In the interests of science (and because I'm a bit of a pyromaniac), I tested a number of different striking surfaces using a newly purchased box of strike-anywhere matches. The results, while heartening for a hypothermic hunter, weren't entirely expected. For example, smooth hardwood was easier to strike against than rough bark. Technique was crucial. Some surfaces, such as the ribbed base of an antler, the buttons on my hunting pants, and the checkered bolt knob of my .350 magnum, needed a short jabbing stroke for ignition; whereas sandpaper and stone demanded a longer stroke. Flicking my thumbnail against the match head was most satisfying but also required a half-dozen tries. I had an easier time striking stones, smooth as well as rough, the gold nuggets on my wedding ring (which drew a furrowed brow from my wife), and against another match head. I also could spark fire using my pants--but only on the zipper. I had no luck at all scratching against the material, whether wool or denim.