Letter Re: Strike Anywhere Matches

HJL,

With all this talk about Strike Anywhere matches, I have to point out the obvious– that’s old technology. If you want to start a fire (anywhere), use a Benzomatic self-igniting torch. Various models are available at big box stores for between $24.97 and $42.97. I’ve used one to start our wood fireplace for about five years before I had to switch out the gas cylinder. You can set soaking wet wood on fire with one. – G.G.

HJL Replies: I can see the benefits of using such a device from the home or vehicle. However, when backpacking, it’s tough to beat a Bic lighter or a storm-proof match. The weight of the torch is a distinct drawback when you have to carry everything on your back. The butane lighters work for most every application, except high winds or very high altitudes, in which case the storm-proof matches do the job. I do carry a small waterproof case of Strike Anywhere matches, just because the weight penalty is so small and you never know when you might need plan C or plan D.

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