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Thread: wax-coating matches

  1. #1
    Member BucknRut's Avatar
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    Default wax-coating matches

    I was planning to wax-coat some matches this weekend because I notice that some in my survival kits are loosing their coating due to drying out and wear. I looked all over yesterday and could not find the "strike anywhere" matches. I used to use the blue-tipped kind. Do they still make "strike anywhere" matches?

    Anyway, what I am really wondering is what kind of wax you use? And, how long do your coated matches last before you need to replace them? While you are at it, why don't you post your procedure.

    I've only done this a few times, both were when I was coating the ends of firewood that I was going to turn on the lathe later. (I coat the ends with parrafin(sp) wax to keep the wood from rapidly loosing its moisture and cracking.) At that time, I simply dipped some matches. How do you do it? I'm sure there are lots out there that don't know how and my method is definetly not the prefered way of doing it!

  2. #2
    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Default Strike anywhere

    They are stil made and I can buy them in Valdez Alaska even. I just dip mine in melted wax, very quickly. You can also use nail polish, real men use clear polish not pink. I would imagine that there are other things that would work for a coating.

    I used two different types of waterproof matches on a deer hunt once. While the matches might have worked, the striker on the box got wet and then they were usless. So I dip my own now.
    "Never again shall one generation of Veterans abandon another".
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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Default you can still buy them

    You can get strike anywhere matches at http://www.emergencyresources.com/er_p11.html I bought some a year or so ago for my survival kit. They are hard to find these days. I think they are considered a fire hazard in shipping containers etc.. apparently one light on fire and caused a fire or something. Most stores dont have them anymore. But you can get them online. Tough to beat a few orange match tubes full of "real" strike anywhere matches. I went through the box and picked out the ones with the larger white spots and heads. You dont need 250 or 500 of them in your kit, so atleast pick out the best ones to pack in your match tubes. If you fly anywhere with them, have a couple tubes in several different bags so if the airport security searches a bag and confiscates them, they wont get your whole stash. I got nailed in Nome this past August on my way up to the Noatak preserve for a 14 day canoe trip. Luckily, I had more firestarter and matches than I needed and had them in different bags. They took all my firestaring items out of the bag they searched. Dont keep all your eggs in the same basket!!!

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    New member Targetman's Avatar
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    Default take a look...

    http://www.rei.com/online/store/Prod...cat=REI_SEARCH

    These are the matches that I carry. With come in a plastic bag but I still put mine in a small ziploc for added protection. The real advantage is the amount of the sulfur on them, they burn HOT for more than a split second, maybe more like 6 seconds. The only disadvantage is that I have yet to find a commercial match case that is long enough to hold them. Also, it is nice to have the spare abrasion strips if the box gets wet.

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    Member BucknRut's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Targetman...

    I like the look of those. They don't look to be strike anywhere? It says they are 2.75" long. I use the plastic orange match cases (the cheap ones you can buy at walmart for a buck) and they measure exactly 2.75" inside depth. If you snipped the wooden end off, would you still have enough to hold onto? Or it might be easier to add another o-ring to gain some depth in the container. I think I could manage to make some kind of container...maybe machine one out of round aluminum stock or possibly find something at the hardware - plastic tubing with a cap or plug on each end, but don't think that'd be worth it. Do you still coat them in wax or do they come waterproof?

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    New member Targetman's Avatar
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    Default matches

    Buck, I do not waterproof these as they appear to have the laquer coating on them. I have never had any not light for me but cant think of a time when they were for sure wet. When I get home today I will soak them in some water and see if they will light!!!! Oh, and you can use a pair of finger nail clippers to nip the ends off so they will fit into the common orange container. Results will follow...

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    Member BucknRut's Avatar
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    Default I'll be awaitin!

    Thanks Jed, I'm curious to hear the results.

  8. #8
    Member RainGull's Avatar
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    Default

    I read a good tip to carry cotton balls soaked with a dab of petroleum jelly, they can get wet and burn for 3 minutes I think. I much prefer a magnesium block and striker fire starter to matches, but it's good to diversify! Salt water works wonders on the striker though! They can get pretty oxidized and pitted fast! It will still work though and burn really hot with the magnesium. Safer for travel with. Much harder to use when cold, numb, shaking and throwing your shavings everywhere though. Lots to consider. I think the key is diversity.

    I have read conflicting views and had varying results with wax coated matches. They dont seem to keep very long and are harder to light. I think the storm matches are well worth the expense (like those at REI). For my two cents rely on the storm matches and magnesium block fire starters, and carry other matches half wax coated, half dry in a matchsafe, and then throw a few cheap lighters with the adjustable flame in your pockets for good measure! Cold is only fun when its on the outside!

