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Thread: Hand Warmers? Need Help

  1. #1
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    Default Hand Warmers? Need Help

    Hello Everyone,

    My name is Matthew Schuman and I am a senior at Carthage College in Wisconsin. I am currently working on a final senior project using a patented heat storage material. The goal is to write an entire business plan and present the results to a variety of people from the community.

    I love the outdoors, and I have decided to use the heat storage medium as a hand warmer material. It would last significantly longer than both reusable and non-reusable products. It is also reusable.

    I was just wondering if you could answer some simple questions. Do you like hand warmers? Why do you like them or hate them? What kind do you use? How often do you use them? If you could change one thing, what would it be?

    Thanks again

    Matthew

  2. #2

    Default Matt

    I sometimes use handwarmers when ice fishing.

    Most of the use mine get are as toe warmers in my waders when I'm late season fishing or duck hunting. I won't put on my waders without toe warmers, it makes that big of a difference.

    I also put one in the bottom of my sleeping bag a couple of hours before I hit the rack - it definitely helps dry out the socks and keeps me from feeling damp or cold.

    Are you looking for field testers?

    To answer your questions - I really like the toe warmers. They are adhesive backed and shaped to fit under the big toe. Once you stick it onto your sock, it stays put. You need to wear snug fitting socks in order for them not to slide around inside the waders. I don't remember offhand what the brand is. They don't get too hot and last about six hours. The only improvement I can think of would be longer heat time and the ability to reuse.

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    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    Default More data for you...

    Matt,
    We use handwarmers in our activities also. Most often for ice fishing, tucked inside a pair of boots and another set inside the mitten's.
    Also, when hunting in cooler climates one can use the toe warmers style w/the sticky backing to adhere a set to your lower abdomen before going to sleep in the bag. Keeps you toasty for most of the night.
    Making them reusable would be good. I see there are some really big pads out on the market now, haven't tried any of those yet.
    BK

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    Default For years

    I have used them for years back in NY. Funny, but seldom use them in Alaska. Some brands are better than others. Some improvements could be: The ability to work when wet or damp and the ability to "turn them off".

    I have used the in boots, gloves, pockets and in a vest I designed years ago. The vest was for archery. It had four pockets sewn into the rear, near the kidneys. The insulation was also twice as thick in the back of the vest with wide openings for the arms to facilitate drawing the bow. With only 2 hand warmers in the vest I was usually toasty warm all day.

    I also had an insulated pouch that I could stuff one hand warmer into. Then on top of that a bottle of doe urine. The pouch had a Velcro strap on the back for attachment to a branch. Warm doe urine brought down many a buck. I usually tried to havest a doe first to get a supply for the season.

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    Member 8x57 Mauser's Avatar
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    Boy Dave has that one right: If you find something that will work when wet, you'll find a fair number of takers in coastal Alaska.

    Where I hunt, it rains. When it's not raining, the brush is wet from the last rain. Damp handwarmers are nothing but weight I have to carry out of the woods. And it doesn't take much more than sweat to make 'em damp and useless.

    I've stopped carrying them outdoors unless I have my kids along. But if your heat storage medium works damp and weighs less than a wet handwarmer, I think you're in business.

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    The problem I've had with the chemical handwarmers is that in really cold weather, when you need them the most, they don't seem to want to work. And like everyone else said, they don't work when wet.

    I do like to use them inside my sleeping bag and will sleep toasty with them, but for the field I usually carry a backup set of the handwarmers that use the charcoal sticks instead. Those work well when it's cold and they put out a lot of heat.
    "If snowmachiners would adopt the habits of riding one at a time and not parking at the base of avalanche prone slopes, the number of fatalities would likely be whittled by at least a third, if not by half." ~ Jill Fredston, in the book Snowstruck, In The Grip Of Avalanches.

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    Default Thanks for the help

    The good news is, the material will be encased in a impermeable plastic or vinyl coating. This will allow for flexibility and protection from the elements.

    Some more questions, what applications do you use them for and how long would you like a handwarmer/toewarmer to last?

    Thanks again

  8. #8

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    I would like to see them have no, or a longer "shelf life". These we buy today can't sit around for very long.

