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Wool + Space + Fleece: ultimate combo blanket?

Discussion in 'Wilderness & Survival Skills' started by moogoogaidan, Feb 3, 2010.

  1. moogoogaidan


    Feb 21, 2009
    Hi all, I was thinking about trying to put together an ultimate survival blanket and thought i might try something a bit out of the box. I was planning on sewing together a surplus 100% wool blanket (for insulation) and fleece blanket (for comfort) with a space blanket (for waterproofness and heat retention) sandwiched securely in between. I know it will be heavy, but the blanket on the own seems like it would be an incredible stand-alone survival item.

    I was wondering if anyone else has tried this, as well as wondering if i'm going about this correctly. Do you all think that having the wool blanket as the exterior layer, the space blanket as the middle, and fleece as the internal layer is the best combination? I suppose I can do a durable MPI allweather space blanket as the exterior, wool and the middle and fleece as interior. Or maybe even just the MPA allweather space blanket and either the wool or fleece (all three layers might be overkill?).

    Let me know what you all think!
  2. Bushman5


    Oct 31, 2007
    Ive tried a wool blanket covered with a huge sheet of reflexite water heater insulation. It works pretty damn good. A bit bulky for hiking but no more than a sleeping bag and pad combo.
  3. Snow


    Jun 3, 2001
    I would do fleece + wool together and then space blanket separately on the outside.
  4. Marcelo Cantu

    Marcelo Cantu Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 18, 2003
    I think the space blanket while in a pinch and used alone will keep you warmer, when used in a system as you describe, may tend to add moisture to the mix by not allowing your moisture to escape. A better bet would be a layer of Gore-tex.
  5. pitdog


    Apr 13, 2007
    Space blankets are only a cheap temporary product to get ya by. Go with the wool then look at covering it with Goretex/ Pertex or my top pick which would be Ventile !!!
  6. hoopster


    Jan 12, 2007
    Correct, you don't really want to trap all that moisture. I found a "recipe" for a home made quilt that's supposed to be better than a sleeping bag. It's nothing more that a layer of good insulation (probably 2" or more) like Polarguard 3D, Primaloft, etc. sandwiched between two layers of 1.1 ounce breathable nylon. It's sewn in a quilt pattern to keep the insulation from shifting and it is folded over on the bottom to create a foot "pocket" which is a great idea because then you don't have to worry about your feet getting uncovered.

    You could always try your own maybe with wool between nylon if it's the feeling of wool your trying to avoid. I'd just stay away from the mylar.
  7. beef


    Feb 15, 2004
    In what context would you carry this setup? Day trips? Overnighters?

    I'd recommend either having the space blanket on the inside to act as a vapor barrier, or as a tarp to keep rain off. Having it between the blankets would trap moisture in the inner fleece blanket, reducing its ability to insulate and adding to the already considerable weight.
    My wool blanket weighs 1.5kg
    My fleece blanket weights 1.4kg
    That's 2.9kg already. for less weight and bulk you could get a sleepingbag which would provide more warmth.
    But I'm not trying to discourage you from experimenting. Just reasoning it through.

    Please let us know how your experiment goes.
  8. moogoogaidan


    Feb 21, 2009
    Thanks all for your input, I knew I was asking the right people! I don't really have a set scenario in which I would have used such an uber-blanket. maybe car camping? maybe quick one-night stays in crap motels where I don't want to lay on the bed sheets? I most likely started thinking about it after seeing The Road and wanting something to rely on when traveling through a post-apocalyptic world. ;)

    the idea of a wool and gortex blanket seems very appealing, but I would think a piece of goretex in 60in x 90in would be a bit pricey: old MooGooGaiDan is a bit on the cheap side. Although that quilt sounds like it might work out.
  9. blake g49

    blake g49

    Mar 17, 2008
    I sewed a wool Italian army blanket to a piece of 1.3 oz Pertex rip-stop - it was pretty sweet and worked extremely well. I lent it to a buddy going on an overnighter last year and it never came home...
  10. brizbane


