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Old 12-03-2014, 03:19 PM
HorseSoldier HorseSoldier is offline
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Whether you need to layer even in cold weather will depend on what you're doing -- a couple hours work outdoors with warm shelter to retreat into you can get away with just sucking it up even down to sub zero temps. Outside 24-7 with a campfire to heat up by and a sleeping bag to retreat into when you aren't working or moving, I'd layer and dress carefully even up around freezing.
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Old 12-03-2014, 06:33 PM
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Yeah I used to use lots of wool. Stuff is variable depending on how its made.

The old Dachstein mitts were the standard for super cold through late 1970s. Lots of oil left in them or something. I never sprung for a pair. Very pricey.

I used to have a really tightly woven pair of wool pants that were relatively windproof & didn't collect much snow. Later, a more loosely woven pair that were less windproof & tended to collect snow.

These days I ALWAYS want woven nylon outer pants of some kind, normally very light -- in tropical weather to deep winter -- whatever. Light ones dry in a flash in summer, and shed snow and wind in winter. Incredibly versatile garment. With sythetic longs underneath in season.

I swear by windstopper sythn gloves for moderately cold weather. Far, far superior to wool gloves.

Generally, the good performance of synthetics and relatively low cost make them more desirable than wool in the modern world.

As to which is better, synthetics dry faster and are lighter than wool, while being roughly comparable for warmth.

Wool stinks less, itches more, and looks better-- according to taste.
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Old 12-16-2014, 05:46 AM
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check also this
http://www.heatholders.com/uk/about/our_story.php
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Old 12-20-2014, 01:07 PM
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A few thoughts I've had. I believe the "wet wool is warm" concept comes from years ago when wool and cotton were the only two fabrics available. In that comparison I would agree that damp wool is warmer than cotton when damp. But both could be life threatening if truly wet in a cold environment.

Fleece fibers can't hold water, and can be rung closer to dry , it also dries very quickly unless its near 100% humidity, and very damp fleece is slightly warmer than the same dampness wool, but both are much warmer than the same dampness cotton.

Also wool will absorb perspiration until its saturation point is reached, then it feels wet and clammy just as cotton does. Thus the wool feels warmer longer than cotton when under sweating conditions. Fleece wont absorb perspiration, but it will transport the water vapor away from the skin. Helping you to stay drier and warmer. But it will trap moisture under a vapor barrier just as and fabric will.

Wool certainly has pros going for it, as does the new "fleece" fabrics. I have nearly completely converted to "fleece" for my winter outdoor gear but I do have a few pieces of wool that I will allways use.
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Old 12-20-2014, 01:23 PM
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I like a combo of a wool sweater and a fleece pullover on top of that-the wool absorbs any body moisture while still insulating me, and the fleece keeps wind out.
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Old 12-21-2014, 11:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ninjasurvivor View Post
I get so tired of hearing how wool retains 80% of its insulative value when wet. If you are needing to stay warm then you shouldn't be allowing yourself to get wet. But even if you get wet through circumstances beyond your control, you are still wet and in the cold. The wool won't get you out of that, it just mitigates the dangers of hypothermia.

That being said, I don't think the comparison is just. These are simpy materials. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. Layering and appropriately using these materials based on the environment you are in is more important than one being better than the other.
Have you ever worked in BC, western Washington, or SE Alaska? It is wet all the time. When the rain stops, the brush is still wet, then you have to ford rivers. It is all about being wet.
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Old 12-22-2014, 05:32 PM
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In my neck of the woods the biggest thing is what's on your feet, hands, and head. Doesn't get too cold too often...so I generally go fleece. I do have a small wool blanket I pack tho.
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Old 12-22-2014, 06:00 PM
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Wool. Just research it.
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Old 12-22-2014, 09:07 PM
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Fleece... get off the internet and get out in the woods and try it.
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Old 12-22-2014, 09:22 PM
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As the season changes, I move to wool. Can't beat a wool watch cap to keep you warm....carry wool in my ready bags...fleece can be great (but is climate dependent).
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Old 12-22-2014, 10:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fixesstuff View Post
Fleece... get off the internet and get out in the woods and try it.
I am tempted to do so. This afternoon we made the trip into the city to sell some produce, then we went to a store to look at some micro-fleece pants.

I only wear wool pants once winter sets in. But after reading so many people saying how fleece is so much better, I thought maybe I should try some.

My wool pants hold pig shyte closely, and laundering does seem to wear them out. I do not think I get more than 6 or 8 season of wear out of a pair of wool pants.

We found a rack of micro-fleece pants, they are truly soft, and they are cheap. $11.99 for a pair of pants. But no belt loops, just elastic waist bands.

They remind us both of sweat pants.

I am not sure if they would stand up to farm life.

I spent much of today mending fences while our pigs were present. My 800# boar and his sows, wanting to be pet and curious as to my work. Things snag on clothing, boar tusks, nails, jagged tree stumps, clothing needs to be sturdy and not tear apart easy.

I am used to wearing a belt. I know that wool pants hold up for a few years to farm life here in the forest. I am hesitant to trust elastic waist bands and sweat pants.

We did not buy any plastic pants tonight.
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Old 12-23-2014, 08:31 PM
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I have a great deal of synthetic fleece and wool items. Much of it was military issue and worn in Alaska and Korea in the winter. I'll be sure to layer synthetics and keep a wool blanket as the top layer.

