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Blog 2016

 

25 December 2016
We sure hope everyone liked the WeatherWool they got for Christmas!!

5 December 2016
Been playing around a little bit with my base layers. For cold weather, we recommend only Woolpower under WeatherWool. And my experiments reminded me why! Sitting in cool weather ... right around the freezing point ... wearing a couple of layers of cotton under my old All-Around Jac, I could really tell the difference. Not that I was cold, but I sure knew I wasn't wearing Woolpower! That stuff is serious. I also notice how much more quickly I would feel wet when it started raining if I was not wearing a wool base layer. About once a year I remind myself of this!

28 November 2016
Jersey Muzzleloader Season. I shot a nice young venison buck and hoorawed my boys into dragging it for me.

WeatherWool Jackets in Lynx Pattern and Drab Color on my sons, with a nice young venison buck

Click The Swamp for some interesting detail on this little buck.

 

12 November 2016
We’ve been pretty busy with production of our Al's Anorak and All-Around Jac. Can't wait to get those done! My aging puppy was up to her old tricks today ... she swam out into a little lake, forced some geese to fly and then retrieved our dinner. Pretty good for a 15-year old dog in freezing water!! Camo loves goose season. YAY Camo!

WeatherWool proving ground ... The Swamp
Camo Retrieving Canada in Water


5 November 2016
Today we received a sample of our ShirtJac sewn by some new (for us) tailors in Montana. For the first cut, this shirt is AOK! It will be interesting to see how this develops. We think tailoring from rural Montana sounds really American and a lot like WeatherWool.

25 October 2016
Thanks to our neighbor, Phil Bartoszewicz, for helping us today get some pictures of the updated Anorak and All-Around Jacket. Phil is the founder and owner of SCALARWORKS, manufacturer of Low Drag, Quick Detach mounts.

20 October 2016
This is the time of year when people really think about WOOL. And that’s great! But this is also the time of year when there is more to do outdoors than probably any other. Fishing, hunting, foraging are all pretty much at their peak this month!!! October is a fantastic month in much of the world!!

Last week New Jersey had its first bow and muzzleloader bear seasons. A buddy of mine, a serious wild foods enthusiast and all-around outdoorsman, took a bear with his bow. And his young son did the same! I was out with my muzzleloader, looking for bear, and saw only deer. This week, I was hunting deer with my muzzleloader in Pennsylvania, and saw only bear. It was pretty cool watching a good-size blackie feeding. He would stand up on his hind legs and grab branches with his front paws, then rip the branches down to feed. He pulled with both front legs at the same time.

Anoraks going into production in the next few days so now is the time to order!!

13 October 2016
Vancouver Island was great and WeatherWool was perfect for the relatively mild and wet climate. VI is ridiculously beautiful and ridiculously rugged. But it is sooooooo full of life. What a wonderful place!! Salmon were running ... bears, birds, seals, sea lions all feasting on them. We were treated to a whale feeding near shore. Lots of sea otters and bald eagles. Blacktail deer, Roosevelt elk. Many types of edible mushrooms. Also lots of deadly Amanitas. Ruffed and Blue Grouse. Tons of edible kelp on the shore line. Oysters by the hundreds just sitting on the exposed shoreline at low tide. A variety of edible greens, of course. We did go fishing for a couple of hours ... this wasn't planned, just sort of fell together. We caught only one undersized salmon. But this was, I think, the first time I have had WeatherWool on the ocean. It was windy, we had some sloppy seas and in a 20-foot Boston Whaler it was very nice that the wool completely shed all the spray. The dishes that Dan pulled together using all these wild ingredients were amazing. This trip was definitely successful in terms of the proof-of-concept of DiningWild Destinations. Let us know if you'd like to join us for the next DiningWild week on Vancouver Island.

2 October 2016
Tomorrow I will be heading to Vancouver Island with my buddy Dan for a few days of DiningWild ... we will seek a variety of wild foods and hopefully turn them into seriously fine dining! We will be wearing WeatherWool, of course, and plan on getting some good pictures, too.

