“Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.” – Mark Twain
It’s the same thing with wool clothing. Everyone talks about it. Every prepping, survivalist, bushcraft, camping, whatever web site or book that talks about clothing talks about wool clothing. How much better it is than anything else. The fact it insulates well, even when wet. Its inherent fire resistance. Wool’s natural wicking ability. It’s antimicrobial characteristics. It all sounds really good, and it is. Wool, especially merino wool, is just about the perfect material for outdoor clothing. So what’s the problem? Nobody does anything about it.
Well, I guess they do. They use it and write about how wonderful it is. What I mean is, none of the people talking about it tell you where to find good wool clothing. This is a problem. Online searches for “100% wool clothing” or “100% merino” return tons of results that… are NOT 100 percent wool, merino or otherwise. What percentage of wool does it need to have to be considered “good” wool clothing? I’ve found “highly recommended (and highly expensive), made in USA” merino wool socks that only have 60% wool in them. Are they any good? The world may never know, at least by trying to find info online…
Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it
Since everybody talks about wool clothing, but nobody provides details about it, I’ve decided to do it myself. As a service to my readers, I’ve ordered four different kinds of merino wool socks. Wool percentage ranges from 64 to 85 percent and price range was $13.99 to $25.00 per pair. The socks I ordered were Darn Tough Hiker Boot Sock, Full Cushion (66% merino), Darn Tough John Henry Boot Cushion (64% merino), American Pride Unisex Merino Wool Hiking Sock (71% merino), and Minus33 Merino Wool Day Hiker (85% merino wool).
I thought it was interesting that the second cheapest pair (Minus33 – $13.99) had the highest wool content. It will be interesting to see the differences in quality and comfort between the different socks. I’m taking a 2 week outdoor wilderness first aid course next month, so I’ll get a chance to try them out in real world (cold, wet, and outdoors) next month. When I find out what’s up with them, I’ll report back here. Until next time…