February 17, 2007

Cold Hands Remedy

On Friday, I had to drove up to Boston in the Jeep, and the heating system in that old thing is not the best. It takes about 45 minutes to warm up. And my hands tend to get quite cold when I’m driving in below-freezing weather (which it certainly was yesterday).

If your hands get cold in the car (or wherever) you might be interested in this simple and cheap trick.

Before you leave the house, throw a large potato (or a couple of medium sized ones) in the microwave for 5 minutes. (If you don’t have a microwave, it takes a lot longer to bake a potato, but this trick still applies — consult a cookbook)

After the five minutes are up, wrap the potato in a paper towel, and then toss it in a plastic shopping bag. You now have a hand warmer that will last for over an hour. Wrapping it up makes the heat dissipate a little more slowly, which is good because you will prefer a more even release of heat rather than a really hot potato that is burning hot at first and then becomes cold quickly. (You may want to experiment with the amount of wrapping for your own comfort level.

(NOTE: If you heat up a potato and drop it in your underwear, or decide to hold it unwrapped in your bare hands, or fail to treat a superheated potato with the respect it deserves, you will burn yourself. You have been warned and I am not responsible for the results!)

In any case, I used this method on my driving trip to Boston yesterday. As a bonus, I was a bit hungry when I got to the city, so I peeled off the skin and ate the potato. Next time, I will try to remember to bring some salt.

Posted by James at February 17, 2007 12:06 PM
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I have a different trick.


Posted by: DG at February 18, 2007 11:13 AM

Your gloves must be a lot fancier than mine, because my hands still get cold when I'm driving. And mittens are too restrictive.

But if you can eat your gloves, then you've definitely one-upped me. And I bet that would also make a great video on YouTube.

I have physical problems with gloves that maybe I'll get into in a later post someday. But I've never found gloves that were comfortable, allowed a reasonable level of dexterity, and kept my hands warm for very long.

Posted by: James at February 18, 2007 4:15 PM

I have two pairs of gloves. A heavy-duty pair that I swear have teflon plates or something in the palm, you know, just in case I need to catch a bullet. They are super warm. I also have a pair of "three season" leather gloves that I got for my scooter that are nice, but not as warm.

I honestly don't have any problem driving with gloves though, and my car does warm up pretty quickly so I generally don't even bother with them if I'm driving.

The potato thing actually is fairly clever, though. I was just being funny.

Posted by: DG at February 19, 2007 10:09 AM

I think the potato is clever and environmentally friendly. It's better than those chemical hand warmers.

Posted by: briwei at February 20, 2007 6:48 PM

And those chemical hand warmers taste horrible.

Posted by: James at February 21, 2007 7:24 AM

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