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Use It Right! – Aboblist



Zippos are an American classic that smokers and survivalists have carried for years. Keeping your Zippo filled means always having fluid on hand, but can you put any lighter fluid in a Zippo? No one wants to wreck their useful and iconic lighter. Although the Zippo company guarantees their lighters for life, it’s still important to maintain and use your lighter properly. Plus, you won’t have your lighter if you’ve sent it in for service.

I recommend keeping two, so you’ll always have a spare, but they rarely need service when treated right.  These classic windproof lighters have been around for almost a hundred years, and yours could last another hundred. It only takes a moment to change a used flint or refill dry cotton. Not only are Zippos better for the environment, but they’re a lot less likely to fail you at a critical moment than some dollar-store disposable.

As an avid Zippo fan, I have carried one of these lighters everywhere for years because they look great, save money, and seldom need more than minimal upkeep. I will share what I’ve learned about Zippos and lighter fluid, so you always have a flame when you need it most.

Can any lighter fluid go in a Zippo? You can use any brand of naphtha lighter fluid inside your Zippo brand lighter. The Zippo company recommends either Zippo brand fluid or Ronsonol, which is also high-quality. Generic fluids can be less clean and cause a lot of smoke instead of burning clean and smoke-free. The resulting buildup is bad for your lighters’ function. 

Is Zippo Fluid the Same as Lighter Fluid?

You can’t put any old lighter fluid in a Zippo. In fact, some lighter ‘fluids’ aren’t even a liquid. Zippo brand lighter fluid is naphtha. That means it’s remarkably like gasoline but without any additives that make gas good for your car.

Although you should never use a non-lighter fluid in your Zippo, it is more like white gas than most other lighter fluids. Please do not put lighter fluid in your car or vice versa. Doing this could be extremely dangerous, causing damage to your car, lighter, or worse.

The umbrella term ‘lighter fluid’ refers to several different flammables. Some, like butane, are stored compressed. Meanwhile, others are just encapsulated liquid. Yet even among these liquids, not all ‘lighter’ fluids are meant for a cigarette or cigar-style lighter. The lighter fluid you use in a charcoal grill, for example, has a different formula and is not safe for your pocket lighter.

It is important to read the container of lighter fluid and choose a wick-style pocket lighter fuel made of naphtha. In general, stick to well-known and trusted brands. Naturally, Zippo brand fluid is great for Zippo lighters. Alternately, you can use Ronsonol.

A Zippo Spiritual Lighter from Amazon will keep your fire while you keep the faith. These stunning lighters come in over thirty styles to represent a wide variety of beliefs. From the Serenity prayer, to Buddha, you can carry a reminder with you anywhere along with your source of fire. When the world gets dark, bring your own flame. Have a Zippo delivered to your door by clicking here. 

Are There Different Types of Lighter Fluid

Lighter fluids come in several varieties, and each has its own correct usages. Since you shouldn’t use ‘just any’ lighter fluid in your Zippo, I will walk you through the differences to know what they are and how to use them. The list below are the top four flammables that are sold as ‘lighter fluid.’

  1. Zippo/Ronsonol aka Naphtha- Gasoline and naphtha are both petroleum derivative fuel sources. However, while gasoline is stable and more difficult to ignite, naphtha is more volatile. Reputable brands like Zippo and Ronsonol are pure and undiluted naphtha. Sadly, off-brands may contain other ingredients that cause inefficiency with burning.
  2. Butane- Butane comes from the refining process of natural gases. This flammable hydrocarbon gas is colorless and makes a great lighter fluid if you can keep it pressurized. Unlike liquid lighter fluid, this gas requires no wick.
  3. Kerosene- Kerosene is distilled petroleum. Typically, this less volatile fluid is used for lamps or as a cleaning solvent. Notably, this is also one of the safer fuels to store.
  4. Charcoal Lighter Fluid- This liquid can be either petroleum-based or alcohol-based. Often it uses both Isoparaffinic Hydrocarbon, which is light kerosene, and naphtha. This is better for hot fast blazes meant to ignite other longer burning substances. Hence, you would use it to light charcoal, or wood fires.

It is important to pay close attention to what you put inside a Zippo. A fast-evaporating fluid such as butane will leave you without a source of fire. Meanwhile, a charcoal lighter fluid might give you a more explosive flame, and kerosene isn’t meant for this or any lighter style.

