How to Make Waterproof Matches
Making waterproof matches is an easy do it yourself project to help ensure you can build a fire when you need one.
Firemaking Materials are Fundamental Survival Gear As you know, the ability to build a fire is one of the most important survival skills you can master. And fundamental to building a fire are the ignition sources you carry as part of your survival gear.
Because making fire is so important to survival I recommend your survival kit contains at least three ways of starting a fire. For example matches, lighter, and a firesteel or magnesium firestarter. Should one or two of these fail, the third could very well save your life or at least make the time you spend outdoors more livable.
Waterproofing Your Matches is Important
Matches are one of the most surefire and convenient ways to start a fire. However the problem with matches is they are susceptible to moisture from water or even the humidity in the air. If your matches become damp or wet they will not kindle and could put your survival at risk.
The solution to the wet matches problem is to include a vial of waterproof matches in the survival gear you use. While you could purchase waterproof matches from your favorite survival supply store, waterproof matches cost a premium when compared to ordinary non-waterproof matches, may not always be available, and could be of suspect quality.
During a cold rainstorm is not the time to discover your supposedly waterproof matches will not kindle. In my opinion you are far better off knowing how to make waterproof matches for yourself. In that way you can personally control the quality and quantity of this very important article of survival gear.
What are the Best Matches to Make Waterproof?
Although you could try to make paper matches waterproof they will be less durable and reliable than wooden matches. If you are serious about surviving you are better off purchasing at least several boxes strong wooden matches and reserve the paper ones for use at home. I prefer wooden strike anywhere matches, since then I do not need to rely upon a special striker surface to light the matches with. In survival situations the fewer working parts that can fail the better. This is backed up by many years of real-world wilderness survival experience.
You can often find wooden strike anywhere matches at your local hardware store or wood burning stove dealer.
Making Matches Waterproof
The process for making waterproof matches is simple and straightforward; set up a double boiler for the melting of wax on your stove or even over a campfire. The usual precautions when dealing with hot surfaces and materials apply. Assuming you do not have a double boiler, make your own using two pots of different sizes. Partly fill the larger pot with water and put it onto your source of heat (stove, fire, or what have you). Next put your wax into the smaller pot and place it so that it is floating on the water in the larger pot. Put this combination on your source of heat so that as the water warms it melts the wax.
Once the wax has melted dump in your matches and stir, making sure that the wax has completely coated the matches. I use the pliers on a multi-tool to remove the waterproofed matches one by one and set them aside to cool so that they are not touching one another. And there you have it; waterproof matches. The thin layer of wax all around the match ensures the match will catch fire even if it has been immersed in water. As an added bonus the wax will help the match burn longer and hotter.
Store your home made waterproof matches in a waterproof match case and you have gone far toward ensuring you can start a fire when you need to even if your matches get wet.