Storm Lighter




About: I made a beer mug with only a knife & a hatchet. I think that says a lot about me.

Storm lighters are nice.
Storm lighters are useful.
But storm lighters are expensive. Too expensive for what it is: a sturdy fuel tank combined with a starter.

Here's a way to boost up an ordinay lighter into a cheap, water- & stormproof fuel torch.

- some alu tubes in different sizes
- a few brass caps
- a lighter
- a few tampons

Step 1: Making the Reservoir

The hardest task will be finding two alu-tubes (or copper, steel, titanium or whatever) that fit exactly one into another.
I used a bigger tube from a bicycle pump and a smaller from a camera tripod.
Exit tripod - to sacrifice is nice.

Cut the smallest tube into the size you want and perforate one half of it in the drill press.
Smash it into the bigger tube (with or without CA).
Cut the bigger tube.
Smash the bottom of this 'reservoir' into a brass cap (see picture howto).


Step 2: Making the Cover

Cut a piece of bigger tube and smash it in the second cap.


Step 3: Adding the Starter

Glue an ordinary lighter to the reservoir.
Or use sugru.

Step 4: Mummyfication

You're right.
It IS really an uggly thing, in this stage.
Let's put some camouflage!

THE ingedrient: 'DIP étanche' ('DIP watertight') - a rubbery fibre stuff paste used to make junctions in wet areas watertight - on roofs for example. You'll probably have something similar where you live - I'm sure that even a mixture of pine resin & yakdung will do the job.

Put a lot of DIP layers (cover the spark-mechanism with tape) and let it harden.

Cut the mummy on the right place in half to separate cover & reservoir.

Now you've got a lighter which is almost waterproof.

You're right.
It's still an uggly thing.
But waterproof.

Step 5: Light My Fire!

Put the tampons in the reservoir & loosen the top.
Soak it with fuel (or ethanol, methanol, lighter fuel or whatever)

Lighter ON!!!

You just made the cheapest storm lighter ever!

Enjoy, & thanx for watching!!!



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    39 Discussions


    5 years ago

    I like the idea for a survival pack melt down some petroleum jelly and soak the tampon in it and use some firesteel for an ignition source wouldn't be "cheap" but would have a neck of a long shelf life. Great job man!


    5 years ago on Introduction

    For some reason I thought copper (or perhaps brass in this case) would cause excessive corrosion through electrolosis. Maybe all your glue makes this a moot point. How has it been holding up?


    5 years ago on Step 4

    I have read through the comments and the solution to prevent the Bic from exploding due to overheating of the metal parts in the top. Cut a slot from the top for about 25 millimeter (One inch) and feed the string of the tampon through it. Also mount the Bic a little lower than illustrated so that the bulk of the heat will not reach the Bic. The string then be used as a fuse to light the tampon. This slot obviously must be in line with the flame of the Bic.

    1 reply

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    I didn't have any problems with exploding the bic - see one of the comments below. Even with a full reservoir and a complete burning cycle it didn't give a boom.
    And, it's a lighter - no one will let it burn for longer than a few minutes. It's ment to start a fire, not to cook on it.
    But, if you prefer some extra safety you made a nice mod, so thanx mate!


    5 years ago

    That's awesome but isn't it a bit bulky,could you maybe use a mini butane lighter instead?

    1 reply

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Wazza? Type of cleaner? Spoil a bit of it on some cotton & ignite. If it burns, it'll burn in the storm lighter!


    5 years ago

    nice design. what kind of thermal insulation does the "dip" offer? also just a thought, how about using a clipper lighter and use a small straw to protect the gas refill valve during mummification (also let's you replace the flint)

    2 replies

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Well it's quite resistant and not inflammable when it's hard. For example, I wanted to know how far I could push the limits of this device and thus I let it burn solo with a full (ethanol) tank. You know what? It lasted 9.43 minutes, and it's still intact!


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Not less safer than table salt - all depends on the way you use it.
    Do it the outdoor way: it'll be safe.
    Load it with gunpowder: it won't.