These coming out in the ear ly 80s and honestly the first time I saw them I thought they were a rather poor joke. What smoker is going to carry around a parabolic dish with them to light up their smokes? But, as a survivalist, I quickly saw the advantage of having one of them. Since the only type of smoking I do is to start a camp fire, I decided that my needs were well within the design parameters of the lighter.

The really great thing about these as fire starters is that they are already set up with the focal point in the exact position needed. The prongs that hold the cigarette are at the right distance for the focal length of the parabolic reflector. Being made of lightweight metal, they are easy to pack and take in your backpack, bug-out bag or survival kit.

The only difference between using one of these and the other reflectors we’ve talked about is that your tinder will be held in front of the reflector, in the prongs that are intended for holding the cigarette. You’ll need to size your tinder accordingly, so that it doesn’t block off too much light. By the way, those prongs fold flat with the reflector, making it easy to slip into a pocket on your pack.


We’ve already mentioned one method of starting a fire with batteries, back in challenge level one; starting a fire with a battery and steel wool. That’s the easiest way to use the power stored up in a battery to get a fire going, but it’s by far not the only one available.

Electricity has the amazing ability o f sparking. Just like we were able to start fires by getting magnesium and ferro rods to spark, we can start a fire b y getting batteries to provide us with sparks. All it takes is the right batteries and the right stuff to use with them.