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SGT Rock
2003-11-19, 12:30
I have been thinking rather than fooling around with all these super stratagies to keep warm in a hammock, that simply gettins something like a heating pad that re-charges by boiling it in water might be lighter and easier. anyone tried one of these before as a heat source?

Hog On Ice
2003-11-19, 12:54
What worked for me in the hammock this last weekend at Mt. Rogers area was an Exped down filled air mattress - a great pad to keep warm on, a 0 deg. down bag used as a quilt, and a hot water bottle (nalgene). The hot water bottle was great - it reminded me of having a nice warm puppy sitting on my lap. Temps were slightly below freezing with strong winds.

Since I didn't boil the water but rather just warmed it up to about 150 deg. I suspect I could have used a soda bottle to hold the water but I have not tried that yet.

With respect to the rechargable heating pads - I have no direct experience but I think that the down bag plus hot water bottle is just as efficient.

SGT Rock
2003-11-19, 13:44
Maybe I should expound. These weigh approximately 4 ounces each, flat, and can store heat until you are ready to activate them. So if you go to bed and it gets colder and you develope a cold spot under you at night, you could pop one and slip it under you in something like a fleece hat. At 4 ounces a piece you could carry a few for the weight of one large pad and use them if you need them.

Hog On Ice
2003-11-19, 13:54
OK now I see the idea - I didn't get the part about putting them under you on the cold spots initially. Sounds like a good idea but I have never tried it so ... as they used to say here in tech support "let us know how it works" :D

Jim Henderson
2003-11-20, 18:04
I have used a handfull of those small heating pads that are liquid filled and rechargable by boiling them in a pot of water. They work OK for quick localized heat but they are good for only about 15 to 30 minutes unless they are well insulated.

They also appear to wear out faster than I would expect. I would guess we got maybe 2-3 years of intermittent use out of them before they either crystalize/get slushy or start to leak some nasty stuff. During normal operation they crsytallize the fluid inside, essentially turning into a hot rock, not very good to sleep on.

I prefer the Jon-e-Handwarmers. I fill them up, light them and then put them in a sock or something and put them in the foot of my bag. They seem to increase the cold rating of the bag by 10 degrees or so, wild guess. The big one is even more effective.

I have used them for about 30 years and haven't killed myself yet, although I would guess there is some hazard if you have an airtight bag etc. I usually like cold air on my face so unless it is snowing on my face I leave my face out of the bag. The Chinese knock offs appear to loose their effectiveness much sooner than the Jon-e brand. The Jon-e brand also has replacement parts so essentially they last forever. I still have mine from when I was a teenager. Optimus also has a model although I am not sure if you can get parts for it.

Jim Henderson

SGT Rock
2003-11-21, 01:54
Thanks for the info. I am supposed to get a box of 10 from the supply system to try out.

My biggest problem is I got acclimated to 130 degree weather. I get cold in the 70's now and it is getting to the 40's at night.

ginseng
2003-11-21, 12:52
SGT :) Know how it is! Down in Cuba a year, got in the 70's had to wear light coat. Went straight to Great Lake's and blizzards!
BTW Hog on Ice you in Virginia?

Hog On Ice
2003-11-21, 12:59
yep - home is in the middle of Virginia - Greene County

polecat
2003-12-02, 01:50
I teach winter camping to other scoutleaders here in Idaho. The best easy way to stay warm is in a nice little covered snow trench. (think shallow grave) fast and easy to construct and you stay relativly dry. Anyway about them handwarmers. The rechargable ones only last a couple of hours. Winter nights here are a little longer than that. I worry about carbon monoxide from the old flame type. My grandfather would just heat a rock in the fire, wrap it up and take it to bed with him. With modern synthetics this is a potential expensive diasaster.
So I use the disposable iron filing type 50 cents each at K-Mart.
They last at least 8 hours. One or two at my feet and one by my chest keeps me happy and warm throught the long night. If there are ladies in our camp I give them one for their feet even in the summer. Smiles in the morning.

The other alternative is don't sleep alone, a wife or dog works anywhere but in a hammock.