Welcome to the BWCAW blog of Ely Outfitting Company and Boundary Waters Guide Service!

See our websites at ElyOutfittingCompany.com and BoundaryWatersGuideService.com.

We are a Boundary Waters canoe trip outfitter, Quetico outfitter, and guide service in Ely, Minnesota. This Boundary Waters blog shares photos, stories, humor, skills, and naturalist insights from guiding in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW).

Most entries are from our founder and head guide, Jason Zabokrtsky. He is the Boundary Waters Blogger.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Deep Freeze Temps and Hand and Foot Warmers

With low temps around 30 degrees below zero, we cracked open some hand and foot warmers for the dogsledding trip this week.

I just finished guiding a trip with a nice family from near New York City. It turns out one of them worked as a hand and foot model. She really appreciated the hand and foot warmers, and modeled them between her toes for this photo. Ironically, she's modeling the hand warmers in this picture. Chemical warmers labeled as toe warmers work best in the air-restricted space in a shoe. Toe warmers typically get too hot for use in mittens. Chemical warmers labeled hand warmers are best used in mittens, but can sometimes work in oversized winter boots. People concerned that they frequently suffer from cold feet usually find that toe warmers make a significant difference in their comfort level on trail.

You don't want foot warmers that make your feet so hot they sweat and then get chilled. But with the super deep freeze temps this week, that did not present a problem. You'll also want to check the expiration date on any chemical warmers because they can fail to provide heat after the stated expiration.

Upon their return home, I received a nice thank you email from the family and a compliment: "We were colder landing in the wind chill of New Jersey than at any time on the lake in Ely. Go figure."

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