Matches Vs Lighters - Which is better?

by Elvis Jai Closs on July 17, 2021

Matches Vs Lighters - Which is better?

The ability to light a fire is essential, fire allows you to keep warm, cook, clean, tool-making, sanitising water, signaling, and even keeping away insects. Your choice of fire lighting gear is therefore essential to not just your survival, but your whole outdoor experience.

Lighters
• Reusable: As lighters run on fuel, one lighter can provide enough flame for hundreds or even thousands of fires. They provide more fire lighting capability than even a large pack of matches. This is useful in a survival situation, where you want to avoid firelighters that might run out, such as, matches.
• One-handed use: Unlike matches, lighters are easily used with a single hand. This is useful when prepping the fire, often the other hand is needed to shield the fire from the elements.
• Waterproof: Unlike matches, lighters do not need to be stored in a case. Waterproof containers or boxes are not required, this cuts down on weight and space in your pack.
• Ease of use: If you have ever tried to light a match in the freezing cold, you know it is not easy! When your hands are numb and you can barely move, I always end up getting through a couple of matches before I can get the fire going. The simplicity of using a lighter offers makes fire lighting in the cold a lot easier!
• Resistant to the elements: Lighters do not require any outside source to ignite, like a match strip, for example. Striking anywhere matches have their limitations as they cannot be lit on wet or damp surfaces.
• Safe: Unlike matches, lighters will never spontaneously combust. Matches are known to sometimes spontaneously ignite off one another on the move.

Matches
• Resistant to the elements: Unlike a lot of disposable lighters, most survival matches are waterproof and windproof. This is great for the harsh weather conditions where you probably need fire the most! However, my my own experience waterproof matches will burn very fast, so make sure you have your tinder ready!
• Simplicity: Unlike lighters, matches have no components or mechanics which makes them extremely dependable. Although, some cheaper matches can snap or not light properly. 
• Strike anywhere: Many survival matches are designed to be lit in the environment, on a rock for example, which makes them extremely versatile.
• Resistant to the cold: Unlike lighters, which will not work in freezing temperatures as the fuel won’t flow through the lighter properly. Matches will ignite regardless of the external temperature.

Summary
In my experience the benefits of a lighter make it a better option than matches in the outdoors. Lighters will last longer, are waterproof and are extremely dependable in a variety of environments. Lighters also take up less space, which for me is essential. 

However, my first choice always has to be a ferro rod. Ferro rods are one of the most recent influential innovations in outdoor gear. Unlike matches or lighters, they do not break and require no fuel which makes them extremely reliable. They are fully water and wind-proof and can light fires at all altitudes. Check out our range of ferro rod fire starters here

We are one the leading manufactures of ferro rods. Our Forest Fundamentals Ferrocerium™ blend is an industry leader. Our ferrocerium rods produce large showers of molten sparks. We believe we have developed the perfect balance between softness and durability. Check out our range of Ferro Rods here.

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