When in dangerous settings, one has to rely on one’s survival skills and knowledge. Situational awareness is also of great help even when facing the most serious danger. Above all, some helpful items of survival gear that you put in your survival backpack can really increase your survival chances. Surviving in the cold can be really tough; however, there are tools for survivalists, preppers, and homesteaders that can warm and perk you up! Read on!
Whether you’re working outside during the winter or simply enjoying a nice cold, snowy day, cold hands can become an annoying obstacle pretty quickly. Your regular mittens may not be enough to keep your hands warm, and you might find yourself in need of a different way to warm up your hands and stay focused on whatever you’re doing. Of course, that is exactly what a hand warmer is for.
Ideal for long cold hunting trips, winter camping, and a number of other outdoor activities, a Zippo hand warmer can take your cold-weather activities to the next level by keeping your hands warm and comfortable at all times.
What Is A Hand Warmer?
The name speaks for itself. Hand warmers are exactly what you’d think they are: devices to keep your hands warm. There are several types of hand warmers out there, from charcoal-fueled models and chemical packs to electric ones. You cannot truly enjoy any outdoor activities if your fingers are sore from the freezing cold, and a hand warmer will take care of that. Zippo offers both rechargeable electric models with USB ports and refillable hand warmers that run on warmer fluid. Today we’ll be focusing on the latter.
An Introduction to Zippo Handwarmers
Zippo is a manufacturer that offers a wide assortment of hand warmers. Zippo hand warmers come in all shapes and sizes. As already mentioned, although Zippo does offer both refillable warmers that require handwarmer fuel to function and electric ones that run on batteries, in this article, we’ll take a closer look at the lighter fluid-fueled models. Zippo brand fuel is available as well and can be a better fit than your regular lighter fluid.
Let’s take a look at the Zippo 12 Hour Hand Warmer for an example. It is a catalytic heater: when the hand warmer fluid is ignited, a catalyzed chemical reaction begins, breaking down molecules and producing heat, causing the device to warm up and providing gentle warmth to keep you comfortable at all times.
Zippo 12-Hour Hand Warmer
This hand warmer has an average rating of 4,5 out of 5 stars on Amazon. It is available in more than a dozen different colors. In addition to including easy fill technology, its improved fill cup works wonders to reduce spills. According to the manufacturer, its thin design fits into the smallest pockets.
The high points:
- comes in a wide variety of colors and patterns;
- can endure the toughest conditions due to its durable metal construction;
- includes a full cup, a replacement burner, and a warming bag;
- reusable and refillable
- can keep the heat for hours.
- easy fill technology included
- needs to be used with caution as not to cause a fire
- should not be used indoors for long periods of time without proper ventilation, as catalytic heaters produce carbon monoxide.
How to use your Zippo hand warmer
First and foremost, you have to determine how long you need your handwarmer to stay warm. Zippo warns that you cannot stop the heating process safely once it begins.
Its heat duration depends on the amount of lighter fluid in the filling cup. Pay attention to the markers on the filling cup. When filled halfway, the handwarmer stays warm for around 6 hours. Filling it to the max enables it to provide heat for as long as 12 hours continually.
After you have poured your desired amount of fuel into the filling cup, make sure that the catalytic burner unit has been removed from the hand warmer body. Then, carefully and slowly pour the fuel into the handwarmer through the filling hole. Ensure that your hand warmer is maintained in an upright position for a few minutes before being ignited. After that, put the catalytic burner back and light it up with a lighter or a match. It usually warms quickly, but it can take up to 15 minutes for the hand warmer to heat up fully.
If needed, place a hand warmer in your warming pouch. Make sure that it has cooled down enough for you to touch it. Remember that it is crucial that your handwarmer is placed on a fireproof surface so that it can’t cause a fire. This is also why you need to use it with caution around things that can catch fire easily, e.g., sleeping bags. We recommend carrying a tiny Ziploc bag and a Bic lighter when using this product.
