Zippo Hand Warmer in hands

I used to beg my mom for a Zippo lighter every time we went to the mall. There was a store right next to the food court that had a rotating display case full of gleaming examples. I wanted the solid brass one. “What are you going to do with a lighter??” my mother would ask. Rightfully so, I suppose. I never had a good answer for her. Because what good reason could a thirteen year old boy have for wanting a lighter? But I was no aspiring arsonist. I just wanted one because they looked so…cool! There was something solid and classic, something authentic about the renowned Zippo. It was a manly artifact of technology. Of design. Of modernity. It made me think of Indiana Jones and Dick Tracy. Whether either of those guys had actually ever used a one was irrelevant to me.

In time, I purchased three different Zippos that I cherished. I learned a couple of tricks to snap open the lid and light it in one slick sleight-of-hand motion. I still have them somewhere, hidden from the world in a remote drawer or box, because I never use them. Because I still don’t really have a need to light much on fire. Not enough to warrant the lost pocket space on a daily basis anyhow.

Zippo Hand Warmers Open

Naturally then, I was pretty psyched to learn about this hand warmer from Zippo! The design is unmistakable. Sleek, shiny and solid — the joy of pure metal in your hand. The warmer cuts a silhouette similar to the classic lighter, albeit a bit larger, with those same signature bored vent holes around the ignition element. It’s very slender, with rounded edges, making it a low-profile pocket companion. In fact I described it to a curious friend as a “pocket furnace.” And that’s essentially what it is! Finally, a Zippo with a practical reason for being in my jeans.

This nifty little unit has a unique heating element fully concealed in the middle of the body, rather than an open wick underneath a lid like the lighters. The heating element is genius — it uses a platinum-catalyzed fiberglass burning unit that draws fumes up from the cotton-filled fuel tank beneath to smoulder continuously like a coal, instead of producing a flame. As a result it produces no smoke and very little scent. Once you ignite the burner, it smoulders all day, up to twelve continuous hours. The entire unit comes up to heat and stays warm, protected and somewhat regulated by the super-soft microfiber bag that comes with it. I put it in my coat pocket before exploring the beach after a snowstorm a few days ago. It was pretty windy and I kept taking my glove off to snap pictures of the surf. It was great to have the warmer in my pocket to hold in between shots, and so cold out I wished I had fifty of them sewn into the lining of my coat!

Zippo Hand Warmer outdoors

Fifty is probably a bit much, but I do recommend getting two of these little guys, one for each pocket. Their utility isn’t relegated to your pocket, either, it turns out. You can pop them in your gloves or boots for twenty minutes before heading outside. Or slip them under your pillow before you hit the hay. I even put one under my neck when I was reading in bed last night — awesome treat for sore muscles. And of course, needless to say, snowboarding…

For outdoorsmen and urbanites alike, these make a great gift — something novel, certainly unexpected, and of high quality, without breaking the bank. Easy to tote safely in a pocket, handbag, backpack or glove box. What’s better than the gift of heat? Thanks Zippo. I knew eventually we would find a way to be in each other’s lives 😉


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Filed Under: Jackmauh Tries It, Travel
Sportes MITI with bacon

The English name “Swedish Log Stove” or “Swedish Fire Torch” is actually a rough translation from the German word “Schwedenfeuer”. Why a German name for a supposedly Swedish invention? During The Thirty Years’ War of early-mid 17th century Europe, Swedish soldiers pioneered the method of using a single, split log as a heat source and cooktop. The simple process of splitting a log and lighting the center worked on freshly cut wood, allowing soldiers to cook and have a source of light and heat without searching for and hauling firewood. Fast forward almost 400 years and the time-tested technique still holds true, and has finally been improved!

Sportes MITI contents

The MITI Swedish Log Stove makes it even easier to create a stable, reliable cooktop in the bush. Just as those soldiers did centuries ago, cut a log 7.5” to 9” in a diameter and 12” to 14” high. Quarter the log vertically, creating four even sections. Arrange the four sections with 1” of space between them, and place the MITI on top so that the metal dividers lie in the spaces. Slide each of four stabilizing rods into the appropriate eyelet, then spread the base at a slight angle to secure the structure into place. Finally, use kindling or accelerant to light the center.

Sportes MITI Instruction manual

As the flame grows, it pulls air in through the spaces, generating a steady-burning flame well suited to cooking. Boil water in a pot, make coffee in a percolator, fry bacon in a pan, pop corn in a kettle. This stove will work with anything you’d put on your home cooktop! For more advanced backwoods chefing, use several simultaneously just like a multi-burner range.


