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349 Soto Pocket Torch 2011-02-16

Soto Pocket Torch

Soldering beads with the Pocket Torch

The Soto Pocket Torch is a fun little camping accessory. It takes a regular lighter and changes it into a little torch. The Soto is the perfect gift for any fire worshipper.

We have tried a few different lighters through the years - some claim they are waterproof, some claim they are windproof, some just say they start with a flick. The one thing all the lighters have in common is that they are quirky. One time they light, the next time they don't. You try it again and take a picture. Duplicating the exact procedure, the next time the lighter refuses to work. Oh, on a sunny windless day the lighter is flawless; but when you need it, it is on vacation.

The Soto changes the playing field for lighters. It really works. In the wind and cold it lights. Try it in a rainstorm and it still lights. Not only does the lighter start but it is hot. A rumor is that it burns hot enough to melt a penny.... I tried, but got tired of holding down the button before the smelting commenced. Regardless of it's penny melting claims, the Soto Pocket Torch is a favorite at our house.

A few Soto Pocket Torch tips...

  • The Torch requires a disposable lighter for fuel.
  • The disposable lighter has to have a rectangle shape, not rounded like a Bic. Finding a rectangular lighter was harder than expected. Finally, at Walgreens, we found a five pack of lighters for less than two dollars.
  • Open the Torch's top, drop in the lighter and flick twice and there is a flame. For some reason, we always have to press the button twice.
  • It seems to use fuel frugally. We have been using the same lighter since Christmas. During that time we have built a fire almost every night.
  • When the Torch is wet, shake the excess water off the lighter, blow on the burner, and then strike. It usually take a few strikes, but it will light.
  • The torch has multiple uses: starting a fire, lighting candles, lighting a camping stove, burning the ends of cord (to prevent it from unraveling), light duty soldering, and James Bond could probably use it to save the world.
  • It is too heavy for us to take backcountry; but we would take it car camping.
  • As always, we would still carry matches as a backup to the Pocket Torch.
  • We have not tried to Torch at elevation; but most lighters do not work above seven or eight thousand feet and we do not see any reason this one would. Bring matches.

The Soto Pocket Torch might just be a gadget; but even grownups need toys!

Happy Pocket Torch trails.


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