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Starting a fire with sticks or flint and steel is mighty impressive, but when the chips are down and you really need a flame, wouldn’t you rather get a fire going than dazzle your campmates? No matter how many ways you know how to make fire, you should still carry a lighter, preferably multiples, and one of them should be windproof. Even if it’s not the first choice for kindling a flame, it will be your ace in the hole when dealt a rough hand by Mother Nature. Here’s why windproof lighters are essential for every outdoors kit.



Short of gasoline and a blow torch, a windproof lighter is the easiest way to get a fire going. They come in three basic types: butane, electric arc, and plasma wave. Don’t worry about the technology so much as the weather features. Some are waterproof and others are not. If you really need an all-weather lighter, look for a model marketed as windproof and waterproof. You’re not going to light a fuse underwater, but the case will be sealed to keep the element dry and ready to go in any situation you are likely to encounter.

Tesla Coil Lighters


Whether the lighter is powered by butane, plasma wave, or Tesla arc, it should be rechargeable or refillable. Many of the electric lighters work directly off of a USB connection, but that means you need a power source to recharge. The big advantage of butane is that you can easily carry a refueling source just about anywhere.



There’s something nostalgic and rugged about a flip-top metal lighter. Zippo has perfected these over the years, and their windproof version is as classy as ever. Next time your fellow campers are huddled over a pile of wet tinder and a book of soggy matchers, that distinctive Zippo “click” will let everyone know you mean business.