If we’ve learned anything from the wilderness, it’s to always be prepared for anything. A good survival lighter can help you out in any situation, from a planned camping trip to an unplanned emergency situation. With the hundreds of options available on the market, the question remains: how do I find the best lighter for me?

First you need to know what a survival lighter is. It's a bushcrafting tool that can produce a source of fire no matter the environment. These type of lighters are typically wind and waterproof for when you need warmth the most.

Top Lighters For Camping And Backpacking in 2021

Product Name

Price

Rating


Icfun Dual-Arc Plasma Lighter

$

Frog & Co. Tough Tesla Lighter 2.0

$

JETPRO Double Torch Lighter

$

SURVIVE Permanent Match

$

Icfun USB Arc Lighter

$

Tactic Ops Dual-Arc Electric Lighter

$

UST Refillable Floating Lighter

$

Gudui Keychain Fire-Starter Bottle Opener

$

TACAMO H2 Dual-Head Flameless Lighter

$$

Scotte Plasma Arc Lighter and Firestarter Kit

$

1. Icfun Dual-Arc Plasma Lighter


Overall Rating:

5 / 5

For durability and ease of use, this survival lighter is a total win. The Icfun Dual-Arc Plasma lighter is windproof, waterproof, and totally flameless. In addition to the lighter itself, you'll receive a comfortable lanyard to hang it from, making it a great option for evening hikes.


Weighting in at only 3.52 ounces, nothing will weigh you down! Plus, it comes with a 60-day guarantee so you can test it out yourself.

Pros

  • A flameless lighter means no messing with gas or butane. Eco friendly and safe
  • Comes in six different colors
  • Water-proof, wind-proof, and only weighs 1.76 ounces

Cons

  • The space where the plasma arc sits is a bit small, and may not be able to light things that cannot come into direct contact with the “flame”, like a tobacco pipe
  • Remember to charge it

2. Frog & Co. Tough Tesla Lighter 2.0


Overall Rating:

5 / 5

Frog & Co.’s Tesla Lighter is rechargeable via USB and takes just two hours to fully charge. Each charge yields about 300 uses on average and ignition is instantaneous.


Plus, there’s a ten second safety time-out so that you don’t have to worry about a thing. The case of this survival lighter is durable for the outdoors and can take a beating without losing any function.

Pros

  • Waterproof and windproof
  • Built in safety whistle and flashlight with three light modes
  • You'll get six months to return it for any reason and a three year warranty

Cons

  • Only comes in black, so it could be difficult to find in the dark
  • Slightly more expensive than some of our other options

3. JETPRO Double Torch Lighter


Overall Rating:

5 / 5

If you prefer a more classic fuel-driven survival lighter, this JETPRO survival torch is a great option to consider. It has a tough casing that will function regardless of the environment, this survival lighter also has a great feel to it; not too heavy, but not too lightweight.


This lighter has a 1.2 gram fuel capacity, eliminating the need to charge; if your phone always seems to be dead, something classic like butane might be the best choice for you!

Pros

  • The lighter insert fits any standard Zippo case; similarly, the sturdy waterproof case and fits any standard Zippo insert
  • Built in flame adjuster lets you manage your butane consumption
  • Handy lanyard and safety whistle - you never know when you’ll need it

Cons

  • You won't have to charge it, but you will have to purchase your own butane since the lighter ships empty for safety reasons
  • The components of this survival lighter do not fit Zippo slim or 1953 replica cases

4. SURVIVE Permanent Match


Overall Rating:

5 / 5

This lightweight, portable fuel lighter is as fun as it is useful. The “match” is a simple combination of a wick and a good old-fashioned flint striker; the small cylindrical container holds the fuel and features a steel strike pad.


If you’ve ever struck a match, you’ll already know how to use this! It's extremely easy to use and more dependable than your average matches. It's perfect to store in multiple places or to hand out to your group, incase of emergency events. They are also known as disposable lighters when they stop working to save space.

Pros

  • Compact enough to carry around every day
  • Weather resistant, this flame perks up regardless of the conditions
  • You can use this to light anything a standard match would light, so pretty much anything

Cons

  • If you fill the container too high or use it at the wrong angle, you risk spilled fuel
  • While it does come with extra wicks, they will eventually burn up and need to be replaced

5. Icfun USB Arc Lighter


Overall Rating:

4.5 / 5

Similar to the previous Icfun survival torch, this is a flameless plasma lighter that is rechargeable via USB. The multi-functional feature on this survival lighter is great for any emergency needs. This allows you to carry multiples of emergency tools for your kit; that way you will always have a secondary incase your primary flashlight dies.


However, this version doubles as a surprisingly powerful flashlight, for its size. The bright gold aluminum alloy shell is tough and water resistant, and the flame is once again windproof.

Pros

  • Multi purposed tool
  • Even better suited for camping and hiking, since it does double-duty as a flashlight
  • Eco-friendly

Cons

  • Slightly heavier than the previous Icfun model, weighing in at 5.26 ounces
  • Looks a bit clunky

6. Tactic Ops Dual-Arc Electric Lighter


Overall Rating:

4.5 / 5

This survival lighter’s all-elements casing comes in black or orange and looks like a total survivalist's tool.


