Survival Matches Guide

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You should keep in mind that the survival skills and situational awareness you have are crucial factors of your survival in an emergency and even in the worst-case scenario. Sure enough, appropriate survival gear serves to boost your chances of survival should you know how to use it well. There are situations when a simple pack of matches can save your life. Read this article and find out all about survival matches and why every prepper, survivalist, camper, and homesteader should have them in survival backpacks.

Top 7 Best Survival Matches

1.  Diamond Greenlight Strike Anywhere Matches

Diamond Greenlight Strike

These Diamond Greenlight matches are a great option for survivalists on a budget or simply those planning a family camping trip. They can be ignited through friction with any solid object, like a rock or a knife. Despite that, they’re not exactly the best survival-wise, as they are not weatherproof or waterproof.


  • low price
  • 900 matches in three boxes
  • can be ignited when rubbed against any solid surface
  • appropriate for day-to-day use
  • can be found in most shops


  • not weatherproof or waterproof

check the price

2. Kit to Start a Fire

Kaeser Wilderness Supply 1 We should warn you that the kit we are talking about does not just match. It contains magnesium chips that you can light in a blink of an eye to an extremely high temperature.

This survival fire starter kit offers you a waterproof match container, a tin case, and a striker strip (waterproof, too). Finally, you will get 20 stormproof matches in this survival set.

The disadvantage is the weight you should carry and the space this survival fire-lighting set takes in your bag. However, items in this kit let you store your waterproof matches properly.


  • extra-easy lighting includes magnesium chips
  • includes a waterproof container and a tin sealed case


  • heavier than other matches listed
  • takes up space

3. Coghlan’s 940 BP Matches

Coghlans 940Bp Waterproof Matches

Those who already know about surviving techniques are aware of this manufacturer. “Coghlan’s,” a Canadian company, exists since 1959 and produces handy items for hardcore tourists and campers.

Experts say that Coghlan’s storm matches have an attractive price and a high quality. Even though the price is good, these matches lack a match container to keep them. These are safety matches, meaning that they require a special surface. Although it might be inconvenient for a situation of survival, this fact also guarantees that these matches cannot be ignited by accident, so they are safer to carry.


  • low price, great price to quality ratio
  • waterproof survival matches and strikers


  • do not come with a container

4. UCO Stormproof Match Kit

Uco Stormproof Match Kit

With a UCO stormproof match kit, you are all set. You don’t need to worry about starting a fire anymore. Apart from two dozens of UCO stormproof matches and three strikers, you will get a waterproof case to store them.

The case can’t drown in the water, so if you accidentally drop it, you’ll be able to get it back. And survival matches from UCO will still be workable! Their burn time is about 15 seconds. The kit includes a replaceable integrated striker.

There are nice perks that come with the set: a cotton piece to light fires quickly and striker strips that you can replace. So, UCO survival matches themselves are a good call, but the UCO survival stormproof match kit is even better!


  • waterproof undrownable sealed case
  • useful extras
  • long matches keep you from burning your fingers


  • not as sturdy and durable as some of the matches on top of the list

5. Regular Survival Matches

Proforce Equipment Survival Matches1

If you know that your survival period will not last long, or you are packing a bug-out bag for just a few days or weeks, why don’t we suggest regular models of survival matches?

These matches are also called “flip-top matches” and come in a two-pack set. In total, you get 50 stormproof matches of good quality in a small, lightweight case, ideal for storing them safely. A great deal if you know that your experience as a survivalist is going to end soon.


  • good price to quality ratio
  • lightweight and portable


  • not the best fit for long-term survival

We have observed almost every position of our rating, and we will reveal the winner very soon. Here it comes, our two favorite models of matches that we recommend and prefer the most!

6. Waterproof Everstryke Match of Stainless Steel

The Everstryke match doesn’t look like matches in packs or containers you are using in your everyday life, first of all, because it’s made of stainless steel.

