On the subject of blankets and shelters

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Elleth
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Re: On the subject of blankets and shelters

Post by Elleth »

For what it's worth, you can get wool thread on Etsy for darning blankets - it feels a bit less "scabby" than using linen.

Also... do you have the facilities to dye it? Even a light walnut wash can really take down the amount of flash on a white blanket.
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Eofor
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Re: On the subject of blankets and shelters

Post by Eofor »

Iodo wrote: Mon Mar 30, 2020 7:32 am Blankets:
My first questions are what kind of blanket do you have and how much does it weigh? I've done quite a bit of reading about this and it seems that proper blankets are heavy, that depends on the size of blanket, a few people have recommended that for sleeping rough I need at least a Queen size blanket, but there seems to be mixed opinion and some people say twin is OK, I'm guessing this depends on the temperature where it's being used?
I am sorry I didn't reply to this when you first posted it Iodo.

One thing to consider alongside what blanket is going to suit your use is what you will be wearing when you crawl under it at night. We did a camp in May in snow and minus three degrees and while my sleeping setup didn't change much from normal I was wearing more layers than I normally would including a woolen cap and hood.
Also you want to think about what time you will be getting into bed, we had no fire and so were in bed almost as the sun went down to ensure we carried as much heat in with us as possible.

My current setup (see below) consists of something to to get me off the ground either a stretcher of thin boughs or foliage in a stuff mattress, a fleece or skin of some kind over the top of that, me, and two or three woolen blankets over the top to trap that heat in.
The fleece I had been using was sheepskin which is a bit heavy for my liking but does a wonderful job of ground insulation. We recently sourced some air dried reindeer pelts from Norway which have rather miraculous weight/warmth ratios for hiking.

The blankets are pictured below, the blue one is an Irish wool machine woven one and the red one is hand woven and plant dyed. Neither is very large (probably a 3/4 length single size) but they cover me up well enough as I tend to curl up as much as possible in the cold.
I think the reason people suggest the much larger size is that they roll up in them like a sleeping bag but with the under layers I don't need the main blanket over me. Oh and layering is also important. I always have a dense weave as my outer layer to trap in the heat and a fluffier wool close to the body for the air pocket effect.

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Elleth
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Re: On the subject of blankets and shelters

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My gosh your group has the yummiest woolens I've ever seen.
I can't tell from the photo: are those the dense almost carpet-like heavy blankets? Or lighter throw weight? I'm guessing the Irish one is the heavier?

Between your recommendation and the Hands-on-History Viking people I'm thinking I might have to try that reindeer hide as ground layer after all. I'd mentally binned it as "Hollywood Barbarian" but I guess I was wrong. :mrgreen:
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Iodo
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Re: On the subject of blankets and shelters

Post by Iodo »

Elleth wrote: Mon Nov 15, 2021 12:10 pm My gosh your group has the yummiest woolens I've ever seen.
I second this, that set-up looks Amazing Eofor :mrgreen:
Eofor wrote: Mon Nov 15, 2021 3:20 am I am sorry I didn't reply to this when you first posted it Iodo.
don't worry about that, I honestly haven't really got any way of testing this stuff out anyway (short of yard camping) so I'm in no rush, the people over on YouTube do seem to want me to do camping tho so I do have some ideas on the drawing board, but it won't be any time soon. Thank you very much for your input, it's all good knowledge :P
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Eofor
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Re: On the subject of blankets and shelters

