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

5 Popular Backpacking Stoves

The BIC lighter is one of the most popular 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 short 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