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JawsThemeSwimming428
02-02-2011, 00:10
I know everyone has an a preference and no one is really right or wrong but I am having trouble making a decision. I am a new hiker and plan on purchasing my first shelter. I think I have narrowed it down to one hammock and one tent. My main concern with the hammock is storing my back pack. I don't know how comfortable I feel leaving it outside or hung in the open somewhere. The two I have narrowed it down to are:

Warbonnet Blackbird Double layer 1.0
http://warbonnetoutdoors.com/blackbirds.php

vs

Light Hear Gear Custom Solo
http://www.lightheartgear.com/LightHeart_Gear/custom_Solo.html

Any advice would be appreciated.

JaxHiker
02-02-2011, 00:27
Between those two I'd have to go with the hammock. I dig the BB but it seems like it's got this cult following I don't understand. Just tried a Switchback and it was very comfortable. They all have their good and bad points, though.

As for leaving the pack outside it's no big deal. I just throw my pack cover over it and lay it under the hammock. What do you feel uncomfortable about? I don't think a bear's going to steal it and take it to a pawn shop. :)

daddytwosticks
02-02-2011, 08:30
If you can afford if, get both and enjoy! :)

Grinder
02-02-2011, 08:43
I have both. A DIY hennessy clone and a lightheart gear custom.
I am still conflicted regarding the superiority of either.(after 5 years of experimentation.)

Unlike many on this forum, I have no big aversion to sleeping in the shelters. The social aspect of shelters is important to me. I hike alone and am ready for company by nightfall.

On a cold raw day, the tent is a nice thing.

Often, finding a good hang is not that easy, although much easier than a flat smooth tent site.

Weight wise it's a wash. more money means lighter.Around 5 lbs is the bottom limit.

So, you can't go too wrong and you will probably end up with both before you die. <G>

Tipi Walter
02-02-2011, 08:58
On a cold raw day, the tent is a nice thing.
. <G>

I've often thought about hammock campers on my many winter trips and wonder why I don't see any set up in the snow where I go. Of course, I don't see many tent campers either---and sometimes no one including dayhikers. To me, hammock camping is tarp camping with a elevated bivy sac. I'm just trying to figure out how hammockers sit out a 12 day series of blizzards as I did on my last trip, spending four days at one spot and seven days at another, mainly because the snow was too deep to move very far without a postholing nightmare. (We don't carry snowshoes in the Southeast---at least I don't).

How do hammock campers hunker in for seven days at one spot in a 5F degree blizzard? Can they fire up their stoves in the hammock? Can a person sit put inside a hammock for 7 days?

ShaneP
02-02-2011, 09:57
If I was expecting Blizzard conditions, I would take a nice expedition grade dome tent. Probably wouldn't be doing much hiking anyway.

Aside from that, I'm never going back to ground.

My whole hammock shelter system (winter Kit) comes in around 6.5 lbs. That's everything. I hung in -2˚ last weekend very comfortably.
and I'm not really even going for weight.

Tipi is right, it basically is like tarp camping in a suspended bivy, except without the bivy if you do a top loader like me. That's what I love about it.

In the end to me, it's all about comfort. I don't care how good your pad is, it can't beat a hammock for older bones.


S

Buffalo Skipper
02-02-2011, 10:18
A buddy of mine picked up a BB, and this weekend we set up and compared our gear. I love my hammock, but MAN!!!! that Blackbird is really comfortable.

My hammock gear weighs 2 lbs less than my old setup with a 5 lb 1.5 man tent (which I did like!). It weighs about a 1-1.5 lbs more than those who use a tiny tent/tarp shelter. But the level of comfort I gain is (at least to me) significant over sleeping on the ground or on a shelter bunk. In fact, I enjoy my hammock so much that I look forward to a weekend outing so I can sleep in my hammock rather than my own bed. It is that comfortable.

Many people have hammocked the entire AT without a night in a shelter.

JaxHiker
02-02-2011, 10:37
How do hammock campers hunker in for seven days at one spot in a 5F degree blizzard? Can they fire up their stoves in the hammock? Can a person sit put inside a hammock for 7 days?
You use a tarp over the hammock to give you a wide area of coverage. It keeps the snow/rain off you and lets you sit on the ground (or in the hammock if you don't have a bugnet). If you have a winter tarp it'll have doors on it making it very much like a tent...only more comfortable. ;)

SouthMark
02-02-2011, 10:39
How do hammock campers hunker in for seven days at one spot in a 5F degree blizzard? Can they fire up their stoves in the hammock? Can a person sit put inside a hammock for 7 days?

