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Patrick Weir
(skorpion317) - F

Locale: Northeast
Overnight Gear List on 04/25/2007 10:01:14 MDT Print View

Hi all, I've been lurking on the forums for a little while now, and just decided to register.

I'm relatively new to ultralight backpacking. I've been using Ryel Kestenbaum's "The Ultralight Backpacker" as my Bible of sorts. In it, he gives the cutoff for what's considered an ultralight packweight (no food or water) at 13 lbs., and with food and water 20 lbs. I'm close to that - around 12.8 lbs. w/o food or water, and 18.7 lbs. with them on my first real outing going ultralight, over this past weekend. Here's my gear list for that trip:

Snow Peak 3-piece Titanium Cookset – 7.1 oz – 0.44375 lbs.
Water – 4.7 lbs.
Food – 1.25 lbs.
Light My Fire Plastic Spork – 2 oz. – 0.125 lbs. (estimate)
Outdoor Products Pinnacle Internal-Frame Pack – 3 lbs., 5 oz. – 3.3125 lbs. (estimate)
Slumberjack Telluride 40* Sleeping Bag – 2 lbs., 1 oz. – 2.0625 lbs.
Eureka Solitaire 1-person Tent – 3 lbs., 4 oz. – 3.25 lbs.
Survival Kit – 14 oz.. - .875 lbs. (estimate)
Gerber Camp Axe – 1 lb. (estimate)
Map – 6 oz. - .375 lbs. (estimate)
Princeton Scout Headlight – 2 oz. – 0.125 lbs.
Poncho – 8 oz. – 0.5 lbs. (estimate)
½ RidgeRest Sleeping Pad – 6 oz. - .375 lbs. (estimate)
100 ft. Nylon Rope – 6 oz. - .375 lbs. (estimate)

Total: 18 lbs., 12.3 oz. - 18.76875 lbs.

Excluded:

Hat
Shirt
Pants
Belt
Knife
Pocket Knife
Leatherman tool
Hiking Shoes
Socks
Trekking Pole
Keys
Wallet
Cell Phone

I was comfortable carrying the weight, as opposed to my friends, who were carrying 40+ pounds on their backs (part of the trail included a 400 foot climb at a 30-degree angle!) My main problem was pack space. It seemed like the pack was filled to the brim. What can I do to reduce the amount of space taken up inside my pack? And what can I add/subtract from my gear list to go lighter? I'm not ready for anything too radical just yet, but I'd like to delve a little deeper.

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
Overnight Gear List on 04/25/2007 10:26:36 MDT Print View

Search the forums for a number of other threads very similar to what you've posted to find a wealth of suggestions.

I'll quickly point out that changing out your pack, sleeping bag and tent with lighter options could save you five pounds. Leave the axe and nylon rope at home and save another pound and a half.

Edited by sharalds on 04/25/2007 10:27:20 MDT.

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Cheap Mods on 04/25/2007 11:14:29 MDT Print View

This being an UL backpacking site, I fear your list would be torn to shreds by most people here. Best to do as mentioned above and look for alternatives to what you have - search the forums as they are extremely helpful. And, a lot "can" depend on how much money you have...do you want to replace everything or is there a limit? I see a few tyhings on the list I wouldn't even bring.
On a cheaper note, I have a Solitaire that I use for winter camping, and by replacing the stakes and tent bags, mine comes in at 2# 9 o.z.
and a 6 o.z. map? just take the page/pages you need.
Replace your axe with a small folding saw - I see cheap ones at the store all the time.

p.s. what's in that survival kit? In the excluded items, you have knife, pocket knife, and leatherman.

Edited by Steve_Evans on 04/25/2007 11:18:50 MDT.

Eric Noble
(ericnoble) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Overnight Gear List on 04/25/2007 11:27:54 MDT Print View

Patrick, welcome to the forums! The beauty of an overnighter is that it allows for a lot of experimentation without too much risk. Ryel Kestenbaum's definition of ultralight might be considered heavy here. I've heard 10 or 11 pounds thrown around here. That should be easily achievable on an overnighter if that's your goal. I'm guessing by all the estimated weights on your list that you don't have a scale. I would recommend getting one, or using one at the post office. Knowing what something weighs is key to achieving a weight goal. I would also recommend looking at a lot of gear lists. I still do, and often learn something new. Search for "gear lists" in the forums. I'm also assuming that the "excluded" items on your list are the items your were wearing. Hiking naked is not a recommended way to meet a weight goal :).

