Stormproof Matches: Do They Work? Where to Get Them and How to Make Them at Home!

How Do Stormproof Matches Work?

Stormproof matches are a must-have for any outdoor or camping adventure where you might need to build a fire. Stormproof matches are the only sure-fire way to make a flame that other elements can’t extinguish.

Stormproof match sticks are dipped in a wax coating that keeps the match smoldering underwater, in sand, snow, or in extreme winds and rains. Even if the flame is extinguished, once the match is exposed to oxygen again, it will reignite.

Imagine being stuck in a snowstorm with no way to start a fire for warmth. Stormproof matches provide peace-of-mind that you will be able to start a flame when you need to regardless of the weather conditions.

The Science of Stormproof Matches

Traditional matches are made of a stick of wood or firm paper with a head that is made of white phosphorous or, alternatively, phosphorus sesquisulfide and a binding agent. When phosphorous is struck with enough friction, it sparks, causing the wood or paper matchstick to ignite.

Some matches will light when struck against any surface with enough, but safety matches, which are now the most common type, require a special surface imbued with red phosphorous to ignite.

Stormproof matches are designed and created with a wax coating that protects the wood beneath the coating. When you light the match, the wood begins to burn, and the coating on the outside of the match melts away.

If the flame goes out for any reason, the wooden matchstick will keep smoldering beneath the coating. The wax coating, no longer being exposed to the heat of a flame, will stop melting.

Once the conditions are right, and the smoldering wooden matchstick can get enough oxygen to catch fire, it will begin to burn again. If you’ve ever seen this happen in a video, it looks like magic, but it is actually the product of careful engineering that can be done at home.

As long as all of the protective wax coating isn’t melted away, the match will continue to burn, no matter how many times it is extinguished. This guarantees that you can make a flame when you need to, not just when the weather conditions are right.


Stormproof matches will reignite in almost any circumstance, including if you submerge the match entirely in water, dirt, sand, or snow. This means that if you drop the match into the water accidentally, it will continue to burn when retrieved.

Additionally, you can submerge the match in the dirt or sand, and it will still reignite. This is especially useful for camping trips when being able to build a fire is imperative. Even if you are on your last match, you don’t have to worry about drops or accidents ruining your trip.

It is especially impressive that, even if dropped or submerged in the snow while lit, stormproof matches will reignite. If you are camping in a snowy area, building a fire for warmth is necessary. Stormproof matches are a way to ensure you aren’t caught in the snow without a flame.


Strong gusts of wind that come with storms, even if you are under a covering, can threaten your ability to make a flame. Stormproof matches can reignite if the flame is extinguished by wind.

While conventional tools for making a flame, like butane lighters and traditional matches, don’t hold up against the wind, the coating on stormproof matches makes them more resilient and reliable than those tools.

Sometimes, your camping site will be in a windy valley, even if there is not a storm approaching. The coating on stormproof matches ensures that you can make and maintain a flame no matter the conditions.


This is where stormproof matches get really impressive. If you are caught in the driving winds, rains, or snow of a storm, the last thing you want to have to worry about is how you will spark a flame to make a fire.

Again, tools like butane lighters, torches, flint and steel, and traditional matches will not be able to ignite a flame during heavy rain or wind storms. Stormproof matches reignite in even the most violent conditions, ensuring that you can spark a flame to build a fire for comfort or cooking in the middle of a storm.

Stormproof Matches vs. Other Fire Starters

Stormproof matches are great for lots of various uses, but most outdoor survival kits should include several ways to start a fire. Here’s how stormproof matches stack up against other ways of starting a fire.

Flint and Steel

The friction created when a piece of flint is struck against steel creates a spark that is hot enough to ignite dry tender or gasoline. Carrying flint, steel, and cotton balls soaked in gas can be a quick way to get a great blaze going for a campfire.

If it is raining and you need to create a spark, flint and steel might not be the best option. There is a chance that the spark will be extinguished by rain before reaching the tinder. A stormproof match that is struck and then dropped onto tinder will stay lit long enough to get a good fire going.

Even if your fire pit is covered from the rain, it can be hard to protect fire from rain completely, making matches a better alternative to steel and flint in the rain. Wind, snow, and other natural elements won’t hinder flint and steel’s fire-starting power as much as rain.

Butane Lighters and Torches

Lots of people have small butane lighters, from small cigarette lighters to BBQ lighters, lying around, and it can be a good source of fire in lots of situations. Butane torches, often used for cigars, can provide a lot of heat and burn through wood or ignite tender quickly and efficiently.

A lighter can be a good backup to flint and steel, and if it is the only object at hand, and the weather is nice, a lighter or torch will definitely start a fire in a pinch. Butane lighters and torches are especially susceptible to bad weather, and smaller lighters shouldn’t stay lit for long.

In windy, rainy, or snowy weather, however, a stormproof match will strike a fire and set tinder aflame much more efficiently than a lighter or torch.

Glass Lens

If it is sunny, you could start a fire by focusing the light of the sun through a glass lens onto tinder; if not, another method of starting a fire is available. A stormproof match will always be a quicker and more reliable way to start a flame.

Why Carry a Stormproof Match?

Everyone who goes camping in the remote wilderness knows how important it is to be able to make a flame. It is a good idea to bring along several methods of making a flame on each camping trip.

Butane lighters are notoriously fickle. They won’t light if it is too windy, and if you drop them in water, they have to dry out before they will ignite if they ever recover. Additionally, it can be hard to flick a lighter with cold or gloved hands.

Stone and flint are the classic kit for campers who want a reliable way to spark a flame, but if it is raining or snowing, the sparks might be extinguished just as soon as they are produced.