We can lie in our hammock under the rain fly, reach over and light the stove while still in the hammock and sleeping bag. We can sit on the side of the hammock as if in a chair or recliner or on a sit pad under the hammock and fly for 7 days. We can stand under the rain fly and change clothes or just stand. We are not confined to the small space and low headroom of a tent. Bad weather or not I usually sit in my hammock with legs over the side, feet on the ground and do all my cooking, reading, etc. When I am with tent campers they usually come over to cook and socialize under my roomy rain fly.

SouthMark
02-02-2011, 10:40
My winter hammock and rain fly weigh less than 16 oz including suspension and guy lines.

Grampie
02-02-2011, 11:20
I started my thru with a Kelty tent. I had the tent before I decided to thru. It was on the heavy side. I got to Damascus at Trail Days and was looking at all the shelters on display thinking about getting something lighter. I was looking at a Hennessy hammock and was given the chance to try one on consignment. I slept in it for 4 or 5 nights but decided to stay with the tent.
The reasons why were; I slept well in the hammock but found it more difficult to get set up. It was more difficult to get into the sleeping bag inside the hammock. I could not change clothing while in the hammock. I had no room inside for stuff like my boots or other gear.
Whit I did like was that it was lighter than a lot of tents and packed with less space. It was also nice to be off the ground when it rained.
I ended up returning it back to Hennessy and buying a new tent.

Ashman
02-02-2011, 11:32
Hammocks have a learning curve to them but the comfort level increase exponentially as you progress up that curve IMO. Given the two I would go hammock. I've done some hiking in some pretty nasty weather, I've yet to encounter weather that made me long for sleeping on the ground.

gunner76
02-02-2011, 11:34
Black Bird Hammock is the way to go. The picture was taken on night it got to 18 degrees.

I have camped out in a tent in sub zero snowy conditions 10K feet up to very warm/hot in the Sahara deset in July/Aug and I would rather sleep in a hammock as it is much more comfortable. I have a 3 person tent that I have used once (very uncortable night) since I got my hammock.

I can set up and take down my hammock in less time than it takes to set up my tent.

Most fun I had camping was a couple of months ago watching a young couple spend 45 minutes tying to set up their tent. After watching them for 10 minutes I offered to help but they said no, they had it under control.

ShaneP
02-02-2011, 11:36
I've slept in some Bible rain in my hammock and have never had water issues. A tent will inevitably one day leak. Maybe not when it's new, but over time as the floor degrades, they all will leak in the end. Kind of like waders.



S

garlic08
02-02-2011, 11:48
It would be nice to always have the right tool for the job. But if you can only afford one tool, it makes sense to get the more versatile one. Adjustable wrenches are generally cheap crap, but they are versatile and usually get the job done for a low cost. I see my tarptent the same way. It's cheap and light and versatile. I often camp where there aren't any trees, too. I would not want to try to hang a hammock between saguaro cacti. Or hike down off a gorgeous bald at sunset because there aren't any trees. Of course it's not always the perfect solution, but it's what I have and I've always made it work. I did try a hammock for a season and that didn't work for me.

ShaneP
02-02-2011, 12:05
I'll also add that I started out with a gathered end hammock, and tried an enclosed one for a while. If the enclosed one was what I had started with, I probably would not have switched. I hated it. No where to put or hang stuff really, not to mention the bivy-like claustrophobia. In my top loader I can have all my gear on the ground around and under me within arm's length and all of my clothes and junk hanging from my ridgeline overhead. I tend to like to ride low to the ground foot or so up.


S

Spider
02-02-2011, 12:28
I have a hennessey hammock and it's always served me well. Much more comfortable than laying on the cold ground. As for the pack, I usually just leave it under my hammock. I recently purchased JRB pack cover/pack hammock which I'll attach to the bottom of the HH so we'll see how that goes.