I'll comment on your list after each item.

Snow Peak 3-piece Titanium Cookset – 7.1 oz – 0.44375 lbs.
I carry a single Snow Peak Mini Solo pot at 3.4 oz. I'm usually just boiling water and don't need more than one pot. I also carry an Orikaso Bowl XL (1.4 oz) to eat out of.

Water – 4.7 lbs.
Food – 1.25 lbs.
Water and food are consumable items that don't count toward your base pack weight but do count in your total pack weight. The weight of consumables varies over time so it is helpful to consider them separately.

Light My Fire Plastic Spork – 2 oz. – 0.125 lbs. (estimate)
Mine weighs .35 oz. I love this spork!

Outdoor Products Pinnacle Internal-Frame Pack – 3 lbs., 5 oz. – 3.3125 lbs. (estimate)
You can loose a lot of weight here but it requires buying or making a new pack. I'm unfamiliar with your pack. You may be able to lighten it by removing things from it, like the frame for example. I use a GoLite Jam pack the weighs 21 oz and carries 3000 cu. in.

Slumberjack Telluride 40* Sleeping Bag – 2 lbs., 1 oz. – 2.0625 lbs.
This is another item that can have a big impact on weight. This is usually the most expensive change to make as it requires buying a high quality bag or quilt, though if you are handy you can make a quilt. I use a Jacks R Better No Sniveller quilt that weighs 22 oz and is warm to below freezing for me. This is a personal choice and deserves a lot of research on your part.

Eureka Solitaire 1-person Tent – 3 lbs., 4 oz. – 3.25 lbs.
This is another big impact item. On an overnighter, depending on the weather, I would use a bivy (≈6 oz) and a poncho/tarp (≈11 oz) . I usually sleep in a Hennessy hammock (2.4 lbs).

Survival Kit – 14 oz.. - .875 lbs. (estimate)
You'll need to elaborate if you want feedback.

Gerber Camp Axe – 1 lb. (estimate)
Leave it at home. Bring a stove if you are going to cook. I use a FireLite stove (.5 oz) and windscreen (.3 oz). Solid fuel tablets (Esbit, or FireLite) are my fuel of choice.

Map – 6 oz. - .375 lbs. (estimate)
I print out just the map I need to save weight.

Princeton Scout Headlight – 2 oz. – 0.125 lbs.
I carry 2 Photon Freedom lights (.2 oz each)

Poncho – 8 oz. – 0.5 lbs. (estimate)
I usually carry one of those disposable ones. They cost around a dollar and weight 2 oz.

½ RidgeRest Sleeping Pad – 6 oz. - .375 lbs. (estimate)
Good choice. See how small you can cut it down and still be comfortable. My NightLight is down to 5.4 oz

100 ft. Nylon Rope – 6 oz. - .375 lbs. (estimate)
I use 40 feet of spectra rope (1.3 oz).

You are off to a great start! I've been doing this for a while and I've taken a lot of time, thought and experimentation to get where I am. Your list should reflect what is important to you. I included my choices only as a guide. I would probably add to your list an insulation piece. I use a Thermawrap Vest (6.2 oz) most of the time. I'm also a big fan of wind shirts. I use a Patagonia Houdini (3.9 oz). You will probably want to consider how the season and location will effect your list. My choices above are from my Colorado Rockies in the summer list.

Edited by ericnoble on 04/25/2007 11:33:23 MDT.

Adam Rothermich
(aroth87) - F

Locale: Missouri Ozarks
Re: Overnight Gear List on 04/25/2007 11:35:58 MDT Print View

First off you've got it all wrong, don't measure in fractions of a pound, measure in fractions of an ounce! :)

On a serious note, I would never bring an axe with me. It goes against LNT, plus when I do build a fire when I'm hiking I don't want one so big that I can be seen for miles. I've never had a problem finding downed limbs to keep a small fire going.

You're Leatherman has a knife on it right? Why bring 2 extras?

