Monday, March 25, 2013
Mess of lighters
There I was at the grocery store checkout, waiting for my turn. There's nothing to do but look at the impulse buy displays. One thing caught my eye, a big jumbo collection of Bic lighters. For a guy who doesn't smoke, I sure buy a lot of those butane lighters.
They are cheap and common so we tend to forget what a technological marvel they are. I can make fire using a number of primitive methods and they are good skills to have. However, if you've ever started a fire with a bow drill or other primitive method, you really appreciate disposable lighters.
I've got them all over the place: the vehicles, the boat, scattered around the house, and in backpacks. If a fire needs to be started I don't want to look high and low for a lighter.
People keep candles, lanterns and camp stoves handy in case of power outages. Store lighters in the same place those other things are kept. Sure beats stumbling around the dark, looking for some way to light the candle or lantern. In an emergency situation, the last thing you need is the stress of trying to find a lighter.
At one time I used to stock up on the cheap dollar store lighters, but not anymore. The failure rate on the cheapos is too high. They come apart in your hand just when you need them most.
So there I was at the checkout, wondering if I really needed more lighters. Then I thought how stupid I'd feel if I needed a lighter and didn't have one. Imagine your vehicle broken down far out in the woods. It's starting to get dark and cold. What would make you feel better: a campfire, or knowing you saved a couple bucks at the checkout.