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Books of Matches - the most important thing in the world?

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posted on May, 2 2009 @ 12:34 AM
Depends on how long you plan to be out. I have no matches in my BOB.

1st the Firesteel

2nd the magnifying glass

But my 3d choice is knowing how to make and use a fire piston. Guess you can just buy one too. They don't last forever so it's always nice to know how to make another.

I have all 3 and a nice full zip lock bag full of char cloth. Along with 2 bic lighters
Mainly just for convince... you can actually light a fire from certain tenders with just the sparks of a bic, even if its out of fuel. Till the flint runs out that is!

Also learn to make a fire from friction. With that knowledge and those 3 items you can have fire for as long as you need.

On subject of water purification I also (for ease of use) have a "steripen" with a solar recharge panel to recharge the battery's

posted on May, 2 2009 @ 12:34 AM
reply to post by autsse

Try this.
Coat your matches in wax, then,
without having a flame, use those wax covered matches to light a fire.
In the rain.
At night.

Then come visit me, and I'll share my s'mores with you, over the fire I started with my Bic.
Or Firesteel.
Or 9 volt and grade #1000 steel wool.

Welcome, btw.

posted on May, 2 2009 @ 01:32 AM
Don't coat your matches with wax. Get some strike anywhere matches and coat them with clear nail polish. They'll stay waterproof and still light.

But, don't depend on matches. Learn to use traditional friction methods, get good at it, and fire is as easy as rubbing two sticks together. I carry lighters and some matches when i go out but i prefer using friction unless i need a real quick light, or am incapable of using friction due to injury and such.

I really need to pick up a firesteel but i can't find 'em around here, i'd have to go to the big city to get one.

posted on May, 2 2009 @ 03:32 AM

Originally posted by autsse

I never said or assumed that boiling water removes heavy metals or chemicals, im mainly addressing viruses and bacteria.

firesteel : expensive, lose it and you're in a bad spot, not AS easy to find (ive never seen one)

You said boil water to clean it, that implies that you are making it safe to drink! Depending on your location, a rolling boil may not be sufficient to destroy all the bugs. It depends on altitude. Does boiling water remove pesticides, heavy metals and other chemical contaminents? Does it remove the lumps of nasty stuff? NO. Do not dismiss making water filters either. If you are forced to bug out then IMHO the first month or so is going to be the hardest whislt you adapt. I would rather use a proper water filter and not get sick. Some of these will filter enough water for one person for 1 year. Fire steels are not expensive, do a google.

posted on May, 2 2009 @ 11:03 AM
In my experience much as firesteels will last you a very long time and will always spark there is the problem that they only spark. You will need some very dry and sensitive stuff which is not that easy to come by.
I would say:

  1. zippo
  2. bic lighter
  3. firesteel
  4. matches

Now I would bring them all but I mean how reliable they are when trying to light a fire. And as someone has said before you can fill zippos with lots of different stuff. Scavenge what you can if you can't find lighter fuel you can fill them with meths, diesel or if you really must petrol (just might give you a shock when your pocket explodes. As for making matches waterproof I would get some of the military water resistant matches and then coat them with wax. They may smoke like crazy but they burn well. Also I am not sure why people are talking like one match will give you one days worth of fire. If you are staying in one area you could keep a fire going for days without needing to start it again.
Well thats about all I have to say. This is my opinion there are probably people out there who know more than me. But they won't stop me loving my cheap and reliable zippo. BTW to the OP why don't you see how much space 3200 matches take up when you want to be carrying food and water.


posted on May, 2 2009 @ 11:42 AM

Originally posted by Cauch1
In my experience much as firesteels will last you a very long time and will always spark there is the problem that they only spark. You will need some very dry and sensitive stuff which is not that easy to come by.

It doesn't always have to be dry. Maya dust is a damp tinder that goes up pretty well.

Also you could try soaking cotton wool in a mix of vaseline and petrol (75% to 25%). This will give you tinder that will light fairly easily and burn long enough to start whatever you are trying to light.