What kind of cooking are you doing on the trail? If its just boil in a bag meals there's no need for the whole cookset. Speaking of which, I don't see any kind of stove on your list. Are you cooking over a fire or did you just forget to include it?

I'd take a look at your survival kit and try to cut it down a little bit. I know it can be scary throwing some of the things out but after a few trips you will realize that you don't really need some of the stuff you had in it. You may want to put some stuff back in too, its up to you. For me personally, I do a lot of solo hiking so I don't see a whole lot of need in carrying a huge first aid kit, since theirs only so much I can do to myself (my queasiness limits me a little there).

6 oz of maps with only 1.25 lbs of food? Either you don't eat a lot or you brought along a really heavy map. Just bring what you need. If its a guide book, photocopy the pages you need and just bring those and make notes on them.

Then there is always replacing your big 3. A down bag would save quite a bit of bulk as well as weight.

Adam

Paul Wozniak
(PaulW)

Locale: Midwest
Re: Cheap Mods on 04/25/2007 12:08:53 MDT Print View

Patrick,

To get lighter and less bulky you will likely be altering your "style" of backpacking. The gear changes will follow. Watch the posts here and search on topics of interest,then try out different approaches to see what works for you.

For example, your Solitaire seems light and small but is really a significant weight. Next couple of trips, you could bring your tent but also bring an inexpensive tarp. Practice rigging it and living under it. Then leave your Solitaire home for an overnighter and see if the lighter load is a good trade off for you.

I notice you don't list a stove. Is that why the hatchet? The easiest stoves to use (canister) are typically the most expensive and heaviest. The lightest stoves (alcohol) are cheapest but most finicky (Personally, I don't like them but some smarter people than me love them). Borrow different gear if you can to try it out before spending.

Point is, follow this site and read, read, read. Look at you heaviest gear and notice the alternatives. Find your cheapest way to test the alternatives. There is no one right way, but everyonE here will think you are too heavy.

Maybe the last piece of gear you'll change will be your pack. It needs to be lighter but refine the rest of your gear first. I give some off the cuff suggestions below but I don't know your style, terrain, weather etc. And some will disagree but it starts the old wheels turning.

Snow Peak 3-piece Titanium Cookset – 7.1 oz HOW ABOUT ONE PIECE
Water – 4.7 lbs.
Food – 1.25 lbs. OK
Light My Fire Plastic Spork – 2 oz. – 0.125 lbs. (estimate)
Outdoor Products Pinnacle Internal-Frame Pack – 3 lbs., 5 oz. – 3.3125 lbs. (estimate) LATER SHOOT FOR 1 LB OR LESS
Slumberjack Telluride 40* Sleeping Bag – 2 lbs., 1 oz. – 2.0625 lbs. NOT BAD, ALTERNATIVES ARE EXPENSIVE BUT CAN SAVE UP TO A POUND
Eureka Solitaire 1-person Tent – 3 lbs., 4 oz. – 3.25 lbs. TARP??
Survival Kit – 14 oz.. - .875 lbs. (estimate) SHOOT FOR 4 OZ. OR LESS
Gerber Camp Axe – 1 lb. (estimate) GONE
Map – 6 oz. - .375 lbs. (estimate) TOO MUCH
Princeton Scout Headlight – 2 oz. – 0.125 lbs. OK
Poncho – 8 oz. – 0.5 lbs. (estimate) GOOD
½ RidgeRest Sleeping Pad – 6 oz. - .375 lbs. (estimate) GOOD
100 ft. Nylon Rope – 6 oz. - .375 lbs. (estimate) REPLACE WITH 25 FT OF LIGHT QUALITY CORD

Total: 18 lbs., 12.3 oz. - 18.76875 lbs.

Excluded:

Hat
Shirt
Pants
Belt
Knife GONE
Pocket Knife
Leatherman tool NOT FOR ME
Hiking Shoes
Socks
Trekking Pole
Keys
Wallet
Cell Phone NOT FOR ME

Patrick Weir
(skorpion317) - F

Locale: Northeast
Re: Overnight Gear List on 04/25/2007 14:04:44 MDT Print View

Thanks for your replies, everyone. I'll elaborate a little more:

My total pack weight came out to 18.7 lbs. I knew the weight of my tent and my sleeping bag. Just about everything else was estimated to fit in the total weight, so for all I know, I could be way off on some of the weights I listed, like the spork.

