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Issues with waterproof matches wearing out the strike surface.

A pet peeve I have is that waterproof, windproof, whatever safety matches wear out the strike surface on the box quickly. After maybe a third of the matches have been lit, the strike surface is shot and I need a different box. Any suggestions for an alternative strike surface would be appreciated.

3 Replies

@TommyBobHiker Thanks for reaching out!

Unfortunately, waterproof matches are not 'strike anywhere' matches, but rather 'safety' matches, that require a striker (typically made with red phosphorus) that causes a chemical reaction that creates ignition on the match. That means that you must have a striker to ignite the match. All of the UCO Waterproof Matches we sell at REI come with spare striker sheets for that very reason. It does not look like you can purchase just the strikers from UCO, but it might be worth checking out the brand of matches you have to see what their options are.

Hopefully this helps, thanks!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

@TommyBobHiker Not sure if you're interested but I've got a fire hack thats worked pretty good for me and have ditched the matches.  I have a cheap fire steel and I save the dryer lint from our dryer.  I double bag the lint in sandwich bags and squeeze all of the air out.  It weighs basically nothing and a bag gives me tender for usually 5+ fires. 

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

Almost the same problem here.  I use regular box matches that will strike on almost anything and/or a small butane lighter but carry the UCO weatherproof matches in case I ever need them, like the time if forgot to bring my  box matches AND lighter. I have noticed the strike surface is wearing down, but I have used so few of the matches that the strike surface still works.

aka "Boonerelli"


Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.
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