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#75581 - 10/29/06 04:50 PM Re: Car kit:Sleeping Bag or Wool Blankets
teacher Offline

Registered: 12/14/05
Posts: 691
I do both: sleeping bag and several fleece blankets. Plus chemical hand warmers and candles ( remember to ope the windows a bit!)

This assumes everyone riding will have winter weight jackets .

#75583 - 10/30/06 09:03 PM Re: Car kit:Sleeping Bag or Wool Blankets
massacre Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 12/07/05
Posts: 781
Loc: Central Illinois
Hi Romania; I was wonderiung where you got the fleece sleeping bags.

I have to use fleece blankets because my wife is irritated by natural wool fiber. She can sit on a fleece blanket above a wool blanket and it still gives her welts... Anyway, I've been looking for fleece blankets that can zip up into a sleeping bag.

Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards.

#75584 - 10/31/06 01:38 AM Re: Car kit:Sleeping Bag or Wool Blankets
SARbound Offline

Registered: 06/08/05
Posts: 503
Loc: Quebec City, Canada
I'd go with wool blankets. They are easier to move and adjust when you're in the driver's seat. Tuck a blanket under your legs and voilą, all set !

"The only easy day was yesterday."

#75585 - 10/31/06 04:05 AM Re: Car kit:Sleeping Bag or Wool Blankets
Alan_Romania Offline


Registered: 06/29/05
Posts: 610
Loc: Arizona
I bought mine at Popular Outdoor Outfitters, but I have seen them at both Target and Wal-Mart lately. I have a couple Colemen brand ones that have stood up to HEAVY use very well. They are under $20 a peice and well worth it.
"Trust in God --and press-check. You cannot ignore danger and call it faith." -Duke

#75586 - 10/31/06 05:38 PM Re: Car kit:Sleeping Bag or Wool Blankets
ducktapeguy Offline

Registered: 03/28/06
Posts: 358
If you're carrying this for warmth, I think even a cheap sleeping bag is probably your best bet. I bought a couple of cheap ($10 at the day after thanksgiving sale) rectangular sleeping bags, they work great and are warmer than any blanket. If you unzip them, you've basically got a large blanket for multiple people. While not as durable as the wool, I personally think they're a lot more versatile. The only problem is they're bulky, which is why I normally don't carry them, only if I'm going up to the mountains. If you keep them in those space saver vacuum bags, that can minimize the size a lot, but like you said you will lose some loft. However, it's not as bad as you think. I have some synthetic polyesther sleeping bags that are almost 20 years old, and while not as fluffy as a new one, they are still much warmer than a wool blanket.

I also have a couple of fleece blankets ($7 at the same sale) which are warmer and more comfortable than the wool, but still not nearly as warm as the sleeping bag. They dry much, much faster than wool, but are susceptible to melting, if that's a concern for you. I like the ones iwth the water resistant nylon backing, because you can use them as a poncho or temporariy rain cover, plus it adds a lot more wind resistance to the blanket. Fleece by itself is not very wind resistant, you will feel every breeze come right through it.

I also have the harbor freight wool blankets that some people have mentioned, they're mostly used for covering the carpet in my car or for extra padding if I'm moving stuff. I wouldn't really count on them to keep me warm or anything, they're just not thick enough, and they are really, really itchy. About the only advantage I can think for them is they're fire-resistant, and cheap. I dunno how warm they will be when wet, it might be better than a cotton blanket, but it won't be comfortable. I know there are better wool blankets out there, but for a lot more $$$, so takes away the cost advantage of blankets.

It seems like for your use, if the primary use is for insulation, sleeping bag is probalby the best choice, because that's what it was designed to do. I just don't see an advantage to wool blankets in this situation, unless you really do intend to use this around fires.

#75587 - 11/07/06 04:12 PM Re: Car kit:Sleeping Bag or Wool Blankets
AROTC Offline

Registered: 05/06/04
Posts: 604
Loc: Manhattan
Okay, so in light of this discussion here's what I'm doing with my car. When I'm in town, and since my town is small ~30000, I think two or three wool blankets permenantly in my car is sufficient and probably the most practical. For out of town trips, either up to the mountains or highway trips, I will throw my newly acquired Army Modular Sleeping System into the car and my Thermarest pad. Under reasonable circumstances (even here in Wyoming), I think that should keep me warm through a cold night. The sleeping bags can stay unpacked and fluffy most of the time and only be compressed when I take them with me.

