Waterproof matches are indeed an essential addition to your outdoor supplies. A bug out bag wouldn’t be complete without fire starter gear. Ordinary matches don’t mix well with wet conditions and being in the outdoors. You can slip and fall into a puddle, getting your backpack wet. Your tackle box can be knocked into the water by a big fish you reeled in. Fortunately, there is a simple solution–waterproof matches. You can buy water-resistant matches, but they can be expensive. Good thing there are simple ways to make your own effective waterproof matches that won’t take much of your time and won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
How to Make Waterproof Matches
1. Waterproofing Matches with Turpentine
Using turpentine is the quickest, safest, and easiest way to make your survival matches water-resistant. You can purchase turpentine at your local hardware or art supply stores.
- Cup or glass jar
- Hair dryer
Step 1. Pour Turpentine into a Small Container
First, put the turpentine in a container (cup or glass jar) and be sure to place the newspaper underneath the container. Turpentine is a product normally used in finish-stripping and it can damage wood surfaces.
Step 2. Soak the Head
Dip the head of the matches into the turpentine and let it sit there for five minutes. It will soak through the head and the stem and permeate it.
Step 3. Dry the Matches
After taking the matches out, use the hair dryer to dry them out, or you can simply spread them on the newspaper and wait until it dries naturally. These matches will remain waterproof for several months if treated this way.
2. How to Waterproof Matches with Nail Polish
Another great way to make your backpacking matches waterproof is by using fingernail polish. It helps the flame burn steadily and it can withstand a good amount of wear and tear as well.
- Fingernail polish (choose between clear and colored varieties)
- Hair dryer
Step 1. Dip the Head of the Matches
Dip the head of the match and a part of the stick into the nail polish bottle. You can also simply paint the tip of the match. Put just the right amount of fingernail polish, so you can still spark them when you need to. Make sure to do this over a sheet of a newspaper because they can make a mess on your table, couch, or carpet.
Step 2. Let it Dry
Set the head of the matches hanging over the edge of the table or its box and let them dry. It may take some time to dry so you have to be patient. You can also blow dry them if you want to speed up the drying process.
Waterproofing Matches with Wax
Wax is a good waterproof coating for matches. It creates a protective layer that does not allow water or any other elements to get through. Striking the match will peel away the coating of the wax and allows the matches to ignite.
- Candle or candle wax
- A heat source for melting the wax (fire or stove)
- A disposable container that is heat-resistant
- Hair dryer
Step 1. Melt the Wax
If you’re using a candle, let it burn for a bit until you see a pool of wax around the wick. But if you’re using old candles, put the wax in a container and put it over your heat source. Just make sure you won’t use something you need to keep because the wax doesn’t wash off easily.
- Note: Ensure the "Test" button on the plug is not tripped, Item do not work when the test button is triggered, 3 heats and speeds
- 1875 Watts for Fast Drying.3 Heat/Speed Settings with Cool Shot Button, Cold Shot button
- Ultra Lightweight Design, Airflow concentrator attachment
Step 2. Dip the Matches
As soon as the wax melts, dip the match head in the melted wax. Coat the matches thoroughly and allow them to harden a little, and then remove them after a minute or so. Do not overdo it because the excess wax will make it difficult for the matches to light and the striking surface will wear off fast.
Step 3. Dry the Matches
Place the matches on the edge of a table or on the matchbox with the head suspended. Don’t forget to put the newspaper underneath to keep your floor safe from falling wax. Also, you can use the hair dryer to make the drying part a bit faster.
- Fire starter with strikeable tip eliminates the need for matches for grills, stoves, campfires, fireplaces, and survival kits
- Made from the sugarcane waste byproduct, bagasse, a renewable biofuel used around the world
- Each tinder tab is infused with vegetable wax for up to seven minutes of burn time per tab
Watch this video from Crazy Russian Hacker and find out another easy way to make your matches waterproof:
These waterproof matches are a revolutionary invention that became an essential addition to our fire starter supplies. It’s a good backup for lighters, but again, they can be a bit pricey. So if you want to save money, you can easily make a box of waterproof matches in no time. The methods suggested above are proven and tested to be effective. Go ahead and give it a go!
Do you know other ways on how to make waterproof matches? Share it with us in the comments below!
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on May 28, 2018, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.
Last update on 2018-10-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API