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Home Made Hand Warmers | UNITED STATES, WYOMING | 12/04/2008, by powderjunky
Cold affects us all differently. No matter what the temperature, 30 degrees or 10 degrees, I am skinning in a T-shirt (thanks to the grease and sweat gene commonly referred to as Italian). Then there are people like my wife who get cold in movie theaters in the middle of July. But wherever your tolerance for cold may be, one thing is for sure, being cold just sucks.
While boot heaters are good, and hand warmers work sometimes, I never really have either when I am out in the backcountry. But i usually do have spare batteries for my beacon and you can bet on always finding a nice month old sandwich wrapped in tin foil squeezed between the shovel blade and the bottom of my utility pocket.
Well to beat the cold I have found that the tin foil and batteries make a great makeshift pocket warmer. It's so simple to make, a Microsoft Vista programmer couldn't mess it up. All you do is wrap the foil around both nodes of the battery. Soon heat will begin to transfer from the battery around the tin foil creating a nice little oven. The key is to not make the tin foil too thick, and to leave two sides of the battery exposed. It usually takes about 1 minute to heat up.
A little disclaimer: I am no science-trician, and this isn't rocket surgery, but I have no idea why this works, and may very well just be a matter of time before the battery blows up in your face worse than Mount St. Helens . So use at your own risk, and be happy you now have another reason not clean out all those old moldy sandwiches from the bottom of your ski pack.
How to make your own hand warmer.
- Use foil that doesn't have too many rips or holes.
- Make sure you have enough length to wrap around the battery a couple times to make it taught.
- Makes sure you have a tight connection on both nodes.
- You only need to use one battery per foil wrap.
- It heats about as good as those expensive hand warmers at the store.
- This probably drains power form the batteries so replace after use, if they are your spare beacon batteries.
- The harder you squeeze the connection nodes, the hotter it will get.
- The larger the battery the better.
- Keep the foil as thin as possible for maximum heat.
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