How to Light A Match Without the Box

The present-day society has come a long way from an ancient method of using steel and flint to light a fire.

Luckily, no longer do people need to cautiously hoard coals for the fear that the fire will stop burning.

Well, this is because there are matches that make it easy to start a fire in any location and any season.

Now, what if you have got several matchsticks, but you don’t have the box?

What will you do? If this happens to you, there is nothing to worry about because there are ways you can strike a match without necessarily using the box.

Here is how to light a match without the box.

Ways to Light a Match Without the Box

When it comes to igniting a fire, matches are the most reliable and commonly used tools.

When starting a fire with matches, you only need to rub them against a hard or rough surface.

Although matches offer a safe and easy way of starting a fire, recognising a couple of ways on how to light a match without the box can be beneficial as you may find yourself in an unfamiliar situation.

After mastering the skills of starting a fire, you will even learn how to strike them on a couple of surfaces as a helpful trick.

Light with Other Matches

From time to time, you might find yourself in excellent outdoors, perhaps even in areas where you cannot communicate with the outside world.

Now, if you need to light a fire when in these areas, here is how to light a match with other matches:

First, this method requires you to get back to high school chemistry memories. It is worth noting that you must not have a striking surface to start a fire.

The main reason for this is that some match sticks, such as the strike-anywhere, do not require a specialised surface.

Usually, the matchsticks’ tips come with potassium chlorate, which is typically an easy-to-trigger oxidising agent.

Its main objective is to pump oxygen into the red portion and let it burn the sulphur as fuel.

These matches are easy to light, and that’s perhaps the reason why airlines prohibit them in your luggage.

Most of the red-tipped safety matches you will find in your house do not contain potassium chlorate.

Still, you can easily make the red phosphorous matchsticks start if you strike them with sufficient friction to create enough heat to trip the chemical reaction.

So, one of the best ways regarding how to light a safety match without the box demands you to hold four match sticks on the one hand and then rub one match head against the heads of the held sticks.

Light with Everyday Items

If you are in possession of the ‘strike anywhere’ matches, you can seamlessly start a fire provided you generate sufficient friction that heats the match head.

However, it is worth noting you can only strike it on a dry surface.

Now, what surfaces can you light a match on if it’s ‘strike anywhere’?

Merely put, as the match’s name implies, they are made to light well on a couple of surfaces.

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Below are some of the common surfaces you can rub these matches on:

Try these ways to light a match…

Rough and Building Materials

If you are in a building, you can use readily available materials to start a fire.

You only need to strike the match the same way you would do if you were using the typical box. However, the material has to be wholly dry for the method to be effective.

Some of the building materials you can rub the match on include bricks, ceramic, grout, sandpaper or even concrete.


If you are a hiking or camping fanatic, one of the best survival skills you need to have is to light a match on the rocks to start a campfire. As noted earlier, the rock has to be dry and abrasive.

Ideally, the rock’s surface needs to take after a sidewalk concrete.

Final Words

At the end of the day, there are a couple of ways you can use to light a safety match without the box.

But you can only light it if you have sufficient heat to burn the chemicals included in the match head.

Therefore, other surfaces you can rub a match head on includes sandpaper, unglazed ring, window, zipper or even the mug’s underside.

All in all, the safest and best way to light a match is to use the box.

Last update on 2021-08-31 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API