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#75571 - 10/27/06 02:30 PM Car kit:Sleeping Bag or Wool Blankets
AROTC Offline
Addict

Registered: 05/06/04
Posts: 604
Loc: Manhattan
For those of you who have a winter car emergency kit do you carry a sleeping bag, wool blankets, both or neither? And why?

My kit is currently undergoing reorganization. I used to carry a polyester fill sleeping bag, but I just ordered a couple of US Army wool blankets to replace it in the car. My reasons are that a sleeping bag can lose its loft if stored rolled or stuffed and may not be as warm as I expect it to be in an emergency (just learned while reading about sleeping bag care). Second, wool blankets can more easily cover multiple people (say three people in the back seat sharing warmth) then a sleeping bag which is only optimal for one person. Third wool blankets are more versitale. They can be handed out individually or folded together for one person. They can be used to put some one on fire out since they don't catch fire as easily or melt. And finally, they keep their insulation if damp or wet. Oh and they're cheaper, so I don't have to worry if they're damaged or lost as much.

Now the sleeping bag is lighter then several wool blankets (I'll end up having three in my car). But this really isn't too much of an issue since I don't plan to carry it on my back. For a single person the sleeping bag may be warmer (debatable).

Anyway, what do you guys think? Sleeping bag versus blankets for a car kit.
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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

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#75572 - 10/27/06 02:38 PM Re: Car kit:Sleeping Bag or Wool Blankets
Malpaso Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 09/12/05
Posts: 817
Loc: MA
I've been looking for some inexpensive wool blankets for the reasons that you list.
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#75573 - 10/27/06 03:03 PM Re: Car kit:Sleeping Bag or Wool Blankets
OldBaldGuy Offline
Geezer

Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 5695
Loc: Former AFB in CA, recouping fr...
Since we always keep camping gear in the storage pod on top of our vehicle, we have sleeping bags. And one wool blanket. If I had to choose between the two, I would probably choose blankets, for the reasons you stated...
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#75574 - 10/27/06 04:05 PM Re: Car kit:Sleeping Bag or Wool Blankets
Russ Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 4830
Loc: SOCAL
I went with fleece blankets. They're cheap, warm and dry quickly. They are not good around fires, but for an overnight in the car they work well. BTDT

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#75575 - 10/27/06 04:18 PM Re: Car kit:Sleeping Bag or Wool Blankets
Anonymous
Unregistered


If you have a Harbor Freight store near you, they've got some 60" x 80" wool blankets on sale for $6 w/ coupon (don't know if the coupon's really necessary, got it via their email). I've seen them pretty cheap via mail-order too.

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#75576 - 10/27/06 06:22 PM Re: Car kit:Sleeping Bag or Wool Blankets
haertig Online   content
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/13/05
Posts: 1999
Loc: Colorado
How about taking a wool blanket and sewing a long zipper on it? Unzip for blanket use, zip for sleeping bag use. I know you can buy these things commercially made out of fleece (from LLBean, and from Coleman, for two examples). I haven't seen any commercially made out of wool, but I'll bet they probably are marketed by somebody, somewhere. Simple enough to make your own however (provided you have a sewing machine and can find a source for nine foot long zippers!)

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#75577 - 10/27/06 06:30 PM Re: Car kit:Sleeping Bag or Wool Blankets
Alan_Romania Offline

Addict

Registered: 06/29/05
Posts: 610
Loc: Arizona
My winter traveling kit has the following:
1- Mountain Hardware Zero Degree Sleeping bags, synthetic insulation - I keep the sleeping bag in its storage bag (vs. the stuff sack).
1-Mountan Hardware Bivy Sack
1-Therma-rest CAMPREST pad.
2- Fleece Sleeping Bags

I prefer the sleeping bag/bivy combination because it provides basic shelter as well as insulation. The Pad is very important because it provide a huge amount of insulation where you need it most... beneath you (two thirds of your insulation should be beneath you to keep the ground from sucking warmth from you).

The Fleece sleeping bags were cheap ($10.00) and work well as a blanket. I added those to my kit for other’s if the need arises and more as a snivel item vs. a survival item.

Another relatively cheap option are woobies (AKA poncho liners) I have a couple poncho liner with zippers added to increase their versatility. They are not ideal for sub-freezing temperatures, but are usable and a good replacement for blankets. I have one in my kit for warmer weather use, along with a dirt cheap www.countycomm.com sleeping bag and a military poncho. Lots of uses in a small cheap package.
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"Trust in God --and press-check. You cannot ignore danger and call it faith." -Duke

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#75578 - 10/28/06 04:03 PM Re: Car kit:Sleeping Bag or Wool Blankets
frenchy Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/18/02
Posts: 1320
Loc: France
I'm about to order Emergency Bivvy Sacks from Aeromedix, to supplement my car kit.
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#75579 - 10/29/06 02:46 AM Re: Car kit:Sleeping Bag or Wool Blankets
ironraven Offline
Cranky Geek
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 4642
Loc: Vermont
Major's surplus'n'supply usually has a variety of milsurp ones, as does cheaper than dirt.
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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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#75580 - 10/29/06 05:28 AM Re: Car kit:Sleeping Bag or Wool Blankets
benjammin Offline
Rapscallion
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/06/04
Posts: 4018
Loc: Anchorage AK
I prefer to keep a couple waterproof, windproof fleece blankets from "River's West" instead of wool or sleeping bags. They are more rugged than either, easier to maintain, and will do the job in the worst foul weather.