The "survival kit" is composed of a small first-aid kit (bandages, two single-packs of Advil, some anti-bacterial cream for cuts, etc.), a small flashlight (about the size of a small pen), batteries for the flashlight, an emergency blanket, a rain poncho (I forgot there was one of these in there, I don't need two), a whistle/compass/waterproof match container, waterproof matches, a lighter, and a very basic Swiss-army knife.

I'm guessing I should remove the Swiss-army knife, the poncho, and the flashlight.

The camp axe - I've never cut down a standing tree. I only take what I need from fallen trees. I've never built a fire pit from scratch either, I always pick a site that has a pre-existing one. I don't like folding camp saws - I've broken several.

I've cut just about every strap on my pack and on the compression sack that came with my sleeping bag. I don't know how much weight it took off, but it had to be at least a couple ounces.

For my tent, I'm looking into lighter stakes. I don't know if there are lighter poles available or not.

As for a stove, two of my friends had MSR Pocket Rocket stoves to use, so I was covered there. For food I brought Kraft Easy Mac and a Bumble Bee Chicken Fillet, which was surprisingly pretty tasty. I also brought some trail mix and a few small chunks of Parmesan cheese. Breakfast was a Rice-Kripsy treat to hold me over until we went to a diner after leaving the trail.

My pack is packed like this:

The sleeping pad lines the sides of the pack. The tent bag and sleeping bag go in the middle and take up the rest of the available room. Everything else goes on top of the sleeping bag, which is about half as high as the tent bag. I close up the main part of the pack using it’s drawstring. In the top pouch, which goes over the main pack section, I put my poncho, my spork, the map, and the headlight. The axe goes on the side of the pack, the head resting in one of the side pockets, and the handle cinched down to prevent the axe from moving around. On the other side, two 20 oz. water bottles took up residence, the rest of my water being carried in a 2-liter hydration bladder.

I don't mind getting my list torn to shreds - it's what I'm here for :-)

Jeffery Ludwig
(JeffLudwig) - F
Re: Re: Overnight Gear List on 04/25/2007 14:26:34 MDT Print View

Hi Patrick...

I've also been lurking here quite a while, just got back from my first weekender of the new year. Based on the suggestions here, I purchased a nice digital scale from Bed Bath and Beyond (http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/product.asp?order_num=-1&SKU=13970270) and am VERY pleased. I can't believe I waited so long to catalog my gear (use one of the Excel spreadsheets available from this site, they're great). I had a lot of weight in some very unexpected places (e.g., my hiking poles are a disaster).

My approach to trimming down is basically going to be on a $$$/oz basis, which the scale really helps with :) For example, those LED lights are way cheap and an easy way to get rid of some weight. Ditto with alcohol stoves. Stuff sacks can weight a lot, as mentioned earlier, leaving something like this behind involves more of a change in style. What the Excel sheets really helped me with was "thought experiments", where I reflect on how I can do things differently with less/different gear.

Good luck!
Jeff

Jason Smith
(JasonS) - MLife

Locale: Northeast
Snow Peak 3 piece cookset. on 04/25/2007 14:54:31 MDT Print View

In defense of the snowpeak 3 piece cookset, it has alot of functionality for those 7.1 ounces. I have one and until recently it was a favorite. You can dry bake or steam bake with it. You have an extra cup, plate and bowl. It has a nice wide bottom. I never became good with the frying pan but you can try to fry foods. To be honest with all the NOLS discussions recently, I have thought a larger aluminum version would work great for them.

P.S. My current system is a 1.6 ounce snowpeak pot and 4.1 ounce uncoated evernew pot. Most of the same functionalty but have not tryed to figure out how to fry foods on it. It does dry bake nicely though.

P.P.S I keep thinking about the Antigravity gear 3 cup pot, any one here fry foods in it or bake with just the pot, ie no double pot system.

