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A lot of us think that because we live in an area where it rarely snows, wearing gloves isn’t necessary. But this is not true. The same rules apply to keeping your hands warm, as does for keeping them cool if you are using a part of your body to retain heat in a cold environment.
This means that in order to keep your fingers from freezing in the winter or in a cold environment, gloves must be worn when not indoors. Gloves, however, will make life difficult when trying to shoot! When holding a rifle especially, you need all of your fingers, and the grip is best with gloves off.
A solution to this is the Zippo hand warmer. This nifty little device uses a lighter to provide an area of warmth deep inside your coat.
Unlike other devices that warm your hands, the Zippo Hand Warmer does not make you hot all over. It only keeps the blood flowing through your fingers, keeping them warm without getting too hot that you have to take off your gloves just because it’s uncomfortable. This lets you keep your dexterity while still being comfortable in any cold situation, making cold-weather hunting much more feasible for everyone!
The Bottom Line
I really enjoyed this hand warmer when it stayed lit. I suspect I may have been part of the problem, but the warmer let me down more than once.
It burned for about thirteen hours one day, and the next day it was dead within an hour or two. I felt like I’d done everything the same way, but perhaps I hadn’t.
I’m sure that, with regular use, it would be easy to learn the ins and outs of keeping it lit. This is a quality product and should last for years.
- Zippo Heatbank 9S
- Battery and heat indicator lights
- Charges USB compatible devices including; mobile phones, Mp3 players, tablets, cameras, etc.
Zippo brand hand catalytic warmer that uses burning lighter fluid to produce warmth.
It can be used for hunting, camping, skiing, fishing, watching sports games… any outdoor activity, really.
The package includes an instruction sheet, warmer, cloth bag, and plastic cup for measuring and pouring the lighter fluid.
Two-year warranty (doesn’t cover the finish, bag, or burner).
Model number 40182.
Weight of unfilled warmer with cloth bag: 2.95 ounces.
Dimensions: 4″ x 2-3/4″ x 5/8″
Not a Bad Way to Warm Your Hands
The Zippo hand warmer uses fire to provide heat, which can really help keep you warm out there in the field.
Sometimes, just a bit of heat deep inside your coat near your heart can really help improve your overall comfort, and if your hands are cold-natured (as are mine), a source of heat to keep them un-frozen is really a great thing.
It’s tough to remain still when you’re uncomfortable, and being still is something that a hunter must do in order to be successful.
In addition, cold fingers become numb and unresponsive, and that’s a very bad thing when those fingers are called upon to operate a gun or bow.
I have been fighting my cold hands for more than three decades, and I usually hunt in the southern USA… if I spent much time hunting where it was seriously cold, I don’t know if I’d have lasted as long as I have.
I have tried quite an array of gloves to keep my hands warm, but they generally don’t do the job. “Glomitts,” or “pop-top gloves,” work the best for me… but even then, I sometimes have to have some source of heat other than my body.
Air-activated warmers have saved my bacon more than once, and I keep a supply of them on hand during hunting season, but they are inconsistent.
Just when I need them to be good and warm, they’ll sometimes be either barely warm or not warm at all. So I’m constantly taking them out of my pockets to shake them and expose them to more air, to make sure they don’t wilt and die.
Catalytic heaters have been around for years. I remember seeing them advertised in hunting magazines when I was a kid and asking Dad about them.
His response was that they worked okay, but they stunk, and he disliked them. That was enough to keep me away from them for a long time, but eventually, I just had to try one out.
Enter Zippo and a departure from their traditional line of lighters.
I obtained a Zippo hand warmer in early 2010 and quickly began testing it. It worked great during an outdoor dog training class in January, and I was mighty glad to have it.
Next came turkey season and some unseasonably cold weather. I fired up the warmer and headed to the woods.
I caught a chill and some kind of bug and ended up in bed by 10:00 AM – and the warmer had already died and been re-lit after a bunch of hassle.
It was also pretty stinky, smelling just like the smelly lighter fluid that fueled it.
I finally felt human enough to hunt again a couple days later, and the warmer stayed lit and warm until around 8:00 PM. But the next day, it once again died quickly.
I suspect I just need more experience getting the fluid level (and the amount of moisture present on the burner when lighting) correct, and that, with familiarity, it will become a definite and trusted friend when I’m hunting in cold weather.
