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Matches and the TSA
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Elizabeth Tracy
(mariposa) - M

Locale: Outside
Matches and the TSA on 02/07/2011 19:18:17 MST Print View

I'm flying to my backpacking destination. Read the TSA website carefully. The only thing I am not clear on is this:

"Strike-anywhere" matches are not allowed in either carry-on or check-in.
"Safety matches" are allowed on carry-on only.

Would someone enlighten me about which matches qualify as "strike-anywhere" versus "safety"?

I'm guessing my REI Stormproof matches (the ones that burn for 15 seconds) are "strike-anywhere" and are therefore not allowed.

But I'm not sure what qualifies as "safety matches."

The ones that I have in my kitchen are called "strike-on-box" matches. ??

Thank you!
- Elizabeth

Levon Jensen
(LevonJensen) - MLife

Locale: Canadian Rockies
wikipedia on 02/07/2011 19:22:02 MST Print View

Wikipedia tells us, "There are two main types of matches: safety matches, which can be struck only against a specially prepared surface; and strike-anywhere matches, for which any suitably frictional surface can be used."

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: wikipedia on 02/07/2011 19:30:32 MST Print View


That is correct as I understand it. BTW, the TSA will allow you to carry on a BIC or similar lighter.

Elizabeth Tracy
(mariposa) - M

Locale: Outside
Confusing on 02/07/2011 19:33:54 MST Print View

Thank you for the Wikipedia link. However, I'm no less confused. According to Wikipedia, some "safety" matches are *also* classified as "strike-anywhere" matches. It does not elaborate on which kinds of common matches might be "safety," which ones are "strike anywhere," and which ones are both!

We'll have to look somewhere else for enlightenment...

Very surprised the TSA has not bothered to clarify this issue for people.

Jason Delso
(zencarver) - MLife

Locale: DFW
Re: Confusing on 02/07/2011 19:46:21 MST Print View

Looking at this, it would seem that only a book of cheapo, tear-off matches is allowed as a carry-on, and nothing at all is allowed to be checked: TSA link

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Matches and the TSA on 02/07/2011 19:54:52 MST Print View

The REI matches are not strike anywhere and require the red phosphorus strips to make them light.

The zinger is the postal regs that make it at least equally confusing to mail the stuff ahead. We can't haul such basic things and the kids are running around with 9mm autos. We *do* live in interesting times.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Confusing on 02/07/2011 19:58:57 MST Print View

TSA: "One book of safety (non-strike anywhere) matches are permitted as carry-on items, but all matches are prohibited in checked baggage."

There should be no confusion with the TSA words.

A "strike anywhere" match is not a safety match. A safety match is not a "strike anywhere" match.


Matthew Zion
(mzion) - F

Locale: Boulder, CO
Re: Aviation Nonsense on 02/07/2011 21:31:33 MST Print View

I use to work on aircraft and by and large the TSA regulations are load of bull crap (and a lot of their justifications are flat out lies). Strike anywhere vs safety matches? Really? Suppose a lighter would be the most hassle free thing to carry.

Cassie Thomas
(Kesugi) - F

Locale: Anchorage
I would carry both matches & a lighter on 02/08/2011 19:28:31 MST Print View

At least if the TSA confiscates either incendiary device, you can probably acquire another close to the airport you're landing at. Unless it's here in Alaska.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: I would carry both matches & a lighter on 02/08/2011 19:38:53 MST Print View

Cassie, that was exactly my situation in July. I was arriving at ANC from the Lower 48 and connecting directly to an outbound flight. So, I had no opportunity to purchase any lighters or matches. On my person, I carried the maximum of what the TSA web site allowed. Plus, I had some fire sparkers, the modern equivalent of flint and steel.


Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Aviation Nonsense on 02/08/2011 19:51:19 MST Print View

"Suppose a lighter would be the most hassle free thing to carry."

It seems like the simplest, most hassle free policy is to pick up both matches and lighters when you land. It's what I always do, rather than risk unpleasantness with government security types. It's very seldom a situation where you come out on top, so why get into it in the first place. Pretty much applies around the world, IME.

Steven Hanlon
(asciibaron) - F

Locale: Mid Atlantic
matches and the TSA on 02/14/2011 14:30:29 MST Print View

the security theater continues - just FedEx your gear ahead and avoid it all.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: matches and the TSA on 02/14/2011 14:33:50 MST Print View

"just FedEx your gear ahead and avoid it all."

There are some remote places where FedEx won't deliver.