These are the matches that our grandparents used. There name tells it all… they’re designed so that you can strike them on any hard, rough surface, like a convenient rock. You don’t have to have a matchbox with a striker mounted on the side. Unfortunately, the hand wringers have gotten into the act and cried about how dangerous these matches are, making them very hard to find. I’ve got news for them; not being able to start a fire in a survival situation is much more dangerous.
The good news is that you can make your own strike anywhere matches. All you need is a box of wood “safety” matches, with their box and a few tools. To start, you need to sand off all of the rough material on the box striker. This is phosphorous and it’s what makes the safety matches light; not because of its coarseness, but because of a chemical reaction that happens between it and the potassium chloride and sulfur that are in the match head.
Put the sanded off phosphorous into a small container and make it wet with a few drops of water. Stir until it is fully dissolved. Dip the tips of standard safety match heads into the liquid phosphorous and set them aside to dry thoroughly.
Take the heads off of a number of safety matches by crushing them with pliers. Grind the potassium chloride and sulfur mixture into dust and then rehydrate it in a container, much as you did with the phosphorous. Then, dip the match heads of the matches you have already dipped into the phosphorous into this mixture, so that it covers the phosphorous. Allow them to dry again and you have your own strike anywhere matches.