SouthMark
02-02-2011, 12:34
I know everyone has an a preference and no one is really right or wrong but I am having trouble making a decision. I am a new hiker and plan on purchasing my first shelter. I think I have narrowed it down to one hammock and one tent. My main concern with the hammock is storing my back pack. I don't know how comfortable I feel leaving it outside or hung in the open somewhere. The two I have narrowed it down to are:

Warbonnet Blackbird Double layer 1.0
http://warbonnetoutdoors.com/blackbirds.php

vs

Light Hear Gear Custom Solo
http://www.lightheartgear.com/LightHeart_Gear/custom_Solo.html

Any advice would be appreciated.

Jaws, you owe it to yourself to checkout WhiteBlaze's sister site, hammockforums.net. Just about everything you would want to know about hammocks. Probably someone over there that lives close to you that would loan you a hammock to try out.

scope
02-02-2011, 23:51
...I am a new hiker and plan on purchasing my first shelter. I think I have narrowed it down to one hammock and one tent. My main concern with the hammock is storing my back pack. I don't know how comfortable I feel leaving it outside or hung in the open somewhere.

Classic newbie hammock question, where do you put your pack? Consider the airspace under your tarp as yours - you don't need the walls. Don't worry, I asked the same question. Its the 4 walls and a roof mentality that makes you ask it. As if someone is going to steal it? Or some thing? I used to put my pack in an extra large ziploc bag, but stopped bringing that extra weight - just not necessary.

However, pardon my blasphemy, but I'd go with that tent. First of all, its a sweet tent for the weight and price. Because of the aforementioned 4 walls and a roof mentality, it is easier to be a hiker and feel like you know what you're doing with this type of gear, as opposed to the hammock which does have a learning curve, which would only be steeper and longer for a newbie hiker.

I get the idea that you're young, so sleeping on the ground shouldn't be that big a deal. I used to do it all the time, no problem. Now its a problem, so I hammock. Get some experience hiking, and baby that tent. Should sell pretty well under used gear listings if you decide later to go the hammock route.

BrianLe
02-03-2011, 02:14
"I am a new hiker and plan on purchasing my first shelter."

There is indeed more of a learning curve for a hammock --- I would say of all winter gear items there's more of a learning curve to hammock camping than to any other single piece of gear. Note also that some places it can be challenging to find good hang sites.

What I suggest is that you borrow a hammock if you can (see via hammock forums if there are local hammock enthusiasts who will set theirs up for you to check out in person), or consider making a test hammock (http://www.imrisk.com/testhammock/testhammock.htm) and spend a couple of nights outdoors in it (use ccf or other padding to stay warm this time of year, indeed, look at the hammock forums). See how well you like the process, whether the upsides outweigh the downsides for you.

I would definitely do this before buying a camping hammock.

Note also that IMO "where to store the backpack" isn't a significant downside to a hammock --- the question suggests to me that you might not be thinking of all of the downsides (of course there are downsides to tents too ...).

Spokes
02-03-2011, 02:17
I've owned a Hennessey and, as most hammocks do, they sleep cold (no, I don't want to pack something ridiculous like a pod, down cover, etc.... that's just silly). Sure a hammock is good if you're hiking in say.... Panama?

Settled on a tent as my preferred long distance hike shelter.

You choose.

fredmugs
02-03-2011, 07:14
I've often thought about hammock campers on my many winter trips and wonder why I don't see any set up in the snow where I go.

Check out this guys videos:

http://www.youtube.com/user/shugemery#p/u/1/xI_ztvTJfL8

SouthMark
02-03-2011, 07:46
I've owned a Hennessey and, as most hammocks do, they sleep cold (no, I don't want to pack something ridiculous like a pod, down cover, etc.... that's just silly). Sure a hammock is good if you're hiking in say.... Panama?

Settled on a tent as my preferred long distance hike shelter.

You choose.

Would be just as silly to pack something ridiculous like a pad and sleeping bag for a tent. Most tents sleep cold without these.

Liv2Ride
02-03-2011, 08:22
My winter hammock and rain fly weigh less than 16 oz including suspension and guy lines.

Me and I'm sure all of the hangers on the HammockForums would be very interested in you posting pictures and the specific gear list of your sub 16oz winter hammock system. That's pretty amazing. The only one that I know of that broke the 1lb barrier is the world famous SGT ROCK.

Does your 16oz include an underquilt or purely the hammock, tarp and suspension etc.?

boarstone
02-03-2011, 08:31
MIce/rodents getting into pack come to mind....so keep this in mind...

