Preppers: Rethink Your Match Stockpile

   10.05.17

Preppers: Rethink Your Match Stockpile

What kind of matches are you stockpiling? Let’s take a few minutes and talk about kitchen matches and do some comparison of strike-on-box and strike-anywhere matches.

In my experience, books of paper matches are pretty much useless. However, when I stay at a hotel that has a casino, I will sometimes pick up matchbooks and throw them into a glass vase when I get home. The vase makes for a decorative corner piece, and maybe as a last resort the matches can be used. However, a few years ago the vase was cleaned out and all the match books were thrown away, so I am having to rebuild that collection.

Something to consider about strike-anywhere matches: I have learned that the older the match, the more likely the phosphorus tip is to break off. Once the tip is gone, the match will need a strike-on-box striking pad to light.

Strike-on-box matches: The phosphorus is made into the striking pad.

Strike-anywhere matches: The phosphorus is on the tip of the match.

Some matches in my stockpile are well over a decade old, maybe even close to 20 years old.

When doing research for an article about a waterproof fire starter kit, several of my strike-anywhere matches did not work. The phosphorus tip broke off and the matches failed to light. Strike-on-box matches did not have this problem because the phosphorus is in the striking pad. This is not the first time this has happened.

Several years ago, I noticed the phosphorus tip would break off older matches. At first I thought it was a bad batch of matches, but I have since learned otherwise.

Due to how strike-anywhere matches degrade over time, I will not be buying many more of them.  From this point forward, the majority of new matches will be strike-on-box.

Will I continue to buy strike-anywhere matches? Sure, but not in the quantities I have in the past.

So with all of that in mind, what kind of matches are you stockpiling?

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