubble package had a white misty type coating on the inside and it was all over the lighters too. I opened it up and the entire contents were covered in this very fine powder like material. The top of each lighter looked like it had corrosion on it and would not even turn. I got one to move under extreme pressure with no spark. Also when you push the tab down in the back of lighter for the gas it just did a small release of gas, poof! and that was it. They were all bone dry – empty. The white substance must be the fuel dried up, since it has no were to go in the sealed package it just coated the inside. I am guesstimating they are 4-5 years old. Glad I found them when I did, another lesson learned in things to look for and product rotation, shelf life.

    So, If you have any of these stored away you might want to give them a check, I don’t know if it was just my batch or is this an example of what will happen after years of storage to all of them. But when I buy these in the future I will put them on my “watch” list of items that may expire and rotate them out.
     
  2. quake

    quake Millennium Member

    4,142
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    Aug 4, 1999
    Arkansas, USA
    We keep a bunch of disposable lighters on hand, generics bought in 100 packs at Sam's. I'd wonder if you got a bad batch or something bad happened to them.

    Some percentage of loss is something we've come to expect. Usually it's 2-3 out of a hundred-pack (at most - usually only one or two), depending on age. Never have come close to having all of a pack go bad; even after several years on the shelf. The pack we're using from now was bought in 2005 (I mark the pack when bought), and I don't believe we've had three bad ones out of it yet, and have used 85-90 out of the pack.

    {edit - In a pack or vehicle, I've had a higher percentage fail, but that's been due to jostling & rust usually; not just "going bad".}
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2012

  3. Angry Fist

    Angry Fist Dehumanizer® Lifetime Member

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    Hellbilly Hill
  4. Bolster

    Bolster Not Ready Yet!

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    Good reminder, thanks.

    There's no difference storing right side up, or on their sides?
     
  5. Dirk Pitt

    Dirk Pitt Millennium Member

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    Jan 12, 1999
    USA
    Dunno, they were just thrown in a box.
     
  6. Dirk Pitt

    Dirk Pitt Millennium Member

    332
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    Jan 12, 1999
    USA

    OK, I give up what are you trying to say here?
     
  7. kirgi08

    kirgi08 Watcher. Silver Member

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    Acme proving grounds.
  8. Dalton Wayne

    Dalton Wayne Epic mustache Millennium Member

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    Central Florida
    Learn to use a flint and steel and how to maintain it, yes they need to be maintained and it will never let you down.
     
  9. LSUAdman

    LSUAdman Pew Pew

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    Texas


    He's reminding us to not eat desicant gel, haha

    Good thing to think of OP. I've never had a bic fail, but I also dont smoke. I have kept one disposable outside, in the elements for about two years for when I do occasionally enjoy a cigar...and it's always worked. Must be lucky with that one.

    We keep a few in the car, BOBs, etc. Going to have to check them soon I guess. Thanks for the reminder!
     
  10. Bolster

    Bolster Not Ready Yet!

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    OK, I'll bite. How to maintain a flint and steel?
     
  11. Dalton Wayne

    Dalton Wayne Epic mustache Millennium Member

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    Apr 5, 1999
    Central Florida
    Well you need a small firebox to make char cloth in, you need to keep dry tinder, you need cotton to make char cloth hope that helps.

    Without char cloth it's a lot of work to start a fire
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2012
  12. Bolster

    Bolster Not Ready Yet!

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    THought you were referring to maintaining the flint and the steel. Ie, coating them so they won't oxidize or something.

    But you're talking about actually making the fire, gotcha.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2012
  13. G29Reload

    G29Reload Tread Lightly

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    OP does not say where he lives. Humid environment?

    On a boat at a marina?
    SE AK?
    Seattle?
    New Orleans/Gulf Coast?

    Humidity and corrosion could be a factor there.

    I say diversify, rotate and check stock. Test.

    Matches
    Zippo lighter / Naptha, lighter fluid in stock, sealed.
    Flint/tinder
    Bics
    Blastmatch
    Knowing how to make a bow saw
    Refillable butane lighters…


    I'd keep good matches stored in a mason jar.
     
  14. quake

    quake Millennium Member

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    Arkansas, USA
    Ours are kept in their packs which holds them upright. Orientation may well play a part; don't know.
     
  15. i put a couple boxes worth of strike anywhere matches in a glass jar with a rubber seal - the type with the wire clasp closure. i used them to start fires in the pit but left hem in the garage with the charcoal and fuel and such. guess i stored them with too much humidity in the summer or something as i left them out one night and the inside of the jar condensated enough to ruin all of them.
     
  16. Angry Fist

    Angry Fist Dehumanizer® Lifetime Member

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    That, and keep a few around to keep moisture down. Never hurts.
     
  17. LSUAdman

    LSUAdman Pew Pew

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    Texas

    I really need to buy a few packs. I've been putting it off for too long. Plus they taste sooooo good. :supergrin:
     
  18. I worked for Bic for 10 years. I never heard of a shelf life and never heard of any age problems. There was an issue about 20 years or so ago where Bic lighters were losing their gas and exploding but that was corrected before I started working for them.



    /



    /
     
  19. Dirk Pitt

    Dirk Pitt Millennium Member

    332
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    Jan 12, 1999
    USA
    I am in Los Angeles,we have lots of issues but humidity isn't one of them! lol
    Just FYI for everyone, I have flint, matches all that other stuff this is just one more thing I have in my box o fire !
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2012
  20. I have a handful of refillable jet lighters, disposables rotated regularly, matches, and firestarter kits (x3), but never underestimate a good magnifying glass during daytime in LA.