How to Stay Warm Camping With a Wool Blanket

a camper standing on a mountian with a wool blanket on

Nicole Breighner February 06, 2021

Nothing is more traditional than curling up next to a fire in a wool blanket. However, anyone who has actually slept in the woods during cooler months knows that it requires more than just wrapping up before bed.

3 Tips on How to Stay Warm Camping With a Wool Blanket

Coalcracker Bushcraft has you covered. Here are three tips on how to stay warm in your wool blanket during your next winter outdoor adventure:

Understand the Material

First, it is important to actually understand the nature of wool material. Wool is naturally fire retardant, insulating, water wicking, and antimicrobial. All of these properties are a result from the actual anatomy of wool fibers. Wool blankets are breathable, insolate when wet, and regulates body temperature. Therefore, higher wool percentages in blended blankets are more coveted by bushcrafters who want to stay warm next to a campfire. 

Skills Ensure Sleep

Now that you understand all that wool has to offer, it’s important to build your sleep system to best suit the fiber. A wool blanket does not generate heat independently rather than insulate the heat which your body creates. Hence, it’s ever more essential to build a proper sleep system and shelter for staying warm. To avoid heat loss by conduction build a proper debris bed. Position your shelter to fight winter wind and limit heat loss from convection. Finally, collect radiant heat from a campfire safely positioned near your shelter.  

Layer to Seasons

Just a wool blanket in sub-zero temperatures will not be warm enough for even the bravest of bushcrafters. When the temperatures drop, layer your wool blanket no differently than how you would layer your clothing. Start with a base layer of a tight weave cotton or silk sheet, mid layer of a wool blanket, then an outer protective shell such as a gum blanket or oilcloth tarp. Adjust this layering system to your personal needs and weather temperature. 

Wool blankets are the go-to and loved sleeping choice for traditional camping. The extraordinary natural properties of wool aid to sleeping out in cold conditions next to a campfire. It’s super bushcrafty! With just these three tips you can better respect the beloved wool blanket. And if you are feeling extra nerdy, look up the cellular composition, structure, and properties of wool fiber. Then you can snap back with big scientific terminology for why your wool blanket is the best choice for the outdoors. 

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Until you hug your precious wool blanket… Stay in the woods!


Written by: Sara Jo Fegley