According to the ancient Greeks, Prometheus laid the foundation of civilization by stealing fire from the gods and giving it to humans. The mythology of the ancient Greeks does not accurately reflect the one true God, his holy character, and his plan of salvation. But the Greeks were remarkably astute about the role of fire as the foundation of civilization. Warmth, light, protection from wild animals, cooking, forging metal tools and many other possibilities were hidden in the glow of the small flame.
Effective fire making is so fundamental to survival that I try to carry at least three different methods of fire making with me when I go out.
My basic method of starting a fire uses a ferrocerium rod and a cotton ball with some petroleum jelly. I have experimented with several brands of ferrocerium rods and have had good results with each.
My backup method for starting a fire is to use waterproof matches stored in a waterproof case. Storing waterproof matches in a waterproof case may seem redundant. A trip in a somewhat wet and cold canoe a few years ago led me to devote myself to the proposition that keeping races dry is a noble goal, worthy of an effort that goes far beyond the call of duty.
I was really frustrated with my tertiary way of building a fire. A butane lighter is cheap, light and easy to carry, but it doesn’t always work reliably in cold weather. Mothballs evaporate from Zippo lighters in about a week. Gasoline and especially kerosene evaporate slower from IMCO type lighters, but also do not ignite in cold weather. The torch produces a large amount of heat, but even a small torch is somewhat bulky and can only be used once.
Eventually I started to play with the idea of trying a high-tech solution. My wife has two plasma lighters that seem to work well. I began to wonder what kind of field performance I could get from a sealed plasma lighter.
One. In December 2020, Mr. Rawls announced that I had received an honorable mention in the 91st Parliament. I received the first round of the SurvivalBlog writing contest. I received an Amazon gift card as a prize. I already had an item on my wish list: Mr. Rawls’ latest book, The Ultimate Prepper’s Survival Guide. But I had more money on my gift card than I needed to buy the book. I decided to explore the possibilities of a sealed plasma lighter.
One of the options I came across was a Moriska waterproof flashlight/plasma lighter. The idea of combining a plasma lighter with a flashlight appealed to me. This makes the material I will probably wear anyway even lighter. So I decided to give it a try and placed my order. Five days later the shipment arrived.
I have to admit I’m a little too picky for boxing. If the box is too nice, I wonder why the manufacturer spent so much money on the packaging. Resources would be better invested in the product itself. If the box is too damaged, I wonder if it can be trusted to properly protect the product in transit. With this in mind, I found a flashlight/lighter box. It was modest, but enough to get the job done.
The box contained a flashlight/lighter in a plastic bag inside a molded plastic container. It also contained a rudimentary directional map. One side of the card has a picture of the flashlight/lighter with basic functions and controls. The other side contained a list of specifications.
The specifications state that the device has a charging time of 1.5 hours. The autonomy of the flashlight is 2.5 hours at high power. The light output of the high power is 100 lumens. The battery is only 360 mAh, which seems surprisingly low. For comparison: A standard Eneloop AAA battery has a capacity of 800 mAh. Battery life is also only of more than 300 charges. I was concerned about how these battery features would affect long-term performance.
The power switch is located in the middle of the unit. When the cigarette lighter cover is closed, the switch operates the lantern. By turning the switch on and off, the user can switch between high power, low power and strobe light. The light emitted by all installations is punctual rather than flooded and projects over surprisingly long distances.
When the lighter cover is open, pressing the switch causes an X-arc of the plasma field between the four nodes. I want the switch to be a safe distance (two inches) from the plasma arc. More than once I have burned my thumb with a butane lighter because the flame is too close to the valve. I tend to do this mostly by holding a lighter next to me, trying to light a fire for a campfire. Since the included plasma igniter is further away from the nodes, this problem should be less with this device.
The hole for the strap is generously sized so that the paracord buckle can easily be replaced with the included, somewhat fragile strap. Also, the safety latch that keeps the lighter lid closed seems a bit fragile.
When the safety latch is pulled back and the release button is pressed, the spring-loaded lid opens abruptly. The USB port for charging the camera is located under the hood, which should provide some protection from the elements. The lid seems to be plastic, and I wondered how long it would last under difficult conditions. I also had some doubts about whether the cap was tight enough on the O-ring that surrounds the base of the lighter. I thought it would be more accurate to classify this device as weatherproof rather than waterproof.
