By Joseph Parish
Waterproof matches are worth their weight in gold during the event of an emergency. Paired with a inexpensive or homemade fire starter, waterproof matches ensure you of a warm camp fire in any circumstances. Unfortunately, waterproof matches are not always accessible and yet then they may be so costly that they are out of your immediate reach economically. There are numerous technique for which you can waterproof your own matches.
Here are a couple of fail-safe approaches to constructing your own waterproof matches that you can make use of when backpacking, camping or in an disaster. It takes only a moment to assemble them, and the result will be matches that will light even upon getting drenched. Be sure to formulate your waterproof matches as quickly as you can after their purchase to ensure that they do not pick up much moisture from the surrounding air.
As with any project, a few precautions are in order. Foremost in importance is always use caution when working around fire. Secondly, when in a liquid state wax is extremely hot and causes severe burns. Lastly, both nail polish and wax will stain furniture surfaces as well as fabrics, so properly cover your work surface well with newspaper.
The first method I will discuss is that of using a Candle. The candle process performs best when using tea candles as opposed to tapers. If you employee this method be certain to work as quickly but safely as you possibly can so the wax does not harden. Begin by lighting a candle and letting it burn slightly until there exists a fair quantity of melted wax. This is usually about a 1-centimeter or one-half an inch. When you have accumulated sufficient wax promptly put out the candle. Next, dip the head of the match carefully into the melted wax just enough to coat 3 millimeters or an eighth of an inch of the matchstick. Hold the match steady for several seconds to permit the wax to harden and place the match suspended off the edge of the table surface. Before the wax completely hardens but is slightly cooled pinch the wax coating near the end of the stick to form a tight seal. You may also completely cover the matches with wax to ensure water cannot wick up the matchstick.
In method number two, you will use nail polish to protect the sulfur ends of the matchsticks. The nail polish technique is the easiest and safest plus it generates a much sturdier match as the wax can easily be broken or scratched. Any type of nail polish can be used for this procedure. Start by dipping the head end of the match into a container of clear nail polish. Immerge it just enough to cover an area of 3 millimeters or an eighth of an inch of the matchstick. After coating, hold the match in your hand for a few moments to permit the nail polish to completely dry and then set the match on the counter so the head is poised off the edge of the surface.
Even though your new matches are waterproof, it is still a sound practice to store the completed matches in some sort of waterproof container. I have found that a plastic 35 mm film canister serves as an excellent choice. You may have to cut the ends of the matchstick slightly to allow it to fit properly. If you do not use the strike anywhere, matches make sure to glue a small section of the original striking surface to the cap in order to help ignite the matches.
Copyright @2008 Joseph Parish