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

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posted on May, 4 2009 @ 03:16 PM

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

Most bic lighters are transparent, especially the cheaper more easily available ones. So it is actually quite easy to tell how much fuel is left.

posted on May, 4 2009 @ 08:46 PM
Lighting a fire using matches while suffering from hypothermia (violent shivering) and frostbite (numbness and fine motor skill loss) would be nearly impossible, for what it's worth.

posted on May, 4 2009 @ 09:49 PM

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.


What knife do you carry in your BOB? Many people have recommended that I get a Ka-Bar.

[edit on 5/4/2009 by Aislin]

posted on May, 5 2009 @ 08:47 AM
reply to post by Aislin

Ka-Bar is good and there are brands out there which are better than others. I would mainly look for a few certain qualities which would hold true in all "good" knives.

1. Find a length that is comfortable and manageable for you. Longer knives may be cumbersome or awkward for you to use effectively.

2. Fixed blade. Fixed blade has no moving parts for you to worry about unfolding the knife if you are forced into a situation where you have to weild one quickly.

3. Full Tang. This means that the blade's metal goes the full length of the knife and not part way through the handle. This will minimize blade breakage.

4. Metal type. I recommend 440 Stainless Steel. I have used 440 SS knives for 20 + years and not one has rusted on me nor has it broken on me when I have to get rough with the blade.

Ka-Bar fits all listed above and they are good. But there are others which may be more in your budget which are just as good. One thing to also consider as there are options for a serrated edge on one side. Granted sharpening this in the wild may be unfeasable but you could still use it for wood. Not as easily or effective as a saw or axe but it is doable. On the serrated - I would recomend staying away from the large teeth serated like this one. I do not recommend large teeth serrated knives. I also do not recomend the half smoth and half serrated blades like this one. I recommend the smaller teeth serrated on the back of the blade. The do not go dull as quickly. More teeth allow for easier sawing, if you have the need. Here is a great example.

All fixed blade knives which have a compartment in the handle to hold a small amount of matches or fishing line are not full tang. Here is an example of what I am talking about. This causes a weak spot on the knife and when manhandled rough, the blades break at the handle. This is why full tang is recommended.

I have one from the Ontario Knife company about 10". I also have a wet stone which I keep with it. If you can find one which fits the characteristics I recommend and also has a sharpening stone pouch to keep with the knife sheath, perfect!

I hope my advice helps all out ther picking thier survival nife. I also have backup knives I use as well, some smaller lockbacks, but this is focused on the "workhorse" survival knife.

[edit on 5/5/2009 by Amaxium]

[edit on 5/5/2009 by Amaxium]

posted on May, 5 2009 @ 11:42 AM
reply to post by Amaxium

Not all fixed blade knives with hollow handles are a poor choice. I have abused a Chris Reeve mountaineer [and some of his other knives as well] for over 15 years. It is made from a solid piece of steel. It also is not made of stainless, but a high carbon steel. Try to start a fire with a stainless blade, it wont happen. Be cautious about what you take for fact, it isn't always so. Yes full tang is good, yes stainless is good, but it is not the end all be all.

As to my credentials, lets just say I helped the military train our boys, and have brought back more than a few lost souls from the wilderness, however to my regret not all of them were alive.

There is always room for more knowledge and improvement, myself included, but you should be very cautious about the words never and always.



posted on May, 5 2009 @ 12:20 PM
reply to post by reluctantpawn

Point taken and learned. I should rephrase regarding the hollow non-full-tang handle to be cautious how it is made. In my experience I was using 3 christmas presents all broke. 2 due to bad welding. 1 due to it was not welded but had a screw on bolt that broke.

I didn't mean to bash other metal type out there other than trying to imply that I have had good experience with 440 SS as lasting longer of all the ones I have had in my collection. This was not my intention to get into a metal bashing which is better but just offering my limited experience.

