“Gear we use that works….” Is the motto we at 8kpeak.com dreamed up years ago sitting at base camp in norther China in the middle of winter where we experienced -90 degree temperatures. We didn’t have the gear necessary to handle that kind of cold, so we set out to find, develop, GET IT! We don’t have competing brands, just the stuff that actually works.
Thermacell is a small manufacturer that specializes in heated products, and our initial exposure to their gear was in the form of heated insoles. What we found was a product 25 years in the making that was remote controlled, powered by a lithium ion battery, was light weight, and of all the heated insoles we had tried, WORKED. So we took them on to sell at this new company we formed with this catchy motto.
Last year, the engineers at Thermacell were working on a new product utilizing the same technology integrated into hand and pocket warmers. They heard we were going on another winter Himalaya ski mountaineering expeditions and shipped us a few sets of the warmers and a couple pocket warmers. We were sold on the heated insoles so took them along. At over 21,000 feet my thermometer buried at -30 so I don’t know if it was -40 or -60, but it was as Steve pointed out that day “…dangerously cold boys!” Our feet and hands were the only thing warm on our bodies. Thermacell brought us the heat!
The hand warmers are the same size as standard chemical packs most people use today to keep their hands warm. They are placed on the back of the hand inside the glove where the blood enters the hand. They also fit nicely in your palm, but for skiing and climbing, the back of the hand is best. They have settings for low, medium, and high from about 100 degrees to 124 degrees. On a full charge, they will run for 6 hours on low and about 3 and a half hours on high. But the reality is, spot heating which is all you really need, I’ve been able to keep them in the top lid of my pack for a week or two to use when I really need them. They are awesome. I have used them at cold football games, walking the dog, and the other night my wife had the chills in bed and we had a good laugh at how they warmed her up. When crawling into a cold sleeping bag, they were cooooozy!
The pocket warmers are a single block about the size of both hand warmers. They are also super for cold standing around, long lift rides, and I’ve been told fishing. Ha. We have also sold a number of them to various ski patrols for their rigs when hauling victims off the mountains. It’s the same concept as the hand warmers and works really well.
The beauty of these products is that they are rechargeable. They charge off a USB port or a wall socket, cables included. So they won’t end up under the ski lift or in the landfills. In the industry, this is a huge issue. On a personal note, I run up the ski hills in the summer, and here in Aspen, running under lift 1 and then Ruthies, I counted around 150 of those things thrown away off the lift. Later I did go back and pick them up, and it was a back pack full of trash.
For extreme expeditions to walking around town and everything between, this is a product that we definitely use that works. Check them out at 8kpeak.com.