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Do you really need a sleeping bag when you are hiking or camping in Florida? That's a tougher question than you would think. First of all sleeping bags provide a certain amount of protection that is only matched by a blanket and bivy combination. But in both cases we are challenged to regulate our temperature, comfort, staying dry and keeping the bugs out.

Klymit Vera Blanket - $79.95; 58x80; 23oz. Special features includes a footbox which doubles as a sack although not compressible (included separately) and small hand pockets in each corner. And snaps.

Alps Dayventure Waterproof Blanket - $49.99; 58x80; 35oz.

Alps Wavelength Blanket - $69.99; 54x80; 36oz.

Sea To Summit Reactor Fleece Liner - $84.99; 15oz. A liner is just that. While it can be used alone it was intended to be used in a sleeping bag. Both to keep it clean and to raise the temp. STS has several models with different temp ranges. One place it fails is that they are not windproof and so temp can be effected if you are using a tarp shelter. (the fleece can be treated with permethrin for extra protection)

Matador Matador Pocket Blanket 2.0 - $29.99; 63x44; 4oz. as blankets go this is more of a sheet than a blanket. It's probably better as a groundsheet even though it's only 63x44.

My ideal shelter system is a hybrid hammock and tarp system. Not everywhere I sleep are there good trees to swing from. And sometimes the ground is just not friendly. So being able to work in both world means some compromise. Carry more weight, carry more volume, carry some stuff you will not use, or carry gear that was not necessarily meant for each function but works.

Why a sleeping bag or blanket at all? I was digging in my closet the other day and I found what looks like a hybrid insulated rain cargo pant. Add a puffer jacket with a hood and you can suffer a lot.


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