The rechargeable high-performance battery gets almost 100 uses out of every charge, and you can get around 500 uses before having to even think about replacing the battery.


The compact, sleek design means it can fit right in your pocket and keep you prepared for anything in a matter of seconds. 

Pros

  • Functional in all weather
  • Ships with a lanyard and emergency whistle, as well as a storage box
  • Very tacti-cool

Cons

  • No flashlight attachment
  • It charges up in under two hours, but you do need to plan ahead and ensure it is charged up

7. UST Refillable Floating Lighter


Overall Rating:

4.5 / 5

If you find yourself around water frequently, a floating lighter is an absolute must-have. The buoyant, lightweight ABS material case means that even if you flip your kayak, you’ll still be able to find your lighter!


This survival lighter runs on butane and is able to light even when wet. However, this is not as fancy as other the other lights but it will get the job done at a lower cost. Great to keep multiples of incase of an emergency situation.

Pros

  • The piezo-electric ignition provides you with a whopping 30,000 uses
  • The lightest survival torch on our list, weighing less than one ounce before filling with fuel
  • Super waterproof with a flame that can withstand winds up to 80 mph

Cons

  • A smaller lighter means a smaller fuel capacity
  • The ABS material body of the lighter is super light, but likely not nearly as durable as some of our other options

8. Gudui Keychain Fire-Starter Bottle Opener


Overall Rating:

4 / 5

The Gudui survival lighter is a great gift idea, if you’re looking to buy for someone else. Like the SURVIVE Permanent Match, this is a fuel based lighter with a flint fire-starter; what makes this option unique is the rust-proof built in bottle opener!


A built in keyring and clip makes this lighter easy to carry around in an every-day kit. It's easy to use and discrete in plain sight.

Pros

  • Unique, fun design
  • Sturdy design with no plastic components
  • Weatherproof and able to strike when wet

Cons

  • If you don’t need a bottle opener, the extra accessory is completely useless
  • Lacks some more of the more “survival based” accessories like a flashlight or whistle

9. TACAMO H2 Dual-Head Flameless Lighter


Overall Rating:

4 / 5

The TACAMO tesla torch comes in a safety-orange rubberized case made of high-impact ABS plastic, complete with a high-visibility lanyard.


Everything about this lighter is designed to keep it easy to locate, no matter what your situation is. It’s just about everything-proof and super buoyant, incase of a flood or if you ever need to cross a river.

Pros

  • Features a built in 3-Mode emergency flashlight
  • Floats in water
  • Comes with a lifetime product guarantee

Cons

  • The casing of this lighter is plastic rather than a heavier duty aluminum alloy
  • Lacks a safety whistle, a feature that seems standard on more than a few survival lighters

10. Scotte Plasma Arc Lighter and Firestarter Kit


Overall Rating:

4 / 5

The Scotte Arc Lighter and Firestarter is the ultimate emergency fire kit. The flameless lighter provides instant ignition and up to 300 uses per charge, as well as a powerful flashlight with up to five hours of use.


The addition of the 5-in-1 magnesium fire starter is what really sets this product aside. The magnesium rod provides over 16,000 strikes and allows you to create a flame in nearly any condition imaginable. More reliable than matches, this baby has it all.

Pros

  • Survival tools included
  • The inclusion of both a rechargeable lighter and manual flint and striker
  • Built in safety features prevent overheating, overcharging, and short circuiting

Cons

  • The lighter and magnesium rod are two separate entities; you’ll have to carry two separate pieces when you bring this with you
  • Limited colorways

Buying Guide For Survival Lighters

These type of lighters are made to withstand harsh environments for camping and backpacking. It's hard to predict the weather in the wilderness, so it's always best to stay prepared. Before starting your search, it’s important to know the four key factors to consider in any quality survival lighter.

Durability

You’ll want a lighter that’s tough enough to last you through any situation regardless of environment.

Portability

A truly great lighter for survival should be easy to carry around, so you always have it handy.

Reliability

What good is a lighter if it doesn’t start up after a few tries, you need to find a durable survival lighter made from high quality materials that make it wind resistant.

Some require lighter fluid while others need to be charged; choose one based on the set of tools you'll have, or even get both options to be extra prepared.

Ease of use

You need to find a lighter than can be used in an instant. Get used to turning it on by recognizing where certain buttons on and even practice in the dark.

Frequently Asked Questions About Survival Lighters

What type of survival lighter is better, plasma or butane?

It may sound like science fiction, but a plasma lighter is simply a rechargeable lighter that is not gas powered; a butane lighter is your standard fuel powered lighter. Each style of lighter provides its own positives and negatives, so it’s important to evaluate your specific needs before making a quick decision.

Why can’t I just use a plain old Bic lighter?

A standard lighter might get the job done, but lacks many of those important qualities we covered in the previous section. You can’t be sure it’ll start in any conditions, and they’re a little less than durable for our tastes.

What sort of accessories should my survival lighter include?

This is a question you’ll have to answer for yourself, based on your own needs. However, many survival lighters come with built in safety whistles, flashlights, and even compasses!

Bottom Line

Every lighter for survival has its own perks and drawbacks, but our personal favorite from this list is the Scotte Emergency Fire Starter Kit. The essence of survivalism is having a back-up plan, and the double-duty plasma lighter and magnesium strike kit ensure you’re never without a flame.