Author Topic: Bivi bag camping, do you?  (Read 891 times)

gunwharfman

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Bivi bag camping, do you?
« on: 09:15:53, 23/10/17 »
Last May I tried camping with a Tarp and hated it! Does anyone use a Bivi? If so, any advice please? Which model do you use? Do you use a Bivi with a Tarp? I've looked on line and would even consider one unless it opened down the side and was designed to cover my face. I have a Hunka and know how daft it is trying to get in and out of one easily.


John Murphy

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Re: Bivi bag camping, do you?
« Reply #1 on: 10:16:00, 23/10/17 »
Last May I tried camping with a Tarp and hated it! Does anyone use a Bivi? If so, any advice please? Which model do you use? Do you use a Bivi with a Tarp? I've looked on line and would even consider one unless it opened down the side and was designed to cover my face. I have a Hunka and know how daft it is trying to get in and out of one easily.


Over the weekend I was contemplating giving an Hunka XL a try having decent reviews. I have a Snugpak Special Forces Bivi Bag bought last year. In my opinion the latter bivi is also awful although it has been well reviewed. Ii does have a side zip so getting in and out is alright although the zip tends to slide open as you toss and turn this is a pain. Plus the hood draw string is really badly designed. It does not close around your face easily. This may be down to a safety factor to stop yourself suffocating ::) .


Other expensive bivis use a hoop giving a more pleasant experience by not thinking you are in a body bag :D :D . Although these seem to be as heavy as a good quality lightweight tent. This also seems to be the same as using a bivi./ tarp combination the weight factor!


I await other peoples opinions before I reinvest in another bivi. The snugpac stays in my backpack as I would use it as an emergency bag. Lighter and better than the over sized orange bin liners advertised as emergency bags ;D ;D .
« Last Edit: 10:19:06, 23/10/17 by John Murphy »

fernman

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Re: Bivi bag camping, do you?
« Reply #2 on: 10:46:45, 23/10/17 »
Last May I tried camping with a Tarp and hated it!

It would be interesting to know why you hated it?
Don't get me wrong, I'm not having a dig, I doubt if I'd like using one too, but I'd like to hear why it didn't suit you.

gunwharfman

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Re: Bivi bag camping, do you?
« Reply #3 on: 12:13:42, 23/10/17 »
For a start I bought the small Alpkit tarp, I could not find a way to keep it fully over me in a freestanding position, I just didn't have the knack to erect it properly. When I did use it I felt that I was just 'too close' to nature, and my imagination ran riot, mice and the like. I did like however the ability to open my eyes and 'see' the world around me. For my own comfort I realised that I am a person that needs to be enclosed! I can see however that with the right Bivi, the tarp could be a really useful addition if I can learn its permutations properly.

In order for me to seriously consider a Bivi, it needs to be big enough to take me, my sleeping quilt and my Neo Air blow up mattress. I think I have worked out, that in the way I do camping, I would need to take my larger ground sheet to go under the Bivi and have some sheet still available for me to o stand on in my bare feet, changing, etc. Or have two ground sheets, one under the Bivi and one to stand and/or sit on.

I would also need to keep my boots dry, safe and in a secure place. I never leave them outside my tent, just in case they 'walk' in the night!

Last but not least, when in the Bivi where would I put my rucksack? Again, I would need it to be dry, safe and in a secure place?

Another_Smith

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Re: Bivi bag camping, do you?
« Reply #4 on: 12:54:37, 23/10/17 »
I've never had the desire to go the Bivi route personally, not with how light tents are these days. To be even remotely comfortable you say you're going to need a tarp and groundsheet, which will still leave you short of space for changing and storing bags/ muddy boots etc. Tally up everything weight wise and see how much of a benefit you would get if gram counting is your aim here.
The tent I use when I'm alone is 2 person, with 2 vestibules and is double walled. It weighs 1.2kg, to me that's a perfectly acceptable weight for the comfort it provides and if the missus or a friend ever comes with me then they just carry personal gear and jump in with me!
If I want to be closer to nature then I open the doors  ;D





tonyk

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Re: Bivi bag camping, do you?
« Reply #5 on: 12:55:08, 23/10/17 »
Tents are so light these days,at least the better quality ones,its hard to see what advantage there is in using a bivvi.Just because special forces use bivvi bags it dosen't mean they are appropriate for civilians needs.Soldiers need to conceal themselves which is something civilians don't have to bother about unless they are wild camping in prohibited areas.Walking long distances in bad weather and sleeping out in a tent is tough enough so its best to try and keep some basic creature comforts that a tent provides rather than turning the exercise into an act of masochism by sleeping in a wet body bag.

John Murphy

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Re: Bivi bag camping, do you?
« Reply #6 on: 13:38:08, 23/10/17 »
The tent I use when I'm alone is 2 person, with 2 vestibules and is double walled. It weighs 1.2kg, to me that's a perfectly acceptable weight for the comfort it provides and if the missus or a friend ever comes with me then they just carry personal gear and jump in with me!
If I want to be closer to nature then I open the doors  ;D


Blimey! That is light for a 2P tent. Can you tell me it's name? When I look at 2P tents they all seem to be over 1.8K.

fernman

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Re: Bivi bag camping, do you?
« Reply #7 on: 14:13:58, 23/10/17 »
For a start I bought the small Alpkit tarp, I could not find a way to keep it fully over me in a freestanding position, I just didn't have the knack to erect it properly. When I did use it I felt that I was just 'too close' to nature, and my imagination ran riot, mice and the like. I did like however the ability to open my eyes and 'see' the world around me. For my own comfort I realised that I am a person that needs to be enclosed!

