Lighter In The Hat

Staying comfortable outdoors is difficult in wet, soak you to the bone, conditions. Think early season snow storms while elk hunting or non stop rain while chasing steelhead. Weather you are out for multiple days or just trying to get warm midday, lighting the stove to make a hot drink or starting a fire to warm your core might be in order.

Despite all the various survival methods for creating fire, I’ve always been a simple Bic lighter type of guy. With time outdoors in wet, cold environments from Scandanavia to Alaska and Montana to Patagonia it has never let me down.

But the Bic lighter can struggle when wet. A number of years ago I learned a trick that has come through for me on numerous occasions. Simply stick the lighter in your hat. I suppose any dry warm place would do, but tucked up inside a beanie next to your warm head the lighter will dry quickly. You are also less likely to lose it in the dirt while tending to the fire or stove.



4 Comments on “Lighter In The Hat

  1. In the early ’70s I was living on the Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia, where at certain times of the year the rain is more than constant. Got a job as a choker, hooking up logs, at a camp run by MacBlo. On my first day as a logger, cold, wet, and tired,I was struck by the awesome responsibility of the guy who started the noon-time fire. You just couldn’t mess up, and yet all the wood was either wet or green. Turned out no problem: a couple of gallons of number 2 diesel and the wood burned like a ring in Dante’s Inferno.

  2. Family lore, in my family, had my uncle proudly taking my grandfather out for a sail in his new (to him) racing sailboat. Of course they ended up flipped and treading water in the Atlantic. Anyway, harbour patrol came by and picked them up. After they pulled them aboard, my grandfather took off his hat, reached up into the hatband and pulled out matches and a dry cigar. “I knew this was going to happen,” he remarked.

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