    Feb 4, 2007
  11. amflud

    amflud Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 10, 2009
    You can even get a surplus Gore-tex bivvy cover. That's the way to go if you're going light weight, you really don' even need a tent. Try the Sporsman's Guide.
  12. somberbear


    Jul 14, 2009
    haha oddly sounds like a good poncho liner with a foot pocket sewin into it... then tada self stuff sack.../ pillow
  13. Iboschi


    Sep 17, 2009
    Most important statement yet. Use the space blanket separate. If you're serious about it, they do make reusable and very nice and thick versions of them too. You'd want to look into one of those.
  14. baldtaco-II


    Feb 28, 2006
    I wondered about something not too different just before christmas. My woman wanted one of those Slanket / Snuglet things but I think they're made from crap. To begin with I was just going to download a pattern and machine one up from a couple of layers of the best Polartec. Soft and comfy mebe but what a whopper to tote about. It was soon realized that anything like that was going to be crap for anything other than being a couch potato. Scrap that.

    Idea number two borrowed heavily from the design of the old German army sleeping bag with arms. That too was looking like a fail waiting to happen. For the size and weight one would do better just to scoot to Tesco, grab a budget down bag and stick it a super-light Snugpack bivvy bag. Machining in a couple of arm holes with zips is straight forward and the complete ensemble better than a blanket, Slanket, Snuglet thing in every respect save wet weather performance.

    That bought me full circle back to my tried and tested. Why don't I just machine something simple up from Thinsulate and Pertex. I love the properties of those materials. I've had the liner out of an old M65 field jacket and replaced it with one made from those before and it worked great. Far better than that shitty quilted stuff they use in them that usually turns up in surplus shops a poncho liner. With christmas looming fast I was out of time to actually put it together. The blockage was too much time spent ruminating on what would be the ideal reflective material to put between the Thinsulate and the Pertex. I ended up bailing on that and replacing that gift with something else, but I believe the idea is fundamentally sound.

    Meantime, back at 'taco towers I've found this. Dunno how good it is, it might be as poxy as that quilted poncho liner crap, but it strikes me as quite light, quick drying, and reasonably durable. Perhaps ideal for casual use in blanket form. I was thinking that press studs to attach a reflective layer would be the way to go: A] take it apart to clean it / dry it. B] bin the reflective bit off when it gets violenced and slot in a new one. That's a 1m*1.5m blanket for a little over 1lb. The obvious thing to do would be to have two with a reflective layer between but then you're into the weight / size / performance range that a good conventional sleeping bag is going to piss over.

    Anyways, brain-dump over.
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2010
  15. valcas1


    Feb 25, 2007
    I think you could do better with a synthetic insulation like Polarguard or Climashield along with some momentum 90 or 1.1oz Sil nylon on one side and a nomex fabric on the other side for fireside comfort. The weight would be lighter and you can always use a AMK space blanket as an addition to this setup.

    It would be light, flame resistant and waterproof depending on the fabric you chose. That is the direction I am going. I think a size similar to those backpacking quilts. For me It would be around 53-55" wide and about 78" long. I am playing around with a design that can be used as a poncho liner and has a sewn in flap in the bottom to convert to a sleeping quilt.

    This is a great subject. I would love to hear more input.
  16. moogoogaidan


    Feb 21, 2009
    I knew if I came here with a roughly conceived idea it would be refined and improved upon! Now I just need to be pointed in the right direction to get 54 x 80 sheets of material such as Polarguard, silnylon, etc, etc. Anyone know the best place for me to start? Thanks again all!
  17. Flotsam


    Oct 13, 1998
    outdoors wilderness fabrics - owfinc.com
  18. valcas1


    Feb 25, 2007
    Thru-hiker dot com

    I have not found a suitable nomex fabric yet. I will let you know if I do.
  19. valcas1


    Feb 25, 2007
  20. moogoogaidan


    Feb 21, 2009
    You're pretty much the MAN Valcas! Thanks for all your input -- when ol' uncle sam comes around to give me my money back, i think i'll try to put this little blanket together.

    Now i don't know what my next DIY project is: this blanket or a plain jane workbench that i convinced myself i also need.

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