With the exception of water, fire is the key ingredient to your survival in the outdoors. There are numerous ways to start a fire in the wild, but none seem as widely accepted as using the ubiquitous Bic disposable lighter. But this affordable survival tool is not without its own faults: The lighter can run out of fuel, become too hot to handle, and is all but useless after being submerged in water.

The valid argument is that you’re getting a lighter for less than two dollars that was designed to be a cigarette lighter, and not a survival tool. Until recently. Exotac—a company known for their outdoor fire starting solutions—found a way to cure the classic Bic of most of its problems. The Exotac FireSleeve acts as a reusable waterproof housing (and flotation device) for a Bic lighter. The rubber sleeve provides great grip and has a built-in “gas lock,” which allows you to keep the lighter lit while you hold it under your tinder pile while lighting your fire. This eliminates the issue of trying to hold your hand under that pile without burning it.

Having carried a minimum of two BIC lighters on me for over twenty years, I don’t see that practice changing with the FireSleeve—I just see the overall experience and life of the lighter improving. If anything I’ll have the peace of mind that it’ll take a considerable amount of effort to destroy one of my lighters.

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