Guest Post: The 411 on Hand and Toe Warmers

Krista Parry
Posted by Krista Parry on September 20, 2011

Guest post by Snowmamas/Snowpapas Advisory Council Member Jeff Turbeville


Recently I was reading through SKI magazines “75 days of SKI” and came across a subject regarding hand warmers. I thought that it would be interesting to pose a question to the Snowmamas/Snowpapas Facebook Advisory Council to get their responses.


“Who skis with hand warmers? Don't be ashamed—we've all given in to this quick fix on those chilly mornings.”

I know that I have on some of those cold Park City mornings and I’m not ashamed at all to admit it! The responses I received offered a variety of answers that should prove to be helpful information to others. Most everyone that responded said that they had various uses for the warmers, were not ashamed to admit it, and offered great tips for others.

handwarmer (handwarmer)

Here are just a few of the helpful comments and tips received from Snowmamas, Snowpapas, Mountain Hosts and instructors:

  • "On the REALLY cold days (and we had a few!!) I used those wrap-around back pain warmers. They were a lifesaver on Mountain Host days when I had no choice but to be on the mountain and be happy about it!!!"
  • "On my 130 working days I probably used 80-90 hand warmers and over 100 toe warmers...ok, I'm a wimp. But in my defense, when teaching, you are often not generating much heat."
  • "I grab a case from Costco each year to leave in the closet for my renters. They are on the "must have on hand" list!"
  • "I know a Snowmama who has adapted toe warmers for her booty. I will not mention names. Just saying we girls can get creative with these kinda things."
  • "I will tell you that the sticky ones on your cheeks cut the chill from a cold ski lift....try it! (I’m not talking about the cheeks on your face)"
  • "I always stock up at REI, and use them throughout the season. Keeps this mom on the mountain with all her boys longer."
  • "Costco or Sam's usually sells them by the case really cheap! Last years case even included a few free toe warmers."
  • "Costco is the way forward...around 50c a pop as opposed to $2+ each in resort Shops."
  • "My top tip with the toe warmers? Peel the backing off, put them in your palm, glue upwards, slide your hand in then stick them to the 'roof' of the toe area. This way you avoid potential burns from hotspots when they are under your toes (they really hurt) AND by wiggling your toes you can pump heat out of them as needed."
  • "Did you know you can't fly with hand or toe warmers in your luggage anymore? They are a potential fire risk. Flying home from New Zealand they had signs all over the airport."

The top 5 things I found:

1. You should purchase these by the case at Sam’s, Costco or REI for the most savings.
2. Some new valuable ways to use them…..they are not only to be used for your hands, toes and back, but also for your booty.
3. That not only the everyday skier/boarder uses these, but Mountain Hosts and Instructors as well.
4. They are considered a potential fire risk hazard by the FAA/TSA and you can’t fly with them in your luggage.
5. Most everyone likes to keep warm while skiing/boarding.

In my personal opinion some of my best ski days at PCMR have been when very few people are out riding because of the extreme cold. Being prepared by having hand and toe (and now booty) warmers has allowed us to have the mountain to ourselves sometimes.

Regardless of the use I think that most everyone will agree that we like to keep our hands, toes and buns TOASTY when skiing/boarding on those cold mornings so that we can enjoy all that the mountain has to offer us!


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Comment posted by Erin Kemp on September 20, 2011 8:41 PM MDT

As a former mountain host there should be no shame in admitting to using warmers anywhere you may want to. Any skiing is better with a little warmth. This goes for the kids too. I often put a set in my kids coat pocket as we prep for season and then when they deem the day cold enough they "bust em out". No flak from parents allowed. Whatever keeps them happy and keeps us on the slopes.

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Comment posted by l s on September 20, 2011 8:10 PM MDT

Yes - I buy boxes of both toe and handwarmers at Costco each year - they are used by all family and friends. As an added comment - I took 8 Girl Scouts tent camping last weekend in Wisconsin where it was 42 degrees over night. I gave every girl a set to tuck in their pajamas or sleeping bag and we all stayed toasty!

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Comment posted by Catherine G. on September 20, 2011 2:30 PM MDT

I know a former freestyle competitor who swears that the secret is to tape them to your wrists -- it keeps the blood moving into your hand warm, and you don't get that annoying feel of the packet swimming around in your glove. I have yet to try it, but it makes sense!

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