Ironbelly
02-03-2011, 09:51
Mice and rodents are typically only an issue at or in the immediate vicinity of shelters. I have yet to have any animal bother my pack while in a hammock or tent well away from shelter sites.

silence
02-03-2011, 10:06
I have both for under 3 lbs
http://www.rei.com/product/779612
http://www.rei.com/product/754769
I mainly bought the hammock so I wouldnt have to sit on the ground in camp, but now Im thinking more and more about sleeping in it when the bugs will allow it.

Tipi Walter
02-03-2011, 10:14
Me and I'm sure all of the hangers on the HammockForums would be very interested in you posting pictures and the specific gear list of your sub 16oz winter hammock system. That's pretty amazing. The only one that I know of that broke the 1lb barrier is the world famous SGT ROCK.

Does your 16oz include an underquilt or purely the hammock, tarp and suspension etc.?

I was with Sgt Rock when he had his superlight homemade hammock and we were camping atop Whiggs Meadow on the BMT when he had an epic hammock failure which he probably should describe. The next day his wife met him in town with another hammock and the one shown below.

http://www.trailspace.com/assets/c/7/1/40049/TRIP-115-571.jpg

Spokes
02-03-2011, 10:33
Check out this guys videos:

http://www.youtube.com/user/shugemery#p/u/1/xI_ztvTJfL8

Fredmugs I love watching Shug! Whooo Buddy!

Here's what Shug says about hammock insulation in a comment he made to one of his viewers:

"You will still need some sort of insulation under you in a hammock. Most get a back chill at 65 to 70 ..... seriously. ..."

Funny but my back never got cold in a tent when it was 65-70 degrees outside.

Of course the analogy here is the old sign that says:

http://www.thebus.net/files/u15/W8-13.jpg

bobqzzi
02-03-2011, 10:47
Fredmugs I love watching Shug! Whooo Buddy!

Here's what Shug says about hammock insulation in a comment he made to one of his viewers:

"You will still need some sort of insulation under you in a hammock. Most get a back chill at 65 to 70 ..... seriously. ..."

Funny but my back never got cold in a tent when it was 65-70 degrees outside.

Of course the analogy here is the old sign that says:



Is it safe to say you always use a pad when sleeping in a tent? Would not the same pad suffice in a hammock?

Spokes
02-03-2011, 10:53
Is it safe to say you always use a pad when sleeping in a tent? Would not the same pad suffice in a hammock?

Not if you wanna stay warm in cold weather. Too much air circulation underneath...... just like a bridge.

chiefduffy
02-03-2011, 10:56
Is it safe to say you always use a pad when sleeping in a tent? Would not the same pad suffice in a hammock?

It has worked for me (warm) since 2004. (Z-lite +SPE).

Buffalo Skipper
02-03-2011, 11:01
Is it safe to say you always use a pad when sleeping in a tent? Would not the same pad suffice in a hammock?

YES! But....

The pad will work in the hammock, but some people (including me) feel that the pad reduces the comfort inherent in a hammock. Others are good with a pad. From what I have read, most pads will only get you down to somewhere in the 30s by itself.

I have a down underquilt which will keep me comfortable down to about 20. It weighs only 24 oz. Not too bad. For me the greatest deal about the hammock is the level of comfort vs the hard ground. With the tarp over the hammock, I have a multitude of options on how I can pitch it, depending upon the weather (high for air flow, baker style for a front porch, low for rain, very low and tight--like a tent--for winter shelter, or no tarp at all to see the stars). With a single layer tent, you really don't have that versitility. With a tent w/rainfly, you can generally either pitch the rainfly, or not. My hammock tarp weights about 19 oz.

Overall, I feel that my level of comfort with the hammock far exceeds a tent (ground) option. Yes it cost more. Yes there is a learning curve. But I had become so uncomfortable on the ground that I would not be as avid a backpacker had I not found hammocks. Those are pretty strong words.

Raul Perez
02-03-2011, 11:04
There is some validity to what Spokes says. In cold weather if you use an underquilt and the wind gets underneath your tarp it can rob you of some warmth. I've had it happen. A tent can atleast trap in some heat.

There are pros and cons to both hammock and tents. I wake up more refreshed and have a more compact shelter system with a hammock than compared to a tent. But that's just my mileage on the trail. Yours may vary.