Unless the bulk is a problem (which would be the case with a sleeping bag or wool blanket as well), there's simply nothing better. If bulk is a concern, grab one of those new bivy bag emergency shelters.

In fact, I prefer to keep a full ATP/ATJ suit with me on the road during the winter months. I keep a duffle bag packed with emergency clothing in the rig; enough to keep me cozy in cold colorado winters, even if I have to abandon the vehicle and walk out.
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The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
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#75581 - 10/29/06 04:50 PM Re: Car kit:Sleeping Bag or Wool Blankets
teacher Offline
Addict

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 .

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#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.

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

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 voilà, all set !

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

Addict

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

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

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.


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

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?
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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

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

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

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.

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

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

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!

-Todd
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Self Sufficient Home - Our journey to self sufficiency.

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

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="" />

-Mac

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#75592 - 11/10/06 04:01 AM Re: Car kit:Sleeping Bag or Wool Blankets
Farmer Offline
Member

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 125
Loc: Mid-Atlantic
Not to dodge discussion, but my answer is "both."

I have a fleece blanket/bag (fleece blanket that zips closed into a bag) that I got at WalMart for a few bucks. Rolled as it comes it's a bit bulky for carry, but it readily re-rolls into a tube you can strap over your backpack or choulder. It's decently warm, but not waterproof.

I also have a wool blanket, which is also not waterproof but is warm even when wet.

For "waterproofness" I have a SilTarp.

I do have a fancier mummy bag that's light and packs VERY small - but I can't be in it for more than a few minutes before I start to feel claustrophobic!
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#75593 - 11/10/06 04:01 AM Re: Car kit:Sleeping Bag or Wool Blankets
Seeker890 Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 06/19/06
Posts: 93
Loc: Central Ohio
I would agree that sleeping on an air matress with inadequate insulation in the winter would be chilly to say the least. It is difficult to impossible to warm up that volume of air with your body heat to the point that you would feel comfortable. However, laying directly on snow would be much colder.

I remember in my youth, sleeping on the ground in the winter in what today would be considered at best a 40 degree bag (and shivering all night!!). I can't do that anymore with my back. When I don't travel far from the car I use a 6" inflatable Colman matress. When backpacking, I use a 1.5" Thermorest. I try to match my sleeping bag to the weather, then the air matress is mostly for comfort plus a heat transfer barrier. Dead air space is always better than putting a sleeping bag directly on snow in my book.
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#75594 - 11/10/06 04:17 AM Re: Car kit:Sleeping Bag or Wool Blankets
Seeker890 Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 06/19/06
Posts: 93
Loc: Central Ohio
Sleeping fully clothed more compartmentalizes your body heat. It is more difficult to keep your extremities warm (lower legs and feet) when your upper body heat is trapped in several layers of clothing. I believe that you are warmer in general in a sleeping bag if you sleep with minimal clothes on. Of course that assumes that the sleeping bag is reasonably rated for the temperature that you are camping at.

If you do sleep fully clothed, make sure to change into clean dry clothes. Even if you were relatively inactive during the day, your body breathes moisture, and as your body cools due to laying down to sleep, the moisture makes you colder and colder. For the same reason it is good to have dry clothes to change into when getting up. The clothes you had on in your bag will be moist from presperation & breath during the night. When the cold outside air gets to them, you will feel really cold right after you get up. It is good to have sleeping clothes when camping such that they can air out during the day so they are dry during the night.
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#75595 - 11/21/06 11:16 PM Re: Car kit:Sleeping Bag or Wool Blankets
ScottRezaLogan Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 01/07/04
Posts: 723
Loc: Pttsbg SWestern Pa USA N-Amer....
I Know this much, -For purely a Blankets / Bedspreads / Comforters etc of an operation, -it would be nice to somehow sew them up together! on their sides. As well as perhaps on what you designate as the Foot end. (though here you no longer have the option of using either end). You will in effect Create a sort of Homemade Sleeping Bag.

My Reason for the Desirability of such Sewup? Its only my Knowing from personal Experience, -how they all too quickly "Get Messed Up Out of Order", otherwise! Every Day or Two or at most Three!, -you've got to Re-Arrange them again for Best Maximum Effect!

Some Knowledge and Means of Sewing, -or access to someone who does have such, -would Sure come in Handy!

For now, -I'll stick with the Two days on average Re-Arrangement. And try to Keep them from getting all Messed and Muffed on out!, -all the while!

Between these and Genuine Sleeping Bags, -There's a Good Chance that I prefer the Blankets etc route! They *do* keep me Warm as a Bunny! Despite the Headache as I've outlined!

(I've got a Sleeping Bag or two, that I also throw into the Mix).[color:"black"] [/color] [email]AROTC[/email]


Edited by ScottRezaLogan (11/21/06 11:19 PM)
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#75596 - 11/22/06 03:08 AM Re: Car kit:Sleeping Bag or Wool Blankets
stormadvisor Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 03/14/05
Posts: 87
Loc: Ohio
I agree with the wool blanket approach and with the sleeping bag set up as well. I have a vacuumed packed down filled sleeping bag for emergency use. I have 2 wool blankets for as needed use. I always have a couple fleece blankets for everyday use for the little ones <img src="/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> .

I have a 45 mile drive (90 mile round trip) to work and this set up is mainly for me. If the family is going on a trip, 1 sleeping bag per person is taken along.
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