I watched in silent laughter as a smoker tried in vain to light a cigarette in the howling wind and had to give up. Yep, I’m the worse sort of ex-smoker, the type who gave up smoking through will power.
Only there is a serious point to this and it does involve survival skills with a box of matches. So here’s a few pointers for those who still like them.
- Keep them dry. Not only the matches but the box they are in.
- Slip a trick cake candle inside the box, the one that won’t go out but self re-ignites.
It’s not infallible BUT can get you out of a jam.
- Use strike anywhere matches and avoid “safety” types.
- Dip the match heads into hot wax to coat them. It will help keep damp out.
- When lighting hold the match closely to the head.
With cold hands it’s easy to put too much pressure on the delicate match stick.
- Shave the match stick towards the match head. The feathering or fuzzing will help the stick to catch fire.
Lastly is a plea.
If you use a shelter where someone has left a survival fire, please leave it as you found it.
Clean, well stocked with tinder, kindling, and sticks. Fire laid and ready to go.
Add a ‘full match bow’ with matches laid out as follows.
This way cold hands may have a chance of lighting the fire.
The candle will give someone a further chance of survival.