After our experience in the cold, damp and rainy mountains with out a fire, I realized there must be a better way. So after researching matches, I give you:
THE CANDLE MATCH
They are simple, easy to make and will burn for a significantly longer time than any other match. Why use these vice a torch or liquid fuel? Depends on your needs I suppose.
- Matches – preferably long and waterproof Matches
- Wax – old candle or buy some new stuff Wax
- Candle wicks – I used soy but any cheap cotton will work Wicks
- Needle nose pliers -….. Pliers
- Wax paper – place the matches on to dry Paper
- 2 bowls – one for heating water and one to place in the water with the wax.
Start by filling a skillet with water and placing a ceramic bowl with ~ 1/5 of lb of wax in said skillet. Allow the wax to melt but keep the water just below boiling. Wax is highly flammable so be advised, do not set your house/apartment/camper on fire. While the wax is melting cut the metal base plates off the wicks and wrap the wicks around the matches. I found that having some space between the wick layers gives a better burn time. You should see the match tip, wick, wood from the match, wick…ect until until one wick is wrapped around one match.
Once the wax is fully melted turn the heat off. The wax will stay melted for ~15 minutes before you need to add more heat.
There are 2 methods that I tried and both worked fairly well but I prefer method #2.
#1 – Dip the match in the freshly melted wax, set it aside and move to the next match. You will need to repeat this rotation several times on the same matches to get a wax thickness.
#2 – Allow the wax to cool until you see a film layer on the top of the wax and dip the match. You will get a significantly larger initial layer of wax and less dipping overall. I noticed it usually only took 2 or so dips to get a good enough layer to call it quits.
Dipping technic, this took me a minute to figure out but grip the match by the phosphorus tip with the pliers and dip the entire match into the wax. When you release the match from the pliers the wax on the tip will remain on the pliers and not on the match. No need to worry about the match not striking due to wax on the tip.
That is all there is to it. These matches will burn and burn and burn. The more wax the longer the burn time, just like a candle.
Burn time video