The Truth about Hand Warmers

By Yeti Dec 2, 2014
Do you have expired hand warmers? If so, throw them out!
The Truth about Hand Warmers

Words by Harriet Wallis

Now can be a great time to stock up on the "shake 'em up" hand warmer packets that we put into our ski gloves and mittens. Some big box stores have special deals on the packets throughout the long hunting season.

But before you load up on packets, examine them for the expiration date. It's 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 as usual. 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 On close examination, we found the packets to be nearly outdated and some were past their expiration date.

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.

Need new handwarmers or other gear? These shops can hook you up.


Harriet Wallis has been a ski writer, editor and photographer forever. She learned to ski on a dare when she was in her mid 30s and has been blabbing about it ever since. Read more from Harriet at