08 February 2009

Extolling the virtues of wool

I can't say enough good things about wool. I have always been told that wool is great for winter camping, but have never really listened. I am now a convert. It all started a few weeks ago when I went to buy some running socks. My old cotton socks were rubbing my feet raw, so I stopped in at Runner's Corner knowing that they would have a good selection of socks. I picked up a couple of pairs of nice socks for running. Then it happened. I saw the wool socks. I remembered that I was going to go on a winter campout in a few weeks, so I looked at the options and picked up a pair of Feetures Bamboo & Wool hiking socks.

I love these socks. They are so comfortable. First off, they come is a size that fits me. The medium size fits shoes sizes 6-8.5. This is great for me because I am a size 8. They fit nice and tight, the way I like it. I don't know why most sock manufactures think that one sock can fit sizes 6-12. It's just silly. Second, the fabric feels great. It took just a little bit of getting used to. It has a different feel then anything I have ever worn. You can feel the fibers in the sock, but they are very soft and nice. Third, no sweat. I don't sweat in these socks. I walk to work most days and when there is a lot of snow on the ground I wear my hiking boots. This is great for the walk, but very hot for inside the building. I have a pair of sandals at work now, but for a while I just wore my boots all day. With my normal cotton socks, my feet were very hot and sweaty, but with these wool socks, no sweat! They help regulate the heat and keep my feet at a comfortable temperature in the heat and the cold. Fourth, they stay dry. I wore my low top hiking shoes with my new socks to work one day last week. It snowed about 4-5 inches that day during work hours. I hiked home through all that snow and then started shoveling the snow when I got home. The bottom of my jeans were soaked. I had snow packed around my ankle. I didn't even notice until I started to take my shoes off. I was completely dry. I shook the snow off my socks and they were still dry too. My conversion was complete.

I went camping this weekend in about a foot of snow. Because of my recent conversion, I went to the local thrift store and picked up a $6 pair of wool suit pants as opposed to the $140 pair of ski pants the salesman at the outfitters store tried to sell me. After tromping through the snow for two days, I was completely dry. Never wet once.

I love wool.

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