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Quick, easy & free match safe.

January 19, 2014

OK, today’s tip is a quick, easy and ‘free’ match safe project, recycling an empty prescription medicine or similar bottle, some strike anywhere matches, sandpaper and a dab of hot-melt glue.

The hardest part of this project is merely finding the strike anywhere matches, it seems. You can find ‘strike on the box’ matches all over the place, not so much with strike anywhere.

We’ve all got prescription drug bottles with only one or two pills left, or have an empty bottle after finishing the pills. These useful little bottles get saved for various purposes around our place, everything from Vaseline soaked cotton ball fire starters, keeping handy recycled birthday candles for fire starting, to various spices in our backpack cooking kits, whenever you need a reasonably waterproof little bottle, they’re handy. Like little BOB emergency sewing kit, gear parts, spare scope batteries, spare AA or AAA flashlight batteries, lots of things possible.

So, take your med bottle and peel off the label, making it easier to see what’s in the bottle. Next find a small square of sandpaper, about 100 – 120 grit or so. Doesn’t have to be exactly 100 grit, but more coarse than that will mostly eat the match head when you try and strike a match on it, and more than say 180 grit is almost getting too smooth.


Now, dig out your hot melt glue gun and put a big gob on the backside of the sandpaper square.

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERANow, quickly jam the lid of the bottle into the blob of hot glue and firmly press it down.

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAOK, next we trim the excess sandpaper off with scissors. (Don’t dare use your wife’s sewing scissors, you’ll catch heck for that!)

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERALoosely fill the bottle with your strike anywhere matches, and you’re all done.

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAWhen you need to start your campfire, just get out a match, put the lid back on and strike the match on the sandpaper.

If you don’t have anything but strike on the box type matches, or the storm matches that require their own special striking material surfaces, then you can omit gluing the sandpaper to the lid, as these types will need their special strike material to light. Just cut out the strike material and stash inside the bottle, or if you wish, like if you were using typical little box type matches, you could hot melt glue one strip off the box to the side of your prescription bottle, going long ways along the side and place the other strike surface inside the bottle along with the matches, as a backup.

The wife and I carry one of these in our bug out bags, and we also carry as our ‘EDC’ (every day carry) a little box of strike on the box, water proof matches that have been wrapped in Saran wrap as a double protection layer. Just pull out enough wrap to be about 3 times the width of the match box, center the box at the edge of the wrap and begin wrapping the box. Take about 3 turns, now flatten out the overhanging ends of the wrap and fold them over on top of the matchbox. Now, continue with wrapping the box, pulling the wrap kind of snug. I have found, by accidentally leaving a box in my jeans watch pocket, wrapped this way makes the matches very well protected from say, falling into a creek and getting soaked, because running the jeans through the wash didn’t harm the matches.


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