EXOTAC, known for their innovative outdoor gear, launched the MATCHCAP XL in 2013. A watertight match case that is twice the size of the smaller MATCHCAP case, it is made from lightweight aircraft-grade 6061 aluminum construction, which is anodized and laser engraved for durability.
The straight walls give maximum carrying capacity and the unique design (storage in the top pulls up, and the bottom half has a base that extends out keeps longer items, like stormproof matches, organized) allows you to keep your gear easily accessible. The bottom of the MATCHCAP XL is slightly larger, allowing for the heads of matches to be placed tip down for maximum capacity.
Originally intended to hold both matches and tinder so you always have a way to make fire, let’s explore some additional uses for this versatile piece of gear.
Matches and Tinder
Originally what the MATCHCAP XL was designed for, you can ensure you always have a way to start a fire. The capsule has an o-ring that seals out any water or moisture, keeping its contents dry.
It can hold standard kitchen, stormproof, or NATO matches:
- Kitchen Matches (40): nearly half of the space is available for storage
- Stormproof Matches (25): leaves 0.3” at the top for tinder storage
- NATO Matches (32): about a third of the top space is available for storage
The MATCHAP XL has a strike pad built into the interior of the bottom portion, ensuring it stays dry and can handle 25-50 strikes. At the base of the MATCHCAP XL is a strike-anywhere pad. It comes with a spare strike pad and o-ring and replacements are available.
Water purification tablets
Water purification tablets, like Aquatabs, usually come individually packed (depending on the brand) and can be carried alone in your MATCHCAP XL or in addition to whatever else you are carrying.
By adding water purification tablets the matches/tinder you’re likely already carrying, you can ensure you have access to both fire and clean water, which are critical to any survival situation.
Medication and First Aid
Another option to add to a kit you’re already building is medication. Pain killers, allergy meds, or any must-haves can easily be stored on top of matches or tinder.
We’ve had some customers use this to exclusively store their nitroglycerin medication.
Alternately, a MATCHCAP XL can make a great miniature first aid kit that not only contains pain meds, antihistamines or Pepto tabs, but also:
- Rubbing alcohol or iodine pads
- Bandaids and/or bandages
- Disposable gloves
- Antibiotic and hydrocortisone creams
- Sting relief cream
Traveling or just as a back-up, keeping hard copies of your paperwork (drivers license, passport, visas, International Student Identity Card (ISIC), hostel membership, rail passes, car documents, extra passport pictures) with you can expedite their replacement.
The MATCHCAP XL not only can keep these documents dry and protected but with the integrated loop, you can carry them around your neck as you must guard your copies as close as you guard the original documents.
The MATCHCAP XL is lightweight enough that you’ll quickly become used to it and because it is waterproof, you don’t have to take it off to shower or to participate in water sports.
If you opt to have electronic copies with you instead of paper copies (shown above), keeping technology dry can be a problem, especially if you keep this documents with you when outdoors for an extended period of time.
A flash drive can easily be kept in a MATCHCAP XL, keeping any important documents protected. Scan and save insurance paperwork, copies of your driver’s license and other personally-identifying information.
Building your own survival kit with a mixture of what is talked about above is really where the MATCHCAP XL offers the most flexibility. Add a mix of matches, fire starter, water purification tablets, and other additional items to create your own. You could include:
- Fishing hooks
- Fishing line
- Cut-off straw
- Ferrocerium rod
- Thread or string
- Stormproof matches
For the kit pictured above, we used the fishing hooks and fishing line from the Best Glide Fishing Kit, UCO Stormproof Matches, and a Ferro rod from the Best Glide Pocket Survival Tin. The EXOTAC NanoStriker Ferro Rod could be used as well.
What are we missing? Any other ideas for using your MATCHCAP XL?