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Body warmers

Tuck some air-activated warmers into your clothing to keep you toasty.

 

Hands and feet are usually the first to feel the cold when you're outside, but body warmers may help. Their pouches are air-activated portable heat for hands and feet. They are designed to be worn under socks, or between layers of clothing. People also put them in their pockets, in mittens, and other places to stay comfortable in the cold.

Dan Tkakchuk is a sales manager for Grabber products. He says the science behind the warmers involves iron powder and oxygen. "You simply just open the package, expose it to oxygen, and it produces heat through an exothermic reaction," he says. "A hand warmer may have more iron powder than a different type of warmer, and our fabric allows different amounts of oxygen in. That's how we regulate the reaction."

The more oxygen allowed in, the faster the pouch warms up. Toe warmers, for example, use a non-woven material that lets in more air to compensate for the low-oxygen environment inside a shoe. Tkakchuk says the warmers heat up to a safe level, but if you feel it's too hot, remove it.

The warmers are designed to give off heat for hours, some as long as a full day. They're meant for one-time use, but if you store them in sealable plastic bag, you can use them again until they're completely spent. "Let's take for example a 10-hour hand warmer, and you're only going out for an hour or two," Tkakchuk says. "You can actually shut the reaction down using a zippered plastic bag, or a re-sealable airlock warmer bags where you can place the warmer inside, you can shut off the oxygen to the warmer, and in a matter of minutes it's going to shut down."

Choosing the right warmer for you comes down to personal preference. Consider where and how it will be used, as well as the amount of time that heat is needed. You can usually find a pack of 10 one-use warmers for under $15; a pack of two reusable warmers is about $20.

Find more tips for keeping your toes toasty

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