Each year, my mum sends me a cheque to buy my own Christmas present with. It’s the same for my birthday. We realised years ago that it was daft sending each other things, as she lives in Australia and I, unfortunately, don’t.
Rather than lose this gesture of glad tidings in the black hole that is my overdraft, I vowed some time ago that from now I would buy something out of the ordinary for myself. Something that I wouldn’t have necessarily bought from my own “tackle fund”. Some may remember that this was how I came to own a Kelly Kettle.
I hadn’t actually intended to buy a Peacock Hand Warmer. I’d wanted a hand warmer for a while (well, since I was a child, come to think of it), but knew nothing about the different brands. I just happened to be browsing on Ebay one night when I came across one that looked nice. From the photo, I could see that it was made in Japan. I’m wary of a lot of the stuff pedalled on Ebay, as much of it is the cheap and nasty stuff from the Far East and, unlike browsing a shop, you often don’t know what you’ve REALLY bought until it arrives. However, I’m a big fan of stuff from Japan (take a look at my driveway, for starters!) and have faith in the fact that not only are the Japanese a clever and industrious nation of people, but they also have strict safety and quality laws that don’t always apply to other Far East countries. So, I clicked on the ‘Purchases’ link to see how many this seller had sold.
MY MIND WAS MADE UP!
The fact that so many people had already bought one, and the subsequent excellent feedback about the product, made me certain that I was onto a winner. With that, I clicked a couple of buttons and a day later, a small package arrived. I love the internet!
The one that I ordered seems to be classed as the ‘standard’ size one. It’s about 10cm long, 7cm wide and ultra slim at about 1cm.
After a quick dash down to the village shop for some lighter fluid and a lighter (there’s never a smoker around when you need one!), I took out the instructions and filled her up. Well, I say ‘filled’, but it actually takes very little fuel to operate this hand warmer. It comes with a handy little filling cup, which you rest on the top and fill to a mark. This then soaks into material inside the metal casing in a couple of seconds, leaving you to push the top back on and hold a flame to it for 3-5 seconds. Having only ever used disposable hand warmers before, I wasn’t even sure it had worked, so I popped it back into the cloth bag that it comes with and got changed into my dog-walking clothes (I often test out fishing clothing and bits when walking the dog, as it’s about as cold as being on a beach!). The Peacock Hand Warmer was obviously working, as it felt lovely and warm now! I should point out, I suppose, that there is no naked flame involved once this hand warmer is up and running, so please don’t have images of your trousers catching fire…..or worse! Quite how it works is above my understanding. I’ll leave that bit to the scientists. Me, I’m just concerned about whether things are any good or not.
They really should rename these ‘thigh warmers’, as I’ve had this hand warmer in my pocket all day now! It’s fantastic. As somebody who was already a keen user of the disposable type of hand warmer, I didn’t need convincing of the fact that hand warmers are good for angling. I use them already for all my cold weather fishing, whether at sea, or by a river or lake, as I like to be able to use my fingers when needed. Having them in your pocket also keeps your whole body warm.
Taking the Peacock Hand Warmer out of its bag, you realise why it came supplied with the bag in the first place. It really does get quite hot without it! Many of the reports say that this hand warmer will stay warm for a day. However, the length it stays warm depends on how much fuel you put in and I can’t ever foresee the need to test that claim! I put one small load in and it’s been warm for about 11 hours so far, with no sign of cooling down yet!
I can’t pretend to compare this with other reusable hand warmers, as I’ve never used other ones. However, I can say that it is definitely £20 well spent. I value my warmth and comfort, much to the amazement of my non-angling friends, who can’t understand why I’ll say something like that and then choose to sit on a beach all night, and the Peacock Hand Warmer is going to be one of my essentials for winter fishing. The only ‘problem’ with it is that I may want another one now!
It’s just ironic that when I call my mum to thank her for my present on Christmas day, she’ll be sitting in the garden with a barbecue, trying hard to remember what a British winter feels like!
The standard size Peacock Hand Warmer seems to be about £20 from most online outlets. Mini and large versions are also available. Click here to see what current offers are available.