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Cattail Down
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Linsey Budden

Locale: pugetropolis
Cattail Down on 10/17/2008 13:51:28 MDT Print View

Does anyone have any experience using cattail down for insulation? Apparently it used to be used to stuff life jackets and is good to stuff in your coat/shirt for emergency insulation so I'm wondering if anyone has tried to make insulating garments or sleeping systems out of it.

David Olsen

Locale: Steptoe Butte
cat tail down on 10/17/2008 20:06:28 MDT Print View

This is taught in Airforce survival training. One of my
friends stuffed a pillow with it not knowing it had spider
eggs in it. When they hatched, he had a pillow full of
baby spiders.

The Colville Indians of Eastern Washington used to weave
sleeping bags of cattail reeds and stuff them with the down.
They didn't have a plentiful supply of thick furred game
animals (buffalo etc.) to use for insulation in the winter.

Tom Caldwell
(Coldspring) - F

Locale: Ozarks
Cattail Fill-power? on 10/17/2008 21:12:25 MDT Print View

I'm glad someone brought this up. I think of this everytime I see a bunch of cattails on the river. I just write it off as a crazy thought and forget about it. So, techies, what's the fill power of this stuff???

steve suppes

Locale: Midwest
Re: Cattail Fill-power? on 10/18/2008 21:51:54 MDT Print View

Fyi, I'm sure you guys know this but cattail fluff is highly flammable. It makes great tinder. A quick spark sets it on fire. Good for making fires, but I wouldn't necessarily want something stuffed with it if i was near a crackling fire. Obviously if it's a survival situation and you needed to use it to stay warm it would be better than nothing. Any type of dead material, leaves etc... can be used to stuff clothing to add insulation.