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Camping

Wool or fleece?

What does everyone prefer--wool or fleece for warm clothing in the cold? I've found that wool keeps me warm--even when it's wet--but it's also really heavy and can really slow you down if you're going on long lightweight alpine treks. Looking for any recommendations.

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from Alex Pozarski wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

Both, wool pants becuse they get wet in the morning walking, fleece jacket

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from jonwat3 wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

I prefer wool because it breathes and it warm even when wet.The warmest ones I have are Stanfields unionsuits I got from Canada. Initially they itch some but after wearing them for a little while the itch factor goes away.

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from Unseenkiller wrote 3 years 42 weeks ago

wool by far, wet or dry youre still going to be warm

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from buckhunter wrote 3 years 45 weeks ago

I like fleece because its water proof and its very warm.

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from LostInIce wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

There is a reason why sheep have wool and are not wrapped in plastic bottles aka fleece. I live in Iceland and have been with SAR over the years. Wool is our no.1 piece of gear when it comes to outdoor clothing. Wool breathes better then fleece and will not irritate my skin as fleece does. When you are in a survival situation wool will want wool and not fleece on your body.

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from dilerium23 wrote 4 years 46 weeks ago

Wool is way to itchy for me as well but is not as warm. Fleece is definitely more comfortable and can keep you fairly warm as well.

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from SD_Whitetail_Hntr wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

You gotta go wool for the warmth.. Complain about the weight when it's wet but here's the thing, it continues to keep you warm when it's wet.. That's HUGE!! You never know what you're gonna face out there. Having a piece of clothing that can continue to keep you warm when it gets wet is a life saver. Who cares about when it's too warm.. wrap it around your waist and deal with it. Freezing to death wouldn't be an option I'd like to face. Now if you're in a situation where you know it's not gonna get too cold, the lightweight fleece might get you by. As far as the itch, someone already mentioned the Merino Wool. Great stuff but not cheep.

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from RonCooley wrote 5 years 6 weeks ago

There is a place for both wool & fleece, although improvements in Fleece has it displacing more & more wool. Look at the facts: Wool is tough & it's quiet but it takes forever to dry & it weighs a ton when wet. Fleece is light & dries almost instantly. Neither is windproof or waterproof. Fleece is an excellent insulator, yes, even better than wool, but it's not as "tough". Wool makes many itch while fleece is hypo-allergenic.

Now look at applications:

For quiet pants in nasty brush, nothing beats wool. On my September Montana elk hunt I will have wool pants. Quiet will matter as we slip into the dark timber & the brush is likely to have its share of thorns that could tear up fleece. If the brush isn't bad & full of thorns fleece pants are great. Walking through grasslands or hunting in wet areas I would rather have fleece as it will stay light while wool will seemingly attract water. Adding a pound or even a half a pound to the weight of your pants doesn't sound like a lot but it adds up with every step you take. Both wool & fleece are available with a waterproof barrier — but that's behind the wool or fleece.

For layers you can peal off as needed, especially on mobile hunts, lightweight matters. Here fleece wins hands down. A very warm fleece vest and/or shirt weighs next to nothing in your pack, yet it will provide great insulation when needed. What's critical here is your outer layer. If it's wind & water proof either fleece or wool will stay dry & you will stay warm.

Another place fleece shines is scent control. Fleece is easy to wash & it dries FAST. This means you can hunt with clean SCENT FREE clothing every day. As a rifleman, that's important but as an archer, that's critical. Yes, I own a lot more fleece than wool.

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from Shipwreck wrote 5 years 7 weeks ago

Ever watch those old WW11 movies? especially the British ones? What was their standard battle dress? Bloody WOOL tunics WOOL sweaters and GREAT COATS (WOOL)! Even in the desert of North Africa at night. Shorts in the day woolies at night.Also,consider all the POWS in the Stalags in winter with almost non existent heat. What were they wearing that contributed to their survival? Heavy , hairy , itchy wool tunics,sweaters pants,socks and long johns! I cringe every time I see what todays army uses for "battle dress" COTTON/synthetic CRAP! Try to sleep in the open any time of year in the northern boreal forest even in summer in something like this especially if its wet from the days exertions.Wool wins hands down! It will even work when wet.Wring it out and put it back on.Sure some synthetics have their uses (great anoraks or raingear)but for the wild back of beyond wool can`t be beat.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Paul Moody wrote 5 years 9 weeks ago

Wool is by far warmer however as was said when it gets wet its heavy and if all of a sudden its gets too warm to wear, your hooped. I learned a couple of tricks in my army career. The best one (and I still do it) is womens nylons. If I am hunting on cold days i wear ladies nylons. They are lightweight, comfortable and you would be surprised how warm they are and nobody else knows your wearing them. For the upper body, a light turtleneck shirt will usually prevent itch.