Especially if you happen to be a smoker, some potential gases are more dangerous to inhale than others. Stick to a formula that is designed for your intended purpose to avoid accidents and injury. No one wants to get burned.

Grab one of the incredibly popular Zippo Spider Web Black Ice Pocket Lighters for your EDC. Like all Zippos, this high-quality, all-metal lighter has that distinctive ‘click’ when you open it. Plus, the classic spiderweb design is worth carrying for a lifetime. Read the Amazon five-star ratings for yourself when you click here.

Popular Alternative Zippo Lighter Fluids

Lighter fluids Number of percentages
Ronsonol 37%
Colemon 12%
Gasoline in emergencies 25%
Thunder Birds 12%
Lantern Fuel in emergencies 14%

Zippo Lighter Fluid Alternative

Although you can technically put lots of different flammable liquids into a Zippo, you really shouldn’t. The inventor of Zippo lighters, George Blaisdell, was committed to creating a high-quality product. Zippos weren’t meant to have potentially dangerous knockoff liquids inside. They are well-engineered and work best with pure naphtha.

A badly created lighter won’t work well for long. Likewise, a bad lighter fluid won’t make your top-tier lighter perform its best. Worse still, those alternative fuels could cause your zippo to malfunction. This is especially dangerous when you’re carrying a volatile, combustible in your pocket. Please use naphtha in a Zippo.

Why Zippos Need Naphtha

The story goes that George Blaisdell was at a country club one evening in the early nineteen thirties and noticed how difficult it is to light a match when there’s any breeze. After watching numerous failed attempts, he decided something needed to be done about it. That’s where Zippo windproof lighters began.

George designed Zippos to run off naphtha because it was the best option for a windproof lighter. Matches and butane lighters blow out too easily. Hence the lantern-wick style design of the Zippo.

If you cannot find Zippo or Ronsonol brand naphtha, choose another well-known brand. Read the bottle to make sure the lighter fluid is as pure as possible. Avoid homebrewed concoctions and other alternatives that ‘someone suggested.’

Using a different fuel in a Zippo could cause smoke to gunk up your lighter and ruin it. Alternately, some fuels will evaporate too fast or have more explosive combustion when you spark them. You wouldn’t refill a kerosene lamp with rubbing alcohol just because it burns, and you can’t expect other lighter fluids to work in a Zippo.

Almost a hundred years after Mr. Blaisdell invented them, Zippos are going strong because they are simple and reliable. If you want to keep your collectible and durable Zippo lighter for years or even have it outlive you, then you need to use the right lighter fluid.

The Zippo Teal Mountain from Amazon is a fantastic way to take a little of the outdoors with you wherever you are. With trees and a mountain, you can use this lighter for survival training or every day. Zippo recommends using their premium Zippo fluid in this lighter. Get yours when you click here.

Can You Refill Zippo with Butane?

Choosing the right fluid to fill your Zippo means you can’t just grab any lighter fluid. Butane is a common filler for lighters. However, most Zippo lighters don’t use butane.

When you buy compressed cans of butane, they have a tiny nozzle. This is intended for some refillable lighters. The style you need for a butane gas refill has a notch at the bottom where you press this nozzle and use it to fill up. Zippos don’t have that feature.

Instead, when you fill a Zippo, you open it up and pour a liquid into the absorbent material inside. That material keeps your fuel from evaporating too quickly. Moreover, it gives your wick a way to absorb the necessary liquid without having that flammable liquid risk splashing or spilling out.

You can sometimes find special Zippo brand lighters that use butane, but please do not spray this gas into a regular Zippo lighter. The company isn’t making new butane lighters anymore, so you’ll have to keep an eye out for this rare style in thrift and antique shops.

Don’t use Butane in Zippo Skull Lighters from Amazon. You can find Zippo lighters that are compatible with Butane refills, but there’s a good reason these classic lighters use their own fluid. It would be best to have a high-quality windproof lighter that looks amazing and always gets the job done. Learn more by clicking here

Final Thoughts

Carrying a Zippo has always been a smart choice. Since you can refill it with any lighter fluid, they’re easy to keep lit. Moreover, all they need is occasional cleaning, and the company will repair anything that happens if you have a lighter to send in. That’s a nice bonus feature and shows how truly top tier these lighters are.

