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  1. #1
    SilvrSurfr's Avatar
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    Wool undercovers and overcovers for hammock

    I've been thinking about making a merino wool undercover/overcover. I'm not sure what it weighs per oz., but I could lanolinize merino wool and increase its waterproofing capabilities. I'm sure merino wool isn't cheap, but my field experiments with wool army blankets leads me to believe wool is a viable undercover/overcover against blowing rain and snow. It's not cuben fiber, but I'll bet merino wool beats cuben fiber on price. Ya gots to keep your down UQ/TQ dry!

    Ripstop nylon might be lighter and more waterproof as overcover/undercover, but wool provides more insulative properties and more value in a survival situation. I could also multipurpose both undercover and overcover as daytime poncho.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Senior Member SweetLou's Avatar
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    Why merino wool? Is it lighter or have better thermal properties than less expensive wools?

    I love merino wool for my clothes. I own a few shirts and bicycle shorts/pants made of merino. I think it is great but for something like a cover, I would probably use a cheaper wool, since it wouldn't be touching my skin. That is unless merino has some properties that would make it better for packing or heat retention.

  3. #3
    SilvrSurfr's Avatar
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    I kind of posted this before knowing more about wool. Having researched a bit more, I think any lightweight wool fabric would do for an overcover/undercover. Merino was the lightest wool I was aware of, up till a couple of hours ago. I read something on another forum where any suit-quality wool would be lightweight enough for general backpacking purposes.

    Wool is a super fabric, but I personally believe that wool lanolinized is a wonder fabric. Give your outdoor wool a wash in lanolin, and you'll have something that can repel Hurricane Katrina.

    It just seems that wool ought to play a part in my winter insulation. You can't use wool for a tarp, and down is much lighter weight for insulation. However, for weatherizing your hammock/TQ/UQ combo, I'm considering lightweight wool. There are blends, too, with polyester or nylon.

    Maybe I'm being contrarian, but I think wool is a very valuable fabric in winter. I'm not talking about ultralight backpacking. I'm just talking about survival, and staying warm.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Wise Old Owl's Avatar
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    Your post is totally lost on me, out of respect - sil nylon is the close to near waterproofer and support. It has nothing to do with warmth. Warmth comes from you, its all about trapping air and hugging it close to your bod. The Thicker the fleece or Wool the better it works, now here is the little understood part. The thinner the fiber and more robust it is, the better it is to trap the heat or the cooling against the skin.... Polartec - is lighter thinner and more dense than wool at 300 weight - which is why it is used in the military for Afghanistan.... Nothing against wool but I am making a comparison from a rotary phone ( Wool ) and a smart phone ( Polartec Fleese) some things are just that outdated, says the Old Owl.
    There was an Old Man with a owl,
    Who continued to bother and howl;
    He sat on a rail, And imbibed bitter ale,
    Which refreshed that Old Man and his owl
    .WOO

  5. #5
    SilvrSurfr's Avatar
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    You really think wool is rotary phone? Is it that outdated? Are the synthetic insulations that much superior?

    I'm just thinking about overcovers/undercovers right now, and I see some utility in wool for these applications.

    Down and wool are two different things. Down is the lightest insulation I know of, but you would never consider down as a weather shield, an overcover or undercover, because down is not waterproof. What I am arguing is that wool might work as an overcover/undercover.
    Last edited by SilvrSurfr; 12-05-2011 at 00:35.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wise Old Owl View Post
    Nothing against wool but I am making a comparison from a rotary phone ( Wool ) and a smart phone ( Polartec Fleese) some things are just that outdated, says the Old Owl.
    WOO - I see your point but here's another thing to think about. During the multi-day power outage following the recent winter storm that dumped a foot or more snow in the Northeast, the two rotary phones in my house never missed a call (in or out) even well after the newer phones (smart phones included) had dead batteries. It's kind of like a BIC lighter and a flint - they both have their place.

    ...says he who is typing while wearing a fleece top!

  7. #7
    Senior Member DemostiX's Avatar
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    Getting bivy benefits:

    Wool weight:

    You're just not searching in the right places. In woven textiles, weight or face weight is always known by someone. It isn't the only parameter, but it is a valued one.

    You are chasing a chimera because as the wool become lighter -- think the finest suitings, or what with interest in water-shedding, scarves -- it becomes more fragile, lacking in tensile strength and toughness, not to mention being subject to snagging.

    As a practical matter, the easiest and least expensive shield and cover of the UQ for backyard hammock use may be an inexpensive hammock like the Grand Trunks polyesters, selling last week for $100/8, and this week for $2 more. Adjust once with a knotted cord the effective length to the hammock bearing an UQ, attach a pair of mini-biners, and call it a day, letting dew and fog collect on that second hammock instead of on the UQ and main hammock, and letting you put those away immediately for next use after you unclip the cover in the AM.

    This rider is all for wool, especially contemporary treated stuff for use as base layer. The 4lb Irish fisherman's sweater in raw wool? Not so much. Alpaca blankets in cold mist and rain? Only with llama's to carry them and coca tea to shed hunger and cold at high altitude.

  8. #8
    SilvrSurfr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DemostiX View Post
    You are chasing a chimera because as the wool become lighter -- think the finest suitings, or what with interest in water-shedding, scarves -- it becomes more fragile, lacking in tensile strength and toughness, not to mention being subject to snagging.
    That does seem to be the case: the lighter the wool, the more fragile it is. My WWII Army blanket, given to me by an uncle who fought overseas, is about 4 lbs. and durable as hell. It's been through 70 + years of use. I'll still bring it with me when car camping, but back to the drawing board for overcover/undercover.

    I wonder how Tyvek would work ......

  9. #9
    Señor Member wisenber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilvrSurfr View Post

    I wonder how Tyvek would work ......
    If you're going down that road, just get one of these for the top and another for the bottom.




  10. #10
    Senior Member G.L.P.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilvrSurfr View Post
    That does seem to be the case: the lighter the wool, the more fragile it is. My WWII Army blanket, given to me by an uncle who fought overseas, is about 4 lbs. and durable as hell. It's been through 70 + years of use. I'll still bring it with me when car camping, but back to the drawing board for overcover/undercover.

    I wonder how Tyvek would work ......
    yeah driducks poncho would work great ....
    tyvek i'm not sure .... i would get a piece and play around with it.... see what you come up with and if you have condensation problems
    It puts the Underquilt on it's hammock ... It does this whenever it gets cold

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