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from bighunter wrote 5 years 18 weeks ago

wool

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from Yoda wrote 5 years 20 weeks ago

Wool is what i prefer when i'm sitting in a stand in the cold snaps. Fleece is nice as a layer and definitely appreciated on those long hard treks. Layers are definitely the way to go though as you can combine various types of clothing to be better equipped for the elements. I like to have some polypro on me as a base layer as it wicks away moisture well and drys quickly, with either wool or fleece after that. It really depends on the situation that determines what I wear.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Yoda wrote 5 years 20 weeks ago

Wool is what i prefer when i'm sitting in a stand in the cold snaps. Fleece is nice as a layer and definitely appreciated on those long hard treks. Layers are definitely the way to go though as you can combine various types of clothing to be better equipped for the elements. I like to have some polypro on me as a base layer as it wicks away moisture well and drys quickly, with either wool or fleece after that. It really depends on the situation that determines what I wear.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from ye ole coaste wrote 5 years 22 weeks ago

Howdy uall! I concur wholeheartedly with jacy1515 and also other writer abt the military surplus outhtere.Some hi-quality product at abt 1/4 price of new. Good HuntN Carry ON!!! YOC

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from ADK Hunter wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

Just spoke to Mr. WOLF...He say "WOOL"

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from jacy1515 wrote 5 years 24 weeks ago

I have had fleece flash from being to close to a fire .If anyone should find themselves in a survival situation the use of extreme caution should be used in around or near open flame .A flash to your face and eyes could end up making a survival situation into a deadly situation.Burns in the field are hard to treat and if your vision is obscurred your chances for survival are lessened.Wool when dry is not that heavy and packs well ,slow down and enjoy your trip If weight is a problem look at a better pack system it can make a lot of difference look at the systems that outfitters use.They pack weight equal to their own over mountains.Good luck in you endevers the slower the better

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from jburgman wrote 5 years 24 weeks ago

Thanks for all the replies and advice, everyone. Just spoke to someone from Canada who goes to army surplus stores at the start of every winter, buys a bulk of wool blankets, and sews tunics for her family and friends out of them. She swears by them--says that wool blocks the wind a lot better than fleece.

Although still, there's something to be said for the fact that fleece is so light, and available practically everywhere (and for cheap, as long as you don't have to have the name-brand stuff).

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from jacy1515 wrote 5 years 24 weeks ago

i'll take the wool anyday a layer of cotton with a good layer of wool will keep you warm wet or dry.Just grab an old army blanket and you have a pretty good start on a survival kit. my wife hates the wool also but its always her shivering her butt off.man-made can't improve on nature wool and down as long as the down is dry will keep you comfortable in about all situations.All this new fangled equipment is not needed wwII surplus wool and a good poncho and liner.done

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from idahooutdoors wrote 5 years 25 weeks ago

I combine them both when it is really cold outside. A fleece hoody under a medium weight old school black and red checkerd wool coat. I put a light waterproof and windproof shell on over that when it is really brutal, and that seems to beat back the worst that mother nature throws at me in the mountains of Idaho. Another must have in my apparel thses days is a fleece neck gaitor, it is worth its weight in gold when the temps drop.

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from toddsmith wrote 5 years 27 weeks ago

The Merino wool is almost non-itch. When you're cold though, for some reason the itch goes away. I wear the wool socks from "Wool-Power" everyday even in the summer and I don't feel any itch there at all.

Fleece is soft and nice when new, but I've settled on wool. My favorite combination of layers is;

Merino wool under-garments, Merino wool second layer, goose down vest, tightly woven wool outer layer with double pockets and double layered at the shoulders.

todd

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ridgerunner N.Ga. wrote 5 years 27 weeks ago

Cabelas sells a bunch of fleece/hybrid outerwear/shells with their wind barrier membrane inside. this stuff is the best. I buy 2x/3x for severe conditions and layer up or down accordingly.

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from herbie57_57 wrote 5 years 27 weeks ago

I would have to go with wool also. Wind really cuts through my fleece but a good wool sweater over a long sleeve shirt can really keep me warm.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from JPindaUP wrote 5 years 28 weeks ago

9 out of 10 sheep prefer fleece.

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from jburgman wrote 5 years 28 weeks ago

Thanks for the tips. Yea, sometimes I get bothered by the itch with wool; throwing a simple base layer underneath seems to do the trick--but even those are expensive nowadays though!

The downside about fleece is that it's really catches a flame! If you've ever tried to dry your fleece by the campfire and set it a little too close, you know exactly what I'm talking about!