Despite the useful and beautiful nature of Zippos, they might never have gained the popularity they have now. In nineteen forty-one, Zippo stopped making lighters for civilians and put all its energy into making lighters for soldiers in the war. Millions of military personnel relied on Zippo in the trenches, thus establishing a dynasty that has stood the test of time.

If you only add one lighter to your EDC or BOB, make it a Zippo and carry plenty of excellent quality lighter fluid. In an emergency, any brand will do but stick to Ronsonol and Zippo whenever possible.

Source link: by John Alba at

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Don’t Die: Cold Weather Layering For Survival



man in winter clothes and a mask

It’s easy to forget when you’re inside with the heat going or watching a roaring fire, but the winter is coming and with it the cold weather. That’s not a problem when you’re inside, though it might make you want to cry every time you see your heating bill. 

When it can become a problem is if you have to bug out and your vehicle becomes useless. That might be because it breaks down, the roads get destroyed, you end up in a 50-mile traffic jam during your bugout, or the roads are just unsafe to travel.

That gives you two options: You can give up or you can start walking.


Cold weather can also become a problem even if you shelter in place. If your heat is reliant upon the grid and you don’t have a backup in place… you’re going to need to find innovative ways to stay warm in your home

Fortunately, if you layer your clothes right you have a much better chance at beating the elements. There’s a science to dressing for the cold weather. That science can mean all the difference between life and death if you have to do a 100-mile bugout walk in the dead of winter


People sometimes call this the “next to skin” layer. It’s the lowest layer down and you’re going to want something more than just regular underwear. 

The best thing to wear for a baselayer is compression fabric. That’s because compression fabric keeps warmth in while wicking moisture away to keep you dry. It’s very important to stay dry when you’re traveling, especially if you’re in the cold. So compression socks, compression pants and a compression top are the best place to start when layering. 


A sort of strange tip that’s worth mentioning: A great base layer even below your normal baselayer is pantyhose. Call them “mantyhose” if you must, but having a pair around is going to save wear and tear on your feet and thighs while also providing an additional layer of warmth.


Your baselayer exists to keep you warm, but more than that it’s there to keep you dry. Your midlayer does most of the heavy lifting when it comes to keeping you warm when you’re out in the wild, battling the elements.

Midlayer does this by trapping heat against your body, so you’re obviously going to want something thicker and heavier than your baselayer. Normal clothes are where you’re going to want to land here, but clothes made for colder weather. Flannel shirts are great for the winter months. Anything down, fleece or wool is great, as is synthetic insulation. 

Again, this is where the heavy lifting comes in with staying warm, so you want to really be mindful of what you choose to wear here.  

Exterior Layer

The exterior layer is your outerwear and there is one single material that beats all others when it comes to this layer: synthetic down.

Why not regular down you ask? 

Well, there’s a simple and very good reason for not using real down for your exterior layer: What if it gets wet? Once natural down gets wet, it tends to not be able to resume its original shape. Synthetic down, on the other hand, doesn’t have this problem while being just as warm as the real thing. 


Your exterior layer needs to be waterproof and breathable. Both of these help you to stay dry during the long hike where, at the very least, you’re going to be sweating profusely despite the cold weather. 

Head, Feet And Hands

Don’t forget your extremities. It’s somewhat well known that your head is a major conduit for heat loss. So you want to cover that. The best item for this is a ski mask or similar. It will provide the same function as a scarf while also keeping your entire head covered.

Hands should be layered. Fingerless gloves make a good base layer, allowing you to handle objects with your bare hands when you need to. You can keep them covered with heavy mittens when you’re not using them. 

As far as your feet, you want some heavy winter boots that also provide great traction. It’s also important that your feet be comfortable, because you’re going to be walking a lot and wounded or sore feet are going to seriously sap your ability to go on long hikes over a period of days. 


There’s no easy way to go on a long bugout march. However, having the right clothing, layered the right way, is going to greatly increase your chances of making it to your final destination. 

What are some of your favorite “best kept secrets” for keeping warm in a winter wonderland?

Leave a comment below to share some of your favorites. 

