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originally posted by: burdman30ott6
Where very cold climates and baselayers are concerned, there is no substitute for real wool, period. Science has given us a couple of synthetics which retain their own heat storage capabilities when wet, same as wool does, BUT those storage capabilities aren't as high as wool to begin with. Plant based fibers do not retain their heat storage when wet... cotton kills.
If you start getting away from sheep wool and looking at musk ox qiviut (musk ox wool) the difference between it and even the finest synthetic is even more impressive. You can throw on a pair of qiviut lined mittens in 30 or 40 below zero and your hands will sweat.
You touched on some thing very important there. As an example, in the Arctic, you either eat meat and fish or die. Particularly 100 years ago. You wore the skins to keep warm. Boiled blubber and used fat for warmth and light.