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from The Bowman wrote 5 years 28 weeks ago

Wool is by far the better insulator----pretty much hate the itching, too, though

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Kristen Keys wrote 5 years 28 weeks ago

I like fleece just because I find wool itchy. If you buy a quality brand of fleece like northface, it seems to do the trick. Plus, i like to camp when it's a bit warmer! I don't do sub-zero temps. ;)

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from Kristen Keys wrote 5 years 28 weeks ago

I like fleece just because I find wool itchy. If you buy a quality brand of fleece like northface, it seems to do the trick. Plus, i like to camp when it's a bit warmer! I don't do sub-zero temps. ;)

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from jburgman wrote 5 years 24 weeks ago

Thanks for all the replies and advice, everyone. Just spoke to someone from Canada who goes to army surplus stores at the start of every winter, buys a bulk of wool blankets, and sews tunics for her family and friends out of them. She swears by them--says that wool blocks the wind a lot better than fleece.

Although still, there's something to be said for the fact that fleece is so light, and available practically everywhere (and for cheap, as long as you don't have to have the name-brand stuff).

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from jburgman wrote 5 years 28 weeks ago

Thanks for the tips. Yea, sometimes I get bothered by the itch with wool; throwing a simple base layer underneath seems to do the trick--but even those are expensive nowadays though!

The downside about fleece is that it's really catches a flame! If you've ever tried to dry your fleece by the campfire and set it a little too close, you know exactly what I'm talking about!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from JPindaUP wrote 5 years 28 weeks ago

9 out of 10 sheep prefer fleece.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ridgerunner N.Ga. wrote 5 years 27 weeks ago

Cabelas sells a bunch of fleece/hybrid outerwear/shells with their wind barrier membrane inside. this stuff is the best. I buy 2x/3x for severe conditions and layer up or down accordingly.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from toddsmith wrote 5 years 27 weeks ago

The Merino wool is almost non-itch. When you're cold though, for some reason the itch goes away. I wear the wool socks from "Wool-Power" everyday even in the summer and I don't feel any itch there at all.

Fleece is soft and nice when new, but I've settled on wool. My favorite combination of layers is;

Merino wool under-garments, Merino wool second layer, goose down vest, tightly woven wool outer layer with double pockets and double layered at the shoulders.

todd

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from idahooutdoors wrote 5 years 25 weeks ago

I combine them both when it is really cold outside. A fleece hoody under a medium weight old school black and red checkerd wool coat. I put a light waterproof and windproof shell on over that when it is really brutal, and that seems to beat back the worst that mother nature throws at me in the mountains of Idaho. Another must have in my apparel thses days is a fleece neck gaitor, it is worth its weight in gold when the temps drop.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from jacy1515 wrote 5 years 24 weeks ago

I have had fleece flash from being to close to a fire .If anyone should find themselves in a survival situation the use of extreme caution should be used in around or near open flame .A flash to your face and eyes could end up making a survival situation into a deadly situation.Burns in the field are hard to treat and if your vision is obscurred your chances for survival are lessened.Wool when dry is not that heavy and packs well ,slow down and enjoy your trip If weight is a problem look at a better pack system it can make a lot of difference look at the systems that outfitters use.They pack weight equal to their own over mountains.Good luck in you endevers the slower the better

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from ADK Hunter wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

Just spoke to Mr. WOLF...He say "WOOL"

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from RonCooley wrote 5 years 6 weeks ago

There is a place for both wool & fleece, although improvements in Fleece has it displacing more & more wool. Look at the facts: Wool is tough & it's quiet but it takes forever to dry & it weighs a ton when wet. Fleece is light & dries almost instantly. Neither is windproof or waterproof. Fleece is an excellent insulator, yes, even better than wool, but it's not as "tough". Wool makes many itch while fleece is hypo-allergenic.

Now look at applications:

For quiet pants in nasty brush, nothing beats wool. On my September Montana elk hunt I will have wool pants. Quiet will matter as we slip into the dark timber & the brush is likely to have its share of thorns that could tear up fleece. If the brush isn't bad & full of thorns fleece pants are great. Walking through grasslands or hunting in wet areas I would rather have fleece as it will stay light while wool will seemingly attract water. Adding a pound or even a half a pound to the weight of your pants doesn't sound like a lot but it adds up with every step you take. Both wool & fleece are available with a waterproof barrier — but that's behind the wool or fleece.

For layers you can peal off as needed, especially on mobile hunts, lightweight matters. Here fleece wins hands down. A very warm fleece vest and/or shirt weighs next to nothing in your pack, yet it will provide great insulation when needed. What's critical here is your outer layer. If it's wind & water proof either fleece or wool will stay dry & you will stay warm.

