Overnighter with a wool blanket

Leo Donkersley

Malcolm Douglas
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Hello folks,
I'm going to be trying out an alternative sleeping arrangement this autumn - one that interests me from a historical perspective.

Instead of the usual tent, or even bivvy bag/sleeping bag that I use, I want to try sleeping out in the forest with just a wool blanket. Now living in Lappland, I could get anything down to -15c in autumn.

Any advice from you guys who have a bit of experience with traditional camping? My thoughts are to work my own tarp by using a cotton sheet and waterproofing it with beeswax and linseed oil. I could stitch in some extra reinforcement and eyelets to hold the cord. I will have a fire going, but the ground will be horribly cold without a sleeping mat or similar. I want to try proper traditional though, and I don't think Roger's Rangers had the benefit of Thermorest! Layers of spruce might work, but are there any other tips or tricks that a woodsman might have used - I don't really want to carry two wool blankets if I can help it, but if that is the best solution (blanket on spruce) for a ground layer so be it.

My clothing will be wool and my equipment traditonal - and 17th century in style from my reenaction days. This is how your average soldier on campaign would've slept, I guess. The Swedes were at war for most of the first half of the 17th century, and the one thing we never reenacted was how the hell they survived the cold weather in camp!

I would be grateful for any advice.
 

Chigger

Les Hiddins
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Have read old bushwalking club reports from the 1920/30/40's. In those days before thermorest or inflatable sleeping mats the trick was to cut bracken and collect dry leaves as a sleeping mat.

Along with a small light groundsheet of some sort.

How soldiers or early pioneers survived with only one woollen blanket I truely do not know.

Probably why when looking at drawings and paintings of those era's everyone seems to be wearing heavy woollen coats and cloaks.
 

Le Loup

John McDouall Stuart
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Hello folks,
I'm going to be trying out an alternative sleeping arrangement this autumn - one that interests me from a historical perspective.

Instead of the usual tent, or even bivvy bag/sleeping bag that I use, I want to try sleeping out in the forest with just a wool blanket. Now living in Lappland, I could get anything down to -15c in autumn.

Any advice from you guys who have a bit of experience with traditional camping? My thoughts are to work my own tarp by using a cotton sheet and waterproofing it with beeswax and linseed oil. I could stitch in some extra reinforcement and eyelets to hold the cord. I will have a fire going, but the ground will be horribly cold without a sleeping mat or similar. I want to try proper traditional though, and I don't think Roger's Rangers had the benefit of Thermorest! Layers of spruce might work, but are there any other tips or tricks that a woodsman might have used - I don't really want to carry two wool blankets if I can help it, but if that is the best solution (blanket on spruce) for a ground layer so be it.

My clothing will be wool and my equipment traditonal - and 17th century in style from my reenaction days. This is how your average soldier on campaign would've slept, I guess. The Swedes were at war for most of the first half of the 17th century, and the one thing we never reenacted was how the hell they survived the cold weather in camp!

I would be grateful for any advice.
Not many members on this forum interested in primitive/period trekking & camping Leo, you might be interested in joining this forums group: Primitive Black Powder/Historical Trekking & Camping https://bushcraftoz.com/forums/group.php?groupid=14

Here is a video I made some time ago on using one blanket & an oilcloth for a shelter. If you go to the forum group I mentioned above, you will find more information on primitive/period camping.
[video=youtube;mTQ7gOT1eZM]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mTQ7gOT1eZM[/video]
Regards, Keith.
 

MongooseDownUnder

Richard Proenneke
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I used wool blankets a couple of trips ago before it got very cold. I had two single blankets, I still used my inflatable mat though as I wake up in pain if I try to sleep on anything else. I used to just use my single oilskin swag which had a thin piece of foam and two wool blankets and I was usually quite comfortable.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Leo Donkersley

Malcolm Douglas
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Swedish Lappland
Thanks for the replies, guys. I'll be looking clöosely at the underlay, which will largely determine how warm I am going to be during the night. The forest is quite good for materials - there is plenty of moss and low lying vegetation which could make a fairly comfortable matress with the addition of some spruce branches. Might be a bit of leaf litter too, from the birch trees.

It was undoubtedly hard for soldiers on campaign, which is why loss from disease, cold injuries, exhaustion and starvation killed more than the fighting. It will be an interesting exercise, but it needs some further research.

Keith, I have looked at the group before but wasn't sure how you go about joining! Any chance of a nudge in the right direction?

Regards,

Leo
 
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