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Old 07-22-2012   #11
The Old Troll
David Miller's Avatar
Gypsum, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 458
Like wool? Try Alpaca!

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Old 07-22-2012   #12
SummitSurfer's Avatar
Summit County, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 435
That is good to know and this was a good read cause I would have never guess wool would do good when wet on the river. I might have to try this out!

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Old 07-22-2012   #13
BCJ's Avatar
Grand Junction, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1978
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 523
In the early days (78'-83') we relied on rag wool sweaters and socks with PVC rain gear almost exclusively. The high-tech stuff wasn't around yet. Wool works, but is not as durable, i.e., you'll put some holes and tears in it much sooner than polyfleece. Other than the durability question, I prefer wool, but have lots of the other.
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Old 07-23-2012   #14
OlyPen, Washington
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 85
Wool excels in damp conditions but it's not a miracle fabric. It does absorb some sweat odor after a while, just not nearly as bad or as soon as synthetics do. You might not smell your own stink on it, but other people can. I know this because wool used to be THE only fabric for cycling jerseys and shorts, and apparently some guys thought they never had to wash them.

When wet, it smells a little like wet dog fur, so if that bothers you, steer clear.

Like cotton, it is somewhat flame-resistant so it doesn't automatically melt holes if you get an ash or hot utensil on it--unlike synthetics.

The biggest drawback to wool is that moths eat it. Heartbreaking to find their holes in heirloom wool blankets or expensive clothing. So store it with that in mind.

It can last a long time if well-made and properly cared for. In my experience, NikWax Wool Wash is the best "soap" for wool. It is hard to find around the Denver area, though.

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