30 September 2016
Well, make that 5 different tailors. Trying to find the right mix of responsiveness, skill, price. We’ll see. Getting our clothes made is sometimes a real sticking point. Maybe more interestingly, in a few days WeatherWool will be on Vancouver Island ... !



17 September 2016
We continue to work with tailors, getting ready to bring out some more product for this Fall. We actually have projects going with three different tailors. Also, the October 2016 issue of Petersen's Hunting Magazine just gave us a little bit of space in the NEW GEAR section.



8 September 2016
Yes, Holy Smoke, we have work going with three different tailors now. Definitely behind schedule from where we had hoped to be. But at least we have plenty of Fabric now. I just received my copy of Hank Shaw's Buck, Buck, Moose book -- a book about the preparation of all kinds of venison. Hank says pronghorn is his favorite, and I can't disagree with that! No pronghorn for us this year, but deer season kicks off here in Jersey on Saturday!



4 September 2016, Labor Day Weekend
This week we have been working with tailors getting the (hopefully) last touches finished on the updated Al’s Anorak. We are also making the “sew-by” of the latest version of our AAJ (All-Around Jacket). And we getting a sample made of our ShirtJac by some new tailors. We hope to put all three of these pieces into production very soon.



18 August 2016
Today we saw the first sample of our updated Al's Anorak. The tailoring was great! But ... I don't know what it is with tailors but they just can't resist putting linings in our clothing. It’s weird but this has happened repeatedly. In a way, I understand it because every other jacket on the market has liner fabrics. So maybe we shouldn't have been so surprised to find our new sample had a liner!! But as we always explain, there is no fabric that performs as well as wool in such a wide variety of conditions ... particularly in the wet cold. Anything else detracts from performance. So ... we went to huge lengths to create very soft and luxurious -- but still strong and tough! -- Fabric ... which enables us to eliminate liner fabrics. We should see TAKE TWO real soon.



11 August 2016
A couple of weeks back, an officer in the United States Military told me he wants to get some Anoraks this coming Fall! We will be seeing an updated version of our Anorak soon. Hopefully this week!

We are trying to wire some kind of a Pro-Staff arrangement. But we don't want a setup where people wear WeatherWool because we paid them to do so, or even if they merely got it for free.

As always, we continue to offer full refunds to anyone who is not happy with WeatherWool after a serious field test. And still, nobody has requested a refund.



16 June 2016
Sorry to have been off the air for the last month. The comments tend to go to Facebook now. The NRA Show was great for us this year. We are testing the skills of a couple of new tailors, hoping to bring our costs down and quality up. We’ll see.

We have a large quantity of Fabric on hand now and we plan to make some great garments soon!

And we are trying hard to get rid of all the King of the Mountain wool we still have on the shelves of AlexOutdoors.com.



14 May 2016
With all the rain here in North Jersey lately, The Swamp has been too flooded to do much there. Headed over to PA for some work and I had a little time early Thursday morning. Spotted a jake bugging in a field and gave him my best hen-talk. His head popped up and he periscoped for a couple of seconds, the ran the other way. I took that as an omen and started the workday!

Yesterday we visited a potential sewing shop. These guys seem super-serious and we look forward to seeing some of their work with our wool!!

It’s time to start getting things packed up for the NRA Show in Louisville, Kentucky, which runs from Friday May 20 thru Sunday May 22.



26 April 2016
The gobblers ... birdbrains! ... have been outsmarting me (so far). But it was still a great day. We were in media twice today. Mark Kakkuri, writing for Guns Magazine Online, gave us about a strong a review as is possible. This was my favorite line: “WeatherWool is durable, comfortable, warm, and probably the most perfect fabric I've ever used in cold and wet weather.” You can read the whole review on this page. My love for Wild Foods was what led me, indirectly, to found WeatherWool. But we also have a Wild Foods thing going, and that also landed us some press today. You can read about DiningWild, as we call it, in this piece from New Jersey's leading newspaper/media outlet. DiningWild also has its own website.



20 April 2016
The main thing for us is 50 pieces of new Fabric, both FullWeight and MidWeight, will be shipping to us soon. For the first time, we will have MidWeight Fabric in LYNX Pattern. Also, it’s almost Turkey Time in Jersey and Pennsy!



