Here are different methods to waterproof your own matches and make fire starters, you should use wood stick matches rather than the cardboard sticks.
Although they’re waterproof, make sure to store them in a sealed, waterproof container. Ziplock bags, old prescription bottles, film canisters and small tins should work just fine.
Dip the first half of the match in melted wax. You can use old candle stubs or canning wax/paraffin wax for this. Dry, then dip the other half to completely seal the match.
Dip the first half of the match in clear nail polish. Dry, then dip the other half to completely seal.
If you want to pack away some fire starters for camping or ‘just in case’ you get stuck in the bush when backpacking or biking, fill the holes of an empty egg carton with sawdust, or dryer lint, or fabric scraps. Pour melted wax over each and let cool. Store in sealed ziploc bags.
To make waterproof ones, tightly roll newspapers or fabric scraps about 1 1/2 inches thick and 3 inches long, wind string tightly around the roll to hold the roll together. Completely submerge in melted wax. Dry then store.
After dipping the matches and rolls, lay them on a sheet of clean wax paper to dry thoroughly. After they are dry, place them in the waterproof container (or ziploc bag) and store away until needed.
Nut Shells: Don’t toss away peanut shells or shells from other nuts. Store them year round in a big tub and take them camping. Toss the shells in amongst the kindling and they’ll act as wood chips.
Lemon & Orange Peels: Save your peels from citrus fruits like lemons and oranges. You can toss them in the fire to give a nice, fresh smell.
Alcohol Soaked Corks: Soak wine corks in rubbing alcohol (stored in a sealed glass jar). Toss a couple corks under the wood before lighting the fire.
Candle Ends: Use the ends of candles by placing a couple in the middle of a wood pile and start the blaze with a little kindling.