Rain Man
02-03-2011, 11:05
Any advice would be appreciated.

Yep. Study up on the concept of "buyer's remorse" and don't unknowingly let it defeat you or even push you around.

Almost doesn't matter if you buy a hammock or a tent or etc. There are pros and cons and no completely good or completely bad option.

Rain:sunMan

.

SouthMark
02-03-2011, 11:29
Me and I'm sure all of the hangers on the HammockForums would be very interested in you posting pictures and the specific gear list of your sub 16oz winter hammock system. That's pretty amazing. The only one that I know of that broke the 1lb barrier is the world famous SGT ROCK.

Does your 16oz include an underquilt or purely the hammock, tarp and suspension etc.?

If you will notice it I said my winter HAMMOCK & RAINFLY (only).

kayak karl
02-03-2011, 12:02
Is it safe to say you always use a pad when sleeping in a tent? Would not the same pad suffice in a hammock?
the same pad will suffice and you can use pads. 1/4 closed gets me to 40 degrees. two of them to the teen's. they were bulky to carry so i switched to underquilt.

my zero degree gear if this helps.

DIY hammock with suspension....................18 oz
Cuben zpack tarp w/stakes and tieouts.......10 oz.
TEWA 3/4 UQ 0 degree..............................20 oz.
JRB Rocky Mountain Sniveller (wearable).....28 oz.
Foot Pad (seconds as structure for pack)......3 oz.

Total 4 lb. 15 oz.

NOW, can someone post their tenting gear for zero degrees so the OP can get a comparison.

this is everything packed and set up.

lori
02-03-2011, 12:25
Not if you wanna stay warm in cold weather. Too much air circulation underneath...... just like a bridge.

Pads and underquilts for me. Either of them down to 20F. Work great. Awesome comfort.

The trick is overcoming your susceptibility to opinions of all the people who claim it's cold, etc. without ever having really used a hammock properly.

Shug hangs in Minnesota, in subzero temps with pads and underquilts, and Turk is a Canadian hammocker who does the same, and there are plenty of others, such that a winter hammocking forum has been proposed over at hammock forums.

And then there are those who take 4 season tents in winter and hammock the rest of the year. It's all a matter of choice, but it's not because the hammock won't do the job, it's because the hammocker has their own personal reasons for not doing it. It does take a bit of hammocking education to get it all dialed in.

nox
02-03-2011, 12:28
O degree ground setup...


Quaerterdome T2.... 64oz
Marmot Couloir 0...52oz
Exped 7 Downmat... 32 oz..
Just about 9lbs and it's a 3.5 season tent not a 4 season

Newb
02-03-2011, 13:26
How about the newly invented "Tent-mock". You string it between two trees but still sleep on the ground.

garlic08
02-03-2011, 13:55
I don't have a light weight 0F tenting set-up, but my 15F set-up (used comfortably on snow down to 10F) is:

Marmot Helium bag: 33 oz
Tarptent Virga, floorless: 18 oz
Z-rest, 3/4: 11 oz
Roll of Reflectix duct insulation: 4 oz

Total: 4 lb 2 oz.

A similar 0F bag, the Marmot Lithium, would add 14 oz.

nox
02-03-2011, 14:00
you must sleep pretty warm to take a z-rest down to 10.. mine cuts out for me around 30

garlic08
02-03-2011, 14:01
In the above photo, look at the trees. I would not have been able to find a safe hammock site there. The trees were shedding heavy snow with muffled "whumps" all night. That was at Crater Lake NP in the Oregon Cascades.

garlic08
02-03-2011, 14:02
you must sleep pretty warm to take a z-rest down to 10.. mine cuts out for me around 30

Try Reflectix duct insulation on frozen ground or snow. But yes, I do sleep warm enough to use a 15F bag down to 10F. My wife needs a -20 bag for +20. Lots of variables.

chiefduffy
02-03-2011, 23:42
Garlic, I love that picture. And you're right...I would not hang my hammock there!

