I am trying to light a barbeque, but the slight wind keeps putting the flame of the match stick go out as I try to light the paper.

How can I prevent this?

  • Can you just use the appropriately named tool invented for this purpose? Commented Sep 29, 2016 at 13:46
  • @CaptainObvious I didn't have one with me. So no I couldn't.
    – Tim
    Commented Sep 29, 2016 at 13:51
  • Lol, were you posting this question while standing in front of the grill? You asked how to prevent it: Buy a lighter and next time you won't have the problem, 100% prevention achieved! Commented Sep 29, 2016 at 13:56
  • @CaptainObvious I posted this question when I had the problem, obviously. Just after I'd struggled to light a BBQ... if I had a lighter this would clearly not have been an issue...
    – Tim
    Commented Sep 29, 2016 at 14:17
  • I hope you've bought a lighter since then! If you're asking how not to forget a lighter, personal productivity questions are off-topic here. Commented Sep 29, 2016 at 14:22

8 Answers 8


The old smokers' trick used to be to keep the matchbox half open & dip the struck match slightly into the hollow end [the end away from where the open visible matches are] just as the initial flare is dying.

This allows the wood to take full hold & then be more wind-resistant.

If you do it too early, the fumes from the initial chemical flare will put it straight out.

Alternatively, hold two or three matches with the heads offset by about double the length of each head. Strike the first, which will light the second, then the third...

Or, requires advance preparation.

Dip the head end to about ½ way down the stick in candle wax... [carefully, of course]

  • When candle-dipping, it's best to blow the candle out before dipping the match. That removes most of the danger from the process. ;)
    – Estharon
    Commented Aug 24, 2016 at 12:15
  • Why not light the paper with candle itself?
    – vasin1987
    Commented Aug 28, 2016 at 18:20

It's actually pretty simple, if the wind is blowing out your match, all you gotta do is block the wind with your own body.

After the match is successfully lit, cover it from the wind with your free hand (e.g. hand that held the matchbox, put the matchbox away and now you have a free hand) to make sure it definitely won't get blown out, (i.e. this way you can turn your body freely while keeping your hand blocking the wind from blowing out your light)

Then light that grill up!

Tip: Make sure to move relatively slowly (if you move the match too fast it'll die because fast movement essentially creates wind)


Roll the match between your fingers as you move it - the flame will burn much much stronger and you will be able to move the match to the paper without it going out.


1) Slicing the match stick

Slice the match stick surface in thin slices just about the tip of match stick. 10-15 slices gives best result

sample image

2) layman's method

Surround the fire such that it blocks the wind flow

Combining method 1) & 2) will give you best results


In addition to shielding the match from wind, reduce the distance your match travels between striking it and the coals. Strike the match inside the grill itself if possible.


Add a small piece of wax paper to the other paper you were using. It lights easily and it will act as a fuse to light the paper that will, in turn, light the BBQ.

An alternative is to dribble a bit of wax on the corner of crumpled paper fire-starter scraps

  • This does nothing to keep the match from going out before it reaches the paper.
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Commented Sep 27, 2016 at 18:56

I would like to suggest you one method:

Use camphor


  1. Mostly it will come by a set of cubes. I suggest you to grab it randomly.
  2. Place it carefully on grill of barbeque.
  3. Light this camphor and with the stick itself, dodge it so that it will fall to wood that you have arranged for burning.

The advantage is that, you can save your flame. The camphor is a good conductor of fire. So even if you put some in between wood, it will be an add on.

  • And how does this solve the problem of the match being blown out??
    – Stephie
    Commented Jul 25, 2016 at 5:07
  • Camphor catches fire easily. So you can take off match as soon as this happens. Thus match is not blown out and you can save the flame. Commented Jul 25, 2016 at 6:18

Put gas unto paper. That was easy! (becareful! too much gas will burn the paper instantly or may bigger the fumes!) You can flick a candle if you like.

  • 1
    Could you describe exactly how you put gas into the paper. The answer doesn't make much sense as it stands.
    – Chenmunka
    Commented Sep 16, 2016 at 8:14
  • @Chenmunka You take a can of gas and pour some gas on the paper
    – paparazzo
    Commented Sep 16, 2016 at 9:42
  • Ahh, gas as in petrol! I assumed gas as in Butane.
    – Chenmunka
    Commented Sep 16, 2016 at 9:46
  • Using gasoline for this purpose is unnecessarily hazardous. The use of paper to start the charcoal suggests that the poster is trying to avoid the fumes of charcoal lighter flavoring the food, and gasoline is much worse for this, in addition to the hazard.
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Commented Sep 27, 2016 at 18:57

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