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Will a Clipper Mini Lighter Last for Your Entire Thru-Hike?

The Clipper Mini lighter is a compact, refillable lighter popular in Europe and the UK. We ran some tests to see how long the Clipper Mini lighter would last.

Paul Bodnar      Gear Review       3/26/2021
Paul Bodnar
Gear Review
3/26/2021

The Clipper Mini lighter is a compact lighter (2 ½ inches long and ⅞ inches wide and about ½ inch thick) just slightly larger than the BIC Mini lighter. It is popular because you can refill the fuel and replace the flint. However, the Clipper Mini lighter is difficult to find in stores in the United States. But it is easily available online. Based upon my experiments, I conclude that the Clipper Mini can easily last an entire six-month hike. 

Weight Full: 13.9 grams (0.49 ounces)
Weight Empty: 11.1 grams (0.39 ounces)
Total Fuel Weight: 2.8 grams (0.10 ounces)
Estimated Number of Lights: 3,300
Typical Cost: $3

How long will the Clipper Mini lighter last?

The Clipper Mini lighter can provide more than 3,000 lights but it really depends on the burn-time of the flame. If you only us it to light a stove — a ¾-second flame, which burns about 0.001 grams of fuel — you  should get about 3,300 lights. However, if you are lighting a campfire, you will probably need at least a 3-second flame, which burns about 0.003 grams of fuel. In this case you will get about 830 lights. In either case the Clipper Mini lighter should easily last a 6-month hike. From our tests the Clipper Mini can produce a flame for about 40 minutes and burns fuel at a rate of about 0.0011 grams per second. But you should not light a Clipper Mini for more than 30 seconds.

Clipper Mini lighter bonus features

The Clipper Mini lighter is not your normal disposable lighter. You can actually refill the Clipper Mini lighter with butane and replace the flints! Below you can see a picture of the lighter disassembled. 

If you plan on refilling the Clipper Mini lighter with butane, make sure the butane refill tip is the correct size. Standard Zippo butane refill tips are not compatible with the Clipper Mini lighter.

How to Estimate Remaining Fuel

Shine a bright light on the edge of the lighter to illuminate the fuel inside the lighter. Illuminating the lighter in a dark area can make it easier to see the fuel level. It can be difficult to see the fuel level on dark-colored lighters.

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A lake reflects a nearby wildflower meadow and trees.
Showers Lake Vista, Tahoe Rim Trail
Photo courtesy of the Tahoe Rim Trail Association

Trail guides that get you to places you’ve dreamed of.

As the makers of Guthook Guides, Bikepacking Guides, and Cyclewayz, we help you navigate the most popular trails around the world on your smartphone. Our hiking guides and biking guides work completely offline. Let Guthook guide your next adventure!

Download our popular hiking and biking guides!
About the Author
A man wearing an Arizona Trail baseball cap stands in a field in front of a mountain.

Paul Bodnar

Paul has always liked hiking and thru-hiked the Pacific Crest Trail in 1997 after college. After years of working in chemistry, he wanted to create a career involving the outdoors, so he hiked the PCT again in 2010 to do research for his guide book, Pocket PCT. He realized that creating a smartphone app for navigating the outdoors would make it easier to keep the data current and provide a better way to navigate. While hiking with Ryan (aka Guthook) in 2010, they decided to work together to create the first comprehensive smartphone guide for the PCT.