/ Reusable glove handwarmers
Yes. Was given some. Will look to see if there is a brand name. They are a bit heavy and not as hot or long lasting tho.
The gel ones don't stay warm for very long (they quote 45 mins - an hour but you can manage a bit longer if you keep them insulated).
The ones I had* you boil in water to recharge them. You'd get an hour at best out of them.
* I managed to let the pan boil dry last night. Now need a new pan....and handwarmers. Bugger!
Speaking as a long time (and I mean a l-o-n-g time) dead fingers sufferer, who's tried everything from £1 handwarmers to £200 battery operated gloves, in my experience the gel handwarmers are pretty poor. Though they get quite hot quite quickly the heat lasts only minutes. For the rest of the day your then carrying the dead weight of hard, heavy, useless lumps - come to think of it that sounds like one or two of the seconds I've had over the years - no offence boys!
I now manage the best I can with at least one spare pair of really good gloves kept warm about my person, as opposed to in rucsack, and disposable handwarmers which, whilst not getting VERY hot, at least stay warm for many hours and don't hinder ice tool handling too much. Whilst belaying I retain the handwarmers and change into the warm gloves.
If you're not familiar with them it might be worth mentioning that the disposables sometimes have a job "starting" if it's REALLY cold. In these circumstances it's probably best to "start" them before you leave the house/hut/car then when you come to need them they'll be nice and cosy. You hope. Maybe you can buy less plastic bottled stuff to offset your handwarmer pollution?
Agree with the comments about short duration and weight of the gel (super-saturated, food-grade sodium acetate solutions). Not surprising, since these rely on a physical mechanism for energy storage; the energy of crystallisation, which is released in one go when the initiator is triggered. They also have a habit of triggering themselves in your bag, if they get knocked or squeezed.
The disposable heaters, on the other hand, rely on a chemical process, which occurs over a much longer period, and has a higher energy density. Since they don't involve water, they're lighter, too. I find they can be encouraged to start in cold conditions by breathing into them. Not sure if this is due to the moisture in the breath, or simply the warmth.
These are good, but possibly a bit messy until you get used to them, last around 12 hours per fill, only problem is you can't turn it off you just put it somewhere non flammable (like on the draining board)
If it's any consolation, and if I'm not thinking of something else, the disposable warmers are reasonably environmentally friendly, or at least not massively damaging; just naturally occurring minerals, I think.
Yes: cellulose, iron, water, charcoal, vermiculite and salt
Nothing unpleasant. The only issue with single-use is energy cost of manufacture and distribution, which needs to be compared with the recharge energy for the re-useables. And no, I haven't looked at those numbers...
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