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While poking around recently in REI’s camping gear, I saw something that at first made me scoff: a $55 “stormproof” camping lighter, right next to the five-buck “stormproof” matches. But then I checked out the specs: the Windmill Delta Stormproof Lighter uses a catalyzer coil that will hold a flame even in 70 – 80 mph winds.

The gas flow is adjustable, allowing a flame at variable elevations, and the 2 oz. lighter is shockproof and water-tight. Customer reviews say it’s a bit bulky but quite reliable. If you camp at the state park like my family always did, you may not need to lay down the cash (though street pricing puts it more around $40), but if you’re the serious outdoors type, a reliable flame can be a big comfort.

Stormproof Lighter [REI]
Street Pricing [Google]
Via Amazon [What’s This?]


5 Responses to An (Almost) Eternal Flame: Stormproof Lighter

  1. JT says:

    Great lighter, I’ve had one for over 6 years, not my everyday burner but I use it at least 4 or 5 times daily. I’ve also had a small can of butane for as long. They also make a smaller pocket lighter that has the same mechanism and isn’t quite as waterproof.

  2. Dave H says:

    I’m not as thrilled with mine. Whoever designed it needs to rethink how the top hinges. It does not open up a full 180 degrees and trying to light kindling under a campfire is a royal pain. You have to hold down the thumb trigger to maintain the flame while manuvering the top in and around sticks to get the flame down to the kindling etc… I typically end up having to light a small piece of kindling and putting that down into the base of the sticks/papers which defeats the whole purpose of having a wind-proof lighter eh?

  3. Geoff says:

    Friend of mine has a similar lighter by Brunton the Helios. It performs as advertised that it won’t blow out but the he has had problem with it not staying lit at altitudes. Nothing extreme just 6000-8000 ft. He also tells me that it specifies that it needs to use high quality butane. Something about cheap butane with low impurities that can clog the burner orifices.

  4. michael says:

    also, these pressurized butane lighters suck when youre changing altitudes, brought one on a climbing trip (2+ weeks, a few thousand feet of elevation gain in a short amount of time each day) and the thing was completely unreliable. My bic and my matches worked fine though

  5. Mike Hard says:

    Dumb. More techno-tacti-cool outdoor gadgets that take away the focus on what is important in camping, outdoors and woodcraft, that is, to be able to apply your theoretical knowledge and hone your skills. No GPS, locator beacon or high-tech lighter can replace the knowledge and comfort in knowing how to find your way out of the woods with or without a map and compass. For fire starting, simple waterproof and windproof matches will be more reliable and less weight. Know how to start a fire with a flint/steel (high carbon knife can be used to improvise) or learn how to fashion a bow drill as backup methods (though learned individuals should be able to find their way out of the bush before these methods become necessary). Most important, PRACTICE!!! It is an amazingly liberating experience when you know how to start a fire from a knife and the wood around you. Remember, as Mors Kochanski says, the the woods are neutral. They are not for or against you. It is up to YOU to be able to ensure your survival. Man has been living primitively for much longer than “civilly”–they did not have any of these “gadgets”, but relied on skill and knowledge. There are so many resources in the woods it is up to the individual to learn about them, and hone his craft.

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