Split Matches Make More Fires

I remember as a teenager reading about great escapes during WWII and how the ingenuity of prisoners was employed out of necessity in the prison camps. As supplies were low, they had to stretch their resources in different ways. One way of increasing their limited matches was to split them lengthwise and then ignite the individual parts as needed. For wooden matches they used razor blades to slice up to four splinters. As shown in the photo, you can use your finger nails to split a basic safety match from a matchbook lengthwise from the bottom to the top. These parts are not as robust as the original whole so some care is needed to achieve the results of ignition. Essentially, you hold the shaft between your thumb and middle finger while applying slight pressure over the match head with your index finger while you strike it. Or, alternatively, you can hold the shaft with your thumb and index finger while applying pressure with your middle finger over the head. As usual, now is the time to try this out and find out which method works best for you BEFORE you find yourself in a situation where you NEED to split your matches. The cool thing is… it really works!

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One thought on “Split Matches Make More Fires

  1. Just tried this – really neat! Although, I did find a different way to hold the split match that was easier for me than the two ways mentioned – I held the match body with my index tip and the inside of my thumb joint, using my thumb tip to apply the necessary pressure to strike it. This position forces the match cardboard to curve while striking, but then curve away from your thumb as soon as it leaves the striker, thus not burning you.
    Just a way that I found easier. Thanks for sharing!

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