Using a wool blanket ?

Discussion in 'Shelter' started by CHREBA, May 11, 2017.

  1. CHREBA

    CHREBA Scout

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    This may be a little weird , no mental picture please . Spare your selves the unpleasantries . I recently purchased a heavy ! wool blanket and while I have yet to get out in the woods with it I have been testing out how to use it . Seems as though the blanket actually has to warm up to body temperature . I've used it as low as 45ish at one point dressed in jeans and a sweatshirt . I know cotton right , I never actually wear it in the field .
    But it seemed to take longer to get warm in these particular garments than it did in just polypropylene thermals I wore underneath , or naked for that matter . Before trying the later option I opted to add a worn thin fleece sheet next to my skin , nothing I would have even remotely considered insulating as a stand alone item at those those temps . And definitely not in the buff in camp normally .
    What have you learned about using wool for bedding while camping ? I learned how to properly wrap in one to achieve layers using one or more . Honestly if it came to needing multiples and I suspected the need for more than one I'd more than likely just pack my Kokoram down bag and my GI bivvy and Klymit static V and save space and weight .
    Edit : I just realized this should have been in sleep systems .
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2017
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  2. Ol Grizz

    Ol Grizz Scout

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    I spend many nights in the woods in wool blankets as a historical reenactor. A normal year would be somewhere around 50 - 60 nights under wool blankets. My best, most comfortable, and warmest nights sleep comes when I shed every layer down to night shirt and boxers (yes, I know they are not correct). Night shirt is mid-thigh length and made of linen (summer) or linsey-woolsey (winter). Also in the winter I add a wool watch cap and a CLEAN & DRY pair of wool socks. Hope that helps.
     
  3. hunter63

    hunter63 Bushmaster

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    What he said....
    Wool blankets are not magic....they do a good job in holding heat even if damp....but you need to either have it thick enough... or break the wind
     
  4. DKR

    DKR Scout

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    I already break wind too much... But I carry a poly throw as a cover for my wool blanket. Makes a difference.
     
  5. Winterhorse

    Winterhorse Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    If I understand your question you're asking whether a wool blanket is initially as warm as other material. No, not initially, but shortly there after. My wool will feel pretty cool at first but within a minute it starts warming up nicely. I don't have a scientific explanation for that but that has been my experience.
     
  6. hunter63

    hunter63 Bushmaster

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    Bhohahaha....I see what you did there.....Break wind....LOL
     
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  7. CHREBA

    CHREBA Scout

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    So atleast I don't feel strange believing that I was actually warmer with less clothing . And it does actually seem to warm up to keep you comfortable . I was actually thinking that logically that couldn't be right .
     
  8. hunter63

    hunter63 Bushmaster

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    One thing you need to be aware of...wearing tidy whities and T-shirt you may sweat....then for sure you will be cold.

    My Colorado hunting method is ....canvas army cot (or not)....GI foam pad....mummy down bag, 4 point wool blanket folded under and over...pinned at bottom.
    All this inside a canvas swag.....Or in some cases a canvas tent panel....layied out, bag and folded over.

    Swag
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I sleep mostly naked, stand by ....with tomorrow's polypropylene or merino wool undies....in side the bag....then wool socks and watch cap.
    Easy to control temps.....
    You are not going to pack this in on your back...

    If I was gonna pack it in...I would go with high end down bag w/liner inside a bivy.....
    Foam pad, w/ space blanket under.....

    Primitive.....wool blanket inside canvas tent panel/tarp or swag
     
  9. CHREBA

    CHREBA Scout

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    I sleep extremely hot , that might have been why I had problems getting warm with the outter layer in the first place ? I haven't gone to ground with it yet just in a hammock so far . I've used the pad (3/4) underneath and a Klymit static V inside my GI bivvy with my EB Kokoram and liner in a Noreaster to test a few years back with a wool base layer and had to open up to ventilate . I got way to hot originally . Once I got some air inside I slept through the entire night just to wakeup almost buried in snow but I was toasty warm .
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2017
  10. Red Ochre

    Red Ochre Supporter Supporter

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    Yes they are!
     
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  11. Younghunter3030

    Younghunter3030 Scout

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    I was told to fluff up the blanket then crawl into it. Hot air is trapped and it is very warm!
    If you don't mind me askin, where did you acquire the blanket?
    Good Luck Man I Love Me A Wool Blanket:p
     
  12. hunter63

    hunter63 Bushmaster

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  13. Younghunter3030

    Younghunter3030 Scout

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  14. hunter63

    hunter63 Bushmaster

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    Actually the link I provided is a representative of they type, of blankets DW and I use.....both H.B. and Whitney 4 pt and 6 pt blankets.
    Several are at the "Place" (our cabin)....and several we use in re-enacting the fur trade era.
    We also use point blankets capote's for colder Rondys and primitive wood walks.

    Couple others are included in hunting camp sleep Swages (old style bivy)....as posted.

    They were purchased over a period of 30 years couple here couple there...I think the first ones were purchased at a Rondy.
    Was on a Memorial Day week end...when we froze our butts as the cheapo milsurp army and "seconds' for Woolrich outlet blankets were not enough.

    A cold, froze butt, and a credit card scored us a couple of blankets as well as a couple of capote's.
    Think the were like $125 bucks each in the early 1980's and that was a LOT of bucks back when.

    Not real sure whole makes the new versions...as the factory in England closed...so Hudson Bay and Whitney point blankets are made by someone else these days.

    Best bet is to watch sales and Ebay...olber blankets seem heavier ????/
    YMMV....


    BTW a bearskin over really helps on those real cold nights.........

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Red Ochre

    Red Ochre Supporter Supporter

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    It really depends on the Mill but yes older ones were heavier and have a higher quality raised nap.
    I've seen a 1920s 4 point weigh near 7lbs. Official 4 point spec is 6lbs.
     
