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Bic lighter shelf (bag) life?

Discussion in 'Other Every Day Carry Items' started by Eeyore, Oct 22, 2012.

  1. Eeyore

    Eeyore Loaded Pockets

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    I'm getting too old and clumsy to pack the firesteel. I think I want to add a small Bic lighters to my various EDC, BOB, car kits. I don't smoke and will only use it in emergencies. Do these lighters have a "shelf life?" How long do they last in a trunk of a car? Can you seal or vacuum pack them?
     
  2. Blackheart

    Blackheart Loaded Pockets

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    Well, in theory the shelf life should be infinite as it's just a sealed container of butane with a valve and a striker. In reality, the valve seal will eventually rot and the gas will escape. How long this takes is a function of where it's stored. Generally speaking, one stored in the trunk of a car won't last as long as one stored in a nice, cool, dry place. I don't have any time estimates, but I've had BICs lying in a kitchen drawer for around 5 years that worked just fine. Why not just check them around once a year? You should be going through your kit at least that often.

    Side note: I've found that twist ties around the valve lever (to keep it from being unintentionally depressed) are better than cable ties (a lot easier to get off) or rubber bands (twist ties don't rot). Look for them in the produce department of your grocery store.
     
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  3. Kilted1

    Kilted1 Loaded Pockets

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    So long as it doesn't get so hot the plastic fails or some mechanical damage like getting stepped on, or the metal parts rust out, the shelf life should be effectively infinite. It should be fine in the trunk of a car with no special preparation other than making sure nothing can press the button.
     
  4. boyo17

    boyo17 EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    If you're getting old now,,,,,,,,, then a Bic lighter will still be around and working when you (and me) are dust
     
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  5. wildborego

    wildborego EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    They are pretty cheap that you could replace them every 6 months or so
     
  6. AK Adventurer

    AK Adventurer Ice, Ice, Tigre

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    I have 2 or 3 that were bought new in late '97.(my Dad was given them for Christmas that year, but he quite smoking soon after, and they just got put on a shelf and forgotten till I started smoking 7 years ago, and I use them off and on.) They work fine, been using one of them constantly since this last spring.

    I also have one thats been in use off and on since '94 or '95... Still works fine. Some were stored in the cool damp basement shop, one in the living room, through all the Hot humid or dry summers, and cooler dry winters. That oldest one spent several years on the dash of my truck for an emergency lighter, baked at over 100 in the summer and subjected to -60 in the winter.

    I figure you can't kill them.

    G.
     
  7. Fabregas485
    • In Omnia Paratus

    Fabregas485 Loaded Pockets

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    If your worried about shelf life, get a box of matches as well as a back up.
     
  8. gdwtvb

    gdwtvb Loaded Pockets

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    I have at least one that I can verify being over ten years old and I still use it for incense. It might be older than that, I 'borrowed' it at a barbeque ten-12 years ago and left it in my pocket after using. (This was before finding EDC forums...now the thought of not having one, or seven, separate fire starting solutions near at hand is unheard of.:D ) It's the only bic I own with a silkscreened picture. It just lays in the junk drawer. But still, ten plus years is pretty amazing when you think about it. The ones stashed around my car and in bags get changed out pretty regularly as I fiddle with them, give them away to people that need lights, etc. No worries.

    Grizz
     
  9. jim from california

    jim from california Loaded Pockets

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    bic last forever,washed and dried them a few times(forget them in laundry) and they still work,i suppose a cheaper brand wouldnt last as long...
     
  10. Scrub

    Scrub Loaded Pockets

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    I have so many bics its ridiculous. We find them at work all the time and I squirrel them away. Find them on the beach, in the lake, in the pool and they almost always still work. I stick them in bags, drawers and cars and they seem to survive quite well.

    Unfortunately I never find the little ones which I prefer in my pocket.
     
  11. ShadowE

    ShadowE Loaded Pockets

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    I always lose them quick too!

    Sent from my Mobile Command Center via Tapatalk II
     
  12. nuphoria

    nuphoria Loaded Pockets

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    I've found them in random places they must have been lost 25yrs - still work, no probs.
     
  13. mzil

    mzil Loaded Pockets

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    Many lighters use a rubber o-ring gasket at their butane intake valve and rubber can decay over years/decades especially in tropical or hot environments (like a summer baked car). It's never happened to me though. They seem pretty tough.

    To safeguard against accidentally depressing the button in your pocket or bag, you can zip tie a nylon wire tie underneath the thumb rest, so it can't depress until you remove the guard, and if you'd like to make them key chain friendly you can bore out or drill the air intake nostrils to insert a split ring. [That last one I came up with and I show it here.]
     
  14. mole

    mole EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    today i bought 2 bics with double capacity (as they say on the package) ........i guess they last forever
     
  15. radiobob

    radiobob Loaded Pockets

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    I once found one while diving at the bottom of a lake, it had been there a long time, dried it out, worked just fine.

    Bob
     
  16. paul_ems

    paul_ems Loaded Pockets

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    I found one camping, it was sun faded and rusted, but still worked fine.