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Horserider
12-30-2008, 07:46 AM
Sorry about all my posting!

1. What happens to a book of matches that's been soaking in seawater for about 8 hours? Can they light?
2. If they can't how could someone make fire on a deserted island without them?

I'm sure I'll come up with more in a minute.

Puma
12-30-2008, 02:50 PM
The "sticks" of book matches were/are compressed paper. How well is compressed paper going to hold up after eight wet hours to support the head to strike? Plus, the striking plate is on compressed paper. Answer is no. Book matches aren't easy to use even if they're a little damp.

On a deserted island, you're back to old fashioned methods - concentrated light through a piece of glass (if there is any) or friction (rubbing sticks together or twirling one in a wooden receptacle - unless you have something equivalent to flint and steel that could be used to make a spark. Puma

alleycat
12-30-2008, 03:05 PM
I'm not sure after being soaked in seawater, but it seems like a book of matches that have gotten wet will strike again IF they are allowed to dry completely. It would probably be really iffy if they have soaked for eight hours however.

As Puma mentioned, someone could fall back on the old Boy Scout methods of starting a fire. It's fairly easy with any kind of magnifying glass. When I was a kid (long ago!), we practiced our "woodcraft" by trying to start a fire using sticks and whatever. As I recall, the best way was to make a small bow, wrap the string around a straight piece of hard wood, and then use the bow to rotate the piece of wood against a flat piece of wood and as the friction caused the wood to get hotter, put dry grass or tender around near it until it caught on fire. It takes a while, but it can be done. Everything has to be dry.

dpaterso
12-30-2008, 03:11 PM
Nothing beats research. Put a book of matches into a bowl of water for 8 hours. Dry them out. See if you can make them work.

You can relate this story to amazed fans at your book signings.

-Derek

alleycat
12-30-2008, 03:20 PM
Nothing beats research. Put a book of matches into a bowl of water for 8 hours. Dry them out. See if you can make them work.

Strangely enough, I was thinking about doing that very thing myself. I have a bunch of military issued book matches that are suppose to be "damp resistant".

I also have a bunch of tiny bottles of military issued Tabasco sauce!

dpaterso
12-30-2008, 03:31 PM
I'll raise you an MRE (meatloaf with gravy) all the way from sunny downtown Iraq. Comes with its own flameless ration heater (not to be used on commercial aircraft). These should be definitely be issued to cruise liner passengers, along with damp-proof matches, Tabasco sauce bottles, solar powered satellite phones, and life jackets. Essential survival tools.

-Derek

alleycat
12-30-2008, 04:37 PM
I have MRE's too. I'll trade you eggs in a pouch for some meatloaf. I'll throw in a moist towelette. Ha! I just looked . . . the moist towelettes come with instructions: "Tear open packet, unfold towelette and use." I knew I was doing it wrong.

I've got my packet of US Army issued matches soaking in salt water. We shall see if they will strike later.

Ol' Fashioned Girl
12-30-2008, 04:47 PM
There's a new book out by Les Stroud (Survivorman) called (strangely enough): 'Survive'. I bet it would have all kinds of useful info in it.

alleycat
12-30-2008, 04:49 PM
There's a new book out by Les Stroud (Survivorman) called (strangely enough): 'Survive'. I bet it would have all kinds of useful info in it.
Also, the Boy Scout manual, and the Dangerous Book for Boys.

Julie Worth
12-30-2008, 05:14 PM
1. What happens to a book of matches that's been soaking in seawater for about 8 hours? Can they light?
2. If they can't how could someone make fire on a deserted island without them?

For the first question, do you want them to light? It's totally up to you. As for the second, see here (http://artofmanliness.com/2008/04/29/9-ways-to-start-a-fire-without-matches/).

alleycat
12-30-2008, 05:30 PM
For the first question, do you want them to light? It's totally up to you. As for the second, see here (http://artofmanliness.com/2008/04/29/9-ways-to-start-a-fire-without-matches/).
The "bow drill" shown in that link is what I was trying to describe in an earlier post. And believe me, you do need the socket.

Horserider
12-30-2008, 10:21 PM
alleycat let me know if those matches strike later.


For the first question, do you want them to light? It's totally up to you. As for the second, see here (http://artofmanliness.com/2008/04/29/9-ways-to-start-a-fire-without-matches/).

Whoa the chocolate and the soda can one is weird and kind of cool. I'm thinking of going with the bow drill method.

alleycat
12-31-2008, 01:21 AM
Here is how my experiment turned out. I let the matches soak in salt water for four hour, then dry for another five hours. All the paper was dry to the touch by then. The paper part of the match was still completely intact. These were not the best paper matches I've ever seen--in fact, a bit on the cheap side--but not unlike a book of matches that someone might pick up somewhere for free.

I couldn't not get any of the matches to light. The main problem seemed to be that the match head was "crumbly" after being dried. It would fall apart and come off the paper as I slide it across the striking area of the match cover, even when I tried to use my thumb to hold it flat against the striking strip.

One thing they might be good for. If you used one of Boy Scout methods to try to start a fire, the heads of the matches would make good tender, I think.