Major Van Harl USAF Ret

Henry Repeating Arms Zippo Lighters

 In the world of being prepared I believe in the rule of three. If you plan on leaving home and there is even a small concern that your life situation will go south on you while you are away, you must be ready.

  I am reading Frank Horton's books entitled the “Borrowed World” which is part of a series  In these books an attack on the US power grid paralyzes the nation. Electricity is gone and so goes the gas for the vehicle you are driving, miles from home and alleged safety.

  You are on your own, on foot and everyone wants what you have.
  My rule of three is, 3 firearms, 3 knives, 3 flash lights and three forms of fire starting devices. The truth is you should always have two of each of the above devices, with the third one as the back-up spare.

  I want to concentrate on the 3 fire producing devices. One of my old stand-by favourites is the Zippo lighter. As a point of clarification I do not smoke, therefore I do not need a cigarette lighter. What I do need is an excellent fire producing device that can meet the challenges of rough use in the field and not fail me in a crisis. This is why I owned a Zippo lighter as a young officer attending Army Infantry school.
  While learning how to be a Soldier in the wet, mucky, swamp land of south Georgia, I sometimes needed to light things on fire. Matches get damp and will not always work. Disposable lighters were around back then but not in the numbers you see now.

  When one of the men in my class, an old Vietnam veteran, prior enlisted Special Forces Soldier pulled out a Zippo lighter to burn his C-ration box, a light went on in my head. The next time I got off post I went out and found me a Zippo lighter.

 Zippo lighters have been a main stay of the US Soldier and Marine since WWII. Zippo stopped making lighters for public consumption during WWII but they kept making them for the military exchanges that were set up around the world for the troops to buy and use in the field or on board ship.

  Granted, there was a lot of smoking back then and there was a need for the Zippo lighter in both the safety of the rear area and on the front lines of combat.

  Zippo lighters are pretty simple to use and pretty hard to break, something the average soldier appreciated.

  I do not really know what happened to my old Infantry Zippo lighter. Sadly almost every time the Colonel and I were moved by the Department of Defence, some of our personal stuff never quite made it to our next duty location. There were no missing boxes from the official inventory so we never missed the items when we first got to our new duty station. Only after a few months did we start to notice items that were just not there.

 My old Zippo lighter from Infantry school was just not there after one of our military moves.

 I never replaced it even though I have lived and traveled in many a “sketchy” location in my years of military life. However I do have many other forms of fire producing devices.

  Military units, sports teams, and other like minded groups have placed their logo or unit symbol on a Zippo lighter. I have a new Zippo lighter with a logo on it, a Henry logo.

  Henry rifles and Zippo lighters, they are both made in America and they both could save your life someday. 

  Henry Repeating Arms now has three Zippo lighters with different styles of the Henry logo on the front of the Zippo lighter. The three styles of the Henry Zippo lighters are the High Polished Brass, the High Polished chrome and the Henry Zippo distressed chrome lighter .

  The Henry Zippo distressed chrome lighter has the words “Made in America or not made at all” on the front of the Zippo, the motto of the Henry Repeating Arms Company.

  Zippo lighters are considered a legendary and distinct symbol of Americana. I would suggest that the Henry Repeating Rifle is also a very strong legendary and distinct symbol of Americana.

 A Zippo lighter with the Henry logo on it brings two legendary and distinct symbols of Americana together for the first time. However, as good looking as the Henry-Zippo lighter is, it is still a tool. A very functional and in a crisis a very needed tool. Grab yourself a piece of double Americana and put it in your pocket or your “go bag” whenever you leave home on a trip or head to the woods for fun.

 As John Wayne said “life is hard and it is harder if you're stupid.” Let's change the word stupid to unprepared.  In a crisis unprepared can get you hurt, or worse, get you killed.

 When invoking the rule of three for firearms, knives, flash lights and fire producing devices, make sure one or more of your three fire producing devices is a Henry Zippo lighter. One of your three firearms should be a Henry rifle.

  Also start reading Franklin Horton's “Borrowed World” series of books ( After only a few chapters you will understand the rule of threes, “go bags” and why you have developed an unquenchable desire to buy a couple of new Henry lever-action rifles.

  Mr. Horton's books gives you some low-tech answers on how to prepare to survive.
  Zippos are 1930's low-tech fire producing devices that tend to work in a crisis. Having one with the Henry logo on it to accompany your Henry rifle during that crisis is real security.

  Henry rifles and Zippo lighters, they are both made in America and they both could save your life someday.

 Major Van Harl USAF Ret
Major Van Harl
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