Keep Your Breath Warm in Cold Weather

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About: I miss the days when magazines like Popular Mechanics had all sorts of DIY projects for making and repairing just about everything. I am enjoying posting things I have learned and done since I got my first ...

Intro: Keep Your Breath Warm in Cold Weather

A face mask can keep your breath warm in very cold weather, especially for joggers and walkers. The mask covers your nose and mouth.

Step 1: What You Need

Get some urethane foam about 1/4 inch in thickness. Cut a circle 6 1/2 to 7 inches in diameter. You will also need 18 to 20 inches of elastic about 1/4 inch wide. You will also need a needle and thread.

Step 2: Make Two Darts for Nose and Chin

A dart is used in sewing to pull material around a shape, like your nose or your chin. It means cutting out a pie shaped piece and sewing the edges back together.

Make the pie shaped pieces about 1 1/4 inch wide at the edge of the disc. Make the straight sides of the pie pieces 1 5/8 inch long each.

Step 3: Stitch the Darts Together

Pull the darts closed and stitch them together. You do not need to be a qualified seamstress for this. Glue might be a possibility, but stitching will last longer and work better. At the ends of the darts make some extra stitching that acts like a knot to keep the stitching from coming loose.

Step 4: Add the Elastic Strap

Adjust the length of the elastic strap according to the size of your head. Stitch the elastic strap to the mask. It should be tight enough on your face to stay in place while jogging, but not so tight that you feel it pulling on your face.

Place the mask over your nose and mouth before going out in the cold. It will take a couple of minutes before the mask warms up and begins to keep your breath warm. But, you will be amazed at how well it works. I have used one of these when I jogged down to temperatures as cold as 0 degrees F. and it kept my breath quite warm. The mask will absorb a lot of moisture from your breath. When I jogged with it at 0 degrees F. an icicle more than an inch long formed at the bottom of the mask.

Wash the mask in warm water periodically and let it dry.

Udate: I do not have my original mask, nor do I have the materials to make one. For demonstration purposes I cut a disc from a sheet of paper and used cellophane tape to close the darts. You can see how that forms the mask to cover your nose, mouth, and chin. Attach the elastic strap so the strap goes above your ears and around your head. The mask will fit against the face as in the right side of the photo, not as on the left side where my fingers cause it to bend away from the face for the purposes of holding it.

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    10 Discussions

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    Danger_Dolan

    8 months ago

    thanks! and i know, super old forum. i get it, but it is still cool!

    4 replies
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    Phil BDanger_Dolan

    Reply 8 months ago

    Thank you for looking and commenting. These work amazingly well after a few minutes of warmup. I wish 3M had continues to make and sell them.

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    Danger_DolanPhil B

    Reply 8 months ago

    i might use this on my next camping trip. Thanks for sharing!

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    Phil BDanger_Dolan

    Reply 8 months ago

    I am curious to know how that works. My only experience with them is jogging in the winter. (In my previous response I intended "continued," but Auto-correct changed that to "continues." Some days I really hate Auto-correct.)

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    Danger_DolanPhil B

    Reply 8 months ago

    what the camping and using them? or just how they work while camping? either way i am going camping this weekend at camp friedlander in kentucky. i have made one and i will use it during the camping trip and tell you how it works. thanks

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    Phil Bgmjhowe

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    I stopped jogging back in the 1980s in favor of lower impact exercises. I no longer have my mask. The material is easy to get at fabric or upholstery shops. Usually it will be an off-white in color. (The original mask I had was a light blue, like the graphics.) It usually comes in a flat sheet. I have even seen suitable material used as packing material, especially for grapefruit by mail order. It is just foam like you would find in a chair cushion, but no more than 5/16 inch in thickness.

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    gmjhowePhil B

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    in which case! i suggest a googled image to give people a helping hand! Keep up the good work.

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    Phil Bgmjhowe

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    I made a facsimile from a disc of paper and have included a photo of the facsimile pressed to my face. I have uploaded the photo to the last step. If you know anyone who sews, he or she can show you how a dart works to form material so it fits contours of the body.

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    jeff-oPhil B

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Oh, I see what you mean now. There are lots of different types of urethan foam, I didn't know which one you were using...