Of course if you still think matches are the be all and end all be my guest. Inevitably it will mean one less mouth to feed and more available food for my band of brothers.

posted on May, 2 2009 @ 12:32 PM
reply to post by Nirgal

I was talking more along the lines of lighting a fire with whatever form of lighting equipment you have brought with you and what you have gathered from the surrounding area. In that case a firesteel is quite hard to use properly. I never said that matches were the "all and end all" in fact if you had read my post you would have seen that they were last on my list. So please don't jump down my throat and start accusing me of saying things that I did not.

Who knows what will happen, it may be me that eats your band of brothers


posted on May, 2 2009 @ 12:45 PM
None of these firemaking devices take up much room...... as an earlier poster said, redundancy for firemaking is always important. I carry flint/steel, zippo with extra flints in the case, extra wick, and a small container of fuel in a ziplock, along with some weatherproof matches in a ziplock --- all three in both our BOBs, and the three take up a tiny amount of room. I know that my Bride has BICs in her BOB.

Here's the thing with matches: The old-fashioned strike-anywhere white-tip stick matches used to be really common, and I carried for years a waterproof match case. I haven't seen these matches in YEARS.... and what has become really wimpy is the strikers. So, if you don't have strike anywhere matches, then guess how much moisture it takes to ruin the striker? Just slightly damp, or high humidity, like, say, in your pocket. Then they're toast. Don't rely upon one method, and if you are preparing for a Sit X (and who wouldn't in these times) then learn how to make and use a fire drill. It's not just the construction of the device, it's also the choosing of the woods to use, pressure, technique. People think they can always make one, but very few are successful without practice.


posted on May, 2 2009 @ 12:58 PM
reply to post by autsse

I have Magnesium Fire Starter that even if I used it everyday would still last me 20 years and one small scrap will produce 3500F sparks that will start even wet material on fire compared to 500F of a match...

[edit on 2-5-2009 by Xtrozero]

posted on May, 2 2009 @ 03:13 PM

Originally posted by Cauch1
reply to post by Nirgal

Who knows what will happen, it may be me that eats your band of brothers

You wouldn't want to eat me
I taste like pork and might give you swine indegestion, oink oink hic oink oink hic

Couldnt resist

posted on May, 2 2009 @ 03:55 PM
I have a firesteel, 2 bic lighters and some matches.

In the end however they will all run out so i suggest you learn to make fire from your natural surroundings. The fire bow is my personal favorite method.

posted on May, 2 2009 @ 04:51 PM
Matches work fine, of course, but I can't say they'd be my #1 choice. I think a cheap $1 bic lighter is going to be a lot more efficient for the size and the cost is hardly prohibitive. I'd probably also consider a firesteel as a backup before the matches, simply because I don't have to worry about it being ruined by rain. Those magnesium firestarters run about $7 at Walmart.

As for a flint and steel type setup, if you're really having trouble finding one, I'd think that even a torch striker would work. I haven't tried one for that purpose, mind you, but I can't think of a reason why it wouldn't work. Most any hardware store will have them and the replacement flints for just a few dollars.

posted on May, 2 2009 @ 06:25 PM
Can i just say that if you're having trouble finding a flint and steel you aren't looking very hard. They even sell them on eBay! I personally have 1 steel striker linked to 3 flints. When you think a flint can strike 12000 times before being exhausted that's a hell of a lot of fire. However i will say again that in the end it will run out, you should know how to make fire from your natural environment.

The fire bow method is my absolute favorite for many climates.

posted on May, 3 2009 @ 09:52 AM
Thanks to everyone for their feedback in this thread - it's been very informative.

Originally posted by ImaginaryReality1984
Can i just say that if you're having trouble finding a flint and steel you aren't looking very hard. They even sell them on eBay!

It's not that I can't find them, it's that they're not as easy to find. I went to Academy and Walmart, both carry them. But guess what? Between both stores they only had (literally) 10 on the shelf. If a big storm heads my way or Some Random Emergency happens these things will fly off the shelf before most people can even make it to their car to drive to the store.

I have now bought my own firesteel type thing ($6 aka 1920 matches
) but I still think hundreds of water proofed matches is a better way to go. Either way, I'll be keeping both on hand.

