Stone AgeThe AgesThe SeasonsWinter

Fur Reals

Tonight there is a frost warning.  It is supposed to get below freezing for 3 or more hours.  It sounds to me like the perfect time to conduct a Stone Age experiment.

Stone Age Californians (and others) employed the rabbit skin blanket as a means to stay warm.  Rabbit skins were cut into strips, twisted, and woven into a blanket.  If you would like to learn more, here are the links to two excellent books that have the details. Survival Skills of Native California, Survival Arts Of The Primitive Paiutes

Aside from keeping dry, keeping warm is the next priority.  Although we are blessed with a mild climate, it gets cold here at night sometimes and I wondered how people kept themselves and their kids safe from hypothermia.  I built a proof of concept rabbit skin blanket to find out.  This blanket took four months to weave and used 150 rabbit skins.  But I assure you, it is magical and one of my most prized possessions. 

I test this blanket in the field every chance I get to see how it performs in cold and wind.  I have found that 40 mph winds can’t make it through the blanket and temperatures of 38 degrees are no problem.  There is another bizarre quality about the blanket and that is that it seems to heat up extremely quickly in sunlight.  These are things you can’t know until you actually use one.

Tonight I am going out into sub-freezing temperatures to see how my blanket and body temperature holds up.  I suspect it won’t be a problem at all.  Every time I test this blanket I am blown away by the ingenuity of the people who developed this technology and by gratefulness and respect for the rabbit. It is an awesome thing. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.