Hand warmer - when is it worth having one with you and which one should you choose?

Hand warmer - when is it worth having one with you and which one should you choose? – main image

Ice fishing in winter? Hunting in a forest covered with snow during severe frost? Winter camping? Or maybe a critical situation in hostile, frosty terrain? It is worth preparing for these circumstances appropriately, and one of the very small things with extraordinary power that will come in handy many times is a hand warmer. Which one should you choose to effectively warm up cold hands?

Hand warmer: the beginnings of the invention and its types

For centuries, humanity has struggled with nature, and one of its dangerous manifestations is cold, cold and frost. To protect themselves against it, people created houses, warm clothes, and warmed themselves by the fire. The hand warmer was created in response to the needs of trappers from North America. In 1891, the first hand warmer was patented in New Jersey, which operated using properly prepared fuel in the form of coal.

Mass production of this type of accessories began only twenty-one years later - in 1912 , hand warmers with platinum catalysts began to be produced in Japan. Hand warmers can therefore be different, and the two previously mentioned are not the only ones. What else can you find on the market today?

Modern mass-produced hand warmers fall into five main types:

  • coal heaters;
  • gasoline catalytic heaters;
  • electric heaters;
  • chemical gel heaters;
  • iron-air chemical heaters.

Which type will be best for warming your hands in difficult weather conditions, when strong winds blow and the temperature begins to drop below zero?

Coal and gasoline heaters

Hand warmer - when is it worth having one with you and which one should you choose? – image 1

Hand warmers of this type use fuel for heating in the form of specially prepared briquettes with appropriate additives that extend the combustion time, as well as gasoline burned in a heater resembling a lighter.

The charcoal hand warmer can produce heat for approximately six hours after lighting one or both ends of the briquette. The petrol hand warmer uses lighter fuel and its operating time can range from twelve hours to up to a whole day.

Both types of heaters need to be refilled with fuel from time to time, and in the case of petrol, also with the catalytic filaments.

A very important issue is the correct way to use these heaters. Both produce exhaust fumes, so it is prohibited to use them inside tents or sleeping bags. Due to the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, these types of accessories should be worn around the neck or in a pocket, but only outdoors.

Chemical heaters

From this subgroup, we can distinguish iron-air and gel chemical heaters . The former is a special mixture of substances that enters into an exothermic reaction caused by contact with atmospheric air. The cellulose or fleece sachet contains iron filings, vermiculite and table salt. The operating time of this type of heater is up to six hours, but the temperature begins to drop after sixty minutes. Unfortunately, this type of pocket hand warmer is also disposable and cannot be reused.

The reusable hand warmer is undoubtedly a chemical gel hand warmer. It only works for thirty minutes, but you can use it many times. A reusable hand warmer is useful during winter camping, ice fishing, as well as a winter bonfire or a trip out of town. You don't have to worry about fuel for this accessory, because gel chemical hand warmers do not need it.

The last type of hand warmer is the electric type, but it is not very practical and relatively dangerous, so it is worth choosing other, handy and safe types for outdoor activities. Good luck!


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