Friday, December 5, 2014

Split Match Trick

Split Match Trick:
Splitting a match in two or four parts is an acquired skill that can become of great use if you are running low on matches and have several more potential fires to start. Granted you can make primitive fire, use a ferro rod, etc. (I personally don't carry matches in my fire kit) or even place an ember in a hunk chaga to smolder until you are ready to start your next fire at the next location. If you're going to attempt this trick BUY GOOD MATCHES! These free restaurant matches are not anywhere near the quality of match you would want to bet your life on as the head of the match will often crumble as you strike the match or slice it so with these matches I would only split it once to avoid ruining the match. Below is a video of how I light a split match and also showing how i cut one.

Picture Directions For Splitting A Match
1) Select a razor sharp knife (if you cant shave  or slice paper with ease with it don't try to use it for this function). Slice down the middle (I start below the match head and split up) of the match, you will have to see how your style of match reacts when you split it. Cheaper matches usually need to be split at the head and the the better matches can be split on the balsa and cut to the head from there. Best way to find out is to practice with what you will be taking into the woods with you
2) You should be left with something like the match above when done and have two light-able matches to work with.
3) As you can see these are not two separate matches that I just sliced up for show they are actually split from one and can function (I light them both in the video).
4) When lighting a split match be sure to support the head by placing light pressure behind it whenever you strike it. No you shouldn't get burnt if you light it and then move your finger after it is lit (I lit 15-20 like this and never got burnt).
5) Finished product should look like this! It should be easy to light and will burn nearly as long as a regular size match so have your tinder bundle or feather sticks ready to go along with your fire lay.

This method of extending a box of matches to last longer in a survival situation is not full proof. With cheaper matches portions of the head will break off and possibly render your match useless. This isn't something you should do in a survival situation without testing it with your knife and the matches you carry before hand. This is like any other survival/bushcraft skill, if you don't practice it then you will have mixed results whenever it counts. If you practice it until you can't get it wrong then you can bet your life on the skill even under the worst conditions. Practice on my friends!

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