The same stuff that will melt the ice on your front steps can also be used to keep your hands warm as you brave the elements. These handy pocket warmers take just a couple of minutes to put together and, for just about a nickel a piece, may quickly become a cold weather habit. 

Step 1

Gather Materials

When purchasing ice melt salt, be sure the label says it includes calcium chloride as an active ingredient (some alternative salts will not produce the chemical reaction needed to generate hand-warming heat). 

Step 2

Place Pellets in Baggie

Place 1 cup of calcium chloride ice-melt pellets in a sandwich-size Ziploc bag.

Step 3

Put Water in Another Baggie

Pour ½ cup water in a snack-sized (half size) bag. Push all of the air out of the bag and seal.

Step 4

Assemble Baggies

Place the water-filled bag inside of the ice-melt-filled bag. Push the air from the bag and seal. Take care to be certain all seals are complete to avoid any leakage when activated (double bag, if desired). 

Step 5

Activate When Ready

When heading out to face the winter weather, give the bag a squeeze to rupture the inner water bag and shake. Heat will activate almost immediately and lasts about half an hour. Tuck it into your pocket to warm chilly hands between shovelfuls of snow or while waiting for the bus that always seems to arrive late on cold mornings.