Warming packs are pretty handy to have along on outdoor sporting trips during the frigid time of year. They can keep your hands warm and agile when you’re hunting for white-tailed deer from a treestand, heat up your toes to a toasty temperature while you’re out ice fishing, and warm up your core while you’re waiting quietly in a duck blind.
But have you ever wondered how they work?
Air-activated hand warmers, like the HotHands warmers, actually work through the process of oxidation, which is very commonly associated by most with the process of rusting.
Oxidation is defined as the interaction between oxygen and the substances it comes into contact with. In the case of air-activated warming packs, the substances are typically iron, activated carbon and water. Additional materials may be added to work as a catalyst to speed up the reaction, and also to hold in the heat to keep the warming pack working longer. The materials of the heat pack are sealed off from oxygen so long as the hand warmer remains in its original packaging.
When the packaging is opened, the iron, activated carbon and water are exposed to oxygen and begin to react. This oxidation that occurs produces a constant heat that is specially formulated to last for several hours.
Pretty cool, huh?
Will you be using warming packs this winter? If so, how will you use them? If you’ve got any unique tips or tricks for making the most of your warming packs, be sure to add them in the comments.