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#251883 - 10/18/12 02:31 PM Wool clothing
Outdoor_Quest Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 08/17/09
Posts: 305
Loc: Central Oregon
My friend Leon has an interesting post on his blog (www.survivalcommonsense.com) about wearing wool clothing in winter.

http://www.survivalcommonsense.com/how-to-choose-the-best-wool-pants-for-winter-comfort-camping-and-survivalfeed/?utm_source=October+15%2C+2012+update&utm_campaign=October+15%2C+2012&utm_medium=email

I'd appreciate some feed back. I know wool is very versitle but does it still have a place in the back country.

I found interesting one reader's comment that lanolin is pressed out of the material. Guess that is during the cleaning process.

Blake

www.outdoorquest.biz


Edited by Outdoor_Quest (10/18/12 07:50 PM)

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#251891 - 10/18/12 06:11 PM Re: Wool clothing [Re: Outdoor_Quest]
Greg_Sackett Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 12/14/01
Posts: 225
Loc: KC, MO
Wool absolutely has a place in the backcountry. Synthetics have there place (especially for things like baselayers and waterproof outer shells), but in the winter one of the primary advantages of wool is that it still keeps you warm when wet, and will not catch fire from embers. This means that when it is really cold you can get really close to your fire and not worry about your clothing melting on you or catching fire.

The only thing I don't like about wool is that it tends to be bulky and take up a lot of room in a pack, while synthetics usually pack better.

Wool is awesome, especially if you get into some of the more exotics, like alpaca or quivit. They are both super warm(much more than sheeps wool) and almost waterproof.

With wool, I (ok, mostly my wife) can knit just about any type of clothing we want. Hard to do that with synthetics.

I wear wool shirts most of the winter, and my hunting clothing is all wool as well.

Greg

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#251893 - 10/18/12 08:08 PM Re: Wool clothing [Re: Outdoor_Quest]
bacpacjac Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 3601
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Two of my favourite words are "merino wool". it's light, warm, comfy, better around the fire and doesn't get all stinky.
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#251897 - 10/18/12 08:59 PM Re: Wool clothing [Re: Greg_Sackett]
Teslinhiker Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/14/09
Posts: 1413
Loc: Cranbrook BC (Finally)
Originally Posted By: Greg_Sackett
Wool absolutely has a place in the backcountry. Synthetics have there place (especially for things like baselayers and waterproof outer shells), but in the winter one of the primary advantages of wool is that it still keeps you warm when wet, and will not catch fire from embers. This means that when it is really cold you can get really close to your fire and not worry about your clothing melting on you or catching fire.


Really? I cannot recall one documented case where a campfire caused synthetic clothing to catch fire enough and melted on a person. Yes if you are careless and doing dumb a$$ things such as playing jump the fire and fall in, then you deserve to be burnt...

Compared to almost all on this forum, I spend far more time outdoors and around campfires that enumerate into weeks per year. I always wear synthetics and have not had one shred of clothing melt catch fire nor melt one me...or anyone else I know.

Keep in mind that wool is best for cold and drier environments and not necessarily for cold and constant wet environments like the Pacific Northwest. Up here walking and sleeping in wool clothing that is constantly wet from rain that after a day it gets old very fast...
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Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.

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#251899 - 10/18/12 09:33 PM Re: Wool clothing [Re: Teslinhiker]
MostlyHarmless Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 06/03/09
Posts: 982
Loc: Norway
Originally Posted By: Teslinhiker

Really? I cannot recall one documented case where a campfire caused synthetic clothing to catch fire enough and melted on a person.


Probably never happened. But the excellent fire retardent properties sure was the reason wool base layer was mandatory when I worked at an aluminium plant way back when. Yes, you need a pretty good reason to put on wool underwear when you're working in 120F and above with liquid aluminium...