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Preserving Food for Winter: Time-Tested Methods for Flavorful and Nutrient-Rich Pantry Staples




Winter is approaching, meaning the summer and fall harvests are just about done. Still, that doesn’t mean saying goodbye to fresh, delicious, and nutritious homegrown food until spring blooms anew. 

You can harness age-old techniques of food preservation, filling your pantry with flavorful, nutrient-rich staples to keep your winter meals healthy, hearty and satisfying. With food preservation techniques from smoking and canning to fermenting, you can savor the tastes of summer even in the coldest months.

Homesteading Handbook

Preserving Food For The Winter: The Art of Smoking

Smoking is a time-honored method for winter food preservation, infusing foods with rich, smoky flavors. Many people would smoke foods likemeats, fish, and cheese even if it didn’t keep them longer, just for the taste.

A quality smoker won’t cost you too much and it doesn’t really matter if it’s n offset smoker, electric smoker, or a traditional charcoal smoker. Choose your wood chips or chunks based on the type of flavor profile you want to infuse your food with.

You should also understand the difference between cold smoking and hot smoking. Cold smoking imparts flavor without cooking the food, making it the perfect choice for cheese and cured meats. On the other hand, hot smoking cooks the food while it flavors it.

Preserving Food For The Winter: Canning Your Food

You don’t have to rely on food canned from the grocery store. You can also can your own food at home. There are a number of different ways to do this for various kinds of food you’re looking to keep fresh for the winter season.

Homesteading Handbook

For example, water bath canning is the perfect choice for highly acidic  foods such as fruits, tomatoes, and pickles. On the other hand, pressure canning is the right choice for lower acidity foods like vegetables, meats, and poultry. 

You’ve probably never thought of it this way before, but pickling is also a form of canning. In this case, we will use vinegar or brine to preserve and flavor vegetables, fruits, and sometimes meats. You should experiment with various pickling recipes to create unique flavors for you and your family to enjoy. 

Preserving Food For Winter: Fermentation Of Foods

Fermentation is a natural process which can enhance the flavors and nutritional value of foods while also preserving them for long-term storage. Sauerkraut, kimchi, and sourdough bread are some of the more common kinds of fermented foods.

Beginners should invest in fermentation kits with airlocks. As you gain more experience, consider exploring more traditional methods, as well as the use of crocks and jars. Fermentation is both an art and a science. So you have to be patient while you experiment with different ingredients and techniques.

Preserving Food For Winter: Dehydration For Long-Term Storage

A food dehydrator is an excellent investment for removing moisture from fruits, vegetables, and herbs if you find that you enjoy those kinds of foods. However, you don’t need one to get started. You can also dehydrate foods right in the oven you already own or, in some cases, by air-drying.

If you want to dehydrate fruits and vegetables, slice your produce uniformly before arranging them on your dehydrator trays. Fruit leather can be made right at home by puréeing fruits and spreading the mixture thinly before drying.

It’s important to store dehydrated food properly. Store dehydrated foods should be stored in airtight containers or vacuum-sealed bags, which will prevent moisture from re-entering. Keep your dehydrated foods in a cool, dark place for the best preservation.

Preserving food for winter isn’t just about extending the shelf life of your favorite ingredients – though it is about that. However, it can also be a way to expand what you keep around by introducing new flavors into your pantry using the food preservation process. 

Homesteading Handbook

Smoking, canning, fermenting and dehydrating will offer you different options to ensure your pantry is stocked with a variety of food your family will want to eat. It can also be a fun hobby for the culinary master looking to break outside of just cooking on the stove – many of these are basically just “cold” cooking techniques. So, embrace the age-old wisdom of food preservation for winter and fill your pantry with unique tastes all winter long. 

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Wilderness First Aid: Essential Skills for Survivalists



A person wrapping his friends injured arm

In the wild, accidents and medical emergencies can happen at any time.You don’t have to be a seasoned survivalist or a nature enthusiast to start preparing for wilderness accidents. Knowing how to provide first aid in the wild can mean the difference between life and death. 

The wilderness is unforgiving, filled with rugged terrain, unpredictable weather far away from immediate medical assistance. In these environments, basic first aid skills become critical. They can prevent minor injuries from escalating into major medical emergencies.

