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When a catastrophe happens, it won’t be enough to just have some food storage on hand. There are many other things we need, including boxes of matches to start a fire so we can get warm, cook food, warm water to wash dishes, etc. But there are two types of matches. Do you know which matches are better and why?

Growing up in the 60’s, we only had strike-anywherematches—there was no such thing as strike-on-box matches (also known as safety matches). What are the differences?

Strike-anywhere matches can be lit on the side strip of the box, of course, but they will also light from friction against other places, like on a zipper, concrete, rocks and metals. It also works well to strike them on sandpaper.

Strike-on-box matches can only be lit by striking them on the strike plate from a matchbox. This makes them less likely to be lit on accident, but the downside of these matches is obvious; if the strike plate on the box gets wet or ruined, you won’t be able to light those matches. Protecting the box is paramount.

In a troubled economy or any disaster, do you want to be playing protector of the paper box, hoping it doesn’t get ruined until the matches are all used up? At that point, we will have other important issues to worry about—protecting matchbox covers shouldn’t be one of them.

The solution is simple: buy strike-anywhere matches for your emergency preparedness kits. Even if the box gets wet or ruined, you can still find ways to light those matches.

A handy tip: empty strike-anywhere matches into a food storage jar, cut the strike plate from the box, and put it in the jar. Being in the jar, the matches and strike plate stay waterproof. You can also cut a round piece of sandpaper to put on the outside of the jar to more easily strike matches on.

Once you’ve got a match lit, you can light a candle, instafire, or eFuel disc, or you can start a cooking fire.

It’s a good idea to buy several boxes of strike-anywhere matches and transfer them into food storage jars so your matches are always protected for an emergency in the future. They also make good gifts for friends or relatives who want to be prepared.

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