Originally Posted By: Teslinhiker

Keep in mind that wool is best for cold and drier environments and not necessarily for cold and constant wet environments like the Pacific Northwest. Up here walking and sleeping in wool clothing that is constantly wet from rain that after a day it gets old very fast...


This is where I respectfully disagree on several points. I must admit that I rarely spend many days and nigths in a row outdoors, it's mainly daytrip stuff and the occational camping trip. However, I would say that I do know what wet wool feels like in a cold and wet environment. There is absolutely no way I would substitute my wool base layer for some synthetic equivalent under those conditions - I simply don't trust synthetic to keep me warm when damp/wet. Period.

This isn't meant as a critique of your experience or choice of clothing. Whatever rocks your boat and all that.

I am a bit curious, though: You use the term "gets old very fast", and i guess you mean that you become uncomfortable (but not nescessarily cold). I would appreciate if you could elaborate a bit more on that, please.

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#251903 - 10/18/12 10:11 PM Re: Wool clothing [Re: Outdoor_Quest]
Teslinhiker Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/14/09
Posts: 1413
Loc: Cranbrook BC (Finally)
Modern synthetics can keep just as warm (and drier) then wool. I know there are wool clothing preferring people out there but I am not one of them and simply prefer synthetics.

As for "gets old very fast", I just do not like the feel of wet wool against the skin, day in day out. And yes over the years I have tried different brands blends etc and it comes down to just a non personal preference, nothing more, nothing less.

And although you may "respectfully disagree", that is okay. As I have stated many times here before, what works best for one person may or may not work for your needs nor for my particular needs and I will leave this thread at that...
_________________________
Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.

John Lubbock

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#251907 - 10/19/12 12:38 AM Re: Wool clothing [Re: bacpacjac]
spuds Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 06/24/12
Posts: 822
Loc: SoCal Mtns
Originally Posted By: bacpacjac
Two of my favourite words are "merino wool". it's light, warm, comfy, better around the fire and doesn't get all stinky.
What my socks are,a blend,they last a long time.

Our military surplus just got in a pile of wool blankets at 20 each,going to pick some up soon I hope.Going into truck,putting our cold weather supplies together,snow is coming......

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#251909 - 10/19/12 12:46 AM Re: Wool clothing [Re: Teslinhiker]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7375
Loc: southern Cal
I am a fan of synthetics, although wool is adequate. My impression is that wool absorbs more water than synthetics and becomes significantly heavier. I can wash some of my synthetics, wring them out, put them on, and wear them comfortably.
I am puzzled by the comment that synthetics fade... my oldest syn is more than thirty years old and it is still going quite well. It has seen some hairy trips..
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#251911 - 10/19/12 12:49 AM Re: Wool clothing [Re: Outdoor_Quest]
greenghost Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 09/05/12
Posts: 72
Loc: NH coastline area
Ive never focused on wool clothing although some of my non polypro military long johns are wool/cotton blend.

So I recently bought a pair of wool pants at salvation army for a few bucks to give a try this winter. They appear to of once been part of a suit but really are more like a pair of jeans...nothing fancy.

Looking forward to trying them out this winter. Do you recommend long johns or nylons underneath?

BTW, I wore nylons in CA when I use to hunt, they supposedly keep ticks off you and do provide some degree of warmth. Not to mention way they make me look sexy. JUST A JOKE! crazy
Im thinking anything that keeps the itchy wool from bugging me
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#251921 - 10/19/12 03:47 AM Re: Wool clothing [Re: Outdoor_Quest]
comms Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/23/08
Posts: 1502
Loc: Mesa, AZ
well timed topic. I have some events planned in the winter that I will be out in the elements for over 24+ hours and will absolutely get soaked from dunkings, sweating or ground soakings. Unavoidable.

I have decent, modern, medium weight poly base layers. But I have been considering the newest Smart Wool base layers that are 100% wool. Its no bulkier and b/c of its properties may be better for me as I know I will be soaked to the skin.

Continue discussion.
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