Will a BIC Full Sized Lighter Last for Your Entire Thru-Hike?

The BIC lighter is a very common lighter in the United States. It is readily available at grocery stores, gas stations and is very reliable. The BIC lighter is about 3 1/4 inches long, 1 inch wide and ½ inch thick and lasts a long time. With normal use a full sized BIC lighter can last about two thru-hikes or over 5,000 miles of hiking!

Weight Full: 21.8 grams (0.77 ounces)
Weight Empty: 17.1 grams (0.60 ounces)
Total Fuel Weight: 4.7 grams (0.17 ounces)
Estimated Number of Lights: 4,500
Typical Cost: $1

How long will the BIC full sized lighter last?

The BIC lighter can provide more than 4,000 lights. However, it really depends on the burn-time of the flame. If you are lighting a stove, you will likely use a 0.75 second flame and burn around 0.001 grams of fuel. This means you have about 4,500 lights from a full sized BIC lighter. However, if you are lighting a campfire, you will probably need at least a 3-second flame, which burns about 0.004 grams of fuel. In this case you will get about 1,100 lights from the BIC lighter. In either case a BIC lighter could easily last a year with limited daily use. From our tests we estimate that a BIC lighter can produce a flame for a total of about 55 minutes. The manufacturer states that the lighter should not stay lit for more than 30 seconds. 

How to Estimate Remaining Fuel

Shine a bright light on the edge of the lighter to illuminate the fuel inside the lighter. Illuminating the lighter in a dark area can make it easier to see the fuel level. Dark colored lighters make it harder to see the fuel level.

Bic Lighter Fuel Check