We all appreciate your advise and wisdom and what you have done for us all thus far. We need a few more like you around so the rest of us can learn from.

In your opinion, if you think one may be trappped in the wild possibly long term. What items would you definatly carry in a survival kit?

[edit on 5/5/2009 by Amaxium]

posted on May, 5 2009 @ 01:45 PM
This is not and end all be all list. It would have to vary according to the environment, but some things will be standard.

1. a good sturdy fixed blade knife, and a smaller folder
2. small fishing hooks, good for trapping birds as well as sewing things
3. a spool of fishing line
4. 20 ft of mechanics wire or snare wire
5. tarp or poncho
6. pocket chainsaw [not the flimsy wire saw]
7. cup, pot or cookwear to boil water and cook in
8. water container, nalgene, camelback, canteen
9. 22. caliber rifle, I like the Marlin Papoose, with ammo
10. leatherman type tool
11. firesteel & firepiston
12. 550 paracord the real mil spec kind
13. a fleece jacket
14. camp axe, hatchet, or for me a tomahawk
15. hat
16. two bandannas
17. two large heavy duty garbage bags
18. two one gallon ziplock bags
19. A bag to put it all in.
20. my waterproof new testament, inspirational, thought provoking, and fights boredom

What you will not find are a compass, lighter, matches, handgun, sleeping bag, food, water filter, and flashlight. However these may be items you would want to bring. All of my gear will fit into a small bag.

For me this would probably be enough for me to comfortable for an extended stay outdoors. With that being said i am more experienced than most and am a student of experimental archaeology. This means I like to go out and find how primitive man learned to do things.

The one thing that will get you through is a good positive attitude. This supersedes all other knowledge or equipment. The second thing is a good knowledge base of wilderness skills that have been tried and tested. When your life is at stake is not the time to go out and learn something.

I have managed to learn over many years how to make most of the things that are listed, but it is nice to have them. I will be more than glad to help with any questions you may have. However there are differing opinions on this board as to what one needs. My needs are simple, and I can't expect others to be able to deal with this minimalist kit.

I have gone hungry and thirsty before, it is not an easy thing. Make sure you have what YOU need in your pack. My other advice is to get the best that you can afford in any gear you purchase. Your life will depend on it. One other word of advice, don't take my word as gospel, dig around and find out what is best for you.



posted on May, 5 2009 @ 01:50 PM
Amaxium and reluctantpawn,

Thank you so much for the info on knives. I appreciate it. I'm off to shop for a knife and thanks to you, I know what to look for.


posted on May, 5 2009 @ 03:57 PM
I have been looking at a couple of knives and wondering whether to get one of them for the past few days. They fit pretty much all I need from a knife quite high quality metal, full tang and a serrated side. However I am kinda worried about trusting my life to something which has a suspiciously low price tag. Would those of you with more experience than me care to give an opinion.
Knife 1 Knife 2

They also do each one again in 15" instead of 13". Please can someone give me some advice on whether to get one and if so which one.


posted on May, 6 2009 @ 01:03 PM
reply to post by Cauch1

My personal opinion.... if I had to choose between the 2 I would go with knife #2. The serrated teeth appear smaller than knife #1's and in my opinion more manageable to use than the larger serrated teeth in knife #1.

Again this is just my opinion.

posted on May, 8 2009 @ 07:33 AM
reply to post by Amaxium

Would you say to get that one or a 15" of the same model? Hope I am not being a bother but the other knives I have got have mainly been for ornamental purposes.


posted on May, 10 2009 @ 11:05 PM
eh i would rather have my zippo or even a bic compared to matches mainly because they both make enough sparks to start a fire even when they dont have any fuel left and matches are a one time thing that take alot to take care of and dont always work.

posted on May, 11 2009 @ 08:47 AM
reply to post by Cauch1

The best knife length to choose is the one you feel most confortable in your hand. Lengths are a personal preference. Hand and arm strength may come into play for preference of a heavier and or larger knife. Machete long knives can be harder to work with than a 10" one. You will have to use your gut and personal preference with how if feels best in your hand.

posted on May, 11 2009 @ 11:22 AM
reply to post by Amaxium

Thanks for your help mate


posted on May, 11 2009 @ 11:28 AM
Can none of you start a fire with flint and steel?

