Outdoor Survival Gear, Skills, SHTF Prepping

How To Make Your Own Waterproof Matches


Whether you are getting ready for a weekend camping trip, a natural disaster, or the end of the world, you are going to need something to start a fire with. A fire starter is possibly the most important item that you should have in your backpack or bug out bag.

There is no point in having a survival gear bag without a box of matches, ideally the waterproof and windproof variety. Otherwise you could end up in a situation where you will not be able to eat or keep yourself warm, both of which will reduce your chances of surviving.

Don’t have any of those handy? Thats perfectly fine, you have another option. You don’t have to buy expensive waterproof matches; instead, you can simply make your own, for a fraction of the cost!

If you have a box of matches and just a few common materials you’ll be ready to start a fire in the pouring rain in no time! To learn how to make your own waterproof matches, watch our friend the Crazy Russian Hacker video above.

Four Methods to Make Waterproof Matches

Four Methods Source: Use TurpentineUse Nail PolishUse a CandleUsing Paraffin Wax

Waterproof matches are generally expensive to buy. But you can make your own for only a fraction of the price. Listed below are a number of effective & proven ways to make waterproof matches that you can use when camping, backpacking, or in an emergency.


All the below methods involve some risk. If you are a minor, do not carry out any of these activities, without the permission of a competent adult supervisor. The list is ranked from safest to least safe.

Method 1 of 4: Use Turpentine

The BEST & SAFEST Method is to use Turpentine. Turpentine has a higher “flash point” relative to Acetone, which commonly used in Nail Polish. Nor does it involve the use of flame as is needed in the Wax or Paraffin methods.


1. Pour 2 to 3 large tablespoons of Turpentine into a small (Tumbler sized) glass.


2. Place the matches, (Head down) into the Turpentine and allow the matches to soak for 5 minutes. During that time the turpentine will soak into the head as well as the stem. All the water will be driven off by the turpentine.


3. Remove the matches and spread them out to dry out on a sheet of newspaper. Generally, 20 minutes for excess turpentine to be evaporated is recommended. Matches treated in this way remain waterproof for several months or longer.

Method 2 of 4: Use Nail Polish


1. Dip the head end of the match into clear nail polish far enough to cover at least an eighth of an inch (3 millimeters) of the stick below the head.


2. Hold the match for a few seconds to allow the polish to dry and then place the match on a table or counter so that the head is suspended off the edge of the surface.


3. Place a sheet of newsprint below to catch anything that may drip off.

Method 3 of 4: Use a Candle


1. Light a candle and let it burn down until you have a good amount of liquid wax (about a half of an inch or 1 centimeter).


2. Extinguish the candle.


3. Dip the head end of the match into the wax far enough to cover at least an eighth of an inch (3 millimeters) of the stick below the head.


4. Hold the match for a few seconds to allow the wax to harden slightly and then place the match on a table or counter so that the head is suspended off the edge of the surface.


5. When the wax has cooled, but not completely hardened, pinch the end of the wax coating (towards the stick), forming a tight seal.

Method 4 of 4: Using Paraffin Wax


1.Melt enough paraffin wax in a double boiler to be able to coat with wax about a half of an inch (1 centimeter) deep.


2. Wrap some twine or jute string around several matches from the bottom, to just below the wax quickly. This makes a torch that can burn for 10 or more minutes.

If you find yourself outdoors and unable to start a fire simply because your matches are wet,  is not only frustrating, but potentially life threatening. Fire is the key to survival in the wilderness, emergencies and even a few everyday situations, and if you are unable to start a fire when you need it most, you could be in serious jeopardy It provides light, warmth, protection from predators, and heat for preparing food.

A box of waterproof matches is definitely an essential survival tool. With so many ways to make waterproof matches, there is no reason to buy the ready made products. Homemade waterproof matches can be very handy in bad situations, especially when you are outdoors. But you never want to rely on matches alone,  make sure that you know at least three different ways to start a fire!

If you haven’t seen it yet, this is one of my favorites:

It’s called the Everstryke match


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