A hot tip for happy hands.

The fall hunting season can be the best time to stock up on the “shake ’em up” hand warmer packets that we put into our ski gloves and mittens. In my area—Salt Lake City—some big box stores have special deals on the packets in the fall when outdoorsmen are preparing to head to the woods for the deer hunt.

Beware outdated hand warmers. Credit: Harriet Wallis
Beware outdated hand warmers.
Credit: Harriet Wallis

But before you buy a load of special deal packets, examine them for the expiration date. It’s probably embossed or printed into the edge of the foil wrapper. Packets that are close to their expiration date may have lost their oomph.

Last year, my locker room buddies stocked up on hand warmers from a big box store in fall as usual. But then they moaned and groaned all winter about the packets. Many packets heated inconsistently and some never heated at all. On close examination, we found the packets to be nearly outdated, and some were past their expiration date. The store probably had old inventory and stocked the shelves with it first.

On the other hand, I’ve had packets buried in the bottom of my ski bag for several years, and yet they heated well.

The bottom line: To assure warm hands, check the expiration date before you buy. The expiration date should be several years into the future.

What’s your hand warmer story?


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