The Importance of a Wool Blanket in Bushcraft
The Wonderland of Wool!
I love wool blankets. Now I understand there are other great things made out of wool but I would just like to concentrate on the Wool Blanket.
I seem to always have some type of wool blanket with me every time I am in the bush no matter what the season is. Now if I would have to hike 15 miles a day, wool would absolutely not be an option because of its weight and bulkiness.
When hiking a simple trail not too far away and camp for whatever number of days you want, a wool blanket will certainly become an enjoyable commodity.
So why do I like them so much? I will give you a few reasons then we will get into more details. What an excellent ground cover it makes. Either to sleep on or just something to put your feet on. Also because I love open fires, as we know wool does not burn easily.
So it is not a problem to be able to sit close to a warm fire, wondering if the (embers) jumping coals (that’s what I like to call them are going to destroy it (for most of the other types of gear used for this purpose it certainly would destroy them). The worst it will do is create a few burnt black spots…not a big deal!
Now I know that genuine 100 % wool can be hard to come by. Even when we do find some it can be quite expensive. This is how I find them. Look into your grandma’s or aunt’s attic, there will be a good chance some good wool will be lying around. Or just ask around the family and see if they would have some to spare. Usually they always have some because today wool is not popular, so most people don’t bother with them, but for us who enjoy their company; it can become a long lost treasure.
Something else, look through your thrift stores or your local flea markets. You could get them for a couple of bucks. Anyway of all the wool blankets that I own, they have been found by doing the 2 things I described above.
Let’s take a look at some other important factors that wool could become for the passionate woodsman.
Wool will keep you warm
It also breaths
It’s got great natural fire retardant properties
It is durable and flexible
It will keep from 60% to 80% of its insulation properties even when wet
It also wicks moisture off the body to keep you warm
Wool functions as a “temperature regulator” so it can protect the body in both cold and warm conditions.
Wool is an excellent insulator. It keeps heat close to the body by trapping still or dead air within the fibers.
Not so good Qualities:
It can be heavy and bulky especially for the ultra light backpacker.
So is wool an effective piece of gear for us who love the outdoors and absolutely love to practice bushcraft skills?
No need to answer that one.
P.S. Here’s a VIDEO that I attempt to show you different ways of using a wool blanket in the bush.