You can also purchase the Zippo 6-hour Refillable Hand Warmer. It is smaller and less expensive than the 12 hours one, but, as the name suggests, it can only function for about 6 hours max.
Other handwarmer models
Other than the already-mentioned 12 Hour Hand Warmer, Zippo offers a wide assortment of hand warmers that vary in configuration, price, size, and heat duration.
Zippo Heatbank Rechargeable Hand Warmers
The thing about rechargeable hand warmers is that they’re straightforward to use. You don’t need any fuel, and you don’t need to figure out how to make them work — just charge it through a USB port for a few hours, and you’re all set.
The high points:
- the temperature can be adjusted to your likings
- includes a USB cable and a list of instructions
- can easily fit into your pockets
- heat digital display and battery indicators
- can charge USB-compatible gadgets
- comes in different colors and shapes
- can heat up to 120 degrees
The not-so goods:
- not as long-lasting as the lighter fluid-fueled ones, stay warm for up to 3 or 9 hours depending on the model
Other Zippo products
In addition to hand warmers, the brand produces and sells other helpful goods to go with them: pouches, lighter fluid, fuel canisters, etc.
Zippo Premium Lighter Fluid
The manufacturer advises its customers to use the Zippo Lighter Fluid with their hand warmers, claiming that it allows for the best and most efficient performance of the product. It does not have an unpleasant smell and can be ignited quickly.
Are Hand Warmers Worth The Money?
One could probably say that buying a special device designed specifically to keep your hands comfortable is unnecessary and a waste of money. After all, good old mittens can do the trick.
However, reviewers find hand warmers to be quite useful. Regular mittens can get wet and make things worse. Plus, you can’t really pass them around as they differ in size and cannot fit everyone. A Zippo hand warmer, on the other hand, can keep your fingers warm for as long as 12 hours, even in the heaviest weather. You can pass it to your friends and family to share the warmth.
Note, however, that unless you have special pockets sewed into your gloves or mittens, it is nearly impossible to use the hand warmer and do any task that requires your hands to be free simultaneously. Nonetheless, with a hand warmer, you can work outdoors or take part in any wintertime activities without worrying about getting frostbite. Put the hand warmer in your pouch and take it out when you need to, warm your hands up, and then put it back.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
If you have any questions left, we will try to answer them in this segment.
Are Zippo hand warmers safe?
Refillable Zippo hand warmers produce carbon monoxide, meaning that you must use them with caution in unventilated places. That is usually not a problem if the handwarmer is being used outdoors, yet it is still important to keep in mind to avoid cases of carbon monoxide poisoning.
It is highly recommended that you only use the included bag, as it regulates the amount of oxygen needed for the chemical reaction inside of the hand warmer to continue. Without the provided bag, it can get too hot and cause a fire.
Can I turn off my Zippo hand warmer?
While you can always turn off electric rechargeable models, you can’t really stop the chemical reaction inside the handwarmer until it runs out of fuel. As the reaction requires oxygen to continue, you could theoretically stop it by putting your hand warmer into an airtight container. However, it would probably be easier just to place it on a fireproof surface and leave it alone for some time until the heating process stops on its own.
Can you sleep with a Zippo hand warmer?
There is a debate going on about the safety of using a hand warmer while sleeping in a tent or in a sleeping bag. Some say that they use their hand warmers to keep them comfortable while sleeping; others argue that it’s too dangerous. However, you must keep in mind that leaving a Zippo hand warmer unsupervised near easily flammable materials may result in severe injuries. Plus, the fumes it emits might be toxic and bad for your health. In any case, follow the instructions and be careful.
Can you use regular lighter fluid in a Zippo hand warmer?
Short answer: yes, you CAN do that, but it would probably be better if you used a Zippo one. It is odorless and is the best fit for a Zippo hand warmer. If you don’t have any Zippo fluid, you can use a different product, but make sure that it is not butane. A Zippo hand warmer cannot work on butane.