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#80418 - 12/16/06 04:32 AM Re: Military surplus stores
ironraven Offline
Cranky Geek
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 4642
Loc: Vermont
The other thing to look for is the return policy. Sometimes it's just flat out worn out, sometimes it's missized, and sometimes you REALLY don't want that particular item.

I'll never forget this: in college, I lived with a guy who bough a lot of surplus gear, even more than I have (which is saying a lot). He got in some leather ammo pouches, early 50s or so, and was looking them over, and found a stain he couldn't identify. He asked me if I knew what it was, I told him I couldn't ID the type, but I was positive it looked like someone had a VERY negative experience wearing that. Took him about an hour to realize it was a blood stain.

I don't mind surplus, but I draw the line at something that someone was wearing when they were wounded or killed. That's just begging for bad luck.
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When a man dare not speak without malice for fear of giving insult, that is when truth starts to die. Truth is the truest freedom.

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#80419 - 12/16/06 06:40 AM Re: Military surplus stores
Chris Kavanaugh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/09/01
Posts: 3824
Military surplus wool blankets are almost impossible to secure. The many natural and human caused worldwide disasters have stripped military warehouses for humanitarian aid. The two blankets you mentioned are both nice. Still pricy, but more reasonable quality blanket are Whitneys, another English product. www.jas-townsend.com ( click on cold weather) is an american source to see the product. You should do better in price with a canadian dealer as part of the Commonwealth.

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#80420 - 12/16/06 04:48 PM Re: Military surplus stores
infrared Offline
Newbie

Registered: 05/18/06
Posts: 41

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#80421 - 12/16/06 05:53 PM Re: Military surplus stores
Frankie Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 09/19/03
Posts: 736
Loc: Montréal, Québec, Canada
So far I found nothing, they all start at $200 with the twin size point blanket and I think Whitney's are the same as HBC (Hudson's Bay). It seems you either have to buy fancy collectible blankets or old smelly army surplus, there's no in-between.

I think I'll go hunting for a while and come back to The Bays department stores in downtown Montréal and throw on the counter a couple of beaver pelts and tell them, hey, I want a four point blanket. I can imagine the salesperson telling me, hey take your pelts elsewhere son. You're killin' me here. You're holding a spear on me.

Seriously, I'm thinking ebay.ca could be a potential source. There's also maybe Woolrich, they sell Civil War blankets that are 85% wool and 15% nylon. I'keep on shopping.

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#80422 - 12/16/06 06:51 PM Re: Military surplus stores
Excomantia Offline
journeyman

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 98
Loc: Moved to my new home and now h...
Hospital Wool Blanket FullSize 100% Wool Used Good Cond $9.97 buy 2-4, sew them together for size/thickness..
US Style Disaster Blankets Package of Three 30% Wool 91x65" New $14.97 maybe not the % you want, but cheap at ~5.00ea..
You've probably seen all of those at Cheaper Than Dirt, there are also the swiss blanket for $20, and the Italian, and German blankets for $10
There is also the 70% wool/30% acrylic New Zealand blanket for $25, the British Military Wool Blanket for $15, Norwegian Military Wool Blanket for $18, Israeli Wool Blanket 80% wool/20% other for $13, Russian Wool Blanket for $20 (says never issued), New Czech Military Wool-blend Blanket 80% wool/20% other $20, all from Sportsmans Guide. There was a swiss blanket at about the same price as Cheaper then Dirt, and what looked like a 12 buy of the 30% wool/70% other blankets for $60, available from Sportsmans Guide too.
What you get all depends on what you want to use it for.. I've never used eather of the websites myself, but I've been keeping an eye out on the blankets for a while now.. I don't have the room right now but when I do I may get a few of them when I can.
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#80423 - 12/16/06 07:42 PM Re: Military surplus stores
Frankie Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 09/19/03
Posts: 736
Loc: Montréal, Québec, Canada
Hey, what do you think of Sierra Trading Post? They seem to have all sort of slightly better quality Merino, Shetland, Alpaca and even Cachmire. Of course it's all US based so I guess I will have to ask relatives to order them for me.

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#80424 - 12/16/06 08:54 PM Re: Military surplus stores
Leigh_Ratcliffe Offline
Veteran

Registered: 03/31/06
Posts: 1355
Loc: United Kingdom.
For our purposes, MILSPEC or surplus gear even if unissued is in most respects inferiour to decent quality climbing and outdoor gear. There are exceptions to that statement, like the Cammenga compasses, Doan's magnesium block and some other bit's and bob's.
If your trying to buy cheap, for whatever reason, then fine. Just be aware that the weight penalty adds up very quickly.
I'm not a great fan of 550 cord. I prefer to use the cords sold by reputable climbing outlets.
That is for two reasons: 1) You have a choice of sizes and strenths and 2) Its designed not to kink if it gets tangled. A major consideration if the conditions are, shall we say, less than optimal. (oops, Brit understatment again...... Sorry guys. <img src="/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />)
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#80425 - 12/16/06 10:41 PM Re: Military surplus stores
Old_Scout Offline
journeyman

Registered: 11/03/06
Posts: 95
Loc: Delaware
Frankie, we buy at Sierra Trading all the time. Generally, good stuff but pay attention to brands and descriptions. Like anywhere you hit it great sometimes on brands and prices - others not. If you're an "off" size it works even better. Let me comment on blankets.

You get what you pay for - no surprise! I have a HBC blanket (4 pt.) that is 40 years old - used very heavy - looks and performs like new! Generally, army blankets, of all nations, are made to be tough - not necessarily the best. The result is that they are heavy, hard and cheap. A Bay blanket on the other hand is "fluffy", pure virgin wool and very warm for the weight. It is a pleasure to sleep outdoors under a HBC blanket - now I'm getting all weepy and nostalgic! <img src="/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />
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Mike McGrath

"Be Prepared" "For what?" "Why, any old thing!" B-P

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#80426 - 12/16/06 11:07 PM Re: Military surplus stores
Frankie Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 09/19/03
Posts: 736
Loc: Montréal, Québec, Canada
Hi Old Scout, actually most of the blankets at Sierra Trading are "throw blankets" that means they are too short for my taste although it would be nice to have too on the couch. You're probably right, I may buy the HBC. But I found the L.L.Bean washable blanket, less expensive and 100% wool here: L.L. Bean to be interesting for $80 USD for the twin size. I also like the idea of adding some history to my apartment with the 85-15% Woolrich's Fort Sumter and the HBC point blanket of course. At that price you don't feel like throwing them on a fire to smother it but if you have to smother a fire it means you're going to loose many other expensive things anyway. I may try out the Italian surplus blanket. An italian friend told me she saw them in hospitals in Italy. Sportsman's Guide's Czech and Russian military are supposed to be brand new unissued but I don't know...

Frankie

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#80427 - 12/17/06 01:08 AM Re: Military surplus stores
Excomantia Offline
journeyman

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 98
Loc: Moved to my new home and now h...
The Sierra Trading Post blankets look good for what they are, the Swiss blanket looks the same as the two I saw in Cheaper Than Dirt and Sportsmans Guide only it costs more.
For me, I want a blanket or two around but I also want to cut one or two up to make a capote which the military style blankets would work well for.
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Words Mean Something.

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