Sunday, January 23, 2011

Quick Pick: Wool Blanket

     A good quality wool blanket can have a ton of useful applications in the home and bush.  Wool blankets have earned a place in history for keeping troops and pioneers warm for generations.  It was, and still is, a staple for cowboys and ranchers the world over as well.  Its main purpose was as a lightweight, compact sleeping system, but it could also have many other functions if you check out some the videos from YouTube I link below. 
     Wool itself has amazing properties that I explain in a past post linked here.  If you read this blog often, it is apparent that I am a big fan of wool as it is a “wonder fabric”.  I use, and suggest it for most of my cold weather gear, and especially for things like socks, hats, and as the fabric of your mid-layer in the three-layer system.

     If you’re a minimalist, camping with a wool blanket as your sleep system is the way to go.  Though not comfortable, it is warm and has been proven reliable time and time again.  You can also use it as an alternative sleeping system in your B.O.B.  It would lessen the overall weight and size of the bag considerably as you could ditch your sleeping bag, tent, or both.

     At home, having an extra warm blanket will really come in handy, especially during a winter like the current one we are having in New York.  I suggest leaving one folded up on your couch to be pulled over yourself to keep you warm and cozy while watching TV.

     New York apartments, especially the older pre-war buildings, don't have thermostats in the apartment.  So we are reliant upon our landlords to keep our humble abodes a reasonable temperature.  Most apartments in the city that I have lived in or visited are either way to hot during the winter, or way to drafty and cold.  Having a way keep warm can be extremely important for those of us that have the latter problem.   

     The following is a few videos that explain even more uses for wool blankets.  As well as a few blankets that Amazon offers;

I grew up with a similar blanket to the "Army issue" olive drab wool blanket above as my father served in the Marines in Vietnam.  As uncomfortable the blanket is, it is very warm and holds a special place in my heart.


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