How to Make Fire Starters With Book Matches

How to Make Fire Starters With Book MatchesA fire starter is helpful on camping or hiking trips, especially during cold weather when you need to start a campfire quickly for warmth or cooking purposes. Fire starters are available for sale at sporting goods shops or outdoorsman shops but you can create a simple, emergency fire starter quickly using any book of matches. The fire starter is only good for one use but it will definitely come in handy if you find yourself in the wilderness with an empty lighter or wet matches.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Matchbook
  • Tape
  • Canister
Step 1
Open a matchbook and remove the staple from the bottom of the book. This will release the two rows of matches from the cover of the matchbook.
Step 2
Roll up one row of matches tightly into a cylinder so the heads of the matches are all at one end of the cylinder.
Step 3
Wrap the second row of matches around the first row to make a larger cylinder. The heads of the matches must all be located on the same end of the cylinder.
Step 4
Wrap a piece of clear tape around the cylinder, without covering the match heads, to hold its shape.
Step 5
Wrap the matchbook cover around the cylinder of matches with the striking strip parallel to the matches. One or two of the match heads will be touching the striking strip.
Step 6
Apply a strip of tape to the outside of the matchbook to hold it securely around the matches.
Step 7
Store the fire starter in a small canister such as a film canister or empty pill bottle to prevent it from lighting accidentally. This also keeps the fire starter dry to ensure that the matches will light.
Step 8
Pull the bottom of the cylinder of matches out of the matchbook tube firmly to light the matches. One or two matches will rub against the striking strip and light, and these matches will light the rest of the matches in the cylinder.

Tips & Warnings

Fill a second canister with cotton balls dredged in petroleum jelly to use with your matchbook fire starter. Ignite these cotton balls and they will burn slowly to help light your campfire.

Article Written By Kittie McCoy

Kittie McCoy has been a freelance writer since 2008. She is also a part-time personal trainer and licensed entertainer in Las Vegas. She enjoys sharing her love of physical fitness and experience in the entertainment industry via her writing.

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