How to Waterproof Matches

Boy Scouts learn to make waterproof matches, so it isn’t rocket science. If you’re going to be doing any camping, hunting, or fishing, learning to waterproof matches is a skill you need.

The first and most important thing is to get the right matches. You must have “Strike Anywhere” wooden matches.

You can tell them from any other kind of matches because they have a bright red head with a white tip.

The white tip is a phosphorus compound that will burn from friction. When it burns, it ignites the red compound, which in turn starts the wooden matchstick burning.

The bigger the white spot on the tip, the better that match will light. “Strike Anywhere” matches are about 2-1/4 inches long.

About the same size, and in the same size box, you can find “Strike on Box” wooden matches.

Their match heads are red without a white spot. “Strike on Box” means that these matches will not light unless you strike them on the box, so you have to carry the box or its friction strip with you. Don’t even bother with these matches.

Boy Scouts learn to waterproof their matches by coating them with colorless nail polish.

A friend did this and then found out his waterproof matches wouldn’t light. If you use colorless nail polish, check to see if they light before you do the whole box.

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