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On The Line : An Interview with Chris Funk of Zippo

A Flame Ready for Anything

An interview with Chris Funk of Zippo

You’ve seen the 50 Campfires ads hinting at a new line of Zippo fire starting products. The time has finally come to spill the beans on what is in store for campers this summer. To find out, we went to the source – Marketing Director for Outdoor Products at Zippo, Chris Funk.

50 CAMPFIRES: Zippo’s been hinting to 50 Campfires fans about a new line of products upcoming to help them master the flame. Are you ready to spill the beans about what’s in the works?

CHRIS: Yes, I’m able to share that we are launching a new line of fire starting products for outdoor enthusiasts. From a couple new tinders to new ignitors and an extended flex neck utility lighter, these new product help deliver a flame that’s ready for anything.

50 CAMPFIRES: What are the most exciting new products for you, personally? Why?

CHRIS: Personally, I like the Mag Strike and our new Typhoon Matches. The Mag Strike is a ferrocerium fire starter that delivers a shower of sparks every time and the matches are completely weatherproof – from wind, rain and even being able to be completely submerged in water then relight when pulled back out, both products deliver on the brand’s rugged and reliable heritage.

50 CAMPFIRES: Some of these products … a flint and steel or waterproof/windproof matches, for example … have been around for a long, long time. What new innovations has Zippo created to master the flame in 2017?

CHRIS: That’s true, but we are always looking for ways to ‘improve the experience.’ For example, our Typhoon Match Kit container has an integrated water-resistant cap to protect the match strike pad. Since these are safety matches, the tip can only be struck on the included strike pad, so we go to extra lengths to ensure they can be lit in any weather condition by protecting the pad.

50 CAMPFIRES: Creating this new line must have involved a good bit of research. What has Zippo found to be the most difficult problem to solve in lighting a campfire?

CHRIS: Making sure we’ve thought through each step to ensure the products are safe and trying to defend against good old Mother Nature. As we all know the weather is unforgiving and we want to ensure our products stand up to the challenge.

50 CAMPFIRES: When and where did you enjoy your most memorable campfire? What made is so special?

CHRIS: It was just this past fall in our backyard. It was with both mine and my wife’s parents and a few friends. It was special because it was simply with them.

50 CAMPFIRES: Traditionally a fire is the center of a social circle … whether among family or friends. With whom would you most like to share a campfire … and why?

CHRIS: My answer is always the same: my friends and family. It’s amazing how the fire brings us all closer. There are no agendas. No cell phones. No worries. We can all catch up on the latest news or talk about our plans for the coming weeks. We have so many great laughs and retell the same stories. My favorite fires are when one of the younger generation says, ‘I haven’t heard that story!’ from a parent, uncle or grandparent who just told a story about them. The fire has done its job when that happens.

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