TrailTime Tips: The Perfect Match to Heat Up Your Campsite

A reliable fire starter can be the key to survival in the backcountry. It can be a long cold night if your fire source gets wet or you only have a few matches to use in windy weather. Here's a cool tip for making your own waterproof and stormproof matches. These DIY matches will light even if the bag you stored them in gets wet and they'll even keep buring in the wind making these the perfect match for your outdoor adventures.
*Featured image courtesy of Jeff Meyer*

DIY Stormproof Matches

Here's what you'll need:

  • Strike Anywhere Matches

  • Toilet Paper

  • Magnesium

  • Wax


Slice tiny pieces of the magnesium and place them on the toilet paper. Place the match on the toilet paper with the match head sticking out. Carefully roll the match in the toilet paper with the magnesium stuck within it. The magnesium shavings work to keep the match lit even when the wind blows the fire out, similar to a trick candle on a birthday cake.


stormproof matches


Dip the entire rolled match into a cup or bowl of melted wax (wax from a burned candle works well). Make sure the entire match and toilet paper are covered in wax. Carefully place the match so it can dry.

wax matches

The wax helps keep the match waterproof. It protects everything from getting wet. After the match is lit the wax helps the match burn longer with the toilet paper working as the wick.

perfect match


Dry the wax thoroughly then keep the matches in your emergency backpacking kit. When it's time to light the fire, simply scrape the wax off of the match head and strike it. You'll see that this fire starter will burn for a long time. Do not light these indoors. The magnesium will make it very difficult to blow out the match once it is lit.

You can also make these matches without the magnesium as described here: IntenseAngler

Why Bother?

These waterproof wind resistant matches are actually quick and easy to make compared to some others we've seen online. The addition of magnesium really does keep it burning even when the wind blows. If you've ever tried to light a match in the wind you know that a one match fire is hard to do. This super match will burn for minutes. You can use it to light the tinder then just place it in the fire pit and it is sure to get a nice campfire going. It's definitely worth the effort to make these stormproof firestarters.

Try these other firestarter ideas:

Cotton Ball Firestarters
Stop Throwing Away This Easy Firestarter
Making a Super Match (Video)

Looking for more TrailTime Tips?:

Trip Planning Hack
How to Fill Your Bottles in a Shallow Stream
Best Way to Store Your Hydration Bladder

perfect match
Andy Hawbaker
posted by
Andy Hawbaker
Andy is a hiker, backpacker, snowboarder and outdoor fanatic. When he isn't exploring the Rocky Mountains, burning marshmallows or scratching his dog behind the ear, he shares his experiences here on the Sierra Trading Post Blog.
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