March 19, 2010, Newsletter Issue #290: Boot Dryers, Hand Warmers, Foot Warmers

Tip of the Week

Before you take your next ski trip, here are some chill raising thoughts to consider. Your feet and hands are home to the highest number of sweat glands per square inch. When these glands produce perspiration, the resulting moisture becomes a breeding ground for fungus and bacteria, which in turn create odor and disease. Additionally, moist garments can be up to 25 times colder than dry garments. Since boots and gloves are closed end garments, they often fail to dry sufficiently. This is why you may need a boot dryer. Boot dryers come in a variety of models. Convection heat portable dryers are relatively inexpensive. They create air exchange by releasing the warm air and replacing it with cooler air. These dryers do not require you to take out your ski boot liners, and the dryers take about 30 minutes to warm up. Your boots will dry overnight. Other types of high-tech boot dryers can dry up to two pairs of boots and gloves simultaneously. These are generally more expensive and less portable.

For warmth on the snow, consider a pair of hand warmers. In general, these come in packets of two, and can last up to seven hours. Some gloves come with a special compartment that holds the hand warmers in place. These are a good idea if you tend to have cold hands. The compartment keeps the warmers from applying too much heat directly to your skin. Toe warmers are also available, but beware. If you have custom made footbeds, these products can cause your boots to fit incorrectly. A boot glove, which fits over your boot, might be a better choice.

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