This past Monday, I was very excited when the UPS delivered my new package! The new Military Surplus Italian Officer’s blanket I ordered had arrived on time. Whenever packages arrive on time, it makes me happy, as I am sure it does you too. The best part… I guess you could say, I am a somewhat of a wool, fiber and felting fanatic. When it comes to fibers, especially for survival and emergency prepping supplies, I will only ever recommend two; Alpaca and 100% wool. Not a 90/10 blend. Not 80/20. Nope, it must be 100% wool. Okay, enough talking about my obsession, the key point here is that I’ve been wanting to add this new blanket to my survival gear for some time and thought I’d give you a run down on it.
Unpacking My New Blanket
The Italian Officer’s Blanket are not something you will find on the market every day and are considered to be rare. The dwindling stock from which I was lucky enough to purchase online from is extremely limited in quantity and not expected to be back in stock at anytime in the near future. As a good prepper or survivalist, I’m sure you’ve already done or are in the process of doing your homework and I don’t need to tell you this.
Each of these blankets available are what is known as ‘Old New Stock.’ They are old blankets which have not been used and have been stored with moth balls for an extended period of time. This was clear enough as soon as I opened the package. My blanket stunk to high heaven so outside it went to hang over the porch banister for 2 days. In this short time, the smell was completely gone.
Color Identification of The Italian Officer’s Blanket
Correctly weighing in at just above the 5.5 lbs mark, it is my understanding that Italian Officer’s Blankets are officially identified by an OD Green with a Coyote Brown Stripe.
The Italian Officer’s Blanket is one of the most sought after 100% wool blankets and with good reason. They are heavy, they pack down tighter than a lot of other military blankets and they are toasty warm. I was actually surprised at how tight it compacts for storage.
The official identification is a little misleading. If you’ve never seen one of these blankets in person before, I assure you the color described is not what you will see. The blanket is not a rich brown as described by some, not green as described by others and it’s still not quite OD Green. It has a definite gray sheen. The stripe is not what I would compare to other military gear labeled as Coyote Brown either. The stripes are more of a grungy light stone khaki color. You will not find the beauty of a Hudson Bay in this blanket but you will find an affordable price tag, the high quality you expect and plenty of useful function and purpose.
100% Wool Itch Factor
The Italian Officer’s Blanket, being 100% wool, does have the famous itch factor. It is fairly rough to touch but it is also smoother and softer than most other military surplus blankets. Not to fret, there is an easy fix to aid comfort and is conducive to cleaning and other tasks.
Because this blanket is part of my survival gear and its use undetermined, I do not want to permanently sew a liner to it. I will however be adding a few grommets along each of the four sides and do the same to a much softer fleece liner cut to fit. If it becomes a blanket which I use for sleeping, the ease of joining the softer liner will allow for comfort while being quickly separated for cleaning. Should it be used for water collection, as a rucksack, or tarp, the grommets likewise will be beneficial for cinching or tying. As stated previously, these blankets are rare and collectible. Before adding your own modifications, think about that first. This blanket was bought specifically for survival measures and I have no intention of selling it as a collectible.
Why The Italian Officer’s Blanket Stands Out As A Superior Blanket
- Quality: Italian Officer’s Blankets are made to outlast all other wool blankets. While some people may prefer a German Army Blanket or even Swedish, the Italian Blanket has long been and is still considered overall the best all wool Military Surplus blanket ever made.
- 100% Wool: 100% Wool is naturally fire, mold, and mildew resistant and has the ability to keep you warm even when wet. Wool is a hygroscopic insulator meaning that the wool fibers are able to soak up as much as 30 percent of its own weight in moisture while retaining it’s insulation properties to you. Depending on the weave, insulation properties of wool have the ability to keep you protected in both cold and hot weather. This blanket offers exactly that.
- Weight: A 100% Wool blanket of Military size, roughly 81″ x 64″ should weigh approximately 5.5 lbs. and these do.
*Do not be fooled by the likes of Rothco and and other brands who are pawning off ‘military style’ or ‘military replica’ wool blend blankets which are selling for around $20. They do not compare to the original.
- Weave: Italian Officer’s Blankets are woven tighter than most other blankets making them perfect for other uses.
Other Uses For The Italian Officer’s Blanket
- Body Protection: Useful as a cloak style robe or even a hunting camo wrap.
- Carry: It could easily be used as a rucksack able to carry a fair amount of gear.
- Collection: This blanket would do quite well for emergency water collection.
- Element Barrier: This blanket is sturdy, tightly woven, and heavy enough to make a useful shelter door.
- Emergency Shelter: This blanket is tightly woven enough that it can effectively be used as a tarp tent, A frame tent or lean-to shelter
- Ground Usage: The blanket is woven tightly enough to use as a tarp or ground cloth.
- Sleeping: This blanket is sturdy enough to fashion into a hammock or use as a bed roll.
Parting Thoughts on the Italian Officer’s Blanket
The Italian Officer’s Blanket, comparable only to the Swedish Officer’s Blanket and the German Military Grey Blanket, together making up the three best blankets for emergency survival, I stand by the general consensus that this truly is the best military surplus wool blanket ever made.
This blanket is superior in every way. I recommend storing one in your survival or bug out shelter, keep one in your vehicle in case of emergencies, attach it to your bug out bag (as I have done,) and/or stored with your basic prepping supplies. You’re probably thinking that’s little more than keyword stuffing but I digress. I genuinely feel this blanket should be a top priority addition to your survival gear. Priced under $50.00 makes it affordable to most and the high quality lends itself useful for many purposes. If I could, I would buy 20 more. This blanket will, without a doubt, outlast all other military wool blankets.
Today, all Military Surplus Blankets, especially those constructed of 100% wool are becoming harder to find. There are very few of these left and I honestly cannot stress to you enough how for under $50.00 you should absolutely take advantage of them while they are available and get yours before they are gone!
Italian Officer’s Blanket Discussion:
Q. Do you currently own an Italian Officer’s Blanket? Why would you recommend it to others?
Q. Do you know your wool? Do you wonder where your yarn comes from? Know Your Wool is a Free Mini Course where you will learn about different types of wool and the individual characteristics of each.
Knowing and being able to work with wool is not only fun offering so many useful and creative options like wet felting, needle felting. When you have the ability to understand various properties, you can begin learn how to use it. You can drop spin it into yarn, use it as insulation, make your own blankets and outerwear, make various survival gear, etc. Knowing Your Wool is a great survival skill to have!