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    Member moose-head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mschuman88 View Post
    T
    Some more questions, what applications do you use them for and how long would you like a handwarmer/toewarmer to last?
    My mother is a big college football fan and I get them for her so she can stay warm while watching a game; three-four hours is good for her so she can put them in at the house before she leaves to go to a game. she likes a couple in her gloves or pockets and a couple for her feet. I don't use them much for myself, but would use them more if they were reusable and lasted a while.
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    Mathew,

    I use hand and foot warmers all year round. In the winter, I use them at work in my boots due to my floor in my office at work is ice cold. Wearing pack boots in an office environment is kind of a pain in the butt. If its -40 outside and my office is 75F, my floor is so cold that a bottle of water will get ice crystals forming, and a standard workday is 12 hours. I use handwarmers in the winter when recreating outside and spending alot of time out of my gloves or mittens. My wife also use them fishing in the /spring/summer on cold wet days fishing . If you could improve one thing is for them to work when they get damp or wet. Usually when they get damp or wet they are pretty much done.

  11. #11
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    Default Thinner and stretchy too

    Would like to see handwarmers packed in something that does not bunch up (ie the iron oxide ones can become a thick rock) in the bottom of ones shoe etc... preferably stretchy material too.. I use them in my thinner shooting gloves when hunting at -40, really helps when holding a -40 shotgun as that tends to suck the heat right out ones hands... anyhow, being thinner, staying thinner, and being somewhat stretchy would make it much easier to use in conjunction with boots/gloves.

    Just my .02

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    I use hand warmers for: skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, warm up boots in the morning, for my kids, and my wife loves them during winter. I pack a couple in my survival kit.

    I have used the gel ones that recharge upon boiling. While they are reusable and better for the environment, they suck. They last a fraction of the time that the iron oxide ones do. And if you get enough pressure on them before they are activated, they can leak. They do get hot and are great, but they last for 30-60 minutes. If I am on a ski slope or out for a 5 hour hike, how do I recharge them? I have to carry more with me then.

    The foot shaped ones aren't pad, but I don't think they get as hot and it is because they don't have as much material in them. Also in a gortex boot, they don't get a good flow of oxygen to keep them going.

    Good luck!

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    Default Air Activated heat blankets

    I recently took a first aid class and the instructor had a air activated blanket. It was a hand warmer type, just in a thin blanket and vacuum-packed that you could wrap yourself up in. She said she keeps a couple in their boat, four-wheelers, snowmachine. I cant, for the life of me, figure out where to buy these at. I know they exist, but I cant seem to find them. Anyone know?

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    Quote Originally Posted by justin262 View Post
    I recently took a first aid class and the instructor had a air activated blanket. It was a hand warmer type, just in a thin blanket and vacuum-packed that you could wrap yourself up in. She said she keeps a couple in their boat, four-wheelers, snowmachine. I cant, for the life of me, figure out where to buy these at. I know they exist, but I cant seem to find them. Anyone know?
    Why don't you contact the instructor from the class to see where she got them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mschuman88 View Post
    Hello Everyone,

    My name is Matthew Schuman and I am a senior at Carthage College in Wisconsin. I am currently working on a final senior project using a patented heat storage material. The goal is to write an entire business plan and present the results to a variety of people from the community.

    I love the outdoors, and I have decided to use the heat storage medium as a hand warmer material. It would last significantly longer than both reusable and non-reusable products. It is also reusable.

    I was just wondering if you could answer some simple questions. Do you like hand warmers? Why do you like them or hate them? What kind do you use? How often do you use them? If you could change one thing, what would it be?

    Thanks again

    Matthew
    I don't bother with them. For the weight per warmth ratio they aren't as good as a nice wool cap, some gloves, a little extra food and a waterproofed, simple, fast and easy way to get a roaring fire going. The fire making material is bold because it replaces the hand warmers... The other stuff I carry anyway.

    I used to carry several hand warmers in my survival pack. This went on for several years. Finally a time came when I truely needed some extra heat, fast, (fell through the ice while fishing) and they weren't worth a darn. I'd rather carry something that warms the whole body (hat and fire).

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