On a freezing winter day with snow swirling in the wind there is nothing more comforting than the right kind of thick warm clothing and sheepskin boots.
Sheepskin is one of the warmest and most practical natural insulating products. Amongst animal skins it is only bettered in extreme conditions by a reindeer skin. In the nineteen seventies a joint exercise between Norwegian soldiers and Marines from Britain, led to them testing overnight bivouacking in a minus forty degree blizzard within the Arctic Circle. The marines dug in for the night with special ‘extreme weather’ clothing and sleeping bags to test out. The cost per soldier for this special winter survival equipment was around one thousand pounds sterling per man. Most importantly the materials were all synthetic and not natural products.
In contrast to the expensive British overnight clothing and one-man tents, the Norwegian soldiers each dug a pit then spread out a reindeer skin at the bottom. The men would then lie down on the skin and unravel another reindeer skin on top of themselves. Finally, the soldier would completely cover himself with snow.
In the morning the Marines awoke freezing cold, (assuming they actually got any sleep being so cold), and the Norwegians woke up warm and refreshed. The cost of each Reindeer skin for the Norwegians was a few Kroner which equalled about ten pounds each!
Whilst natural products are not necessarily always the best products, there are countless things from food to clothing where nature gives us the better result.
Ugg boots made with sheepskin and suede are one example of natural products that are hard to beat. Shoes and boots have been made from leather for thousands of years and here we are in the twenty first century and not only are the majority of shoes made of leather but the very finest quality shoes are exclusively all made of leather.
Continuing with the sheep theme, it is not only wool that this remarkable animal gives us. There are in excess of a billion domesticated sheep around the world and the centres of sheep population are interesting. Some countries have no domestic sheep population and in fact most of the new world only had sheep introduced in the last two or three hundred years.
The United States of America along with New Zealand and Australia are examples of these ‘new worlds’ which did not have domestic sheep and had them introduced from Europe. Somewhat surprisingly, in New Zealand there is a huge population of sheep today which equates to twelve sheep for every one human and yet in the United States of America, the number of sheep is fast diminishing which is attributed to a difference in the gastronomic tastes of the American public. In contrast, the New Zealand production is big enough to satisfy demands from many other countries including the large Middle East market.
Ugg boots, which are available pretty well wherever you live will not only keep your feet warm in the cold winter months but will also offer you style to suit whatever your tastes.
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