Just saying. When times are tough what you need is something that will start a fire no matter what.

posted on May, 11 2009 @ 12:11 PM
Coghlan's Magnesium Fire Starter

Coghlan's Magnesium Fire Starter
For as little as $7.49 you can start a fire for the next 10-20 years.
A reliable fire-starting method is not only a convenient campsite tool – it could someday be a life saver. By keeping size down to a nearly unnoticeable 3/8" x 3", this solid magnesium unit is easy to pack and carry. The full-length, flint-sparking insert ignites (even when wet) to a temperature of 5,400°F to light the most stubborn campfire.

Purchase one here

good lick to you all out there.

posted on Nov, 29 2010 @ 10:04 PM
reply to post by whatukno

What did that have to do with starting a fire with flint and steel? He used a firesteel.

Paper matches are next to worthless. A humid day can destroy any not packed away in a waterproof container. As for Bic lighters, I used to smoke and could light one 20 times a day for more than a month before I usually lost it. That is 600 lights . I also carry a Magnesium firestarter, lifeboat matches, several small firesteels, a lense, a permanent match and enough cord to be able to make a bow drill.
Wax is not good for water proofing matches. If it is hot enough to be a nice liquid it will be absorbed into the match head, which ruins it. If you want to waterproof strike anywhere matches, use clear nail polish. Better yet, just get a couple of boxes of lifeboat matches. They have really long heads on them and burn hotter, longer than normal matches..

posted on Nov, 29 2010 @ 10:12 PM
Can people here tell me why Bic lighters are being mentioned more then Zippos?
I'm not much of a survivalist but I do have a collection of old lighters and some of the Zippo ones still work with no replacement parts from the 50's
I've got an even older "striker lighter" from the 30;s that would work just fine if I could get flint to fit it.
Most Bics I have had have fallen apart before they have even been refilled once

Is it the assumption that it would be hard to find petrol? Surely pressurised gas is much harder to find? I was always told that the soldiers in Vietnam used to fill their Zippos up by tying a string round them and dunking them into the fuel tank of their jeeps
edit on 29-11-2010 by davespanners because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 30 2010 @ 05:42 PM
reply to post by davespanners

There's nothing wrong with a Zippo. You just can't fill it up and then use it in a week because it will be empty. Bics are disposable and if stored so that the gas lever can't be accidentally pressed will happily sit there waiting to be used.
I was never impressed by any of the refillable Butane lighters I had. They all felt cheap and none really lasted.
I think one of the best lighters I ever had was a permanent match.

posted on Nov, 30 2010 @ 08:16 PM
Lets go down the list of “must have” fire starting equipment.

Strike on box matches
Strike anywhere matches
Long reach matches.
Butane lighters.
Long nose butane lighters.
Mini butane torches.
Torch strikers
Pizo electric igniters.
Self starting propane torch to light those hard to light items.

And my favorite is a short strip of Nichrome wire and a battery. Just get it hotter than the self ignition temp of the thing in question and bada boom….. Fire…..
The source for the nichrome is that old toaster you are going to throw out. Take six inches of the wire from one and connect it to a 12 volt battery. Hold the hot element close to a wick of a candle and it will light every time.

A the striker on a lighter that is empty can still be used for lighting a torch. That is what I normally use empty lighters for. I always try to keep plenty of propane and butane around for torches.

Try to get inventive. If you need to light a candle but can’t find any matches or lighters, then light the burner on your gas stove or grill and light the candles off that.

Get those little flint strikers that will mount in your Coleman gas or propane lanterns. That saves on match usage.

On the firesteels I am not much of a fan of those.

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