Beeswaxed Canvas Rain Parka

The preceding years before Lucky Sheep started, I was experimenting with an all natural, plastic free backpacking set up. I had put together all my clothing from pieces mostly found at Goodwill. I had my clothes out of either cotton or wool, a backpack made from canvas, and even a tent made from canvas which I hand rubbed with beeswax.

I was hiking along a trail which ran beside a creek in the Great Smokey Mountains national Park and a thunderstorm started up. I put on my Goretex rain parka which was one of the last synthetic items left in my backpack. As I was hiking along, I was getting too hot in the parka, but when I took it off I would be wet and cold. I was thinking to myself, there has got to be some natural solution to this.

As I was getting hot and sweaty alternating with cold and wet, a huge crashing sound happened and I saw a large tree fall over on the other side of the creek, as the lightning and thunder kept shattering the air. I was thinking how nice it would be to find a rock overhang where I could go sit under and take off my wet clothes and enjoy my lunch It would be especially nice if that rock overhang had a nice view of the creek so I could watch the rest of the thunderstorm while I took a much needed break from hiking.

I found a little place where I could walk down by the creek and started exploring around for possible mini caves. Low and behold, I found an actual cave! It had an upper opening as well as a lower opening and several feet of dry flat space in between. My wish was granted and I enjoyed the most magical experience witnessing the power of nature while I rested, reorganized, and waited out the storm.

That little idea that there has to be a better way….than plastic…stuck with me and over the next few years I experimented with little ideas. The first step was getting an oversized cotton shirt at Goodwill and rubbing it with beeswax then adding hood, pockets, zipper and drawstrings to turn it into a makeshift parka. That set me free in some ways, but it wasn’t the most stylish thing on the market, and wasn’t extremely water shedding.

So I kept my dream alive, and recently working with my right hand man Shawn Rutan, the Production Manager at Lucky Sheep, we developed our latest product The Lucky Sheep Organic Canvas Beeswaxed Rain Parka!

For the past few months we have been making a few prototypes to get the design and sizing down and are now ready to launch. This is exciting news, and feels almost like the first landing on the moon or something. Okay, we aren’t the first to introduce a waxed canvas parka. First off, we know something like this has been used historically by cultures such as the Vikings, since oil cloth is the ancestral water proof fabric. There are actually places you can already get them. But ours has several features not found in any others. 

The idea here is to create something for hiking and backpacking that is similar to a synthetic Goretex parka,…with all the technical features such as drawstring closures, hand pockets, easy entry and exit using the zipper.

This parka is only a shell, where you add or subtract layers as you see fit. So this parka will work in summer when covering only a base layer, and also work in cold weather while wearing sweaters underneath.

The advantage of waxed canvas over synthetic is hands down more comfortable due to the superior breathability. Also there is no loud swishing sounds as you walk, and you feel more grounded. Not to mention you are taking a step to end PLASTIC CULTURE which is destroying the planet. You get feel the impact of your wise choice. 

Just how waterproof are they? These Beeswaxed Canvas Rain Parkas are about equivalent to Goretex type jackets. The inside of the shell will get damp. We are aiming for a breatheable fabric suitable for hiking and exertion. 

How much does it weigh? Not much more than a Goretex type synthetic rain parka. To be more specific, about two pounds.

We offer these in three sizes. Small Medium, Large. The sizing classifications have already accounted for wearing thicker layers underneath during cold weather and provide ample room to move. That means, you don’t need to get a size larger for wearing insulation layers. The demo video explains how to choose your best size.

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