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Fires with Matches

Of course, matches are the simplest and most common method of starting fires, but there are some special matches you should consider keeping in your camping supplies.

Waterproof Matches

waterproof matches Waterproof doesn't really mean 'waterproof' sometimes. Most inexpensive waterproof matches have the tip dipped so water can not dampen the combustible tip - but the wooden part of the match can still absorb moisture. This means that once the tip burns up, the wet match goes out. It is also possible that the moisture travels up to the tip and dampens it after some amount of time. Another potential problem is that the striking surface (often on the side of the cardboard box) may not be waterproof. If you have nothing to strike on, a waterproof match might as well be a twig.

You can make your own waterproof matches by coating a wooden match with clear nail polish or dipping it in melted wax. Store these home made waterproof matches in a 35mm film canister along with a strip of striking surface and it will all stay nice and dry.

Windproof Matches

windproof matches Windproof matches are also waterproof. They are waterproof matches with an extra large dose of Tip material, usually about half the length of the match. Once you strike the match, it does not go out until the combustible chemicals are consumed.

These are dangerous, highly flammable, and expensive - around $4.00 for 25 matches. If you will be in damp, windy conditions hypothermia danger is pretty high so investing in windproof matches is a good idea. But, be sure they are not used for normal fire starting - save them for emergencies.

Move Along: Lighters

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