4 April 2016
We have gotten some really good, informal reports from the US Army, the US Air Force, and some media people. Plus we are now able to offer some UltraLight BaseLayers.



27 March, 2016, Easter Sunday
Alex and Cecy had a daughter, Isabelle, on Easter Sunday!! All are doing well! Isabelle is Debby and my first grandchild!!!



2 March 2016
Talking with the Military a lot lately, but anything that happens here is in slow motion ... until (we hope) it becomes HURRY UP! We have also been working on a modification to our Poncho for horseback riding. Also working on a Neck and Face Gaiter. And UltraLight Base Layers are getting closer to being something we will actually offer. We also got a couple of pictures of the most recent version of the Mouton Greatcoat. It is getting closer to what we want. It’s a beast of a coat! And maybe the coolest thing ... one of the guys I've been in touch with lately evaluates tents and other gear for the United States Army. He will be testing, on a personal basis, some of our clothing while camped out on the pack ice of the Arctic Ocean. He should be getting there just about now. I wonder how you can relax knowing you are on top of ice on top of the ocean ... and it’s insanely cold. Definitely looking forward to hearing about this!!



19 February 2016
One pretty cool thing from the road trip ... on the flight home from Vegas, the people in the row in front of me were watching Dual Survival on the in-flight TV. It was one of the episodes where star Bill McConnell wears WeatherWool.



11 February 2016
Definitely been slow getting the BLOG going this year. Actually I have been on the road, showing WeatherWool, most of the time since early January. First, the DSC Show in Texas. From there it was straight to Fort Wainwright and Eielson Air Force Base in Fairbanks, Alaska. 

WeatherWool ShirtJac and MidWeight Pants in Alaska, temp -10F

Not really the North Pole, just a tourist spot South of Fairbanks.
But the postmark does read NORTH POLE, ALASKA.


Home for a week, then to Fort Drum, New York, near the Canadian border. Home for a day, then to Colorado to meet son Zack and visit one of the ranchers from whom we most recently purchased raw wool. One of the things we really like about our latest purchases is that all of the ranchers are breeders of breeding stock. The fleece sold by these ranchers is the proof of the excellence of their breeding, but their main product and the bulk of their sales derives from the sheep themselves. Other ranchers wishing to improve their wool and their stock purchase rams, mostly, and some ewes, from ‘our’ ranchers.

WeatherWool Sheep "just crutched".
These sheep have just been “crutched”. The Rancher has sheared the fleece from the sheeps’ lower legs. Every sheep grows different grades of wool on different parts of its body. We use only the best part of the best fleeces. Wool from the lower legs, face, privates and belly is inferior to the fleece from the back, sides and upper legs. So the Rancher removes the inferior parts of the fleece in a separate shearing process to prevent contamination.

 

From the ranch we headed across Utah to Las Vegas. I'd been looking forward to a beautiful, scenic drive but actually, the first 500 miles of the drive from Denver to Vegas we were in heavy snow. In Utah, they said it was the worst blizzard in 61 years. The last 15 miles before we got out of the bad snow, the plow we had been following slid off the road into a ditch, and we just sort of skied the rental car out of the hills. The Northwestern corner of Arizona is quite a spectacular area ... not what I usually think of as Arizona.

 

WeatherWool in the Arizona Desert
Our ShirtJac in FullWeight LYNX Pattern Fabric is a natural fit for Arizona's dry mountains.

WeatherWool in the Arizona Desert

 

Next stop Vegas for the SCI Show. This was our best Show ever. WeatherWool is really catching on, getting recognized, becoming viewed as a standard (in my mind anyway). And ... as we love to point out ... LYNX Pattern disappears in Nature but is widely admired in social settings. Here is a picture of Hannah J. Timmons in our Ladies Bomber Jacket. We met Hannah at the SCI Show in Vegas, and she wore the Bomber around town. Thanks Hannah for the picture. Hannah is the publicist for Nature Blinds.
 WeatherWool Ladies Bomber Jacket worn by Hannah Timmons of Nature Blinds