Question though. I have a Ford Explorer, so I can lay down the seats and sleep in the back. But will that be warmer then sleeping outside? I'll be out of the wind, but I've heard advice that you should shelter outside a car or aircraft since they can actually be colder (or effectively colder due to being surrounded by metal) then being outside as long as you're out of the wind. So sleep in the car, or set up camp next to the car?
A gentleman should always be able to break his fast in the manner of a gentleman where so ever he may find himself.--Good Omens

#75588 - 11/07/06 05:00 PM Re: Car kit:Sleeping Bag or Wool Blankets
Mark_G Offline

Registered: 03/16/06
Posts: 80
Loc: Stafford, VA

For me that would depend on a couple of things. What is the weather like, and will the car start? If it is a sleet storm out side, the car will be your best shelter, forget cold. Stay Dry!
If the car will start and provide some heat every couple of hours, you can stay resonably comfortable in the vehicle.

#75589 - 11/08/06 02:29 AM Re: Car kit:Sleeping Bag or Wool Blankets
Seeker890 Offline

Registered: 06/19/06
Posts: 93
Loc: Central Ohio
I have "camped" in my Explorer before. Laid down the 60% seat, inflated an air matress, & rolled out the sleeping bag. You can crack a window to help with condensation. I found it quite comfortable. I personally did not find it particularly any warmer or cooler than sleeping in a tent under the same conditions. If you leave the vehicle bottled up, the condensation would make things damp, making the air chillier. A tent in similar weather, depending on the tent, you might have more "fixed" ventilation than what you want in cold weather. Cracking open a window would give "controlled" ventilation in a windproof container.
The Seeker

#75590 - 11/08/06 06:18 AM Re: Car kit:Sleeping Bag or Wool Blankets
Todd W Offline
Product Tester

Registered: 11/14/04
Posts: 1928
Loc: Mountains of CA
YoDuh - Why are you advising people to sleep UNDER a sleeping bag and presumably IN their clothes? You should sleep IN your sleeping bag with your underwear and if it's really cold with socks and a hat/beanie. You can then use your clothes (jackets, pants, shirts, etc) as EXTRA warmth and put them ON your sleeping bag. If you sleep IN your clothes you are relying on them to retain your body heat and keep you warm that's your sleeping bag's job. Getting off the ground is important but not at the expense of having no way to retain body heat other than a sleeping bag on top and your clothes around you.
BTW: "velcro" on the sides of a bag isn't exactly a proven insulator <img src="/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" /> (read; heat loss, or coming undone in middle of night with slight movement)

Seeker890- Sleeping on an air mattress and trying to stay warm don't go in the same sentence unless it's a therma-rest or the like however I don't think you would have said 'inflated it' if that's what you were refering too. I remember once I slept on an air mattress in the snow... biggest mistake ever! Therma-rest 4reason for me and always toasty now!

Self Sufficient Home - Our journey to self sufficiency.

#75591 - 11/08/06 12:16 PM Re: Car kit:Sleeping Bag or Wool Blankets
Macgyver Offline

Registered: 05/24/06
Posts: 81
Loc: Victoria Australia
Todd, I have always slept fully clothed in my sleeping bag, the only reason I can see that a person would strip off (to their underwear) would be that they want to keep their bag clean, or am I missing something here? I have often heard this and I have always wondered why. I realize that some bags can't be washed, but if I was stranded and cold I would definately keep my clothes on as those extra layers sure keep me extra warm. That is unless I started to sweat, then in most bags I would peel off a few layers. I have slept in my bag continuously for at least a year.

Any insulation whether it be clothes, blanket or a sleeping bag works by how much warm air it can imobilize and stop from flowing to a colder area. That is why the foam cell therma-rest works MUCH better than the single air pocket air mattress.

It seems to me that clothes could trap air much more effectively when wrapped around me than when laid over the top of a sleeping bag. Also, for the same reason I am always warmer with the sleeping bag around me than over the top of me. However, I may be overlooking something here.

I carry my Wiggys sleeping bag when I am driving in cold snowy weather. At 5 lbs it isn't light, but it is the warmest bag I have come across; I can wash it (it really needs one now <img src="/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" /> ) and I wake up dry in it.

I have thought of adding a really good quality wool blanket or two to my kit for other people, but I haven't found any really good quality thick blankets (made like they used to). Wool is pretty hard to beat. I wouldn't mind a Filson blanket but they come with a pretty stiff price tag. The're worth every cent I'm sure.

I have noticed that it is good to have some carbs to eat before you go to sleep if you want to stay warm in really cold weather. It is probably good to have some hi carb bedtime snacks in your kit for those unplanned cold weather sleepouts, it helps increase the rating of any bag or blanket. Ya gotta keep that fire going! <img src="/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />


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