  9. #9
    New member Targetman's Avatar
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    Talking match test

    So I took one of these matches and ran water over it for a minute. I then struck the match against the emory board and it lit instantly!!! Then I attempted to extinguish the match by holding it under water. I noticed that the match was still glowing red even under water. So I removed it from the water and it started to flame AGAIN!!!! I never thought that these matches could do that. I am even more sold on these now!!!! If you want to try this yourself, dont do it in the kitchen...it smoked up mine and it stinks too. Hope this helps.

  10. #10
    Member BucknRut's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Wow!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Targetman View Post
    So I took one of these matches and ran water over it for a minute. I then struck the match against the emory board and it lit instantly!!! Then I attempted to extinguish the match by holding it under water. I noticed that the match was still glowing red even under water. So I removed it from the water and it started to flame AGAIN!!!! I never thought that these matches could do that. I am even more sold on these now!!!! If you want to try this yourself, dont do it in the kitchen...it smoked up mine and it stinks too. Hope this helps.
    Targetman - I am VERY impressed! The only time I have ever heard someone talk of an experiment that worked like that is when my little brother is talking crazy about some of his experiments in the chemistry lab! I will have a few boxes of those on order soon! Thanks for the hit!
    Joshua

  11. #11
    Member smtdvm's Avatar
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    Default Fire

    I was just doing some experimenting with fire starters. I made up a batch of matches, using strike anywhere types, hand selected, then dipped quickly in melted parafin, cooled and quickly dipped a second time. They all seemed to work fine. Past experience suggests they have a limited effective shelf life. As easy and cheap as they are to make, I'll refresh the supply yearly. I also tested the petorlatum infused cotton ball fire starters. I put a bunch of cotton balls in a zip-lock with a lot of goo and saturated the cotton totally. I tested some by torching them off and setting them on the snow bank outside the front door and they burned about 10 to 12 minutes, melting a ten inch deep by 3.5 inch diameter hole in the fairly firm snow. I also tested some tried and true, tightly rolled news paper, cut into 2 inch sections and saturated in parafin. They did pretty well against the snow bank too.

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    Default Match supply

    Hello Guys,

    I found strike anywhere matches at the Fred Meyers store in Wasilla last week. I believe they are imported from Peru of all places.

    Regards,

    Jim

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    Default

    Storm matches are great, but test them out first. I've used the REI ones, and while they're waterproof, they're very hard to start in below-freezing weather. I use lifeboat matches, which come in sealed waterproof cases about the size of a film canister, and have a waterproof striking surface on the top. They're about $3 per case of 25 matches. They burn the same as the storm matches, and are waterproof, but much easier to actually get lit. Not strike-anywhere, though.

    Also, Sportsman's Warehouse in Anchorage has the strike-anywhere matches in the camping section.

  14. #14

    Default

    Any of you try a Fire Piston even with cold hands I can get a spark for the char cloth.

  15. #15
    Member BucknRut's Avatar
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    Default Fire Piston

    Quote Originally Posted by alaskamokaiman View Post
    Any of you try a Fire Piston even with cold hands I can get a spark for the char cloth.
    Interesting thought...Did you handcraft yours yourself or purchase somewhere? There are several sites with information on them, but they are pricey. Might be fun to make one though.
    Joshua

  16. #16
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    Default

    0000 steel wool and a 9 volt battery will start a fire too... anyone else use that method?

    KRS

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    Member BucknRut's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Yup!

    Quote Originally Posted by KRS View Post
    0000 steel wool and a 9 volt battery will start a fire too... anyone else use that method?

    KRS
    This was one of the methods many boy scouts prefer (they are young and amazed at the physics of it). I have used it, but opt to carry a magnesium block. It's lighter in weight and can be used multiple times over. The 9-volt battery trick does not come with a warrentee!
    Buck

  18. #18

    Default

    have you guys ever tryed birthday candels? ones that when you blow them out they relight--

  19. #19

    Default

    I just bought the strike anywhere matches at Sportsmans Warehouse in Anchorage. They were like $2.50 for three very large boxes of them.

  20. #20
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    Default

    I Always Carry A Sweedish Firesteel Flint They Are The Best In My Opinion When It Comes To A Back-up Fire Starter They Work In Wet And Windy Situations And Last For 3ooo Strikes Supposedly
    These Are Great For Fire-making As Well As Stoves N Lanterns

    I Dont Have Much Faith In Matches As A Primary Fire Starter As They Have A Shelf Life And Even Waterproof Matches Are Suseptible To Moisture And Failure As I Once Learned The Hard Way Many Years Ago

    My Primary Fire Starter Is A Ronson Jet-lite Windproof Butane Refillable The Firesteel My Secondary And In Some Cases Primary

    I Also Stash A Few Bic Mini Disposables In Other Pockets On Pants And Jacket In Case I Should Be Separated From The Latter

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