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  16. Back Off

    Back Off Scout

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  17. hunter63

    hunter63 Bushmaster

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    Yes.......and if you see one, even if you don't need it,... buy it anyway.......you can have a heck of a trading stock.

    One should have their mind working at all times, you will be amazed at what you will notice.

    As this is about wool blankets....
    I carry around a couple of wool army(green) and navy (blue) wool blankets in the truck.
    They came from a yard sale free box........that are kinda ratty, but still serve as a lay on the ground blanket....and could still be used to keep warm....if needed.
     
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  18. Red Ochre

    Red Ochre Supporter Supporter

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    A TESTIMONY TO “OLD FAITHFUL”

    Around 1930, The Company placed classified advertisements in a number of newspapers in the Pacific Northwest. They asked readers who had Hudson’s Bay blankets that were over twenty years old to contact them. They received a large number of letters, but perhaps the best was one from a correspondent in British Columbia:

    Vancouver, B.C., June 26, 1931

    “I have in my possession, one of a pair of blankets which I purchased in your store 30 years ago this month. Used as a saddle blanket during several seasons of riding the range. Was packed thorough to Revelstoke – thence south through the Kootenays on prospecting and hunting trips. Packed north all through the mountains and received some of the roughest usage that any fabric could possibly survive.”

    “I could not truthfully estimate how many tons of river gravel was dumped onto it and washed in our attempts to find gold. Was packed back to Alberta and used on freighting trips to Athabasca Landing and Peace River – also the famous Barr Colony (Lloydminster).”

    “Used as a saddle blanket for almost two years riding around on hard and tough trips for the C.N.R. engineers. Then used for camping during construction of C.N.R. from Battleford to Edmonton, thence to the mountains.”

    “Six or seven Indian babies have been born on it – was used during a trip after wild horses in Northern Alberta when one end got burned in a bad prairie fire, leaving about three-quarters of the blanket intact. Used for three years during my homesteading stint.”

    “When I got married, I took my young wife on to the homestead, used the blanket as her covering during the eleven-mile drive. Used it on our bed for years. When the youngster arrived, was used as a mattress in bottom of buggy. When the next one came, was used as a cover on its crib. That winter, was used as part protection over a valuable small stock of potatoes. Next winter used as a drop curtain hung in front of a few pure bred poultry. Then thoroughly washed and placed on the bed.”

    “We were out hunting in a car, got stuck in mud and placed the blanket under the back wheel; the wheel spun, then gripped and out we came, leaving a hole in one corner of Old Faithful. Part of it I cut off and sewed up into a pair of heavy socks and used them all winter during a mail trip.”

    “We still have the old blanket after thirty years of service, somewhat faded certainly, but like Johnny Walker, still going strong. During all those years the only hole is where the auto wheel ground it. It never frayed, and only during the last few years of very rough usage did it fade.”
     
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  19. hunter63

    hunter63 Bushmaster

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    That is a heck of a story....Thanks for posting.
    Can't say of any of mine did or will ever go thru that....bit have no doubt they would hold up.

    I have to believe they have to be the first "whooby" ....

    Look at most any native American pictures.....a lot a re poised wearing blankets, sitting on them of have tham hanging in the background.
     
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  20. Medicine maker

    Medicine maker Scout

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    So would one say this is only hudson bay is too this strength? Or other well known, known high quality blankets could also handle such a high degree of stress.
     
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  21. CHREBA

    CHREBA Scout

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    While I have never owned a Hudson Bay my French wool blanket is over 20 years old it's still over 5# and in great shape . I've seen blankets with the fuzzy layer of wool but have never experienced one personally . And it's 100% and was cost efficient .
     
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  22. Red Ochre

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    Medicine maker,

    Yes Hudson's Bay Point blankets are legendary.
    They use the highest quality wool and have a bulletproof twill weave.

    IMO, To find a tougher wool blanket you would need to get a CJ Wilde or similar quality hand loomed piece.
    The only other mass produced blanket that can compare would be the green dutch army blankets from AaBe.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2017
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  23. CHREBA

    CHREBA Scout

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    Is AaBe a company or what ?
     
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  24. Red Ochre

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    I like those French orange whiskey blankets too, they are a super value for what you get.
     
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  25. Red Ochre

    Red Ochre Supporter Supporter

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    Yup do a google search AaBe wool blankets.
    They are damn nice but a bit scratchy compared to HB.

    If you find one in top condition it should weigh 6.5lbs.
    I have one. I'll take a couple pics of it later and post them so you can see.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2017
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  26. Luzster

    Luzster I'm a little Tea Pot. Or Something. Supporter

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    So, for someone that is not familiar with the Hudson Bay blankets, what does the 4 point, 5 point, etc things mean about the blanket? Size? Weight?
     
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  27. Red Ochre

    Red Ochre Supporter Supporter

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    The point system is based on the overall size of the blanket.
    Not quality or weight per yard etc.

    In the olden days Indians visiting traders or trading posts would know how many "Made Beaver Pelts" to trade for a blanket.
    4 point blanket = 4 made beaver pelts.

    From the guide:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2017
  28. Medicine maker

    Medicine maker Scout

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    Wow that was some seriously good reading. Thanks so much for posting the pictures!
     
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  29. theDuck

    theDuck Tracker

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    Thanks Red Ochre. That should be a sticky somewhere.
     
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  30. Riverpirate

    Riverpirate Supporter Supporter

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    I just want the gold label...lol
     
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  31. Red Ochre

    Red Ochre Supporter Supporter

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    Hehe it's actually the first gold label ever used by the HBC.
    I will do my best to make it like new again.
     

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