Friday, 20 January 2012

Zippo Hand Warmer

Hunting in Norway during the winter time certainly throws up some experiences that I wasn't prepared for when moving from the UK. On several occasions I have found myself hunting at temperatures as low as -15 to -20 degrees celsius, this is not so bad when your moving around and staying active, but when sitting at a post trying to remain still and quiet, the cold slowly starts to creep in. I have considered purchasing hand warmers in the past but most of the ones on the market work on a chemical reaction and you throw them away after use and I was after a more permanent re-usable solution. I had heard and read about these Zippo hand warmers a few years back whilst still residing in the UK, but then the weather was bearable without them, now living in Norway I thought this was the perfect opportunity to give them a go.

The Zippo hand warmer has sleek and compact design which fits easily into a pocket, gloves or trousers, without the bulk of other hand warmers. It is fuelled by normal lighter fuel, the pouring type not the pressurised gas and works on the principle of a catalyst so there is no flame just a smouldering burner which creates the heat. You light the hand warmer using a normal lighter by holding the flame against the catalyst burner for several seconds, the catalyst burner is protected by a metal cover/ lid with holes in and then the whole hand warmer is placed in a small material bag, this  prevents it getting too hot. There is no on/off switch with these hand warmers but you have 2 options, first is to simply let the hand warmer burn out when all the fuel has been consumed, or you can remove the lid and then remove the catalyst burner, this would have to be done with pliers though as it will be extremely hot.

The measuring cup supplied with the hand warmer has measurements indicated on the side to show where the maximum fill level is and also a half fill level. When filled fully the burner is supposed to last for up to 12 hours so half filled being 6 hours, I will give this a test over the coming months to see just how accurate this claim is. The hand warmer is available in two colour options, 'non-reflective' black as shown in the pics below and also 'highly polished' silver/ chrome.

Here are some pics of the Zippo hand warmer and what you get in the box:

The complete hand warmer
Dimensions 10cm x 7cm x 1cm

Hand warmer with lid/ cover removed.

Hand warmer with lid and catalyst burner removed.

Measuring cup for lighter fluid and pouch for hand warmer when in use.
I'll report back in the near future after I've had the chance to try it out properly, winter hunting for beaver in Norway should be the perfect testing ground.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

FREE Smart Phone App. which could save your life!

We all know that when out hunting accidents can happen with and without warning, so this App could possibly save your bacon!

The bSafe App. for both iPhone & Android when activated makes a distress call to a chosen "guardian" and also sends a unlimited number of texts with a GPS link of your location to other specified individuals. This is a great App. to have amongst your hunting buddies as they can raise the alarm if they receive a message and since they probably know the terrain and places where you hunt, they can guide the rescue services direct to your location.

There are two different versions of the App. available, the standard FREE version or the Premium version which can be paid in monthly instalments or slightly cheaper if you pay for the full year in advance. To be honest I think the free basic version is good enough for 95% of people and this is the version I use.

Here's is a link to the bSafe website:

The App. running and ready to activate!

As you can see the interface is very simple to use, once you have saved your list of guardians you simply open the App. and press the red SOS button to activate the SOS call and text messages. There is a several second delay before the App. makes the call or sends the texts allowing you to cancel/stop the action if activated in error.

You should always inform friends/family when and where you go hunting and your expected time of return, this App. does not remove this responsibility but is a great addition to you safety when out hunting.

Hunt safe... Hunt happy! =)

Saturday, 7 January 2012

A walk in the woods...

After an unsuccessful hunting trip for beaver this morning, myself and my friend Jon Anders decided to take out his two English Setters Hedda and Brutus for some training and to do some scouting in our terrain as there has been some fresh snow fall. I also took the opportunity to check on my game camera but unfortunately the only pics it captured was me after leaving it and when returning!

It only took 10 minutes before his older more experienced dog Hedda was on point, we crept up to her position as she was wearing a GPS collar to see a black grouse burst from the tree line, we'll make another visit to this area when the bird season is open. Whilst walking in the terrain we also came across roe deer and fox tracks, so we'll be checking in on this area during the spring before the roe buck season starts and we might try for a fox later in the winter.

Here's a couple of pics of Hedda:

Hedda on point.
Posing for the camera.
Hopefully I will get the chance to shoot my first Capercaillie over her in the coming bird season.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Game Camera Update

Just a quick update with the latest capture on my Ltl Acorm 5210 MM Game Camera, unfortunately the roe deer and moose are proving to be very elusive!

Stay tuned for more!