Matches Vs. Bic Lighters

Most commercial survival kits you buy will have some sort of wind/waterproof match. Most survival books your read also will tell you to have matches in your kit. Matches have their strengths and weaknesses and we will be going over this. And whats better to have a Bic or matches?

Matches depending on your variant may or may not work in extreme environments. Such as strike anywhere matches. In foul weather they are fairly useless. I do waterproof mine with a thin layer of clear nail polish, but again that only solves the problem of them getting wet. I also suggest keeping all matches in a waterproof container. Most waterproofing containers also have a flint glued to the bottom for a back-up fire starter.
Back up flint on bottom of case
I normally carry two containers of matches: One being strike anywhere and the other being the UCO wind/waterproof matches. They are the best on the market! I also stuff some cotton balls in each for tinder.

I can only fit 20 strike anywhere matches/15 UCO wind/waterproof matches in each container. That is only 35 fires(in two containers). For the same amount of space a Bic averages 3000 lights. You will hear guys say that "disposable lighters get wet and wont work". So will most matches, and that's why we place them in waterproof containers. A Bic will also strike 10 for 10 whereas cheaper lighters won't and I've never had a Bic fail me.

2 Match containers =35 fires
2 Bic Lighters=6000 fires

I believe that answers the question. Bic Lighters kill matches in a survival scenario. I'm a big proponent of having 3 methods of fire. So I do carry matches and Bic's. But if I had to choose just one. I'd go with the Bic.


  1. Have you ever submerged a lighter in water and tried to light it back again after taking it back out? It'll work perfectly 100%.

    1. I've had to let mine dry out. But they are always in my fire kit along with a few other methods. I usually put them in a plastic bag to waterproof them. Thanks for commenting.

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