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#237494 - 12/17/11 07:09 AM Re: Sleeping Bag - or - Wool Blanket [Re: Virginia_Mark]
haertig Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/13/05
Posts: 1872
Loc: Colorado
I was thinking of buying some wool blankets for backup emergency use. Lighter, higher-tech stuff is probably better for backpacking and planned excursions. When I was younger I was more into high-tech outdoor gear. Now my adventures are more modest.

And for the more mundane (but more common) around the town things, I prefer the lower-tech. Around town I don't wear expensive down jackets and the latest in breathable raingear. I wear good 'ol Carhartt coats. Tough as nails, very warm, highly water resistant, easily washable, horse hair doesn't get all embedded in them, ... just all around rock solid. But Carhartt stuff is not lightweight (which doesn't matter around town). I think of wool blankets like Carhartt coats. Low tech, heavy, but for common needs, hard to beat.

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#237496 - 12/17/11 08:02 AM Re: Sleeping Bag - or - Wool Blanket [Re: Virginia_Mark]
AKSAR Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 982
Loc: Alaska
Carhartt is good stuff. No question about that.
_________________________
"Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas any more."
-Dorothy, in The Wizard of Oz

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#237497 - 12/17/11 08:09 AM Re: Sleeping Bag - or - Wool Blanket [Re: Virginia_Mark]
LED Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/01/05
Posts: 1473
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Synthetic sleeping bag all the way. Down comforter for my bed at home. I have a wool blanket but never use it.

As far as clothing goes, I love my down vest. But almost all my stuff is synthetic, except for my wool socks and silk longjohns.

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#237501 - 12/17/11 03:18 PM Re: Sleeping Bag - or - Wool Blanket [Re: Virginia_Mark]
7point82 Offline
Addict

Registered: 11/24/05
Posts: 478
Loc: Oklahoma
Different tools for different jobs IMO. I own down bags, synthetic bags, fleece sleeping bags, fleece blankets & wool blankets.

One nice thing about the fleece or wool blankets is that they store relatively compactly for long periods of time. I'm reluctant to compress a good sleeping bag for months at a time in order to keep it in the car without taking up half the trunk. I can keep a couple of inexpensive fleece sleeping bags (or wool blankets) in the trunk using the same amount of space that one synthetic sleeping bag would occupy. Now, when it gets really cold I'll throw a down or synthetic bag in the trunk but I won't keep it compressed too long without giving it a break and lofting it back up.
_________________________
"There is not a man of us who does not at times need a helping hand to be stretched out to him, and then shame upon him who will not stretch out the helping hand to his brother." -Theodore Roosevelt

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#237503 - 12/17/11 04:57 PM Re: Sleeping Bag - or - Wool Blanket [Re: 7point82]
wileycoyote Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 03/01/11
Posts: 261
Loc: eastern oregon
did a five day float down the Snake River years ago. weather was cold with flurries at night. we were constantly getting wet.

being a traditionalist i chose wool clothing, believing it could keep me reasonably warm when damp. so did a couple of buddies. we felt great in our expensive wool Filson gear.

others in the groups trusted synthetics (like polar fleece and gortex), usually in very fugly colors too.

well, did we learn!

we wool guys were stinking miserable the whole time, close to hypothermic. wind cut thru our clothes and they never dried in the least. we were cold and wet, day and night.

those we had laughed at seems comfortable the entire trip. in fact, when fully soaked, they just took off their gear, wrung it out, put it back on, and were warm again in minutes.

i came home and traded off my wool gear.

best i can say about wool is it's tough, fire-resistant, quiet and doesn't pick up body-odors as badly. but when it comes to cold/wet survival, i'm into man-made clothing now. and the same would go for sleeping gear: a synthetic bag over a wool blanket, any day.