It will serve you almost forever. A Ferro rod this match uses lets you start fires not once or twice but thousands of times. At the end of the Ferro rod, you will find a tiny piece of steel and a bit of cotton. You connect those pieces with flint on the box’s surface, and the fire starts (scorching, around 600 degrees Fahrenheit).

After you have built a fire, put the Everstryke match back into the case. The rod is protected with a special ring that doesn’t let fuel varnish or water reach the match.

It sounds like an amazing purchase for your survival gear, right? Today, it is available for a special price only for our readers. If you are lucky, you won’t have to pay a cent.


  • unique fire starting technology and design
  • durable and reliable material


  • we haven’t really noticed any significant flaws!

7. Permanent Survival Waterproof Matches

Finally, here is the top option you can consider: permanent matches. These matches are basically lighters in a matchbox. They are windproof and waterproof, their burn time is extended, and they have proven their effectiveness.

You can also use them repeatedly, and each reusable item is key to success when you are packing your survival gear. Like our previous rating participant, these matches will burn thousands of times. Their box also offers a striker strip for comfortable usage.

Any time you try building a fire in extreme conditions, these matches work. Check today’s special deal to get the magnificent survival matches for a good price.

To the point

Survival matches should be present, plural, in any serious survival kit. As reliable as Zippo, a match like that can stand wind of any strength. So instead of overloading your backpack with lighters, take a few packs of survival matches, and you will be able to build a fire anywhere you decide. Read on to learn all about the best survival matches available.

Many survival situations require that you start a fire. Whether you need to cook food in the wilderness, get some light, or warm yourself up, a fire is your irreplaceable assistant. Of course, we all know about the ancient way of getting fire from rocks.

But now, we are in the 21st century, and humanity has invented plenty of progressive items and developed sophisticated technologies. Thank God, they have created lighters and matches that simplify not only our daily life but the life of every survivalist — so don’t forget to put these in your bug-out bag. In addition to being great survival tools, survival matches are overall better for outdoor use than regular ones.

The Importance of Fire and Survival Matches

It doesn’t matter which bag you are packing — you shouldn’t forget to put matches, survival lighters, or any other tool to start a fire inside. As you may remember from our previous reviews, there are various types of survival bags: get-home bags, INCH bags, and bug-out bags. And remember about your survival vehicle, too!

Studies say that fire appeared in people’s life thousands of years ago. You can’t avoid the fact that your life will end soon if you can’t make a fire in relevant circumstances. We wouldn’t make it as a species if it weren’t for your ability to use fire to our advantage: for cooking, hunting, generating warmth, etc. This competence is one of the crucial things you should know about when surviving.

That is exactly why every skilled survivalist should know a thing or two about survival matches: where to buy them, what types of matches work better for a certain situation, and how to make your very own DIY survival match case.

Matches vs. Lighters

“Wouldn’t a lighter be more reliable and durable than a match? Isn’t starting fires with a lighter much more convenient?” I hear you asking.

Of course, a regular match will be of little to no use in the wilderness during a storm. Survival matches are a different story. Both lighters and matches have certain benefits and disadvantages. An obvious flaw of a match compared to a lighter is that lighters can be refilled and reused, while most matches are for one-time use. On the other hand, a lighter would be less convenient in a survival situation because most lighters cannot function after being submerged into the water as waterproof matches can. Plus, lighters fail to work in freezing cold and can be broken if dropped onto the ground, while breaking a match is significantly harder, especially if your matches are stored in a box. While some survival matches can be ignited with one hand, you usually do need to use both of your hands to light up a match, which can be quite annoying in a life and death situation, to say the least. In addition it is recommended to have survival glow sticks in your survival kit.

Overall, skilled survivalists strongly advise packing both a lighter and a few boxes of waterproof survival matches into your emergency bag — just in case. In this article, we will be taking a closer look at the advantages and applications of various kinds of matches.

Survival Matches vs. Traditional Matches: What’s the Difference?

