Wind Proof Survival Matches





Introduction: Wind Proof Survival Matches

About: I am a photographer and ex-Engineering Student with more than just a curious mind. I use my knowledge about photography and basic engineering to create stunning videos for my YouTube channel (madsciencehacks...

Here's a hack I came up with that will allow you to make windproof survival matches with a few cheap items.

Here's what you'll need -

  • Regular or strike anywhere matches
  • Some cotton sewing thread
  • Sparklers
  • Glue of choice (I used hot glue)

Step 1: Watch the Video!

The easiest way to follow along and understand this Instructable, is to watch the video above or on my channel by clicking this link -

Step 2:

Start by cutting off a piece of the sparkler just a bit longer than a match stick.

Step 3:

Position 2 matches on the sparkler like this and add a drop of glue on the end to hold everything in place.

Step 4:

Bundle up the matches and the sparkler using the cotton thread. And you're done!

Step 5:

Once you strike the matches, the barium nitrate in the sparkler ignites and burns the match sticks even when you try blowing out the flame.

This isn't meant to replace traditional fire starting methods but, it's still pretty cool to know that you can do this yourself in just a few minutes.

If you liked this Instructable, check out some of my others and hit the follow button to be notified when I post something new.

Watch the video to see how this works!



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    20 Discussions

    I found the discount code for water proof matches, Wax coated for waterproofing. Use this code "PD10"and save 10%.

    This is so simple and cool! I will definitely keep it in mind before my next outdoor trip!

    Great easy hack... What would be a possible substitute for the sparklers if they're outlawed in places? (eg. California is pretty much anti-fireworks, though it's possible to get some albeit illegally.)

    1 reply

    You could try substituting Magnesium Ribbon. Not tried this myself just a thought.

    there are better ways to do this, sparklers is imaginative, but ultimately too dangerous. Forget illegal, pot is illegal by me, but anyone can get it if they want it. This item is just too dumb, lighting a sparkler is very hard to do.

    Sorry this is a fail, I enjoyed the theory, but alas the practice does not look promising

    Just glue together 13 matches in a pyramidical pattern and you will have a safer alternative, or Invert the pattern and fill with waxed, petrolium jellied cotton ball that has been wrapped in wax paper, (so the PJ does not destroy the match heads). When it catches it will burn nicely for a time.

    3 replies

    Barium Nitrate is an oxidizer. This means that when it burns it doesn't need air to maintain combustion but, it creates it's own oxygen. Apart from Barium Nitrate, sparklers contain Aluminum powder, iron filings, corn starch, Boric Acid and other ingredients. These provide fuel, a neutralizer and an oxidizer which helps keep the spark burning even when you try to blow it out. Attaching the match sticks allows you to ignite the sparkler easily and provides a fuel to support a flame.

    I doubt that 13 using 13 matches is economical. The probability of you starting a fire on a windy day is higher if you just use each match individually. You'll have 13 chances to get a fire going.

    Furthermore, filling it with wax or petroleum jelly doesn't make it windproof. It just adds more fuel which is not only unnecessary but, it's also harder to ignite since it has a higher flash point than the match stick itself! In addition to this, wax and petroleum jelly aren't oxidizers which is what is required to make a match stick windproof.

    You can't generalize your circumstance, since sparklers aren't illegal on a global scale. This also cannot be dumb, since the definition of dumb is the inability to speak.

    usinbg a sparkler creates an incredible hot piece of wire that if the holder is not careful will create some rather painful and long lasting burns. I knew a guy who had rather extensive burn scars from them from childhood.

    They are not legal in many place for darn good reason.

    More importantly they are very hard to get going. I remember as kid watching parents take quite some time to get them to light.So much so that if you can get them to light you should have no problem in the wind.

    I made "super matches" by simply gluing 4-6 matches together, to be used as 1 match. If you make them around a form you get a tube, in which you can add sisel twine (incredibky good tinder goes up as fast or faster then dryer lint). If you use cotton puff with some petrolium jelly, they light fine and burn quite nicely.

    My issues are 2 , 1) sparklers are hard to light, and if you can get them to light, you probable can get other things to light as well with less danger. 2) they are really dangerous and while they may burn in near oxygenless enviroments, they potentially can give sevear burns or worse.

    If you clipped the sparkler leaving 2 inches of reactive mix with the 4 inch handle and ues strike anywhere matches, and maybe 6 matchheads glued on with the ones you need to get it lit. you got something, that is a little more controllable.

    I made up four kits, each has a Blast Match, (if you never have seen one they are steroidal flint and steel, if you have tinder and wood, you got fire), a few homemade multitip matches with strikers a toss away lighter and a field glass. For tinder there is char cloth, dryer lint, sisel twine, and oiled cotton puffs. I also added an alcohol stove.

    I even have 2 fire pistons. They are hard to use, you really want to use tinder fungus, they are pretty cool. One day I will practice enough to get the rub 2 sticks together to work, until then that's all I got.

    You have created a very nice McGuiverish fire-stick. I am sure it will melt steel beams like a thermite bomb, but my 2 issues remain.

    This is a great idea. I think someone is just mad that they didn't come up with it. If you would care to watch the video, you can see the sparkler readily ignites, except in the case where there was only 2 matches.

    That's a cool idea, and very clever!

    Have you tried dipping them in paraffin wax to also make them waterproof??? I think that would be a great idea.

    I have a question...If its wind proof how do you blow it out?

    You should dip the heads in wax as well to make them waterproof.

    5 replies

    Storing matches in a waterproof containter along with other essential fire starting tools is a better option. I don't get the wax hack. If your matches are dry and 'waterproof' then your match box is definitely gonna be wet if it had to fall in a puddle. This might work for strike anywhere matches since the box isn't needed for ignition. I still don't see the logic behind waterproofing individual matches as opposed to making a waterproof fire starting kit. Someone might have thought it was clever but it is just another hyped hack that seems clever but really isn't clever at all.

    You'd rather put these matches and a piece of the striking strip into a small waterproof pill bottle. Sorted!

    If a person has concerns about their fire starting kit getting wet, they should practice redundancy and split 1 kit into 2 smaller individual packs. Each pack should have multiple fire starting tools including a 9v battery and steel wool wich is waterproof.

    Interesting concept and nice video. I like the idea of the sparkler although i would like to know how it holds up in damp environments. One suggestion though, I would use one safety match and one strike-anywhere match combined to have the advantages of both.

    Cheers Alex

    Isn't the 9v battery going to run flat by continuously shorting itself out if submerged?

    Maybe cut the sparkler slightly shorter than the matches to avoid setting fingertips on fire!

    Adding the sparkler is a great idea but, they outlawed sparklers in California, if you can believe that. No problem, that's why we travel to Wyoming once per year...fireworks.