As children, when we lost our gloves, the string came out. You know, the string: It’s the tether that kept your mittens bound and woven through your sleeves so you’d never lose them again. As adults, when we lose ’em, we’ve got to buy new ones. That’s fine and dandy when you can whip out to grab a new pair, but what if you need warmth now, not later? If you have 30 minutes of free time, even if it is at home, there are six easy hand-warming hacks that will get you through your mitten dry spell:
Make “Quick Mittens”
Have you grown out of a sweater, or have the moths chewed a big hole into an old favourite? Don’t worry, you don’t have to part with it. By cutting a simple template into the sleeves of these previously loved clothes, you’re a couple stitches away from a new pair of mittens. And the best part is, it’ll only take 30 minutes. Want a soft lining? Use a sweater that has a fleece lining to cut out additional steps!
DIY Hand Warmers
So, hand warmers can be really expensive, especially because most are single-use options. But there’s hope, because you can easily make your own with resealable sandwich bags (with a tight seal), calcium chloride pellets (this 20 kg bag is $19) and water. Seriously, that’s it. You fill a small sandwich bag with water, seal it, and put it inside a large sandwich bag that’s full of calcium chloride. Once each bag is where it needs to be, seal the larger bag, squeeze firmly to expose the water to the pellets, and you’ll create a chemical reaction that heats up for 30 minutes.
Drink Something Hot
No, you don’t need to develop a 10-coffee-a-day habit, but a quick and easy fix (and a serious no-brainer) is to keep a sampling of herbal teas at work that you can make before you leave for the day. Carrying a steaming hot cup of soothing aromatics will at least get you to your bus, car or train without cold hands. This is a delicious and temporary solution for those days when you just forget your mitts at home.
Inspect Your Pits
Put your hands under your arms right now, and close your arms over them for 10-15 seconds. Go on, do it. What are you feeling? Warmth, right? If you’re totally glove-less, tea-less and DIY hand warmer-less, this is an easy way to siphon heat from your own body. Since most winter coats are a bit oversized, you’ll often find it takes little trickery, since you can slip your arms inside your coat and warm up without anyone suspecting a thing. Don’t worry, we’re not suggesting you start doing this.
Trick Out Your Home
If you live in a dwelling where your heat is controlled by someone other than yourself, you’ll know the struggles of keeping the temperature just right. It’s either too hot or too cold, and never in between. So what do you do if your apartment or rental property won’t heat up because it’s set to trigger the heat at a specific temperature? You trick it. See, your thermostat senses the temperature around it, so if you fake how cold it is, you prompt it to heat up. One way to do this is to rest a sealed, chilled item atop (like a slim freezie, actually). Just don’t put a naked ice cube on it, because it will leak into your thermostat, which could cause a shortage. And, well, then you’re in trouble. The thing is, if you’re cold leaving the house, your hands will be the least of your worries. It’s best to cover warmth from every angle.
DIY Reusable Hand Warmers
This is just brilliant. You need vinegar, baking soda and a stove top, and that’s all. Basically, this is DIY “Hot Ice,” which is sodium acetate that has been made into a liquid that is super-saturated. It’s exothermic (it gets warm) when there’s a chemical reaction triggered by adding a solid crystal to its liquid form. By boiling the vinegar and baking soda together and cooking off most of the excess liquid, a similarly concentrated liquid is formed that works in exactly the same way as store-bought brands. You can see the ~30-minute process here.