Lucky Sheep™ brings natural fibers into outdoor gear in places they aren’t commonly found such as sleeping bags, backpacks and rain parkas. For seven years we have been blazing a trail introducing innovative products which are sustainable and bring leave no-trace camping to a new level.
Founder Abhaya’s (a.k.a. Patrick Clark) earliest memories were walking the trails carved by the feet of Cherokees who once inhabited the Wayehutta Valley where he grew up in Cullowhee, North Carolina. He stayed close to his passion, majoring in Outdoor Recreation in college. Abhaya became interested in natural fibers as well as ancestral health as he battled a health condition known as Multipile Chemical Sensitivities. Part of Abhaya’s recovery involved getting rid of the things which contained harmful chemicals including furniture and clothing. When he noticed there were no such things in the outdoor gear market, he began experimenting and inventing. Abhaya was surprised to find when he applied his imagination and creativity he could go into nature with little to no synthetic clothing or gear whatsoever. Thus he started Lucky Sheep™ to offer these products to the market.
Abhaya’s quest for health brought him outdoors following the Ancestral Health recommendations for Earthing, Grounding, Barefoot Walking, Paleo Diet, Cold Plunging and Synchronizing Circadian Rhythms. He had MCS or Multiple Chemical Sensitivities went into nature to heal. Abhaya wanted to make nature his home and not a mere ‘camping’ experience. That meant bringing non toxic camping gear…the most comfortable things that didn’t compromise quality of life. But there was no safe camping gear. Everything was synthetic and toxic. So he started playing with designs for natural fiber camping gear. Abhaya discovered how sleeping with wool outside was as delicious as walking barefoot on the ground. The quality of sleep that wool provides is unparalleled. And sleep is where we heal. He needed to be outside AND to sleep. They actually go together perfectly, but he had to find a way to make it light enough to carry.
Abhaya researched the history of sleeping bags and the early origins built by the Inuit Indians from seal skins and fur that weighed 18 pounds for the frigid Arctic winters. There was never a lightweight wool sleeping bag sold to the outdoor gear market. Was it possible and if so, why hadn’t anyone done it yet? Abhaya felt he was either wasting his time or about to discover something that would set a new standard for sleeping bags. He started playing around with materials and prototypes testing them for hundreds of nights sleeping under the sky in all conditions.
Abhaya also built a backpack and tent and was elated with his new system. Even in the rough early stages…it rocked! As his health improved he could extend his limits farther and kept tinkering. Abhaya knew this was the biggest NO NO in the outdoor culture. He was about to violate a taboo: “Thou shalt NOT use wool for sleeping bags.” It was a sacrilege. However with new fabrics made from merino wool, there was a whole new possibility.
With some special tweaks of materials and design, and searching the planet for the very hard to find ingredients since wool has become so little known and respected, Abhaya came up with a bag that is crazy competitive in weight and temperature rating to the modern synthetic bags. He designed the first prototype in 2012 and tested it extensively in all kinds of weather.
Abhaya lived several months of the year including all year in a tipi or under the bare sky often when traveling. When he would wake up in the morning having the best sleep he can remember and have no idea that within inches of my skin it was subzero temperatures and that he was even sleeping outdoors.
When sleeping in wool, he practically felt as if there were no covering, because the air flows so well from the skin. He felt just the perfect temperature and didn’t feel compressed from piles of heavy bedding. He slept so well and could sleep right through a dense fog or dew without noticing a clammy feeling. So, in October 2015 Abhaya launched Lucky Sheep™ and has since evolved to the current line of natural fiber outdoor gear. Lucky Sheep™ is one of the forerunners of the natural fiber revolution.