RichardD
02-04-2011, 00:29
I switched from tent (tarptent rainbow, exped downmat, WM down sleeping bag) to Hennessy hammock with Nest underquilt and the same WM bag. As everyone else said there is a learning curve to the hammock, more so than with the tent. In terms of comfort there is no comparison, the hammock is so much more comfortable-for me at least. I frequently sleep from bedtime to dawn without a single wake up, that never happens in a tent or should I say on an air mattress. Before sleep one can set up as in a recliner for an hour or two of reading, so much more comfortable than propped up on an elbow in a tent. In the morning the hammock makes a very comfortable chair for breakfast and coffee.
However, it takes good under insulation to stay warm. I would say its simpler to stay warm in a tent. My nest is marginal at 32 degrees, I tried a supershelter underneath and it was no good for me at 40 deg. I have purchased a 0 deg underquilt to start my AT hike, I hope its enough!!!
It takes practice and very good (expensive) gear to stay warm in a hammock, more so than with a tent/pad. Again my experience.
I have a large tarp to go over the hammock (Hex tarp). It can be staked down almost like a tent or open with a veranda. I have had no qualms about leaving my pack under the Tarp but its almost empty, clothes hung on suspension line and food bearbagged. You could hang your pack from the suspension under the tarp if you were concerned about leaving it on the ground.
With practice it is usually very easy to find a couple of trees from which to hang, generally much easier than finding a tent spot. Clearly this would not be the case in the desert, praries or above treeline.
I hope this helps.

JawsThemeSwimming428
02-04-2011, 14:39
Thanks to everyone for their comments/advice. Since I am a new hiker I decided to go with the LightHeart Gear Solo tent. I figure after I get some experience under my belt I can revisit the whole hammocking idea. Another question on a different topic...Any good places on the Internet to look for how to plan the hike (where to enter the trail, areas for camping, distance, etc.)?

nox
02-04-2011, 14:50
Here's how to get to the trail http://rohland.homedns.org/at/at_menu.aspx

nox
02-04-2011, 14:52
Heres the distance calculator http://www.atdist.com/

SouthMark
02-04-2011, 16:39
Thanks to everyone for their comments/advice. Since I am a new hiker I decided to go with the LightHeart Gear Solo tent. I figure after I get some experience under my belt I can revisit the whole hammocking idea. Another question on a different topic...Any good places on the Internet to look for how to plan the hike (where to enter the trail, areas for camping, distance, etc.)?

Jaws, I am a dedicated hammock user and I think you are making a wise decision. Get some hiking experience under your belt and revisit the hammock idea later. Most all of us hammock users started with tents and most of us still have a tent. I got to see the Lightheart tents at SORUCK last month and they are really nice. If I were in the market for a tent I would buy the Lightheart Awning Tent. The inside room is awesome and the awning is spacious enough to store gear as well as cook under.

Good luck and welcome to the hiking community.

Black Wolf
02-04-2011, 21:25
I feel you're dilemma ... I was in the same boat when I decided to start using a hammock ... first to address storing you're gear ... one option I haven't seen mentioned is using a gear hammock. it's a small hammock hung next to your sleeping hammock that keeps your pack off the ground,under your tarp and still accessible to you while in your hammock.

I'm a huge advocate for multi-use gear, with that being said I am setting myself up so I have the choice to hang,I use a Clark Ultralight,or go to the ground and am making my own tarp thatcan be configured to be used over my hammock or pitched on the ground, most of the hammock tarps you purchase are designed for hammocks only, it's really just a matter of attaching tie-outs that will allow me to go to the ground, I'll keep my CCF and self inflating pads so I can use either in a hammock or on the ground ...

A hammock is useless on the beach, in the dessert, or above timberline, I sleep good on the ground, some don't. The one thing about a hammock is that is constant in sleep, it's always comfortable {once you get it tweaked } ...

I also like the Light Heart's ... look for a tent that has a side entrance if you decide to go that route ... crawling on the ground into a tunnel bites, IMHO, ... good luck and keep us posted ...

Camping Dave
02-07-2011, 00:02
Would not the same pad suffice in a hammock?

NO!

Not because the pad doesn't provide enough insulation under you (it does), but because it provides NO insulation where the sides of the hammock compress the insulation in your sleeping bag down to nothing. Like your shoulders and hips if you're a back sleeper, or your back, butt, and feet if you're a side sleeper. This problem is worse in a down bag because it compresses more.

Don't believe me? Sleep on your 20" pad in your hammock in your backyard on some freezing night. Whenever somebody on this board tells you some lightweight gear is warm enough / has enough fuel / dry enough / roomy enough / etc., you should ALWAYS test their advice at home before you take it into the field.