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Elleth wrote: Mon Nov 15, 2021 12:10 pm My gosh your group has the yummiest woolens I've ever seen.
I can't tell from the photo: are those the dense almost carpet-like heavy blankets? Or lighter throw weight? I'm guessing the Irish one is the heavier?
You are too kind Elleth, I only wish I had photographs of Heimirs new blankets as they are superb. These two are actually quite light (throw weight) and I haven't struggled with them yet. I do have a new one on order which at 530gsm is much heavier and should provide a perfect outer layer. I also have one other textile on order which may change the whole lot.
https://handwovenwool.com/twill-22/131 ... ad-32.html
Elleth wrote: Mon Nov 15, 2021 12:10 pm Between your recommendation and the Hands-on-History Viking people I'm thinking I might have to try that reindeer hide as ground layer after all. I'd mentally binned it as "Hollywood Barbarian" but I guess I was wrong. :mrgreen:
One of our regular reenactment hiking friends went to Norway and hiked with them and seeing the pelt he bought home sold us on the idea. They are air dried so instead of being on a heavy leather like backing it's more of a rawhide parchment making them extremely light. They also don't shed.
Our order has been delayed by the pandemic but we hope to have them soon at which point I will update this thread.
Iodo wrote: Mon Nov 15, 2021 10:13 pm I second this, that set-up looks Amazing Eofor :mrgreen:
You are too kind as well Iodo! I know most of my events are done under the guise of living history but always happy to help where I can.
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Elleth
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Re: On the subject of blankets and shelters

Post by Elleth »

Eofor wrote: I do have a new one on order which at 530gsm is much heavier and should provide a perfect outer layer. I also have one other textile on order which may change the whole lot.
https://handwovenwool.com/twill-22/131 ... ad-32.html
Oooh.. I've played with some handwovenwool stuff: I think you'll be quite happy.
(The heavier blanket wool was kinda scratchy but very dense)
Eofor wrote: One of our regular reenactment hiking friends went to Norway and hiked with them and seeing the pelt he bought home sold us on the idea. They are air dried so instead of being on a heavy leather like backing it's more of a rawhide parchment making them extremely light. They also don't shed.
Our order has been delayed by the pandemic but we hope to have them soon at which point I will update this thread.
Hunh. My experience with (commercial, generally cattle) rawhide is that it gets soft and snotty-slippery when wet.
Are they treated somehow, or does their process not do that, or is the answer just "don't let them get wet?"

Regarding the Hands on History people themselves - I can't tell from the videos exactly what the story is with their hikes. Are they purely a reenactor group that happens to welcome guests? A "Viking dude ranch / outfitter" that runs some kind of lodge / excursion business? A bit of both?

... gosh those trips look fun. :mrgreen:
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Eofor
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Re: On the subject of blankets and shelters

Post by Eofor »

Elleth wrote: Tue Nov 16, 2021 11:38 am Oooh.. I've played with some handwovenwool stuff: I think you'll be quite happy.
(The heavier blanket wool was kinda scratchy but very dense)
It's place in the bedding will be the outer layer so it shouldn't be to much of an issue I hope.
Elleth wrote: Tue Nov 16, 2021 11:38 am
Hunh. My experience with (commercial, generally cattle) rawhide is that it gets soft and snotty-slippery when wet.
Are they treated somehow, or does their process not do that, or is the answer just "don't let them get wet?"
I know what you mean and I haven't seen one sodden yet but in snow melt and morning dew they don't seem to get slimy. I don't know if it's a property of the air drying or not.
Elleth wrote: Tue Nov 16, 2021 11:38 am Regarding the Hands on History people themselves - I can't tell from the videos exactly what the story is with their hikes. Are they purely a reenactor group that happens to welcome guests? A "Viking dude ranch / outfitter" that runs some kind of lodge / excursion business? A bit of both?
I think they started as the former and evolved into the latter. They still do their own things but for their excursions they take along paying guests (usually reenactors but sometimes not) Our friend says they averaged 20km a day carrying everything with them so they must be reasonably serious about the hiking component.
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Re: On the subject of blankets and shelters

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To add to the list of blanket suppliers, this past year I purchased a "heavy blanket for sleeping" from Woolsome, and am really pleased with it.
Mine is a mixed grey, without stripes (they usually have a few plain/solids) and weighs in at 6lbs 6oz. (2.9 kg).
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Iodo
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Re: On the subject of blankets and shelters

Post by Iodo »

Thanks for that link Odigan, I did decide that I wouldn't buy anymore blankets, but I might have to get one of those at some point, they look nice :P
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