As a backyard horse keeper, I find Winter horse care to be the hardest part of the lifestyle.
Polar vortex. Blizzard. Ice storm. Mud in both its soft and frozen varieties. No matter the conditions, my horses still want to be fed, watered and otherwise attended to.
I can usually cover my body well-enough to stay warm for up to an hour of barn chores, even in sub zero conditions. I am less successful at keeping my hands from aching in the cold.
Like many folks, I make periodic use of disposable hand warmers during the worst periods of Winter weather.
If you open up a pair and then just leave them out, the heat will disappear in about 10 hours. But if you open them, use them for your purposes and then tightly store them in a ziplock-type bag, you can take them out later and reuse them!
I roll mine up very tightly, pressing out all the air. This won’t work if you simply casually place them in the bag. The key is to take all the surrounding air out of the bag to “shut down” the heat reaction until you take them out of the bag and expose them to oxygen again.
Using this storage method, I have had success reusing one pair of hand-warmers three times a day for an hour each time over the course of two straight days. I have also used the hand warmers one time, stored them and then reused them several days later.
Storing them in a ziplock lock bag between uses helps save money since you won’t have to buy as many hand warmers as you would if you didn’t extend their use. And buying fewer disposable hand warmers means fewer ending up in landfills (make sure to reuse those ziplock bags too).
How do you keep your hands warm during Winter? Do you have a favorite glove or a particular liner that works for you? Use the comments section to pass on your wisdom to those of us who would like to know!