Traditional matches can be hard to light, burn out quickly, and are especially susceptible to wind, rain, snow, or submersion. If you drop a match in the dirt, it will extinguish and become useless.

Stormproof matches are the sure-fire way to build a flame. Once lit, some stormproof matches will burn for up to forty-five seconds, meaning that you have a reliable and long-lasting source of flame without any of the risks. They are also easy to light, even in the worst conditions.


Stormproof matches can be purchased in a variety of sizes. Which size of stormproof you will want, or need, will be determined by how long you need a match to burn.

Because of the protective coating, stormproof matches will always burn longer than traditional matches, given that the flame is guaranteed to burn the entire protected portion, even after the flame is extinguished.

Smaller stormproof matches, the same length as traditional matches, can burn for up to fifteen seconds while longer matches can burn for much longer. This will give you a larger window to prepare and ignite the fire you are building and can be especially useful in rough weather.

Be prepared to pay a lot more for stormproof matches than traditional matches while remembering all of the benefits, security, and peace-of-mind that stormproof matches provide.

Where to Buy Stormproof Matches

UCO is the largest manufacturer and seller of stormproof matches, and you can buy their products on their website or on Amazon. UCO offers a variety of sizes of stormproof matches that come alone on in deluxe fire-starting kits, proving you with options for all survival or outdoor situations.

About UCO

Established in 1971 in Redmond, WA, the acronym stands for Utility, Comfort, and Originality. UCO designs products that make camping and hiking simpler and more comfortable. They produce lanterns, headlamps, and other camping gear, but the company’s real innovation is their line of stormproof match kits.

UCO’s Products

The smallest packs offered by UCO have 15 matches that burn for 12 seconds each, for a total of three minutes of flame for only $2.99. The survival match kit also comes with a plastic carrying case that is sold in various colors.

A standard box of 25 matches sells for $4.99. These matches are a little bigger than the survival size matches, burn for 15 seconds each, and double the flame-time to six minutes per box.

For $7.99, you can buy a protective case with the same standard 25 pack.

UCO also sells a fire-starting kit that includes three ways to start a fire so that you are never left without a way to strike a flame for $19.99.

Make Your Own Stormproof Matches

It is simple to make your own stormproof matches if you don’t have the time to wait for UCO’s to be delivered or can’t find them in a store. It can be difficult to find stormproof matches, and their do-it-yourself counterparts work comparably and might be a little cheaper.

Most grocery stores and convivence stores will sell larges boxes of standard matches, but for the longest-lasting stormproof matches, spring for larger or longer matches. You could make stormproof matches from matches with paper sticks, but wooden sticks will burn longer and create a more quality match.

You will also need some candle wax. Craft stores will sell unscented wax melts for candle making in lots of colors. You could also purchase scented or unscented candles to melt.

The process of making stormproof matches couldn’t be simpler. Just dip the tip of your matches into the melted candle wax to coat the tip and about half of the stick in a thin but even layer of wax. Make sure the whole area is covered for your matches to be properly storm proof.

Wax dries quickly, so you might just hold the match aloft until it dried before placing them into a box or case. You might also devise a way to dry them on a rack to streamline the process.

Using Your DIY Stormproof Matches

Once you make your stormproof matches, give one a test by striking it and then submerging it in water. If it reignites, your stormproof matches are a success. Make sure to store them in a cool place where the thin max won’t melt.

If you made your stormproof matches from a match that requires a red phosphorous strip to ignite, make sure to pack your DIY stormproof matches in the box that they came in. You could also buy and carry red phosphorous strips.

You might also want to store your waterproof matches in a watertight, or at least water-resistant, container. This will keep your matchsticks from accidentally getting wet and saturated with water.

In any outdoors or survival situation, it’s good to have several ways to start a fire. If the weather is clear and you can start a fire with a lighter, torch, or flint and steel, then use those before burning your stormproof matches away.

Fire is a Survival Essential

Building a campfire is essential when camping or surviving in the wild. Fires provide two essential functions; heat and warmth. Having a sure-fire way to light a flame will bring peace of mind and simplify your camping trips.

There is nothing more comfortable than sitting next to a warm fire, especially if you’ve been hiking in the rain or are camping on a snowy mountainside. A fire can provide a sense of safety in the wildest terrain.

Fires will repel both insects and animals, two functions that are crucial when camping in the wilderness. Both fire and the smoke it creates will keep pesky bugs away.

The heat that a fire provides can save lives in a survival situation by allowing you to purify water and cook meat and vegetables for food. Fires will also provide you with the opportunity to burn any waste that you can’t dispose of and don’t want to leave in the wilderness, such as plastics, Styrofoam, and paper.

Fire Safety

No matter the situation, it is important to practice fire safety. Never place anything flammable too close to a fire, and make sure that your fire is always under control.

Before building a campfire or striking your stormproof match, make sure to clear the ground of any unwanted leaves and sticks that could act as tinder and spread a fire further that you intend.

Fires can quickly and unexpectedly get out of control, so make sure to have some water or a heavy blanket on hand to extinguish or smother a fire. If using gasoline to start a fire, make sure to control where you pore the gasoline and don’t set the can too close to your fire. Gas soaked cotton balls can be a good alternative to a gas tank on a camping trip.


Stormproof matches are one of the few ways to ensure that you can start a fire in even the direst conditions.

Even when dropped (or purposefully submerged) in water, snow, or dirt, stormproof matches will reignite and provide you with a long-lasting flame, whatever your needs. The most common use of stormproof matches will for your wilderness camping or survival kit, but stormproof matches are useful in an array of diverse situations.

Start fires on the beach, in driving rain or snow, on the deck of a ship, in windy valleys, and on the peaks of snowy mountains with ease by using stormproof matches.