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Camping Blankets

Camping Blankets – The Right Weight and the Right Warmth

When choosing a camping blanket, the most important considerations are weight and warmth. Warmth is needed to protect the body from the elements, but some warm blankets add too much weight to a camping pack. All weather blankets are ideal because they can be used for year-round camping. Popular materials used for camping blankets include wool, mylar and fleece.

Wool Blankets

A high-quality wool blanket is one option for a camping blanket. Wool is a warm material that provides insulation even when it has absorbed moisture. It is used in all weather blankets because it can regulate the body’s temperature in both warm and cool conditions. When they are made of pure wool and not mixed with flammable materials, wool blankets are fire retardant. They are best when weight is not a major concern, so they are more useful for car camping than for backpacking. A drawback of wool blankets is that they can be itchy and produce allergic reactions.

Mylar Blankets

Mylar blankets are known as “space blankets” because they are used as insulators by NASA, but they are also popular as camping blankets. Mylar blankets do not resemble traditional blankets, nor do they have the same feel. They are made of a plastic film and are metallized with a reflecting agent. They can retain 90 percent of body heat by reflecting it back to the user. Mylar blankets are moisture-proof, airtight and can also provide shade from the sun, and these qualities make them all weather blankets. A folded mylar blanket can weigh less than two ounces and fit in a pocket, so they are useful when space and weight must be reduced.

Fleece Blankets

Fleece camping blankets are composed of a synthetic polyester material. Fleece blankets can be very light while providing comparable warmth to the much heavier wool blankets. Unlike wool, fleece blankets are not itchy, and they are hypoallergenic. Fleece is a vegan alternative to wool and is often made from recycled materials. It is not flammable because it melts rather than catching fire. Fleece blankets are soft and easily washable, and they are affordable. They can be all weather blankets because polyester fleece resists moisture and dries quickly. The choice between different all weather blankets depends partly on what is needed for the user’s camping plans. Mylar blankets are helpful in emergency situations, and wool blankets are great in cold weather as long as they do not need to be carried. However, fleece blankets have the ideal balance of weight and warmth, and they do not sacrifice comfort.

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Daniel Cropper

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