I’m glad to own this warmer, and I think it will last for many years to come.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Zippo Hand Warmer?
The Zippo hand warmer uses fire to provide heat, which can really help keep you warm out there in the field. Sometimes, just a bit of heat deep inside your coat near your heart can be enough to keep you from fidgeting and trying to get comfortable. This leads to being still for hours on end, which is something that hunters must do if they want to have successful hunts.
How do I use a Zippo hand warmer?
First, make sure you have one in your pocket. When you’re ready to heat up, simply take it out and bring the two flaps together over your fingertips; the machine is activated when the gap between them is closed. Allow about thirty seconds for it to really get going before placing it inside your pocket and allowing the warmth to work its magic.
What types of pockets can fit a Zippo hand warmer?
The best pockets are ones that hang down from above your waistband; these include pants pockets, bibs with flap-closure cargo compartments, and coat side pockets. Avoid putting it in an inside pocket, as these don’t really hold in the warmth well.
What is the best way to attach a Zippo hand warmer?
While you can use your belt loop to hang it from, just threading it through your pants pocket works just fine. Make sure that if you do this, you leave enough room for airflow between the outside of your coat and your pants or bibs so that heat dissipates appropriately. Also, avoid putting it against bare skin—it’ll get hot very quickly!
How long should I keep a Zippo hand warmer activated?
You should only activate it when needed—don’t turn it on before you go out into the cold morning air, or else you might start sweating and ruin your day. In general, thirty minutes of warmth is usually enough to get you through a morning’s hunt, and that should also get you safely back home for a bit of post-hunt coffee before going out for another round later in the afternoon if it’s legal in your area.
What happens when my Zippo hand warmer dies?
Don’t despair—just make sure it’s off and only put a new one on when you need it. While having an extra warming machine around can be really nice, there’s no point in wearing one of its fuel has been spent since the last time it was activated—it just won’t provide any heat at all after the first time it’s used. This is a common mistake made by new users, and while it might be daunting at first, you’ll quickly get the hang of how they work.
What happens if I activate my Zippo hand warmer too early?
If you use your hand warmer before its intended purpose—to keep you warm when the weather turns cold—then it won’t be able to do what it was supposed to. You can start using yours just before going out into the field or whenever you have a break between activities so that you can go back inside and get some warmth after being out in the cold for a while. Just make sure not to leave it on while talking with your buddies before heading out—a minute or two is plenty to get it going.
How long does a Zippo hand warmer take to heat up?
Once activated, the machine takes about thirty seconds for its flame to spread and reach its maximum temperature. Thirty minutes of warmth is usually enough time for you to go out into the field and start hunting, but you should still be smart about when you switch them on. Don’t wear one that’s spent all of its fuel; make sure it’s off instead!
What precautions should I take when using a Zippo hand warmer?
If you’re wearing gloves, make sure to use them; if they get sweaty, switch them out with another pair or hang your hand warmer somewhere—just don’t put it against bare skin. Also, keep the flame away from anything that might burn up if it comes too close—you don’t want to start a fire!
How long before the Zippo hand warmer needs to be refilled?
This really depends on how much you used it and the area in which you were hunting. However, one thing is for certain: you can always tell by looking at it whether its fuel has run out. If there’s still fuel in the reservoir, then it’ll smell like a lighter fluid; if you can smell anything at all, that means it’s working. If you do need to refill it, make sure to turn it off first—a lit Zippo hand warmer is dangerous!
What are things I should know before buying a Zippo hand warmer?
The most important thing is to ensure that the one you buy works for your skin type. As mentioned before, some people have cold-natured hands and forearms. In contrast, others have warm blood running through them—the best way to find out whether or not your chosen variant of this machine will work for you is just by testing out a few models yourself over the course of the next winter season. It’s also a good idea to let others try them on as well if you can—you might even be able to get your friends and family members to help you out with this task.
Zippo hand warmers are a great way to keep you and your hands from freezing out there in the cold. While it may take a bit of getting used to, you’ll quickly figure out how these machines work and when best to use them in order to make sure they provide plenty of safe, sustainable heat for as long as possible.
Also, remember that since Zippos don’t usually have another “on/off” switch, turning the flame off before storing it is important—you wouldn’t want to get burnt if people mishandle it or accidentally bump into one that’s lit!