Waterproof Emergency Match!

Introduction: Waterproof Emergency Match!

This is just a short cheap and cheerful instructable (also my first) showing how to make a waterproof emergency match. Make one and put it in your survival kit, hang one on your keyring, or put one wherever you like. So, lets begin

DIsclaimer: this includes matches and hot wax, so be safe, don't burn yourself or your house down!

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Step 1: Materials

This is what I used, feel free to improvise if you don't have something. 

-Match striker strip (should be in good condition)
-Beeswax (or candle wax, whatever you have lying around)
-Something metal to heat up and melt the wax (I used a tent peg)

Step 2: Cut the Strip

Cut about 1/4 off the end of the striker, and discard the small piece.
Fold the long piece over and place matches inside.

You can use the whole striker strip if you want, I didn't because you don't need to. BUT you do need a long enough strip to fold in half over the matches (see pics)

Step 3: Wrap the Match

Take a long piece of thread (I used two armlengths) and tie a simple slipknot in one end, and loop it over the folded cardboard. Then wrap the whole lot around the folded cardboard, making it tight around the base where the matches enter (but not super tight). Also try and wrap so that there are no gaps up the sides, so wax (and water) cannot get in.

Once you're done put a drop of wax on the loose end to secure it.

Step 4: Make a Loop and Attach It

This is to provide something to pull on when you want to light the match. You can make it out of thicker string to make it simpler, or take the harder route like I did and:

-Take a piece of thread (longer than before) and fold it in half
-Twist it many times in one direction
-Fold it in half again and twist it in the other direction
-Repeat a few times until it is a few inches long

Basically I made my own string out of cotton thread.

After that, make another slipknot thread like in step 3 but shorter. Wrap one end of the thicker string so it won't move, then wrap the other end to the other side of the match. Again use a drop of wax to secure the loose end.

Step 5: Soak the Lot

This is probably the hardest part to do properly, and I couldn't take a picture of the process.

Basically you want to soak the lot in wax, or completely coat the outside to make it waterproof. You also want to cover the wooden parts of the matches to keep water out, as well as any small holes in the bottom of the cardboard wrap. This can be a messy job.

First you need a puddle of wax, so I heated up a tent peg on the stove and stuck it in my wax block to create a puddle to dip the match in.

If you are using a candle, it would be much easier to slowly drip wax onto the match.

Also don't glue the loop together with wax, you need to be able to get a finger in there!

Step 6: Finished! (video)

Now if you've done it right it will light when you pull the matches out. You will have to pull them out quickly and sharply, there will be a "pop" and they will be lit.

Now the matches are coated in wax, they won't behave like a normal match. You will have to hold it upside down slightly to start heating up the wax which will then act kind of like a candle so the match will burn longer, hotter and brighter. But if you are not careful, the match can go out quickly if the wax is too thick.

Also, if you did a good job you can push two new matches into the striker to light more matches, or re-coat it in wax again.

That's it, feel free to adapt it however you like for your purpose, and don't play with fire! Also be sure to comment, rate or whatever.

Video link!:

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    3 Discussions


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    The video URL is in the last step, I couldn't embed it for some reason


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Oops, missed that (works just like it should - good job). Edit it and use the video button - the code is under the YT video under <Embed>