Another place fleece shines is scent control. Fleece is easy to wash & it dries FAST. This means you can hunt with clean SCENT FREE clothing every day. As a rifleman, that's important but as an archer, that's critical. Yes, I own a lot more fleece than wool.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from The Bowman wrote 5 years 28 weeks ago

Wool is by far the better insulator----pretty much hate the itching, too, though

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from herbie57_57 wrote 5 years 27 weeks ago

I would have to go with wool also. Wind really cuts through my fleece but a good wool sweater over a long sleeve shirt can really keep me warm.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jacy1515 wrote 5 years 24 weeks ago

i'll take the wool anyday a layer of cotton with a good layer of wool will keep you warm wet or dry.Just grab an old army blanket and you have a pretty good start on a survival kit. my wife hates the wool also but its always her shivering her butt off.man-made can't improve on nature wool and down as long as the down is dry will keep you comfortable in about all situations.All this new fangled equipment is not needed wwII surplus wool and a good poncho and liner.done

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from ye ole coaste wrote 5 years 22 weeks ago

Howdy uall! I concur wholeheartedly with jacy1515 and also other writer abt the military surplus outhtere.Some hi-quality product at abt 1/4 price of new. Good HuntN Carry ON!!! YOC

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Yoda wrote 5 years 20 weeks ago

Wool is what i prefer when i'm sitting in a stand in the cold snaps. Fleece is nice as a layer and definitely appreciated on those long hard treks. Layers are definitely the way to go though as you can combine various types of clothing to be better equipped for the elements. I like to have some polypro on me as a base layer as it wicks away moisture well and drys quickly, with either wool or fleece after that. It really depends on the situation that determines what I wear.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Yoda wrote 5 years 20 weeks ago

Wool is what i prefer when i'm sitting in a stand in the cold snaps. Fleece is nice as a layer and definitely appreciated on those long hard treks. Layers are definitely the way to go though as you can combine various types of clothing to be better equipped for the elements. I like to have some polypro on me as a base layer as it wicks away moisture well and drys quickly, with either wool or fleece after that. It really depends on the situation that determines what I wear.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Shipwreck wrote 5 years 7 weeks ago

Ever watch those old WW11 movies? especially the British ones? What was their standard battle dress? Bloody WOOL tunics WOOL sweaters and GREAT COATS (WOOL)! Even in the desert of North Africa at night. Shorts in the day woolies at night.Also,consider all the POWS in the Stalags in winter with almost non existent heat. What were they wearing that contributed to their survival? Heavy , hairy , itchy wool tunics,sweaters pants,socks and long johns! I cringe every time I see what todays army uses for "battle dress" COTTON/synthetic CRAP! Try to sleep in the open any time of year in the northern boreal forest even in summer in something like this especially if its wet from the days exertions.Wool wins hands down! It will even work when wet.Wring it out and put it back on.Sure some synthetics have their uses (great anoraks or raingear)but for the wild back of beyond wool can`t be beat.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from SD_Whitetail_Hntr wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

You gotta go wool for the warmth.. Complain about the weight when it's wet but here's the thing, it continues to keep you warm when it's wet.. That's HUGE!! You never know what you're gonna face out there. Having a piece of clothing that can continue to keep you warm when it gets wet is a life saver. Who cares about when it's too warm.. wrap it around your waist and deal with it. Freezing to death wouldn't be an option I'd like to face. Now if you're in a situation where you know it's not gonna get too cold, the lightweight fleece might get you by. As far as the itch, someone already mentioned the Merino Wool. Great stuff but not cheep.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from dilerium23 wrote 4 years 46 weeks ago

Wool is way to itchy for me as well but is not as warm. Fleece is definitely more comfortable and can keep you fairly warm as well.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from LostInIce wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

There is a reason why sheep have wool and are not wrapped in plastic bottles aka fleece. I live in Iceland and have been with SAR over the years. Wool is our no.1 piece of gear when it comes to outdoor clothing. Wool breathes better then fleece and will not irritate my skin as fleece does. When you are in a survival situation wool will want wool and not fleece on your body.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 3 years 45 weeks ago

I like fleece because its water proof and its very warm.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Unseenkiller wrote 3 years 42 weeks ago

wool by far, wet or dry youre still going to be warm

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from bighunter wrote 5 years 18 weeks ago

wool

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from Paul Moody wrote 5 years 9 weeks ago

Wool is by far warmer however as was said when it gets wet its heavy and if all of a sudden its gets too warm to wear, your hooped. I learned a couple of tricks in my army career. The best one (and I still do it) is womens nylons. If I am hunting on cold days i wear ladies nylons. They are lightweight, comfortable and you would be surprised how warm they are and nobody else knows your wearing them. For the upper body, a light turtleneck shirt will usually prevent itch.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jonwat3 wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

I prefer wool because it breathes and it warm even when wet.The warmest ones I have are Stanfields unionsuits I got from Canada. Initially they itch some but after wearing them for a little while the itch factor goes away.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Alex Pozarski wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

Both, wool pants becuse they get wet in the morning walking, fleece jacket

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