Adam Rothermich
(aroth87) - F

Locale: Missouri Ozarks
Re: Re: Overnight Gear List on 04/25/2007 15:16:40 MDT Print View

Good suggestion about buying a scale. I have a 'Good Chef' brand scale that I got at Wal-Mart. It was pretty cheap and measures in 2 gram increments.
If you want to experiment a little try rigging up your poncho or a cheap tarp from Wally World and staying under it for a night in your backyard. That would save you loads of weight and bulk if you could get by without your tent.
So your total knife count was 4 plus an axe? That seems a little like overkill to me.
Since your matches are waterproof, why not store them in a small ziploc bag and lose the waterproof whistle/compass thing. The compass won't be accurate enough on that to do much navigation outside of 'Oh, north is somewhere in THAT direction' and you can get a cheap whistle that will be much lighter/louder than the one on that. Remember to keep your whistle and emergency stuff (whistle, compass, fire starter at least) on you at all times. They won't do you much good if they're in your pack and you get in trouble without it.
If you wanted to save bulk in your pack without spending money try strapping your tent to the outside of the pack (assuming you haven't cut off every last strap). That will free up loads of space. Same goes for the pad, since your pack is an internal frame you don't need the pad to create a virtual frame.
Do you really need 100' of rope? I carry about 50' of light nylon rope and it has been plenty.

Now to be really mean...
Your sleeping bag is actually listed at 2 lbs. 15 oz at Campmor (That's almost 1/4 of your total baseweight). I would almost bet it is even heavier than that. It is probably your biggest problem with regards to bulk. If its at all possible consider replacing it. I'm not going to say it will fix all your problems but it is a (big) step in the right direction.
Gerber claims your Camp Axe weighs 21.1 oz. If you insist on carrying an axe look at a small hatchet or something of that sort. I still can honestly say I've never felt the need for an axe while I was hiking (except maybe to remove some downed trees from the trail lol).
Campmor also has your pack listed at 3 lbs 8 oz (don't be surprised when your gear is actually heavier than its stated weight).

Bottom line, buy a scale. It will be one of the best investments you can make to get your pack weight low. Make a spreadsheet (the one's available here are pretty nice) and find out exactly how much you are carrying. Good luck to you and have fun on the trail!

Adam

Edited by aroth87 on 04/25/2007 15:18:33 MDT.

Patrick Weir
(skorpion317) - F

Locale: Northeast
Re: Re: Re: Overnight Gear List on 04/25/2007 15:57:17 MDT Print View

Total knife count is two, plus a Leatherman tool and camp axe. One knife is about 10" long and is for "safety" and anything that the smaller pocket knife can't handle. I use the pocket knife for smaller things, i.e. whittling a stick for cooking a hotdog, cutting open packages, etc. The Leatherman is handy for opening any canned foods and a few other jobs, and it could easily take away the usefulness of the pocket knife the more I think about it.

I haven't cut off every last strap on my pack. I just cut the straps down to a manageable length. I figured the material I cut off amounted to around 3 oz., but I may be (and probably am) wrong.

I don't need 100' of rope. I just hadn't gotten around to cutting it.

My sleeping bag is not the regular sized bag. It's a Junior size, which is ironic, since I am nowhere near a junior size. I'm about 5'10", and weigh around 270 lbs. (way overweight, but I'll be down to around 200 before the end of the year). The bag fits decently. I don't do any cold-weather camping, and the coldest temps I'll see will be around 45 degrees overnight. I would like to upgrade to a regular sized bag, though, but one that is lighter.

Paul Wozniak
(PaulW)

Locale: Midwest
Re: Overnight Gear List on 04/26/2007 06:58:20 MDT Print View

Patrick,

I'm glad to hear you use only established fire pits. In so many areas things are getting out of hand.

Now, about that axe. I think you might be emotionally attached to it. Leave it home for the cheapest and easiest one pound+ savings. Burn your wood into sections.
At least try it, you may find the minimal "inconvenience" is made up for by a little more enjoyable hike.

We all carry luxury items but getting UL requires rethinking, tinkering and testing.

That scale idea is a great one. However, you should know the Surgeon General has warned that it leads to addictive behavior.

Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
how to start going light:re:Overnight Gear List on 04/26/2007 22:52:28 MDT Print View

Patrick, welcome to the forums.
You mentioned one way to loose 70 lbs off your total weight carried; by loosing body weight. I lost about 15 lbs, and it made a noticeable difference in my capabilities; I encourage you to follow through on that..

