The Ultimate Survival Match




Here is a simple matchstick that will burn longer and brighter than the standard. In a survival situation this is helpful because then you have longer time to kindle a fire and it will be easier because of the bigger flame (something you can't get from a match-head covered in wax).

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Step 1: Materials

-knife or scissors

-matches (duh) water-proofed strike anywhere matches are best

-paperclip (mine is already straightened)

-gorilla duct tape mine is in the to-go kind it's width is 1 inch

Step 2: Cut

-Cut a half inch strip

-Cut a 2 inch strip

Step 3: Roll

Roll the 1/2" X 1" strip around the match and the straightened paperclip about half an inch from the tip of the head.

Step 4: Take Paperclip Out

Pull the paperclip out. Be careful not to disassemble the tape from the matchstick.

Step 5: Wrap and Finished

Stick the match down as shown in the first pic then wrap the side up so that an oddly shaped cone will start to form. Wrap the other side around the rest of the way. Try to provide a little bit of room for air in between the tape and the matchstick itself. This will provide some air to the flame.

To light strike the match and hold the head at a downward angle so that the gorilla tape will catch flame.

Step 6: What Not to Do

I found testing this was a little difficult as it was blowing outdoors at 11 mph so getting wind-cover was a struggle, and the matches I initially used are years old I don't know if that has anything to do with my struggle. I found another box that worked better. I could smell the sulfur off of this box compared to the previous box, which had little odor.

I found that standard duct tape does not work as well because it does not have a lot of adhesive. The adhesive is the flammable part of the duct tape. Duck brand duct tape lights quickly but doesn't last as long.

I also discovered that even lighting a rolled tube of gorilla tape will burn for 2+ minutes. Lesson learned: gorilla duct tape has many uses for survival!

Thanks for reading!

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    9 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    if you have a bunch of them in a backpack or BOB, how hard is it to keep the cone of Gorilla Tape (I'm with you on that as opposed to Duct tape - Gorilla Tape RULES!) without it collapsing when packed? Is there anything special you need to think of/do when it comes to that?

    3 replies

    Reply 4 years ago

    Perhaps dusting the tape with something like powdered sugar (flammable but creates a barrier) to prevent it from sticking to itself? *I have not tested this however*


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    I would try not to fold the sticky side onto itself as it does make it a challenge to unfold. And if you throw them in a bag where they alternate back and forth it should be okay. The first strip wrapped around the match (the one that is 1/2" from the tip of the match head) will keep the cone from folding in on itself too much and it will be easier to unfold. If you press it front to back like how the match is laid in the intro picture then it should be easy to pull apart if they do get stuck. Thank you dojers for the great question!


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Awesome - I was hoping there was going to be a good answer to that :) Those look fantastic and I'd love to have a bunch of them ready in case of an emergency but it'd suck to make a bunch of them, just to have them unusable because the cone collapsed. Thank you!


    5 years ago

    Cool idea! Never would have thought to do that


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Looks like you learned something in the process of making this...always a good thing.