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 Keeping warm 
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Location: Melmac (County of Pierce)
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Real Name: Gordon Shumway
Are wool blankets still the 'go to' for cost vs warmth?



I know there are all sorts of uber cool synthetic polymers these days...

I'm looking at a couple sub freezing nights and wanna make sure I got the best for the buck.

I have an overhang or 'mothers attic' type spot which is a fairly enclosed area.. I was thinking of using mylar blankets on the wall/ceiling/floor to create a LOT of reflecting surface area to keep in as much heat as possible... Or is that a bit overkill? Lol

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Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:49 am
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This question is always about cost. If it wasn’t... as you mentioned it’ll be the latest and greatest.

Truthfully it’ll end up being a combination. As most folks have some new and some old.

Using very cheap Mylar reflective emergency blankets coupled with more dense fabric (wool, synthetic or otherwise) would be the most logical.

And always the factor of stationery or mobile - be it vehicle or on your back will obviously play a roll in the decision.

One technique I try to use is the old cowboy roll. It does better with a larger piece of heavy fabric but the technique is well proven.

https://youtu.be/OUmY1uOSL28

Of course having multiple layers may ultimately be the easiest and fastest answer.


Thu Nov 29, 2018 12:14 pm
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It comes down to the amount of dead air space you have to keep heated to be comfortable in. Fleece & wool are both good because they trap a lot of dead air in the fibers, and both still "feel" warm and dry-ish when they're actually wet. Fleece beats wool in the warm when wet battle. If you can keep a warm, dry, air pocket around you, you'll be able to stay warm with body heat (assuming you don't go into the situation partially hypothermic to begin with). Multiple layers of wool or fleece will do this, if you add mylar to the mix you need to make sure you're able to vent moisture because you don't want to create a greenhouse effect. Basically that means don't seal yourself into a Mylar bubble.

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Thu Nov 29, 2018 1:51 pm
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Wool is a tried, and true material. Not fancy, not glamorous, just practical.

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Wed Dec 05, 2018 8:47 am
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Down is the best because it has numerous air pockets that can trap heat. But it can be spendy. Fleece is next. Then wool.

I’ve seen queen size down comforters going for pretty cheap in the bargain bin at IKEA just inside of the cash registers on the main floor.

Last year Costco had smaller, couch size down blankets for $15. All the backpackers snatched them up to line their hammocks and quilts.

When backpacking, we would wear a ton of fleece layers inside of a sleeping bag to dramatically increase the range of a summer or three season bag. There are some very good fleece jackets and pants that get dropped off at goodwill. And there are some $200+ fleece and down jackets that occasionally show up at Marshall’s.

As far as insulating the walls go, I would imagine most anything would work. Mylar blankets might get expensive. I’d see what kind of bedding might be available at Goodwill. Or if you want to step up a bit you can go to Home Depot and buy some of the insulation for foundation walls. Some of it can get pretty thin but be enough for you. Then you can cut it to shape and adhere it well.

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Wed Dec 05, 2018 6:03 pm
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You can't beat a space blanket wrapped around you inside of a down sleeping bag. If you just want to curl up under a blanket, there are some good cheap alternatives out there. One that I like is an oversized thin blanket that is warm with a single layer but if you double it you are going to be throwing it off after a while.

I had an itching affair with wool during my Military Days and I will not own one ever again.

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Wed Dec 05, 2018 6:08 pm
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Why not just drive down south to a freedom loving warmer state?

Gas to get down there vs battling weather everyday.

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Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:15 pm
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TechnoWeenie wrote:
Are wool blankets still the 'go to' for cost vs warmth?



I know there are all sorts of uber cool synthetic polymers these days...

I'm looking at a couple sub freezing nights and wanna make sure I got the best for the buck.

I have an overhang or 'mothers attic' type spot which is a fairly enclosed area.. I was thinking of using mylar blankets on the wall/ceiling/floor to create a LOT of reflecting surface area to keep in as much heat as possible... Or is that a bit overkill? Lol


Not overkill, just won't do much. Better idea as I believe this could be a permanent mod, get a couple sheets of 2" "styrofoam boards" from Home Depot, etc.

Cut and glue to the inner surfaces. Not only will it retain warmth in winter, it will keep heat out in summer. If you want, you can even get it with a foil face for what little radiant heat effect it will have.

For sleeping, a good old fashioned sleeping bag rated for the low temps you can expect is the best and they don't have to be expensive. Since you aren't backpacking you don't need to worry about having a sub zero rated bag that weighs about as much as a pack of cigarettes.

The thing about wool is that it can retain warmth (to a point) when wet. The bad news is that when wet it often smells like the sheep it was cut off of.

One last note, there are tons of derelict RV's around the countryside. See if you can find one that people are selling the parts and you might score a good 12V RV Furnace and thermostat. Atwoods and Suburbans take in outside air and send the exhaust outside unlike catalytic heaters. Suburbans need a smaller hole. Once you have it installed with 12v power and propane piped to it it's merely a matter of connecting some heat ducts to route heat where you need it. You might even find all the pieces you need on Craig's List.

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Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:04 pm
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