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Thread: Wool Idea?

  1. #1

    Wool Idea?

    Been throwing around the idea of using a 100% virgin wool blanket and nothing else as insulation. Has anyone done this? If so how was it. Dont wanna pay for a top quilt and underquilt. Right now I have USGI MSS and it works great. But is bulky and not really applicable for long hikes. Better for short overnighters. Need something for a long haul. I thought of this wool method because when soaking wet it retains 70% ( if not more ) of its heat, and it is easy to repair and has multiple uses. I always said if a piece of gear does not do 3 or more things, I dont want or need it in my pack.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Wise Old Owl's Avatar
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    Well you are welcome to give it the ol'try! but you would be better off with a wool sweater. - its all about basic insulation. You are trapping air against your body to provide warmth. The smaller the fiber the more compact, the better it traps air. Fleece (Polar Tec) makes wool obsolete -its fiber is smaller than human and sheep hair and traps better, and is lighter. Duck Down is smaller and lighter than Fleece.
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  3. #3
    HeathC's Avatar
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    Wool is very warm...but I don't see it packing down very well and has some weight to it.
    It's a hammock thing, you won't understand!

    The wife no longer kicks me out of bed after she saw a hammock hanging in the dog house.

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    Wool Rocks!

    As a citizen of the far north, I think wool is right up there with down. Although heavy, it's warm, stylish, and functional. I use a light wool Pendelton jacket. I wear it all the time. I use it to supplement a poncho liner tq. It's more than dual purpose. I can through a shell over it, take off the shell when I come in, leaving my thermostat at 64. Wear it a lot. Smartwool stuff is great but pricey. Everybody knows about their socks. Their long underwear is great. You can wear it for days and days and it doesn't stink. It's good for anything under 70 degrees. Wool cap for sleeping outdoors. I could go on and on. Water resistant. Time tested. Durable. Comfortable as all get out on a chilly night.

  5. #5

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    I like wool but it is heavy to pack. You can do the same thing with fleece at a reasonable weight reduction. Use a wind barrier over it that you can shed.

  6. #6
    DivaB's Avatar
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    I'm a fleece girl, but it would sure be interesting to see what you come up with and the testing you do for the wool.

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    Senior Member wildcrafter's Avatar
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    every thing has some sort of draw back wools draw back is weight. while fleece is lighter it needs a wind break and it doesnt do as well when wet as wool. If your in winter using a pulk or car camping wool has a place in your gear. I use merrino wool sweeters and socks and they work great but as an uq or tq not sure you will be happy with the weight penalty
    welcome to planet earth no one gets out alive

  8. #8
    Not too worried about weight because Im sure it will be lighter than my USGI MSS weighing in at 8 pounds all together. I am not a big fan of down or fleece, always been advocate of wool for the reason it is so warm and retains 70% of its heat when soaking wet. Seems like no one likes it for its weight. I want something to were I do not need an UQ. And my MSS does that but is very bulky and not good on long hikes.

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    I am experimenting with a swiss army wool blanket, for the times when I would like a more "roots/minimal" approach.

    I used it for three nights so far in a big comfy cotton hammock on my patio.

    Temperatures at the lowest were around 10-12C (~ 50-55F), I wrapped myself "mummy style" in the blanket to have a wool layer on top and bottom; the blanket was not enough (But I think I would have been ok with warmer clothes).

    The one slightly warmer night was ok, but comfort was not so great as I tend to move quite a bit during the night, and I didn't like being tied in the blank, not being able to freely move my legs and adjust my position without creating huge cold air gaps…

    The last night when the temperature was high enough to allow me to just loosely fold the blanket in half under/over me was nice.

    So far, the experiment is worth continuing; I like the feel and warmth of wool (it is waaaaay better than nylon imho) and I suspect it will be great for summer.
    Yes it is bulky and heavy, but not so much more than SB+UQ combined… and you can wear it around the fire ^__^

  10. #10
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    I have a Chilean wool poncho that works very well in deep cold... it's a great next-to-outer layer and it rocks inside the hammock, above or below.
    Last edited by MacEntyre; 06-03-2012 at 17:30.
    "We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately." - Ben Franklin
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