What Is A Woobie Blanket?
A woobie blanket is actually a poncho liner, issued by the US armed forces to personnel serving in wet weather and cold weather areas. However, given that it's basically a blanket, it has been and continues to be repurposed for a number of uses.
The original version had a hole for putting your head through, and ties to fasten to the poncho, essentially to act as a warming and insulating layer in rain or inclement weather, which it was very adept at.
While that clearly makes them more of an outdoor item, the wonderful thing about a woobie blanket is its versatility; you can do a lot with one.
It's a fantastic accessory to have for a number of purposes.
Why Do They Call It A Woobie?
Why do they call it a woobie? Nobody knows for sure, but there's a pretty solid theory. While the "woobie" and poncho were first issued in the 1960s, it didn't come to called a "woobie" until later.
The theory goes that troops first started calling the poncho liner a "woobie" sometime in the 1980s as a pop culture reference due to the popular comedy "Mr. Mom."
For those who haven't seen it or heard of it (let's face it; it's old) "Mr. Mom" is about a man who gets laid off from his job, and his wife returns to her career while he becomes a stay-at-home dad. One of the kids refers to his security blanket as "woobie."
People who have used them in the field grew to love their poncho liners as it gave them a bit of warmth and comfort, almost like a security blanket. Some people started using the term from the movie until it stuck.
What Is A Woobie Blanket?
Originally, of course, a woobie blanket was a poncho liner, intended for use with a waterproof poncho during wet weather.
Is a woobie waterproof? To a degree, certainly, though how much really depends on whom you buy it from and how it's constructed. Generally, they are since the materials are synthetic rather than organic.
The original version, which measured 62 by 82 inches, had a quilted nylon outer shell with polyester batting for a bit of warmth. The edges were bound for a bit of durability, and ties were sewn onto the edges for tying through grommets in the issued poncho.
What endeared them so much to combat troops was that they gave the wearer a bit of warmth and comfort while out in the elements. It doesn't take the place of actual cold weather gear in cold weather, but just gives you that little bit of extra comfort when in use.
What was also noticed is that the poncho and liner works very well as a sort of improvised sleeping bag in warm weather, or the liner itself can be added to a sleeping bag in cold weather for a bit of extra warmth in the cold.
Sometimes people would just wear the liner itself as a blanket on cold mornings or nights. It isn't too hard to imagine why it became such a beloved item for people in the service.
Lightweight, packable, and warm enough to keep you from being totally miserable.
What Could You Use A Woobie Blanket For?
The great thing about a woobie blanket is its versatility beyond its original use, whether you have an original version with the hole for the head to pass through or the modern versions which are just blankets made in the same fashion.
They're still lightweight, durable and packable, so you can put one in a pack if backpacking. A woobie blanket is also a great addition to camping gear, either for use as a blanket or a tent floor liner or divider.
You could potentially use one as an emergency shelter, much like a tarp.
You can use one as a ground blanket for picnics or outdoor concerts.
A woobie is also great to have in the home for a variety of purposes.
Roll and tie it, or put it in a stuff-sack, and you have a roomy throw blanket that you can pack away when not needed. Take it out in winter for additional bedding, let a guest use it if someone's crashing on the couch, or take it out to cozy up if you're staying in.
Basically, anything purpose that's remotely blanket-like can put a woobie to use. It's a great item to have around, incredibly comfortable and practical to boot.