The extremely short charging cable and fragile wristband are housed under a molded plastic shell. I was planning on using a much longer cord for the phone charger instead of relying on the short cord that came with the unit.
Dog walk test
I decided to start my tests with the flashlight portion of the device in the field. The best way to do this is to press it when my dog enters the light. In the winter, I let the dog out almost every morning before sunrise and almost every evening after sunset. These daily events take place during heavy rain, snowfall and various other weather conditions. These conditions make these daily events an ideal place to carry out lantern tests.
I’m used to using headlights on trips like this, so the first thing I had to do was put the light on the Morisca as a lighthouse. To do this, I attached the lamp to a central clip using two straps cut from the inner tube of a bicycle.
When I attached the mounting clip to the edge of the Jeep’s hood, I noticed that it hung a little low in front of my eyes and the beam was also a little lower than I would have liked. By tilting the lid on my head, I was able to solve both problems. The only downside to this solution is that it made the frame ineffective in protecting my glasses from the elements.
I found that the light was more than adequate, even in low light. The switch is a bit small and was a bit difficult to use with gloves on. The beam looks like a place surrounded by an aura similar to a flood. I have found it to be an effective combination.
After ten days of walking my dog, I didn’t notice any light fall. The batteries still had enough power to ignite the plasma arc. I had no problem setting a piece of paper on fire.
I then removed the rubber bands and pliers to prepare for the endurance test. I plugged the device into the USB charger to charge the battery. After an hour and a half of charging, I turned off the light and went to bed. The lights were still shining when I made a night stop a few hours later. He was gone when I woke up this morning. For example, the first set of tests showed an autonomy of more than three hours at low power, but less than eight hours.
I charged the battery and started the second round of endurance tests. Four hours and nineteen minutes later, the light was still shining. When I checked the test again five hours and forty-three minutes later, the lights went out. I was hoping for a minimum of eight hours of endurance at low power, so the actual battery life seemed a bit disappointing.
Once the light was off, it could be turned back on for a while. However, the battery no longer held enough charge to create a plasma arc between the igniters.
My shed is not heated, so it has become the place to test the lighter in the prevailing outside temperatures. I have been experimenting with lighting various objects such as rope, cat teddy bears and birch bark. The plasma arc was hot enough to lighten an even coarser deposit that would have been too coarse to be used effectively with the ferrocerium rod.
On the fourth day of testing in the barn, the outside temperature dropped to 22 degrees. When I tried to use the lighter that day, the battery was too weak to withstand the plasma arc. The way the fire is lit must work reliably in cold weather (yes, especially in cold weather). So I concluded that the lighter had failed the abrasion test.
Second reflection on the bag test
I usually carry a Maglite Solitare LED flashlight in my pocket, as well as a Victoronix Minichamp knife. This puts both articles to the test. I thought about temporarily carrying a Morisca block in my pocket instead of a loner. It would be a good test of the device’s resistance.
After careful consideration, I decided against this test for three reasons:
- The Morisk device is too large to carry comfortably in your pocket for long periods of time.
- I didn’t think the device would survive the ordeal and I didn’t want to destroy it unnecessarily. As mentioned earlier, the lid of the plasma button looks like it is made of plastic. I didn’t think he could handle the stress of carrying it in my pocket every day.
- Carrying this device in your pocket poses a personal risk. If the cover broke off and the power button was pushed into my pocket, the device would set my pocket on fire. I believe that certain sacrifices must be made in the name of the advancement of human knowledge. But in general, I try not to set my pants on fire when I wear them unless there’s a very pressing reason.
If SurvivalBlog readers decide to take a bag test, I hope they’ll share their test results with us.
I cannot recommend using the Morisk flashlight/cigarette lighter in the field. The lightweight component cannot function reliably at low temperatures and is, in my opinion, too fragile to withstand harsh conditions.
Another plasma lighter may be equipped with a more powerful battery to ensure reliable operation at low temperatures. Other lighters I could find online seemed to have even weaker batteries than the ones in the Morisk unit.
There may be other lighters that are more durable and made of stronger materials.
There may even be a plasma lighter made in the United States, or at least by one of our allies.
If SurvivalBlog readers have any information on any of these features, I would greatly appreciate it if you would share it in the comments section.
Disclaimer of liability
I received no financial or other inducement to mention the vendor, product or service in this article.
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