Sportes MITI cooked shrimp



Start enjoying the romantic simplicity of cooking over a traditional Swedish Log Stove today with the MITI by Sportes. Made in Canada, available at Craft & Caro:



Sportes MITI log flame



Filed Under: New Products, Travel
Craft & Caro keychain


Fiddle no more with traditional keyrings! Craft & Caro’s got you covered, with the easiest keyring ever designed, now in our Travel collection.

Such a simple innovation: add a bend in one section of the ring to create leverage, allowing the user to press down on one side, raising the other side so that keys can be added easily. No need to fumble around with troublesome split rings anymore. No need to break nails or teeth. No need to gouge yourself. This simple system makes it so easy to put keys on and take them off, you’ll never want to use the old kind ever again. I cringe when I see them now.

Exotac FREEkey frontThis ingenious little set was designed in Sweden by Drosselmeyer, an industrial design firm made famous by rave reviews from the likes of Oprah. Manufactured under license in the USA, these high-grade stainless steel pieces will last a lifetime. A soft matte finish, rounded edges, and flat ring design give it a unique, luxurious feel and aesthetic. Three included mini rings allow for organization and grouping into your on-and-off needs, such as home, work, and car, so it’s quick to exchange sets depending on the day’s activities.

Exotac FREEkey w/keysWho knew a key ring could be so great? Check em out here in the Travel collection alongside our selection of other high quality, American made keychain accessories:

Filed Under: New Products, Travel
Frost River Overland Garment bag three in a row

Today’s addition goes to the Travel collection with beautiful waxed canvas and leather luggage handmade in Duluth, Minnesota.

For over 100 years, Frost River has been hand crafting portage of uncompromising quality using heritage methods, materials, and designs. Each one has been rigorously vetted under the harsh wilderness conditions of Northern Minnesota and Southern Canada, and is backed up by an unlimited guarantee against materials and workmanship. That’s right, if something on your bag breaks, send it back and they’ll repair it.

Frost River Overland Valise Weekender

Our selection of Frost River presents three options for the gentleman of today: a garment bag, an overnight/weekender bag, and a carry-on that’s just small enough to be allowable on board most commercial aircraft. All three are constructed of 18oz Martexin waxed cotton canvas, SB Foot Tannery USA leather, double-reinforced sewn and riveted straps, and solid brass fittings throughout. Bottoms and stress points are leather a rivet reinforced, and closures are both zippered and flapped – you could drag these bags a mile in the pouring rain and your clothes inside still wouldn’t get wet.Frost River Overland Valise Carry OnOn top of neverending durability, this collection is classically gorgeous. Triple dark leather straps with bright brass buckles atop natural olive-colored waxed canvas creates a stately appearance worthy of admiration. Even better, with quality and craftsmanship like this, each piece will age gracefully, having the longevity to develop a storied patina and supple hand. As a set, the three will together travel in timeless style.

Frost River Reliable Soft Goods brand closeup

See this uniquely authentic, heritage American luggage now at Craft & Caro:

Filed Under: New Products, Travel
American Bench Craft Brass Riveted Brown Leather Wallet and Key Fob

We are proud and excited to announce that Massachusetts-based American Bench Craft is now available in Craft & Caro’s Travel collection!

This family owned and operated brand was founded by two brothers right here in Massachusetts to build simple but functional, durable but stylish, extremely high quality leather goods, and that’s exactly what they’ve done.

American Bench Craft front package

Each American Bench Craft wallet is constructed of a single piece of premium vegetable-tanned USA steerhide bridle leather and steel or brass rivets. That’s it – nothing else. There is no stitching of any kind, no adhesives, zippers, snaps, velcro, or plastic. There are no moving parts or closures on these wallets, just smart design. The simplicity of the materials, along with their quality, means that these pieces will last a lifetime under heavy use, and probably even longer. As with many other goods at Craft & Caro, your grand kids may inherit an American Bench Craft piece someday, still in perfectly usable condition.

Various sizes, folding configurations, and rivet patterns create each different design, from a minimalist take on the traditional billfold wallet to the sleek, compact half wallet and front pocket wallet. The cardholder offers a slightly Western flair – the only piece incorporating curved lines.


American Bench Craft Riveted Leather Card Wallet


We also have American Bench Craft key fobs. Made with the same values and commitment as the wallets, these would probably be the last key fobs you’ll ever need. The dual-snap offers quick, easy, compact functionality with sleek, black hardware while the more traditional design bears the weight and length you might want for your most important keyrings.


American Bench Craft Key Fob Group



All of the above products start out tough and rigid, and break in over time with use. Indeed, depending on the unique activities of the owner, each piece will develop a unique patina with the warmth of his body, the oils of his hands, and the ups and downs of his daily life. Thick leather and solid rivets will stand the test of time, even while they soften and yield to wear.

Check out these All American pieces today in Craft & Caro’s Travel collection:

Filed Under: New Products, Travel