When it comes to cold weather emergency blankets, wool performs better than any other fabric. Besides being great insulators, they perform well even when wet and they have fire retardant properties. A wool blanket is the best option for thermal protection during an emergency.
A few years ago our area experienced a huge wind storm. Pine trees randomly came crashing down on houses and powerlines and just about anything else. The power was out for days; a couple of weeks for some people. Some residents had wood stoves and could keep their homes warm and cook food. Some had generators. Some families only had blankets and clothing to keep warm. People were bundled up for days. Those who had wool blankets on hand were mobile and best protected.
Having wool blankets handy can be a life saving choice.
The best wool blankets are warm, comfortable, durable, fire resistent, and the right size to cover the full body. The best emergency wool blankets are also light enough to be portable or stow in a vehicle or pack.
The best wool blankets make use of the natural properties of wool fibers. They efficiently trap heat even when wet. Wool blankets are affordable and easy to buy - it's just a matter of being aware and making the purchase.
The top wool blankets tend to feature these attributes:
Most wool comes from sheep. However, it's becoming more common to see blankets from alpacas, camels, goats (cashmere and mohair), muskoxen (qiviut), rabbit (angora), etc. Typically, the best prices come from sheep wool. In some cases the geographical area where the animals are raised is important in the branding.
Wool is different from hair and fur. It is crimped and elastic. When it is spun, the crimped structure allows the fibers to cling and attach. The fibers are more bulky that other fabrics and they hold air. When the air is heated, it doesn't escape easily giving it great thermal properties.
Textile experts have classified wool quality and "fineness" based on the crimp count per inch (centimeter). A fine wool has 100 crimps per inch.
Wool can absorb moisture, up to one third it's own weight. Even so, the reduced air flow allow it to retain its thermal properties.
Wool ignites as a relatively high temperature. The reduced airflow further retards its burning capability. It tends to "char" instead of burn.
While wool is generally hypoallergenic, some people have a natural allergy to the wool itself.
Wool is also biodegradable and renewable. It is all natural and has nearly zero negative impact on the environment.
The main use for emergency wool blankets is to keep warm. Their thermal qualities protect against wind and cold. They can insulate against snow or other cold surfaces as well.
Every family should have wool blankets for emergency purposes. Here's how we recommend using them:
Any wool blanket can help in an emergency. However, the military often defines the best methods to survive with years of experience and experimenting.
Military-style wool blankets are ideal for survival situations. They are the right weight, size, shape, composition, and color. They are ideal for transport while sustaining ideal thermal qualities. While they may not be the most stylish, they are designed for optimal survival function.
We recommend storing a blanket with very similar specs. 70/30% or 80/20% with similar weight and dimensions will work great.
The best wool blanket is the one you have access to during an emergency. Whether you use them for your common bedding or have them stored with your emergency gear, being able to use one during an event is crutial.
Power outages, camping outings, or road trips tend to be the most common times people need the thermal qualities of a good blanket. Be sure you have enough on hand for each household member and make sure they are clean and well kept.
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