Best Survival Matches Because Not All Matches Are Created Equal
If a dog is man’s best friend, fire is surely his best survival tool.
According to archaeologists, we’ve been using fire for over a million years.
We cook with it, hunt with it, and stay warm on countless nights because of it.
There’s no telling where humanity would be today without the discovery of fire.
But it’s safe to say; our survival would have been much harder.
Today, fire remains and will always remain an essential survival resource.
Without it, things can get dark and cold quickly.
And there are few fire tools as time-tested as the match. They’re simple and effective.
But there are a lot of matches made by a lot of manufacturers and designed for different uses.
Yes, they all produce fire, but some are far more reliable for survival than others. So how does one choose?
Waterproof, Stormproof, and Standard Match Field Test
The following guide goes over our favorite survival matches. And we’ll also share a few tips and tricks to make survival matches on your own.
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How Matches Work
Understanding how matches work is essential – especially if you’d like to try and make your own at some point.
Despite the simplicity of matches, there’s a lot of physics going on when you strike a match.
First, a match head and a striker strip are made of materials that react violently together.
The match heads comprise potassium chlorate, sulfur, and powdered glass.
The striker strips have sand, powdered glass, and red phosphorous in them.
When a match head runs along a striker strip, pressure and speed combine to create friction.
Friction is the resistance to one surface or object when moving over another. High friction is high resistance, and high resistance creates heat.
Friction is the heat generated when you rub your hands together quickly when cold.
In fact, a match strike creates enough friction to ignite the incendiary chemicals in the match head.
Those chemicals burn bright and fast. Hot enough to catch the matches’ wooden (or sometimes cardboard) “wick” on fire.
In the simplest terms:
- The striker strip provides the friction to ignite the match head
- The match head serves as an ignition to get the wooden wick beneath it
- The wooden wick burns slowly, extending the life of the match flame
For a more technical explanation of how matches work, check out this excellent video (with slow-motion match burn):
How Do Matches Work?
Some Matches are Better Than Others
Not all matches are created equal.
Cheap cardboard matches (those given away at your local liquor store) are far less effective than “strike anywhere” matches.
These cardboard matches are meant to light cigarettes and cigars or tossing into firepits. That isn’t to say they are useless for survival, but they are not nearly as effective.
They burn too fast and not as hot; they’re less durable and much more susceptible to water damage.
Even beyond the “strike anywhere” matches, better matches are made explicitly for survival.
These matches are called “stormproof” or “waterproof” matches because they’re water and wind-resistant.
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The Best Survival Matches
When researching survival matches, a few options stand out from the rest. But they’re not always the first options to pop up on a google search.
Nor are they options that can be found in any outdoor or surplus store.
This is why we have compiled this list of a few of our favorite survival matches on the market today.
FREE Everstryke™ Waterproof Match
The Everstryke is not your typical match; it’s better.
It’s made from stainless steel, so the Ferro rod is reusable for up to 15,000 long burning strikes! You rarely have to replace it.
The Ferro rod is tipped with a steel bit. You strike it against a piece of flint built onto the outside of the container.
A cotton wick that fits snugly through the end of the Ferro rod, so it takes only one strike to get an extremely hot flame!
The strikes are measured at 3000 degrees Fahrenheit. And the flame sustains an impressive 600 degrees.
When finished, screw the match rod back into place inside the container.
An O-ring built into the Ferro rod prevents fuel from evaporating when it’s screwed into place. And it also helps keep water out of the container.
This metal match easily fits inside a pants pocket or backpack pocket. It’s lightweight, reusable, durable, and generally the perfect addition to any survival pack.
The EverStryke Match is an excellent upgrade and investment to your survival gear.
Note: When this post was published, you could get an EverStryke Match FREE – just pay for shipping. Click here to see if this deal is still available.
Everstryke Match Tutorial
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