Sunday, July 10, 2011


Running a little low, I looked for some matches last time I was in a town. Yeah, I also carry Bic lighters but when you just want to start a fire (I was nowhere near Arizona at the time!) nothing beats the good old-fashioned strike anywhere kitchen match.

And all the store had available were these...

It got me to wondering, that's for sure.

Considering that they consist primarily of vegetation, which generally doesn't have a lot in the way of volition, I'd have thought a forest would find it pretty difficult to be responsible for much of anything. Yet here was documented evidence that "responsible forests" were involved in the making of these matches.

So what are these forests responsible for? Could it be ... the horrible deaths of the Tunguska Event? That was never adequately explained, you know. And an estimated 80 million innocent trees were blown down in their prime.

Yes, you heard it here first.  For one of the great atrocities of Russian history: Diamond Matches -


Anonymous said...

I noticed the 300 count pacakge. Seemed off to me so I looked at a box I have stored away hereat Castle Buck and yup....300 is off. They were 250 count before. Does this mean that as seems in all things "green" like green toilets or green light bulbs and green cars you need to use more to get the same or even acceptable results as with the non planet friendly variety?
Oh well. At least you still have the strike anywhere variety. I haven't seen a box for sale here in the PRK for well over a year.
Yet another casualty of the 'if it works, makes life easier, might possibly be used for other than stated purpose or was done any combination of the above in the last fifty years we;ll ban it' mentality here in California.


Joel said...

I noticed the 300-count thing too, and it has me bothered. The matches themselves are inferior to the last batch (not as much incendiary mat'l), and they're a bit thinner. Maybe it was just cheaper to shove more matches in to fill the container, than it was to redesign and re-market the container?

Matt said...

I have some of those, they seem to work okay. Might need to be struck a little more forcefully though. I was disapointed that they were not green. Standard match colors, standard red-orange flame and whitish-gray smoke. I was so hoping for green.

Joel said...

Really? Mine are green, just like in the picture. Seems a little creepy, after a lifetime of red.

Tam said...

It's easy advertising.

I'm sure they come from stands of pine specifically grown for the purpose.

My corn last might came from responsible corn fields, too; no old-growth corn was harmed in harvesting it.

As anyone who's seen a Georgia-Pacific loblolly farm knows, cutting down on paper use to Save The Trees is like giving up peas to Save The Vegetables.

Matt said...

Joel, my bad, matches are green. Seems someone switched the slip covers on the match boxes. Still want green flame and smoke though.

Tam said...


"Still want green flame and smoke though."

'Cause that would be pretty awesome, actually. ;)

Ed Foster said...

Where did you find Strike-Anywhere matches? Back here in CT I have to go to a gunshow to buy them.

Back in the late 70's, a friend of a friend was given a square mile (yup, all 640 acres) of Diamond Matchstick surplused land in northern Maine for his birthday.

His own unincorporated township, where he could set up anybody he wanted in his own little kingdom.

Don't know how that worked out, but I've thought about it every now and then and wondered.

Nowadays, every square inch of unincorporated land up there is being snapped up by the Amish.

Interesting doomsday scenario there. Joe Blow with a couple of buddies and a half dozen rifles providing security for Amish folks who didn't or couldn't want to wander the hillside scaring away badguys.

Considering that the nearest city is Portland, 250 miles away, it should be a pretty easy detail. I would imagine the Abenakis might be a problem when their booze and welfare checks ran out, but, I imagine, no Mad Max type Folkwanderungs.

MamaLiberty said...

One of the downsides of stocking up is the inevitable shock when you finally start using newer stuff. I didn't use a lot of matches, generally speaking, until I put in a wood burning stove. The matches I had were REALLY old, like 25 years old, and I went through a lot of them until they were gone.

So, opening the newly purchased box (and at $2. a box, VERY expensive), I was shocked to see that they are much thinner and break really easily. They don't have much of the goop on the end to get the job done either, so when a wind is blowing down the chimney they go out faster than I can get them to the tinder.

I hate those "childproof" crap things on the trigger pull propane "match," but I'm going to get a few of them and see if they won't do a better job. This match thing is nuts.

But a "responsible forest?" Now that does take the cake.