Thanks. That sounds similar to why I wouldn't like it. Although being enclosed in a one-man tent is slightly claustrophobic, I do like to know that it keeps out four-, six- and eight-legged creatures. There have been times when I've left my flysheet and inner tent unzipped in warm conditions only to find a big black slug inside in the morning. When it's lashing down with rain I feel snug and cosy in a tent, knowing I'm not going to get splattered from it bouncing off the ground or blowing in under an open edge, and you're not likely to get wet from puddles forming in the grass around you.

I would also need to keep my boots dry, safe and in a secure place. I never leave them outside my tent, just in case they 'walk' in the night!

Last but not least, when in the Bivi where would I put my rucksack? Again, I would need it to be dry, safe and in a secure place?

I certainly wouldn't dream of leaving my boots outside, they're usually quite wet and there's a hope that they'll dry just a fraction under the flysheet. I've also read that foxes are fond of taking footwear. As for my rucksack, though, I have left that outside my tent on many occasions when it's not expected to rain, along with my walking poles.

Roburite

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Re: Bivi bag camping, do you?
« Reply #8 on: 14:16:54, 23/10/17 »
A friend posted a tarp/bivy review on Youtube. You can see it here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4yxSDZKpCmY
The DD Superlight tarp looks very good.

Another_Smith

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Re: Bivi bag camping, do you?
« Reply #9 on: 14:28:04, 23/10/17 »

Blimey! That is light for a 2P tent. Can you tell me it's name? When I look at 2P tents they all seem to be over 1.8K.


I have the Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL 2 (a mouthful I know  ;D )


https://www.ultralightoutdoorgear.co.uk/equipment-c3/tents-shelters-c25/all-tents-c148/copper-spur-hv-ul-2-tent-p6728


The lighter you go the more you spend due to the materials used unfortunately but I can highly recommend this tent, be wary where you pitch though as the thin material could rip. I use the footprint too, still very light and comfortable for 1 or 2.

John Murphy

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Re: Bivi bag camping, do you?
« Reply #10 on: 14:28:21, 23/10/17 »
A friend posted a tarp/bivy review on Youtube. You can see it here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4yxSDZKpCmY
The DD Superlight tarp looks very good.


Just looked at the video. The old tarp system would be a nightmare for me. The new system much better. I have a Terra Nova Lazer and by using only the outer have a perfect tarp set up. Just as light as actually using a tarp ;)

John Murphy

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Re: Bivi bag camping, do you?
« Reply #11 on: 14:30:01, 23/10/17 »

I have the Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL 2 (a mouthful I know  ;D )


https://www.ultralightoutdoorgear.co.uk/equipment-c3/tents-shelters-c25/all-tents-c148/copper-spur-hv-ul-2-tent-p6728


The lighter you go the more you spend due to the materials used unfortunately but I can highly recommend this tent, be wary where you pitch though as the thin material could rip. I use the footprint too, still very light and comfortable for 1 or 2.


 ;D ;D  Just had another google and that tent came up on my search ;D ;D


The price has put me off though :o
« Last Edit: 14:35:18, 23/10/17 by John Murphy »

Another_Smith

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Re: Bivi bag camping, do you?
« Reply #12 on: 14:38:43, 23/10/17 »




The price has put me off though


If I remember rightly I got mine in a sale from some online retailer a couple of years ago, cost about 350. Not cheap but I saw it as an investment for me and others I go away with.

NeilC

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Re: Bivi bag camping, do you?
« Reply #13 on: 16:51:04, 23/10/17 »
I do it occasionally. It tends to make my back hurt for some reason so I generally don't anymore.


I find it a bit of fun on a clear night seeing the stars and satellites go over etc but if it rains it's a miserable experience without a tarp and IMO at that point, I might as well be in a tent as it's the same sort of weight but more windproof, insect-proof, has pockets for torches etc etc.


The benefits are you can camp anywhere. All you need is a 6x3 flat spot. And it's stealthy. I've bivvied on national monuments etc. You can't really be seen once it's starts getting dusky.

Requiem

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Re: Bivi bag camping, do you?
« Reply #14 on: 17:40:56, 23/10/17 »
I use a Terra Nova hooped bivvy, sometimes on its own if I want to be unobtrusive and hide or with a reasonable tarp if I want a bit more comfort. Both configurations work well for me all the way through the seasons. If theres a chance of rain I'll take a TN Zephyros with me instead - Its only slightly heavier and the comfort level increases massively - I honestly struggle at times justifying a bivvy when the lightweight tents are so good - I guess a hooped bivvy is just more fun when you're on a hilltop in a hoolie of a storm and you know that you're snug and not likely to be rolled off a cliff while you're kipping


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