June 19, 2010

Make It Last - Item #4: Wool Socks

When I lived in a housing cooperative the membership set up a "Free Store". This shed was where unwanted items could be placed. Any member could access the Free Store to stock up on any items they may need. This frugal, smart idea kept useful things out of the landfill, and supported the community.

I loved the Free Store and my partner and I both contributed to, and took from, this glorious free exchange of great used stuff. My favourite on-going find was a pile of gently used Merino Wool hiking socks.

I stopped buying cotton socks many years ago. First of all they are just too... well, white. But more importantly, as I found out as a hiker and backpacker, cotton is a notoriously poor insulator that soaks up water and dries painfully slow. Unhappy feet = an unhappy hiker.

As far as comfy, happy feet are concerned, you can't beat wool socks. I have also discovered that wool socks can last a very, very long time. Long after cotton socks would have been threadbare, I still wear the second hand wool socks from the Free Store, although they are due for replacement I must admit.

I broke down recently and splurged for two new pairs of wool socks. These luxurious cushions are my preferred socks for times I need the benefits of proper socks, such as when roaming the hills and valleys of my area. The new socks were expensive, as far as socks go, but I know these quality foot wraps will last me many, many years.

Now that my feet are happy, if I could only find a local Free Store.

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