Use in conjunction with magnesium bar
I have seen some reviews bagging on this because the flint on the bottom won't ignite matches. Are those users trying to drag a match on it like a rough striking pad?
If you're holding matches in this, I suggest including a piece of cut striker from the match box, or some sand paper and use strike anywhere matches. The bottom is actually a mini "flint" rod that creates sparks when you scrape it with metal. I would also include some cotton balls and carry a tube of vaseline instead of chapstick.
My personal method of using this container is to hold magnesium shavings and tinder. At home I scrape off a ton of magnesium shavings, compacting them along the way with my finger as if the vial was a trash can. In the top I include 4 tinder quick tabs.
In the cold or damp, I can open this up, sprinkle out a bit of the magnesium, then use the striker on bottom to spark the shavings, lighting tinder or if it's an emergency, one of the included tinder tabs.
This requires a knife and separate kindling wood. I may add some stuff to this kit in the future, such as a rubber bike tire tube pieces, a trick birthday candle and perhaps a thin flint rod (the one on the bottom isn't very big and can wear out).
Coghlan's Plastic Matchbox by Coghlan's
I've had one of these for several years and it kept my matches dry, until recently. It seems that the rubber seal dried out & no longer seals tightly. For the price and use I've gotten from it, I have no complaints, but it goes to show the importance of checking your gear's condition on a regular basis. I got 2 new ones and I'm going to lightly coat the rubber seal with Plumber's Silicone Grease to see if that will keep the seal flexible longer. It isn't a big deal, since I parafin dip the strike-anywhere matches before I put them in, but I put in an extra piece of box striker material, just in case. And it IS succeptible to moisture. The bright orange color makes it easy to find in case I lay it down somewhere. Being plastic, it is somewhat fragile, but I've never had a problem with it breaking. One will go in the BOB I keep in the car, and one in my regular survival kit. I use plastic 35mm film cans (wish the metal film cans were still common!) with a bit of Vaseline in the groove where the cap snaps onto the can, to keep my cotton balls with vaseline tinder in, and they work well for that. But the film cans are too short to store kitchen matches in.
I carry two of these: one with tinder, either vaseline-soaked cotton balls or Coghlan's Emergency Tinder, the other with large kitchen matches, each broken in half to save room. I also glue a piece of striker strip (cut into a circle and sized to fit) on the inside of the lid, if I cannot find "strike anywhere" matches.
For a long time, before this product came along, people continually searched for something to serve its purpose. Just less than 20 years ago, people were using bamboo and corks or fitting two spent shotgun shells together. Now this product is taken for granted.
I never have seen the flint as very useful.
Never tighten the lid too tight as to damage the O-ring: your container may no longer be fully waterproof.
just wanted to revise the review i made about a month ago. i wrote it was inaffective and to small but it turns out i was using it wrong. i was using the serrations of my knife instead of the groves on the back and i tried to ignite the maya dust witch i couldnt even light with matches. and instead of matches in it, i suffed it with about 11 cotton balls that ignited with one spark from the flint. the only thing is that there is not enogh flint. after using it for a while its worn down to where im scraping off plastic with each strike. so dont use as a primary source of fire. overall a great matchbox!
Flint not for lighting matches
Folks, the flint on the bottom is not designed to be a striker for matches! It is a (spark type) flint fire starter. It does not provide a very hot spark. So if you are trying to light up anything other than a very flamable fire starter, you'll be SOL (that's why I gave it the 4 star rating).
But when I ran out of matches, I found it provides a strong enough spark to easily light iso-butane and most other stoves.
I use the flint for lighting stoves and save the "life-boat" matches and striker I store inside the container for more difficult fire starting tasks.
Ignore 2nd bullet point in description
Perhaps the less-than-5-star ratings are related to the expectations built around the second bullet point on the Description tab (emergency firestarter flint). To be honest, I haven't even tried that feature nor do I care about an emergency starter.
This is an excellent little water-tight case that practically glows. No worries about leaving it behind. It weighs nothing (less than 1/64lb; minimalists unite!), so here's an idea - buy two. I filled one full of matches and the second with lint and two strikers from matchboxes. Now falling in at the river crossing doesn't mean you cannot warm up when you get out.
Inexpensive and Lightweight
I haven't had a chance to use this on a trip yet, but I have had it submerged with matches inside in a bucket of water to test the seal. So far I have had it underwater for a bit over an hour and no leaking. It also has a flint built into the bottom of the case, I haven't gotten around to seeing how well it strikes but if you run out of matches or the case fails it's better than nothing!
Great little case
This is a nice little water tight case. I use it to keep my tinder (cotton balls) dry. I can fit 6 dry cotton balls or 5 vaseline soaked ones. The black rod at the bottom of this case is not for lighting matches but is a sliver of a ferro rod. Good for igniting tinder in a pinch. I'd recommend using your own firesteel.
Alternatively, you can fit about a dozen fireproof matches with striker in this case.
Thank you for explaining what the flint was for. I'm a newbie to camping, but I'm intent on figuring all of this stuff out. I bought the case because common sense told me the cardboard box my matches came in wouldn't hold up even under normal wear and tear. And, I have to admit, I did try striking my matches on the flint. :o) I'm glad to know it wasn't my own incompetance to blame for the matches not lighting!
Great to keep small things dry!
[@] sells these for [$] with 25 matches or something like that. I use them for REI's storm proof matches. I believe I can fit 12 or something like that and a striker. It works well and I dont doubt its waterproofness. I also have no problem throwing this around because its very sturdy. The list of things you could carry in here is practically endless if you use your imagination. Matches, tinder, medicine, small batteries, small parts, etc.