Keeping your gear dry. It seems like a fairly common-sense thing ... until you walk outside. All of a sudden, having the ability to make fire becomes a critical and potentially life saving skill. We look at different options to ensure your matches and tinder stay out of the elements.
A match case is lightweight, inexpensive, and a great option to keep your matches dry.
A simple tool for starting a fire, a match usually consists of wood or cardboard with the end coated in a chemical that can be ignited by friction. Matches make a great choice for fire-starting as they are portable, lightweight, reliable, and they don't take any skill to light.
The biggest problem with matches as a reliable fire-starting method is that they must stay dry. When in a situation where you must get a fire started as quickly as possible,
The easiest way to keep matches dry is put them in a waterproof container. Let's take a look at three different match cases that are available.
Option 1: CountyComm Companion Compass XL Match Case, Black Aluminum ($18.99)
Fire and navigation are critical when you spend time outdoors and in a worst-case scenario, they will both keep you alive and get you out of a survival situation.
CountyComm took their standard Compass Capsule and made it longer to accommodate bigger storm proof matches. At 4.15" long and just under 1" wide, the Compass Capsule XL can hold up to 12 stormproof matches. The red o-ring keeps moisture out of the aircraft-grade aluminum body and at only 1.2 ounces in weight, you have no excuse to keep your matches available and dry wherever you go.
At the base of the capsule, an integrated compass ensures you are never without basic directions. It can be used to store matches, money, sparker, first aid gear, tinder, or anything else you need to keep dry.
Option 2: UCO Matchcase ($2.99)
There is not a more affordable option to keep your matches dry. The UCO Matchcase is 3.0" long and 1.75" in diameter. It holds up to 40 stormproof matches and is kept dry by a black o-ring.
The case features an integrated striker on the outside of the case. This provides easy access for lighting matches. The ribbed case is easy to grip, even when hands are cold and wet--critical in a survival situation. UCO Stormproof Matches, as well as other brands, fit well within the Match Case so that they stay dry and protected.
Option 3: EXOTAC Matchcap XL ($27.99)
The MATCHCAP XL is EXOTAC's original MATCHCAP made bigger, so it holds matches as well as other gear and survival items you need kept dry. At only 1.25 ounces, it is lightweight and can be attached to a pack for easy access.
The bottom strike pad can be used while holding the MATCHCAP XL in your hand. It's easy to hold onto, even in the wettest and harshest conditions.
Extra gear for your matchcase
UCO Stormproof Matches ($3.99)
UCO Stormproof Matches fit inside your match case. A chemical on the match head makes it easy to ignite and is extended about halfway down the match body, which allows it to burn regardless of the elements (even underwater). They are much more reliable than kitchen matches, store seemingly forever until you need them (no fuel to dry out, like a lighter), simple to use, even with frozen hands In conditions of rain/snow/wind and are not effected by altitude or temperature.
SOL All-Weather Fire Cubes ($9.99)
Match cases can hold more than just your matches. Keep some extra dry tinder, giving you extra resources to get an emergency fire going. One of the options we reach for is the SOL All-Weather Fire Cube.
It is a professional grade, all-weather fire starter that easily ignites, and stays lit, in any conditions. Once lit, each cube will burn for 10-12 minutes with a 1300° F flame. Additionally, each cube can be cut into 8 pieces with each piece burning for 2-3 minutes (which is what you see here, so it can easily fit in our match case).
Each cube is individually wrapped, is non-toxic, and burn completely smokeless and odorless.