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  1. #11
    cmoulder's Avatar
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    I was wondering if anyone has experience using something like the hot hands body warmers as an alternative to multiple quilts or lower temperature rated quilts?
    No. What happens when you exhaust all your chemical hand warmers? Or when you open the packet and find that it's a dud and doesn't warm at all?

    These are dangerously cold temperatures and you need quilts (and other gear) that will keep you warm without any external heat source (including hot water bottles) because it's not always possible to build a fire, and stoves can bonk out and you can run out of fuel.

    Also, at very cold temps water vapor from your own perspiration/respiration starts building up in your quilts, significantly reducing their insulation value after 2-3 nights and rendering them nearly useless after 5-7 nights. So Vapor Barrier clothing becomes practically requisite unless you've got some other way to dry out the quilts in the interim.
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  2. #12
    Senior Member Karla "with a k"'s Avatar
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    For me, I wouldn't substitute handwarmers for an underquilt, but I do use handwarmers to supplement my UQ. I frequently put a handwarmer under each cheek to prevent CBS. They are great to help get my gear warm before I hop in also.

    I found using the chemical handwarmers to be a bit expensive and now use reusable ones. Here's a link to ones similar to what I use now: click here

    I've only used them a couple of times so far so I can't speak to their durability. However, so far they are great.
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  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by cmoulder View Post
    No. What happens when you exhaust all your chemical hand warmers? Or when you open the packet and find that it's a dud and doesn't warm at all?
    This. I may not have a lot of experience camping in the snow, but I've been skiing and hiking a long time, and I've had these things fail often enough to know not to rely on them. I was hiking two seasons ago in Lake Placid with my young kids. I made the poor decision to stop for lunch at a dam where there was wind whipping through the area. Everyone was dressed appropriately but (what should have been obvious to me) things went downhill when the kids removed their gloves to eat. My daughter's hands got cold fast and she was so upset by the feeling that she would not follow directions to move around to warm up. Out come the hand warmer packets. Two duds. No worries, we have backups......one was a complete dud and the other barely got warm certainly not warm enough to help. A bit of yelling and a game of chase got her moving enough to rewarm her own hands. That would have been a different story if we were on an overnight and all three packs failed.

    If I absolutely felt that I needed mechanical/chemical aid in staying warm, I'd invest in some USB powered, heated garments. I had a set of heated bibs, gloves and coat** when I used to ride a motorcycle. Cat's pajamas in cold weather, not so warm once you disconnect from the power source. But then you're carrying a lot of extra weight and bulk to accomplish something that can be done with sensible clothing and quilt choices.

    ** I still have this stuff somewhere in my basement. I may rig it up to my car battery with an extension cord while I shovel all this snow we just got in NY !

  4. #14
    all secure in sector 7 Shug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Longwinters View Post
    Totally new as far as winter Hammock camping goes. Thinking about trying it out this winter in Michigan‘s Upper Peninsula where night temps could be anywhere from 20° to -50 with windchill.My top quilt and under quilt are both 20°, and I was wondering if anyone has experience using something like the hot hands body warmers as an alternative to multiple quilts or lower temperature rated quilts?
    I would not count on them to keep you warm in Winter for sleeping. Especially when you start hitting 0º and below. Double up and layer your sleeping gear if you can. Hot water bottle is more effective. I have a Winter Camping series if you care to peruse.....https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PL...tiuDQk48ccHSY-
    Ease into it and have a bail out plan. A good fire and wood ready to add to it if things get too cold to sleep. Get up and get warm.
    It is a beautiful time to camp though.
    Shug
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  5. #15
    OneClick's Avatar
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    For me they're only good for handling troublesome cold feet in a pinch. And nice for a knagaroo pocket during the day to warm hands and keep phone/electronics warm.

    But anymore I find it easier to heat water and do the same with a small bottle.

  6. #16

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    Once I’m cold, forget it, I know that I’m not falling back to sleep. Better to get up, take a short walk, have a snack, or make a fire. I haven’t used those warmers in years, but used them frequently as a teen while snowmobiling, skiing, hunting. Great for warming freezing hands but I don’t think they will do much for your core.

  7. #17
    cougarmeat's Avatar
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    georanger99 - about those zippo hand warmers. I looked into them but something in their description said they had to be vertical - at least for filling. I emailed the vendor and asked if, after they were activated, they had to be held in a certain orientation, or not be allowed to turn upside down, or what, if any, the positional constrains were. For example, walk down the trail, where the warmers are vertical in your pocket is one thing. Lying on their side, or some other position, while you are sleeping in the hammock is another. I don’t recall ever receiving a reply on my position constraint question. What is your experience; are they okay on their side?
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  8. #18
    Member georanger99's Avatar
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    Yep orientation doesn't matter....itll burn all night. Stick that baby in your inside coat pocket and it'll keep u toasty!

    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk

  9. #19
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    I appreciate all of the information and suggestions. Besides my UGQ 20° top quilt and 20° under quilt I have a Nemo tensor and a Thermarest Z light pad, also an under quilt protector. And I guess I could take a couple of my Costco quilts to help with my top layer system. But I was just wondering if the larger hot hands pads would be of much benefit? Thanks again.

  10. #20
    Member Pop_Eye's Avatar
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    I have to agree that I would not use them as a normal part of your system.

    That said, I have Raynauds syndrome. I keep a few sets of chemical hand warmers in my backpack for when I get episodes and they help.

    My last hang was a bit below the comfort limit of my insulation. I used two sets placed on my wrists and near my jugular. When they were too warm, I moved them to other body parts. They helped, but I still needed to get out of the hammock and do some jumping jacks to generate some body heat.

    I would not rely on them, but I would use them for some adjunct heat.

    The directions on the package have a warning about use on bare skin. I’m sure that is more a legal clause to prevent lawsuits, but they can get pretty warm.

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