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#237505 - 12/17/11 05:14 PM Re: Sleeping Bag - or - Wool Blanket [Re: Virginia_Mark]
ducktapeguy Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 03/28/06
Posts: 358
The only advantages I think of a wool blanket is durability and fire resistance. They are near indestructible and heat resistant, but other than that, when it comes to weight,size or price, or comfort a fleece blanket or cheap $20 sleeping bag will beat it by a long shot. Either wool, fleece, or a synthetic sleeping bag can insulate when wet, but with wool, you'll be waiting 5x longer for it to dry. And if you have ever tried hand washing a down sleeping bag in a bathtub, you'll find out that it's not that easy to get it soaking wet. It takes a real effort to get the insulation saturated, since the shell is usually designed to be pretty water resistant. You could completely submerge it for 10 seconds then shake off the water, and chances are it will still be dry.

I do like merino wool for base layers, because it's true that it won't stink (as bad) after days of wearing. But that quality probably isn't very important in a blanket.




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#237506 - 12/17/11 06:17 PM Re: Sleeping Bag - or - Wool Blanket [Re: ducktapeguy]
AKSAR Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 982
Loc: Alaska
Originally Posted By: ducktapeguy
I do like merino wool for base layers, because it's true that it won't stink (as bad) after days of wearing. But that quality probably isn't very important in a blanket.
As I said above, I pretty much go all synthetic these days. The one exception is that I find I really like the "Smartwool" underwear tops and bottoms. I find it very comfortable against the skin, in smells better, and is warm. Because it is very thin, it seems to dry reasonably quickly, though not quite as fast as synthetic. The one drawback is that it is rather expensive.

(The usual disclaimer that I have no connection to the Smartwool company...yada...yada..yada.)
_________________________
"Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas any more."
-Dorothy, in The Wizard of Oz

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#237519 - 12/17/11 08:51 PM Re: Sleeping Bag - or - Wool Blanket [Re: AKSAR]
ducktapeguy Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 03/28/06
Posts: 358
I have switched over to mostly wool clothing for traveling primarily because of the stink factor, but fire resistance is an added benefit. I've only tried a couple of different brands, but so far I like the Icebreaker brand. It is expensive, which is why I don't have much, but if I'm patient I can find them on sale for about the same price as synthetics. Also, I've read that wool can absorb 30% of it's weight before it actually "feels" wet, whereas some synthetics always feel clammy. I have noticed this before on wool shirts, the shirt will feel dry against the skin, but you can always tell when wool is wet because it gets HEAVY.

I don't know how well we can extrapolate from merino wool clothing to blankets, I'm assuming that it will share many of the same properties.

I forgot to mention that a fleece blanket really works better paired up with some sort of nylon/polyester shell to add some wind/water resistance. Otherwise it blocks wind about as well as a screen door.

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#237531 - 12/17/11 11:50 PM Re: Sleeping Bag - or - Wool Blanket [Re: AKSAR]
LED Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/01/05
Posts: 1473
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Originally Posted By: AKSAR
As I said above, I pretty much go all synthetic these days. The one exception is that I find I really like the "Smartwool" underwear tops and bottoms. I find it very comfortable against the skin, in smells better, and is warm. Because it is very thin, it seems to dry reasonably quickly, though not quite as fast as synthetic. The one drawback is that it is rather expensive.

(The usual disclaimer that I have no connection to the Smartwool company...yada...yada..yada.)


I bought an Icebreaker wool T-shirt on sale recently and really like it. Haven't used it in a damp environmet yet but it does dry quickly and doesn't stink. Seems the thin wool/synthetic blend works very well.

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#237542 - 12/18/11 04:46 AM Re: Sleeping Bag - or - Wool Blanket [Re: Virginia_Mark]
Richlacal Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 02/11/10
Posts: 778
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
The wool blanket works,& it works real good.It has proven itself for a lot longer than any other fabric including silk!I personally wouldn't wear wool canoeing a fast river,I would have it stowed away for use off of the water & like everything else wool or not,normally you are going to do your best to stay dry,if it's raining you break out the poncho or rainsuit,doesn't take a scholar to figure that out!Many people have frozen to death with wool blankets but the majority of people have survived with the same wool blankets!Many of us are here today because of wool blankets,they definitely will alway's have a place amongst us!

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