As already mentioned, the ability to start a fire is crucial for someone in an emergency situation, as you need to stay warm, protect yourself, and cook food. In our day-to-day life, we usually carry a regular matchbox or a lighter, and that seems to be enough. However, not all matches can work in an emergency situation. Survival matches and lighters differ from regular ones. They are more advanced and ready to act in complicated situations where simple lighters and matches will probably let you down. What you need for better emergency preparedness is a supply of wind-resistant, waterproof survival matches that can stay lit for longer periods of time under any circumstances. Survival matches are absolutely vital to well-thought-out survival prepping.

Today, you can find lots of brands and manufacturers of survival matches and stormproof matches on the market. We will define the difference between these matches in our review, so you can get a clear understanding of matches to pack in your survival bag.

Types of Matches

Before we move any further, let’s get familiar with all kinds of matches available and rate their relevance in an emergency situation.

1. Safety matches

You can only ignite this type of match by striking the match head against a special surface that contains red phosphorous. As you can guess, these will not come in handy in the wilderness or some other place where you do not have said special surface.

2. Strike-anywhere matches

These matches, on the other hand, have the ability to light up when struck against any solid surface, as their heads contain white phosphorous, making them quite convenient for such a situation. Still, these matches on their own may not be enough, as not all of them are windproof and/or waterproof.

3. Penny matches

Penny matches are matches that you can buy in your local store for, as the name suggests, a penny. They are pretty useless in the wilderness, given that they are very fragile, only burn for 10 to 15 seconds or so, and cannot withstand any force of nature, even the slightest wind, let alone heavy rain or a storm. They can only be lit with a special surface.

4. Standart kitchen matches

Standart kitchen matches are very similar to penny matches. Easily breakable and not at all weatherproof, they aren’t a good fit for your survival bag.

5. Windproof and waterproof matches

Now we’re getting somewhere. You can ignite waterproof and wind-resistant matches in any condition. They usually have a longer burn time and can be a life-saving tool when you find yourself in a situation of survival. These are a must-have for a survivalist.

Before telling you about the best survival matches today, we will reveal how to create them.

Before you start exploring everything you need about survival matches, strike-anywhere matches, and other types of matches, see our guide about the gear you need as a prepared survivalist!

So, What Are the Best Methods to Create Stormproof Survival Matches by Yourself?

Unfortunately, you can run out of stormproof matches as well as many other items. Each match is precious when it comes to the survival situation. Of course, you wouldn’t have shops nearby, and it would be time to use your savvy.

If you keep reading and then understand how to make DIY stormproof matches on your own, each time the bought pack of matches comes to an end, you won’t be frightened or nervous anymore. You will always be able to start a fire, whether you are staying in the woods, living in an abandoned building, or off the grid.

This review features three proven methods of match creation that will lead you to success. You will be surprised by how straightforward they are and what items they require. The principle is the same in all three cases; however, the material you work with and put on the matches varies. It is highly possible that you already have all of the materials needed in your house. If not, you’ll definitely find what you’re looking for in your local hardware stores.

1. Nail Polish

It might be hard to believe, but many ladies store nail polish in their drawers that can help in waterproofing matches. Just put the match heads inside the nail paint for a second. The biggest part of each match should get some polish. Then, let your matches dry, and your waterproof match kit is ready.

2. Melted Wax

The same applies to wax. Melt it so it becomes liquid. It works pretty well if you have a candle in a jar by chance.

Then, dip the heads of the matches in the melted wax. After the matches got the wax, leave them for a little while. The only thing you should do to use them is to clean the wax that dried off the match heads.

3. Shellac

Nothing new here: you have to put the heads of your matches inside the shellac. Leave them until they absorb the shellac. Then, dry the matches for around half an hour.

With shellac on top, your matches will be waterproof — at least for a couple of months.

Survival Matches: Rating

After reading about creating waterproof matches, you could understand that the safety matches won’t work when you need to survive and build a fire.

