Yeah, everyone knows about lighters, but there is something nostalgic about matches. From a survivalist perspective, a good match can mean warmth and a hot meal in a pinch. What about stormproof matches? Are they something we should invest in?
Why do you need stormproof matches? Stormproof matches provide the user with a high level of reliability in nearly any climate and are equally reliable in wet and dry environments. If used properly, stormproof matches can be utilized in a variety of situations such as the following:
- Starting a fire in a damp environment
- Cooking food
- Providing lighting in low-light locations
You never know when you are going to need a good match. With that in mind, it is probably a great idea to make sure that you have a stash of stormproof matches on hand for a variety of situations. Here, we are going to provide you with ten reasons why you need stormproof matches and why you should invest in them.
Why do I need stormproof matches?
To the survival and prepper enthusiast, a good stormproof match can mean the difference between surviving or perishing from cold and hunger. Being armed with this knowledge and some reliable stormproof matches can greatly improve survivability and comfortability in an uncomfortable situation.
Reason #1: Stormproof matches are waterproof
Moisture is the enemy of fire. Imagine that you are caught in a bad storm on the side of a mountain. It’s raining hard, and the wind is howling. You need to start a fire fast. Take out your stormproof matches, build a fire, and light it. The rain won’t stop you, nor will your wet gear.
Reason #2: Stormproof matches will light even after being completely submerged in water
When most people think of waterproof matches, they are considering a situation where they need to light a match in the rain. However, imagine you are down to your last match. You light it and then stumble, dropping the match in a body of water.
Being submerged would kill any normal match and kill your chances of starting a fire with your last match. Not stormproof matches. After being completely submerged, the match continues to burn beneath the surface of the water. This would allow someone a moment to pick up the match and continue using it.
Reason # 3: Stormproof Matches are Windproof
Nearly every other source of fire is affected by wind. Safety-matches, strike-anywhere matches, lighters, and traditional fire starters will not stand up to a strong wind. It will either be impossible to light them, or they will blow out with a small gust. That is not the case with stormproof matches. They can be completely blown out, and they will reignite instantly.
Reason # 4: Stormproof matches can be buried or snuffed out, and they will still light
Imagine that you are trying to start a fire, and you accidentally drop the match you just lit. While trying to pick it up, you kick dirt or sand all over it. With any other type of match, snuffing it out with dirt or sand would be the end of it. That is not the case with stormproof matches. They can be completely snuffed out and deprived of oxygen. However, they will continue to burn.
Reason # 5: Stormproof matches are not affected by the temperature or altitude
The effectiveness of BIC lighters and other fire starters can degrade during colder conditions or higher altitudes. That is not the case with stormproof matches. They will ignite and work perfectly regardless of the temperature or elevation.
Reason # 6: Stormproof matches need to be part of any survival EDC kit
While a BIC style lighter may be the “go-to” standard for fire-starting due to its reusable nature, the relationship between a survivalist and their matches should not be understated. The humble match plays an important role in any survival kit or EDC kit. The stormproof match is the quintessential fire-starting tool that can handle any situation you may come across and therefore deserves prime real estate in your survival kit.
Reason # 7: Stormproof matches are inexpensive
The average box of 25-50 stormproof matches will cost you, on average, less than $10 USD. They are readily available at any outdoor supply store or one of many e-commerce sites online. If you are a survivalist or a frugal person in general, you will inherently want to be able to get what you need at the lowest cost. No one said being prepared must be expensive.
Reason # 8: Stormproof matches are lighter than flint
In an emergency, you need to be light on your feet. This means ditching as much unnecessary weight as possible. Comparatively speaking, a flint is not the heaviest item in your pack, but why add weight if you do not need to. Stormproof matches weigh just ounces and can fit into any pocket.
Reason # 9: Stormproof matches are foolproof
Building a fire is not easy, and not everyone is well-practiced and confident in starting a fire, especially with the added stress of a potential survival situation. Carrying stormproof matches takes care of one particularly important element of any fire building scenario.
Stormproof matches are a nearly guaranteed source of flame. They burn hot enough and long enough to start a fire. Gather some tinder, build your fire, light a stormproof match, and drop it into your bundle of tinder. That’s all it takes. Novice and expert survivalists alike can rely on stormproof matches to handle any circumstances.
Reason # 10: Stormproof matches will help you be all-around more prepared for any situation
Being able to make a fire is vital for cooking, generating warmth, and signaling for help. You will be able to help yourself and those that are with you by being able to light a fire in any situation. You could be the hero of your weekend warrior backyard barbeque party, or you could be the hero of a legitimate survival situation on the side of a mountain.
What else do I need to know about stormproof matches?
Now that you know what stormproof matches can be used for, it is time to get a better understanding of what stormproof matches and what they are. With a better understanding of stormproof matches, their capabilities, and the environments that they can be used in, you can be better prepared to use them in the appropriate situations and environment.
Stormproof matches are often referred to as survival matches or hurricane matches for their ability to light and stay lit in any situation–even a hurricane. Their ability to ignite in any situation makes them a perfect addition to anyone’s survival kit. Stormproof matches are your personal assurance that you will be able to light a fire in any survival situation.
Stormproof matches are both waterproof and windproof, and as a bonus, they will ignite even after being submerged in water, being completed blown out, or being completely snuffed out. They will light up quickly in driving rain, heavy winds, or falling snow.
Stormproof matches are typically 4 inches long. At least two-thirds of the matchstick is coated in bright orange or bright red material commonly made up of sulfur, magnesium, and potassium chlorate. They have a burn time of approximately 15 – 25 seconds, depending on the brand you purchase. They will burn much hotter than normal matches.
