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#290290 - 08/21/18 01:35 AM Giving paper matches another look
clearwater Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/19/05
Posts: 1048
Loc: Channeled Scablands
I am having little luck using the strike anywhere matches of today. Even dry ones struck on the side of the box work about 50% of the time. Paper matches seem to work just fine when dry and are easier to light stoves, liquid fuel, tinder down close to the ground etc. than Bic lighters and ferro rods as well as the wooden matches. They also fit fine in a wallet. I am going to start bringing them in the backcountry along with a Bic and a ferro rod.

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#290291 - 08/21/18 02:05 AM Re: Giving paper matches another look [Re: clearwater]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6572
Loc: southern Cal
Agreed that current strike anywheres are really bad. But I have gone to the heavily coated premium matches. I usually light a fire with either the Bic or a ferro rod, which works great with gas canisters.


Edited by hikermor (08/21/18 12:10 PM)
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#290325 - 08/26/18 02:25 PM Re: Giving paper matches another look [Re: clearwater]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2719
Loc: Alberta, Canada
I think we discussed this in another thread, but:

Paper matches do seem to age well. I have even gotten some wet, left them to dry out, and they still worked well. If you use three or four together, you have a real fire lighter. When older folks clear out their houses, they will often find a box of paper matches with advertising or wedding stuff inscribed -- how times have changed!

Modern wooden matches (strike anywhere and safety types) seem to degrade and disintegrate upon any contact with moisture.

But then again, maybe not all: some Web commenters say that UCO strike-anywhere matches are still very good. I seem to recall that UCO lifeboat matches were quite good, so maybe there's hope.

Curiously, wooden matches are a hot topic of debate for pipe and cigar aficionados, who view butane lighters as nothing short of barbarians at the gate.

Still, for me, you'll find Bic's in my pocket and scattered through my gear. And yes, they will work in freezing conditions -- just warm them in your hand for half a minute and shake vigorously. For long term storage, leave them sealed in original packages, as the flint will slowly swell when exposed to atmospheric moisture.

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#290327 - 08/26/18 02:39 PM Re: Giving paper matches another look [Re: clearwater]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2719
Loc: Alberta, Canada
And then, there's entertainment: I remember an older kid showing me how to turn paper matches into firecrackers.

Take two packs, arrange them so the heads are against the striker strips, wrap very tightly with masking tape, and throw against a concrete sidewalk. Ka-bang!

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#290394 - 09/02/18 08:50 PM Re: Giving paper matches another look [Re: clearwater]
Tirec Offline
Newbie

Registered: 08/24/07
Posts: 48
Loc: Rocky Mountain West
Paper matches make fun little rockets, too.
https://youtu.be/znPME1jqFNc

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#290419 - 09/06/18 10:06 PM Re: Giving paper matches another look [Re: Tirec]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6572
Loc: southern Cal
Just tried using strike anywhere matches on a simple task- fusing freshly cut nylon straps. They were lousy and I abandoned them - the reluctantly lighting match head wouldn't even set the match stick . Pretty worthless.

So I dug down deep and tried some paper matches - came with some MRE's a fairly long time ago. While better than the strike anywheres, they didn't last long enough to fuse a thin 1/2" nylon strap.

Finally whipped out a Bic and the job was accomplished in the blink of an eye.

For me, use oversize wooden matches (Ucos are one brand) designed especially for emergency situations, a Bic or similar, or some kind of ferro rod, coupled with dependable tinder (soaked cotton balls or similar).

I really miss the dependable wooden matches of days gone by. I used them regularly to light fires, some in fairly critical circumstances
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#290420 - 09/07/18 12:01 AM Re: Giving paper matches another look [Re: clearwater]
Ratch Offline
Newbie

Registered: 08/05/17
Posts: 26
Not to hijack, but I found an old survival kit in my car the other day. The bic lighter in it was dry, no fluid. I don’t think the flick lever was depressed at all (or even unhappy!). Do these lose their fluid over time? The kit was maybe ten years old.

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#290421 - 09/07/18 12:18 AM Re: Giving paper matches another look [Re: Ratch]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6572
Loc: southern Cal
You say you found the kit in your car, so the question might be, "What were the maximum temps within the car? (and minimum, too, for that matter). Car interiors see wide swings in temperature, which is generally not good for long term storage.

Your point is pertinent, because the question is really what is the most dependable igniting technique which can be stored long term?
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#290422 - 09/07/18 06:36 AM Re: Giving paper matches another look [Re: Ratch]
M_a_x Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/16/02
Posts: 1020
Loc: Germany
The seals in the lighters degrade over time. That may lead to leakage. When the lighter gets too warm, it may vent some pressure.
Cheaper lighters sometimes seem to clog the gas system. They are full but do not allow gas to flow, when the lever is pressed.
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#290423 - 09/07/18 03:10 PM Re: Giving paper matches another look [Re: hikermor]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2719
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Originally Posted By: hikermor
So I dug down deep and tried some paper matches - came with some MRE's a fairly long time ago. While better than the strike anywheres, they didn't last long enough to fuse a thin 1/2" nylon strap.


FWIW, one trick with paper matches: use two at a time, and tear them all the way down through the base (where the staple is). Burns longer and hotter.

Still hard to beat a mini-Bic in your pocket though. grin

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