Forget about the simple standard kitchen matches and penny matches you can get in any store and use to light cigarettes. 

Cardboard matches

Diamond Green Light Strike Anywhere Matches Cardboard matches are a bit of another level, but they still won’t work in certain moments. You might take them with you and make use of them, but the result won’t impress you.

There are only two kinds of the most reliable matches: strike-anywhere matches and advanced stormproof matches. With the last ones, as you can see from the name, you may start a fire even if the wind is blowing strongly. Experts consider these matches as an ultimate version of survival matches.

In our rating, we have included the matches we consider the most workable and reliable. They belong to different types and have different pricing; however, all matches listed are helpful in a fire starting process in terrible conditions. At the end of the rating, you will see what model of matches we consider the best.

To learn about other items you need to survive, read our gear checklist. You need to survive in any condition!

So, here’s our list of the best matches in retail now:

1) Permanent Survival Waterproof Matches

2) Waterproof Everstryke Match of Stainless Steel

3) Regular Survival Matches

4) UCO Stormproof Match Kit

5) Coghlan’s 940 BP Matches

6) Kaeser Wilderness Supply Magnesium Emergency Fire Starting Kit

7) Diamond Greenlight Strike Anywhere Matches

Best Survival Matches Summary

We have shown you the survival matches we consider worth buying. You never know if you ever need them or not; however, as you can see, some of the matches are so cheap and easy to carry that getting one pack just in case sounds like a wise choice. After all, you can use survival matches or strike-anywhere matches in your everyday life if you suddenly run out of the regular safety matches.

But let’s focus on the situations where you have to survive and start a fire to feed your family members, for instance. We believe that this article proves the necessity of having a survival match kit or at least a pack of strike-anywhere matches to save you and your closest people from the cold and hunger.

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQ!

In this segment, we will try to answer any questions that you might have about survival matches.

What are survival matches made of?

Although the exact materials may differ from brand to brand, a survival match is usually made of a wooden matchstick and a match head that contains a chemical called phosphorous and is protected by a special weatherproof covering. Matchsticks are generally made of white pine and aspen, and the protective coating is oftentimes made from wax.

What makes matches burn?

Some of our readers might track all the matches’ models and understand the importance of purchasing a pack of strike-anywhere matches with a waterproof container (or windproof and waterproof matches pack). Still, not all of us know what makes matches burn, even if we talk about regular matches.

Let us explain that quick: a match doesn’t burn without a striker strip. When a match head touches a striker strip, chemistry comes into play. Each striker strip contains sand, red phosphorus, and glass turned into powder. In a match head, you can find sulfur, potassium chlorate, and glass again.

When you rub a match head on a striker strip, all these components meet with a bit of energy (thanks to the rubbing), and the reaction starts immediately. A wooden piece below the match head makes the flame last for a little while, even though the burn time is so little.

We are leaving a video guide for clarity here if you are still unsure that all is understood.

What are the “strike anywhere matches”?

This one is easy: unlike regular safety matches, strike-anywhere matches, as you can see from the name, can get you the flame in almost every condition possible. Strike anywhere matches contain phosphor, and you can light a fire by rubbing them on a solid surface.

How do I choose the best survival matches?

Well, we have done the work for you. Our rating proposes the best survival matches on the market today. But if you still feel a lack of data and want to keep searching, we recommend you to start checking several brands at least.

Firstly, define which product you are looking for: is it a survival match pack or a whole kit? Then, take a closer look through the offers of Coghlan’s, or Everstryke, or UCO survival products. You will most likely see our rating’s products among the best when you read the internet reviews.


A former USA Army sergeant and a highly educated survivalist and prepper with a degree and interest in Engineering and Electronics, Mike Millerson applies his extensive expertise in survivalism, homesteading, backpacking, hiking and hunting, spreading his deep knowledge about handling emergencies and prepping for them reasonably and effectively.




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