On a side note, wool can conceal thermal signatures for a short time from aircraft as well. Not that I expect aircraft to be searching too often.
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Old 12-25-2014, 11:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ForestBeekeeper View Post
Any clothing, while on fire, and while you are wearing it, will burn you.

Your point?
Wool/Cotton burn.

Synthetics melt. Into your skin, into you muscle. Then they cool. Then they must be ripped from your skin, as part of the debrisment process to prevent infection. Which is going to take whatever flesh they are attached to with it.

Trust me. Synthetic clothing and fire is bad.
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Old 12-25-2014, 11:22 PM
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Forest bee keeper

What brands would you suggest? I've had a hard time finding thick wool/flannel. I would be obliged if you online resource.
Tyvm.

Also **** on that I layer more in South/central Penna.
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Old 12-25-2014, 11:35 PM
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I have both wool and fleece and like both.
I also like leather, silk, down, and fur (real and faux).
Cotton, canvas, and denim as well, mostly in warmer months, in non-rainy conditions.

I like my Polartec hats and shirts/jackets.
I like my Merino wool Irish sweaters. USGI wool fingerless gloves and wool socks, as well as my handmade knitted yarn wool socks. Wool watch caps (handmade). USGI M1951 wool field jackets (very warm). Wool USGI boot inserts.
Leather sheepskin gloves with Thinsulate lining.
Used to have leather sheepskin bomber jackets (expensive): very warm and durable, but too heavy. Switched to down.
"Bomber" hats.
My warmest and lightest clothing are made with down insulation - whether it's winter jackets, gloves, or sleeping bags.
My winter pants are light synthetic pants, synthetic leggings, and nylon snow pants. Synthetic extra thick and warm boot liners (Kamik).
And much much more...

So my point is, diversify your clothing type and material. Have different things. Try different things. Go for the latest and greatest ultralightweight stuff but also don't disregard time tested staples. Explore mil surplus discounts on gear. Consider the weather, especially rain, snow, moisture in general. Consider your own intentions. Will you be entrenched with fire making? Hauling wood, cutting/carving/chopping and bushcrafting a lot? Or do you put speed and lightweight movement as your priority, with a mostly LNT style?

In the end, this is a forum discussing emergency preparedness post man-made or natural disaster. Not mountaineering for fun or long distance backpacking for fun. So some people may be getting into apples and oranges discussions because they are thinking of different concepts.
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Old 12-26-2014, 12:34 AM
ajole ajole is offline
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I think wool is better in the long run.

But outside of surplus, it's pretty expensive.

So I tend to go with fleece.

I do like the newer soft shell stuff, it's like fleece with a harder woven outer layer that's more waterproof and wind proof, though not good enough for a rainy day. They are great for active pursuits, they breathe pretty well.

Silk underwear is nice, and very good for cold weather. Polypropylene is cheaper and better in some ways.

You throw some gore tex or other waterproof shell on top of those layers, and you're pretty well set.

Just a comment...nylon swells when cold, meaning it gets stiff, and possibly more waterproof. But I dislike nylon as clothing.
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Old 12-26-2014, 07:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PAMedic View Post
Wool/Cotton burn.

Synthetics melt. Into your skin, into you muscle. Then they cool. Then they must be ripped from your skin, as part of the debrisment process to prevent infection. Which is going to take whatever flesh they are attached to with it.

Trust me. Synthetic clothing and fire is bad.
I agree.

Plastics on fire while your wearing them is bad.
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Old 12-26-2014, 08:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PAMedic View Post
Forest bee keeper

What brands would you suggest? I've had a hard time finding thick wool/flannel. I would be obliged if you online resource.
Tyvm.

Also **** on that I layer more in South/central Penna.
Where I live now there are the ruins of many woolen mills along the rivers. That industry died a long time ago. I bet there was a lot of backroom deals and politics driving that change.

Woolrich is one brand name that as I understand used to offer wool products. I went through a chain store a month ago, an 'outfitter', they must have over 60% of their floor space was racks of 'woolrich' clothing. I searched and search, but outside of the socks [and what I was wearing] there was not a piece of wool under their roof.

Pendleton is very good. I own a few of their shirts. They make both dress shirts and heavy gauge outdoor shirts.

Johnson Woolen Mills offers a nice selection.

Most of my winter wardrobe came from military surplus outlets. It is hard to find thick wool pants for a low price, outside of surplus outlets. Johnson has nice ones but they are high priced.

In my area most of the wool goes to Pa to be carded and spun. We have a lot of cottage carding and spinning, but that all goes to knitting yarn. While we have a lot of homesteaders producing wool, we lack woolen mills to actually produce anything from it. Scarves, hats, mittens, is where much of it goes.

My wife and I have tried making wool felt, it works, but I do not see it as viable now pre-SHTF.
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Old 12-26-2014, 08:11 AM
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i love fleece but find that it smells (or I smell with it). For whatever reason when I get a very light sweat, fleece will smell within a few minutes. A heavy sweat doesnt do that just the light sweat. Cotton and wool dont smell.
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Old 12-26-2014, 10:00 AM
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This is likely the wrong time of year to buy wool at a good price!

I usually do that in the summer when most are wishing their freezer was bigger so they could climb inside.

This past summer I bought several sweaters for $15-25 out of pocket off of eBay. I found that the Brooks Brothers sweaters fit me very well and where made out of Merino Wool.

Here in a week or so I will be shopping for diving gear and likely some black powder gear now that hunting season is winding down and folks will be selling stuff to pay the China Mart Christmas Bills.

SD
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