For survivalists, who often operate far from civilization, having the knowledge and supplies ready for first aid is essential for self-reliance. In remote settings, waiting for professional medical help might not be an option.

When you’re leading a group in the wilderness, whether it’s friends, family, or fellow survivalists, your wilderness first aid skills can ensure their safety. Being prepared to deal with injuries or illnesses can be a game-changer when you’re miles away from the nearest hospital.

Building Your Wilderness First Aid Kit

Basics of a First Aid Kit

A well-equipped first aid kit is the cornerstone of wilderness first aid. If you don’t have the right tools, you can’t treat the illness or injury. At the very least it should contain the following essential items:

  • Bandages
  • Gauze
  • Adhesive tape
  • Antiseptic wipes 
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • CPR mask 
  • An app or better yet a field guide for reference

Medications and Personal Prescriptions

Over-the-counter medications for pain relief, fever reduction, and allergy management are also essential to have on hand. For those on prescription medications, make sure to carry an ample supply in their original containers. You never know when a quick trip can turn into a survival expedition.

Splinting Materials

Splinting materials help stabilize fractures and sprains that can mean the difference between everyone getting home together or someone getting left behind while someone else looks for help. Items like SAM splints, triangular bandages, and duct tape can be invaluable, preventing small injuries from becoming life-or-death emergencies.

Personal Protective Equipment

Everyone remembers “PPE” from the COVID-19 days. Gloves and face shields are crucial to prevent the spread of infection during first aid procedures. Protecting yourself should be your number one priority while providing care. 

Specialized Gear

Carry any specialized gear you’re trained to use, such as an epinephrine auto-injector for severe allergic reactions if this is appropriate for you or anyone else in your group. 

Building Wilderness First Aid Skills

It’s important to build up your skill set before you head off into the woods. First aid isn’t the type of thing that lends itself to “on the job training.” So here are some ways you can prepare to give care before it’s time to actually provide care. 

First Aid Courses

Formal wilderness first aid courses, often offered by organizations like the American Red Cross or similar, are an excellent way to build your skills for little or no money. They provide hands-on training and certification. The latter can be useful for a variety of reasons.

Practice Makes Perfect

Practice makes perfect, so regularly practice your skills in various scenarios, from treating simulated injuries to handling hypothetical wilderness emergencies. Practice also builds muscle memory and confidence.

Learn to Recognize Signs and Symptoms

Knowing when to act is just as important as knowing how to act. Recognize common signs and symptoms of injuries, illnesses, and environmental conditions that can pose risks. This can allow you to avoid problems, but also knowing to act early before little problems become big ones. 

Evacuation and Rescue

When push comes to shove, you’re either going to need to know how to get out of the woods in one piece or at least alert rescue teams to where you are. 

Planning and Preparedness

Before setting out on a wilderness expedition, inform someone responsible  that you know of your plans, including your route, expected return time, and emergency contacts. Always have an emergency plan in place.

Emergency Communication And Navigation

Rreliable communication devices like satellite phones or Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) can help you to summon help when you need it. In an true emergency, these devices can be a lifesavers.

Likewise, knowing how to navigate and use a map and compass can mean the difference between life or death in an emergency. Even if you’re not evacuating, you can guide rescue teams to your location.

In remote areas, extraction via helicopter or other means may be necessary. Be prepared to assist rescue teams and provide essential medical information about the injured person.

Carrying the Injured

To improve the chances of everyone getting out together, learn how to carry an injured person safely. Improvised stretchers or fireman’s carries are two examples of properly carrying injured members of your party.

Keeping a Cool Head

The main thing you can do to increase chances of survival is to keep a cool head. It’s easy to panic. But keeping yourself focused on the situation at hand is possibly more important than any skills you can learn or gear you can buy. Take a deep breath, assess the situation, and act methodically.

Wilderness first aid is an invaluable skill for survivalists, but also just for anyone who ventures into the great outdoors. Your knowledg, preparedness and gear can save lives, providing crucial care while you wait for medical help to arrive. 

By building out your first aid kit, learning the essential skills of wilderness survival, and staying prepared, you can explore the wild with greater confidence, knowing you have the ability to handle emergencies effectively. Remember, in the wilderness, the skills you acquire may be the ultimate survival tool.

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