source: Rubytec.com
source: Rubytec.com

We never really thought about it until recently we figured out a lot of people did not think about these great pads that can help you keep your fingers or even core warm. So that’s why we came up with this article.

There are mutiple pads you can buy. The cheaper ones or freebies you will get and decent ones like the Rubytec HITI*. The cheaper ones are great for quick relief for your hands. They can give you enough warmth to warm your hands befor putting dry gloves on (which is a common practice by one of our paddlers) while having a break on land. Are you looking for a bigger pad you can choose pads like the HITI*. If you are paddling in really cold conditions or paddling half your pace (following group that is towing or going out with less experienced/fast paddlers) they work great. Just put them between your layers of clothes at chest hight (sometimes you’ll have to wait for the pads to cool down a little because they start at 50-60 degrees celcius) but then they will help getting your core warm.
Another use is putting them in your paddling mitts while waiting or out of the kayak. The mitts will trap the warmth and protect against windchill. Maybe manufactures could come up with a model with inside pockets that fit such pads.

* Rubytec claims upto 90 minutes of warmth, but this is in a (dry) pocket. So in paddling conditions I got about 30 minutes in 8 Celcius degrees putting it in a wet PDF pocket. Nevertheless they are still a great thing to carry with you in cold conditions.

Now please keep in mind that these things can fail and won’t help you if you (or someone you are helping) are in a phase of hypothermia. You still need proper gear like the orange bag and group shelter. Always carry a drybag with you containing spare clothes. If you are doing a longer trip I would even suggest to take spare paddling clothes and a spare skirt (read what happens if you don’t: http://www.unsponsored.co.uk/press/dirty-first-aid-series-part-5/#comment-31816)