While stormproof matches are most often spoken about in relation to a survival situation in the wild, these are the matches you want around your home if the power goes out during a storm. These are the matches you want on hand. It would take extremely harsh conditions to keep you from lighting a stormproof match.
How do stormproof matches work?
When you are camping or otherwise out in the wild, you are only as good as your supplies. So, now that you know that stormproof matches are the definitive fire-starting tool you want to be carrying with you, let’s look at how exactly they work.
Stormproof matches start with a waterproof tip. A small amount of wax is applied to the matchhead to protect the combustible elements from becoming wet. When the matchhead is struck against a striking strip, the wax quickly melts away to expose the typical ignition elements of a typical safety match. It usually takes two strikes to light a stormproof or waterproof match.
Technically, you can duplicate this technique on your own safety matches and strike-anywhere matches. Simply coat the tip in a small amount of wax. Use enough wax to cover the combustible elements of the matchhead. You have yourself a waterproof match.
What are some other things you can tell me about stormproof matches?
Not only are stormproof matches waterproof, but they are also windproof and burn hotter and longer than normal matches. This is done by applying a coating of sulfur, magnesium, and potassium chlorate to the matchstick. This coating is usually bright orange or bright red in color.
Extending the combustible material two-thirds down the matchstick also elongates its burn time. A normal safety match or strike-anywhere match will burn for approximately 7 seconds. A stormproof match will burn for approximately 15-25 seconds. By extending the length of the combustible material, you get the intense heat for a much longer time.
The bright orange coating has a unique smell. If you stand downwind from a stormproof match, you will know it. When lit, the bright orange coating emits a rotten egg type of smell as the sulfur dioxide, carbon dioxide, and carbon monoxide gasses are released while burning.
How are stormproof matches made?
A stormproof match is approximately twice the size of a normal wood match. The matchhead of a stormproof match looks similar to the matchhead of a normal match, but with the wax coating. The first two-thirds of the body carries the bright orange flammable coating. The bottom third is exposed wood.
The bottom third is designed to be a handle. The wood portion of a stormproof match is not intended to burn, but naturally, it can. The idea with a stormproof match is to light it and then drop it. The fact that a stormproof match burns hotter and brighter than a normal match means that it is safest to drop the match shortly after it has been lit.
Rest assured, even if you drop your stormproof match in a puddle or accidentally snuff it out in the dirt, it will stay lit. Once the stormproof match is lit, place it down. As previously mentioned, you will have 15-25 seconds of burn time, depending on the brand of the stormproof match you are carrying. Simply cover the match with tinder, and you will be on the way to a warm fire.
How should stormproof matches be stored and used?
Stormproof matches should be stored in a water-tight container. Keep in mind that you are likely in a survival situation. The container should also be easily opened with one hand. Stormproof matches are waterproof. You can light a stormproof match and submerge it in water, and it will stay lit.
However, the match should be as dry as possible when you initially light it. Like most survival gear, it will not work very well if it has been thoroughly soaked. As a rule of thumb, you can submerge your stormproof match for up to one minute and expect that it will still light up as it is supposed to.
Stormproof matches require a striking strip to ignite. This makes them similar to safety matches, but inherently different than strike anywhere matches that do not require a striking strip. While stormproof matches are waterproof, striking strips are not. Keep in mind that you will need to keep your striking strips in a secure dry place.
If a striking strip becomes wet, it will technically still work, but it will lose its rigidity. If your striking strip gets wet, you will need to let it dry before it will be rigid enough to use again. The best way to keep your striking strip dry is to store it in the same container as your stormproof matches.
Keep a spare striking strip or two tucked away in a separate container in your pack for emergency purposes. They are small and light and easy to keep on hand.
Disadvantage of Stormproof Matches
There are three downsides to stormproof matches.
- First, they are larger than normal matches. Therefore, they may take up more room in your pack. Not a lot, but it is something you will need to take into consideration when planning your outing.
- Second, it can be expensive or hard to find a proper waterproof carrying case for your stormproof matches. Your old Boy Scouts manual will say to use an old 35mm camera film case to store your safety matches, but that will not work for stormproof matches that are typically 4 inches long. You will need to purchase a proper carrying case or get more creative with a DIY solution.
- Third, they are not strike-anywhere matches. You will need a rigid and dry striking strip to ignite your stormproof matches. You can’t just strike any rough surface to light stormproof matches the way you can with strike-anywhere matches.
Do I Need Both Stormproof and Strike-On Matches?
Is it still worthwhile to have safety matches or strike-anywhere matches on hand as well as stormproof matches? Yes. Boxes of stormproof matches usually come in quantities of 25-50. For the same price, you can buy a box of 250 safety matches. Why not have both on hand. How many matches should you carry? That is entirely up to you and your unique situation. We suggest you use safety matches when you are under normal conditions and save your stormproof matches for more extreme conditions.
Stormproof matches are for anyone. Literally, anyone. Hikers, backpackers, hunters, survival preppers, homeowners, and backyard firepit enthusiasts would benefit from having stormproof matches on hand.
A reliable fire starter can be the key to survival during an emergency or in the backcountry. It will be a long cold hungry night if your fire source gets wet, or you only have a handful of safety matches on hand to light a fire in windy and wet conditions.
These matches are an extremely reliable source of fire to have during an emergency/survival situation. Whether you are in a northern climate dealing with harsh winds and ice cold temperatures, or you are in the mountains dealing with rain as evening approaches, or you are in the jungle or rainforest dealing with soaking wet conditions, stormproof matches could save your life and ease the pain of your current situation.
Stormproof matches are one component of a well-put-together survival kit. Don’t rely on stormproof matches alone. Have all the supplies you need to survive any situation you may encounter.