Speaking of gear however, it was difficult for me to give up 'security' items; things like a fixed-blade knife, sufficient rope to self-belay a short cliff, etc.. the only reason to do it is to get lighter so you can travel farther in a given day. So assuming that is one of your goals, here is how I did it. (very similar to previous posts).

- Start with an essential systems list. This is your minimum packing list.(example below) The goal is to have only one of each item; as light as possible.
- Buy a scale
- Sort everything you currently have by weight on paper or in excel; actual weights, not estimates
- Decide on a set of requirements for your new gear (example: 20'F synthetic sleeping bag, 40 liter pack with padded waist belt, etc..)
- Replace items which do not meet your requirements, or with the biggest weight savings first, within the limits of your financial constraints. Read hundreds of BPL posts to learn what gear is truly good and what is marketing hype.
- Repeat.

I suggest summarizing your list using the weight vocabulary most of us use at BPL;
1 Total worn or carried (carried in hands that is.. not on back, eg. trekking pole)
2 Base Weight (pack and it's contents)
3 Consumables (food, water, fuel)
4 Total Base Weight = 1+2
5 From Skin Out (FSO) weight = 3+4

As other posters noted, your bag, tent, and pack seem to be the first targets for replacement. (pack last)
I would replace the rope with 5 or 6 mil accessory cord. If you enjoy using a chopping tool, consider a light mini-Gurkha?

Here is an example essential systems list. Goal is to not duplicate any item (for example 4 knives is too many, choose one that does 90% of what you need)

10 essential systems
1. Navigation (map, compass, gps)
2. Sun protection (lotion, hat)
3. Insulation (top,bottom,hat,gloves)
4. Illumination/signal (flashlight/whistle/cellphone)
5. First-aid supplies
6. Fire making (lighter,Sparklite)
7. Repair kit and tools
8. Nutrition (1+day's food)
9. Hydration (1+day's water)
10. Shelter (Rainwear,tarp or tent)

Good luck; see you around the forums.

Edited by Brett1234 on 04/26/2007 22:54:51 MDT.

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: Re: Overnight Gear List on 04/27/2007 07:36:16 MDT Print View

Patrick wrote:
"I don't mind getting my list torn to shreds"

Hey Patrick, sorry if that came across wrong - there was supposed to be a littel chuckle afterwards.
Truth being told, you list is actually very similar to mine a while ago, and it is actualy a respectable weight in comparison to some of the monsters you see on the trail.
I only found this site a few months back and can't believe how much info is available. I didn't know about alot of the products talked about here.
It took me quite some time to whittle down my BPW and my experience is no where near some of the others, but I can give some important advice. Like others have stated, a lot of your weight can be reduced, depending on your comfort level, so it may take time and "stages" to get to the weight you want. If you feel comfortable sleeping in a garbage bag (i don't), do it - cheap and light!
One thing I did - which I hope others don't, is go through too many stages. ie. purchasing a new, lighter tent every few months, only to end up going with a bivy/tarp at the end. I did this with almost all my gear and spent too much money without thinking things through clearly (I like to buy things as soon as I see them). So, depending on your goal weight, look at gear lists in that range to see what they have used - modify as needed.
Be careful though, it gets addictive.
Steve
p.s. The eureka solitaire was my last "stage" before going with a bivy (Ti-goat @ 7.9 o.z.)

Patrick Weir
(skorpion317) - F

Locale: Northeast
Re: Re: Re: Overnight Gear List on 04/27/2007 12:13:32 MDT Print View

I understood, Steven. No offense taken.

Speaking of monsters, as I said before, some of my friends were carrying 40+ pound packs on this trip, and I felt pretty bad for them. They still have the "I need everything possible" mindset. One of them brought a 12-pack of beer and an iron frying pan. Another brought what looked like a 3-person tent for only himself to sleep in.

I already found a 1 lb., 2 oz. down sleeping bag - once I save some money up I'll get that. I'm also probably going to pick up a postal scale at Staples this weekend.

Jason Brinkman
(jbrinkmanboi) - MLife

Locale: Idaho
Re: Re: Re: Re: Overnight Gear List on 04/30/2007 16:27:41 MDT Print View

You mentioned volume and how to get everything in... The sleeping bag you've been carrying doesn't sound particularly small (weight aside). Down really excels for that purpose, but it's expensive, and takes some care to keep it dry.