Camping Matches and Alternatives

Camping Matches and AlternativesIt’s almost a given – if you’re going camping you’re going to make a campfire. For many campers who aren’t seasoned hands at the whole “outdoors” experience, building and making a fire can seem like a daunting task. And even if you’ve had a few times to practice (or at least read up on the task), there’s still the matter of lighting it successfully. How are you going to do that if you discover that your matches have become somewhat sorry and rather sorry-looking? Here are some ideal camping matches and alternatives for you to try:

Don’t Get Left in the Dark

Matches aren’t a “no fail” camping tool. If they become wet – or even just damp – from humidity in the air or maybe an unexpected dip in the lake, matches won’t light. No working match means no fire; no fire means no heat source – the implications can snowball.

Match Alternatives:

It’s probably a good idea to not only bring waterproof matches but to also bring along some alternative fire-starters.

  • Lighter (ideal)
  • Fire steel or magnesium fire starter

Wood is Stronger than Paper

If you are going to bring a pack of matches on your camping trip, opt for the more sturdy wooden matches for camping and leave the notoriously more flimsy paper matches at home. Wooden matches are more durable and reliable.  If you aren’t using “strike anywhere” matches (which are probably preferable) make sure you bring a striking surface such as sand paper, along with your matches.

Sandpaper – a Reliable Striking Surface

After repeated use the striking surface on the side of the match boxes can wear down and become smooth, preventing the match from lighting when struck. Bring a square of sandpaper along just in case; sometimes matches can be quite finicky. Ensure that the sandpaper is not too coarse, otherwise when you strike the match you will likely take the whole head off the stick, leaving you frustrated and without a fire.

So, before you go camping or out into the woods be sure you’ve packed some camping matches and alternatives such as a hand-held gas lighter and wooden strike-anywhere, waterproof matches along with a strip of sandpaper as an alternative match striking surface.

Read more on: How to Waterproof your Matches

Author: Kirsten
(The CampTrip Team)


About the Author

has written 14 articles on CampTrip.

Kirsten loves history, writing, reading and editing. She is one smart little cookie when it comes to academics! She also happens to be quite the artist! Kirsten manages to make everything funny and can always be found with a book in her hand.

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