Thanks again everyone, plz don't take offense if I don't continue to reply in this thread.

just to recap

**downfalls of other methods**

firesteel - lose it and you're in a tough spot, not as easy to find, not as plentiful

bic lighters - cant tell how much fuel is left, subject to mechanical failure, unknown life spam

zippo lighters - fuel evaporates from lighter, mine (more than one) never last that long (which is sad because I love zippo lighters)

Thanks again for your feedback =)

[edit on 3-5-2009 by autsse]

posted on May, 3 2009 @ 07:58 PM
From one that may have more experience starting a fire than maybe all here combined, I have to say that matches aren't even a consideration for me. Learn the proper procedures to build a fire, period. I wonder, and this is a sincere question, can you start a fire with one or even more matches in wind and rain? When your life is on the line it is important to have the best material possible, but most important you MUST have the knowledge to do what you set out to do and do it in the worst possible conditions. For me, I carry a fire steel, a fire piston, and can start a fire from friction three other ways, I can also start a fire from refraction, from electricity, and from chemical reaction. You must learn as much as possible and be able to use it. Please don't think there is only one end all be all answer here. There isn't. I am sure this sounds preachy but I like to see people kept alive, Lord knows I have pulled enough out of the woods that weren't.



posted on May, 4 2009 @ 02:05 AM
I am a 17 year old boy scout, so I'm pretty much an expert in this field. I have started many fires with every method there is in ALL kinds of weather. You can buy waterproof containers to put matches in. However, in a long term survival situation a firestrike is by far the way to go. Wind cannot blow out a spark like it can with a lighter or match. If you're not moving around much, you only need to start a fire once and just keep fueling it.

Ya'll need to do some research and thought on how you're actually going to build a fire and cut wood. That's more important than what you're starting it with. I can and have started a fire with nothing but wood before (BIG pita), so big deal.

But yea, fire is probably the most valuable thing you can have in a wilderness survival situation.

posted on May, 4 2009 @ 03:25 AM
reply to post by reluctantpawn

Totally agree, but I will add just the knowledge is not enough one should try and practice it too before they are in a survival situation. If anyone is serious about survival they really should go and experience what it will be like. Redundancy is very important, not only in methods of creating fire but in everything else as well. Very important to have different ways to supply food. Traps, snares, fishing line, seeds to plant etc. Different clothing, knowing the different types of shelters and how to construct them. A real survival situation is very different than a camping or hiking trip.

It's better to practice now.. realize what you can currently do and what you might need to work on, think of potential problems you would run into in a long term situation. Then you can go back and learn while its this easy to do. If/when a survival situation happens you want to already have the knowledge and the experience.. as you probably won't be able to look on the internet for help when that time comes.

[edit on 4-5-2009 by SecretUsername]

[edit on 4-5-2009 by SecretUsername]

posted on May, 4 2009 @ 10:24 AM

Originally posted by reluctantpawn
I wonder, and this is a sincere question, can you start a fire with one or even more matches in wind and rain?

Probably not. But I also probably wouldn't try to in order to save the match. If it was critical that it get lit at that moment then I'd probably find some extreme way to get it lit. As a long time smoker the "match / cig under the shirt" trick has worked well for me in even the windiest situations but I wouldn't bet my survival on it if I only had one match.

As several have said here learning how to make fire-by-hand really is critical. Not just having the know how, but actually getting out there and practicing it.

Thanks again to everyone for their excellent feedback.

posted on May, 4 2009 @ 11:31 AM
Just my 2 cents worth of input. I would hate to have to rely on matches. As mentioned previously any good outdoorsman will have at least 3 ways to light a fire. Firesteel is what I have in my BOB. Costs around $10 and I can get more lights out of that than with $10 worth of matches. Plus I don't have to take time out and dip them into wax to water shield them.

More importantly. Firesteel is my backup. My first choice is not using matches of firesteel at all. I will save those for a rainy day... literally! learn how to make fire using wood only. I and all in my family have done this a few times. First time is alweays hardest and it gets easier and faster after your first success. I prefer the stick and drill method.

Good vid of how it is done

All you need is a good ol knife. In my honest opinion, a knife is the most important tool in your BOB. Learn how to use it in as many ways as you can.

posted on May, 4 2009 @ 02:08 PM
reply to post by Cauch1

I can see how you would think that the "Be all-end all" reference was directed to you.

Sorry, my mistake. The be-all, end all should have been directed to the OP.

My bad.

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