Author Topic: Bivi bag camping, do you?  (Read 1180 times)

gunwharfman

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Re: Bivi bag camping, do you?
« Reply #15 on: 19:17:51, 23/10/17 »
Yes Requiem, I think you wrote something that I'm looking for, the ability to wild camp in simple locations (e'g. next to a pub) not be seen and have almost instant availability. My tent is fine, on a site, not so good in other situations because I have to spent time erecting it. The appeal of a Bivi to me is to be able to get in quickly, take up the minimum of space, sleep and move on quickly the next morning. The factor that bothers me most is lack of room. I expect I will stick to my plan to buy another tent but I want to keep on thinking about a Bivi for the moment. At the moment I am looking at the Snugpack Stratosphere. It appeals because I could get in to sleep from the side (and I assume could get out fast if necessary?) and it has an area which should keep the material off my face. Thanks for all of the information, it is very helpful.

Requiem

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Re: Bivi bag camping, do you?
« Reply #16 on: 20:28:02, 23/10/17 »
The Stratospheres really good - used one up on Carnedds in Wales and again was more like a hooped bivvy as it felt unlikely to be blown away in high winds and was 'that' kind of colour and profile that it was just about invisible. I recall being able to roll back a large area of the front of the tent so could stay sheltered but able to look at the stars. Only minor issue with it was too low to sit up in, but it was sturdy enough to withstand a tac-nuke easily.


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Owen

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Re: Bivi bag camping, do you?
« Reply #17 on: 20:35:25, 23/10/17 »

I've used bivi bags in the past both in the Military and whilst climbing in the Alps and Andes. You shouldn't think of them as an alternative to a tent rather as a waterproof cover for your sleeping bag for cowboy camping. i.e. sleeping out under the stars. There not much fun in midge country or the normal UK weather.







two photo's from South America circa 1886.

lostme1

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Re: Bivi bag camping, do you?
« Reply #18 on: 22:40:05, 23/10/17 »
I've used bivi bags in the past both in the Military and whilst climbing in the Alps and Andes. You shouldn't think of them as an alternative to a tent rather as a waterproof cover for your sleeping bag for cowboy camping. i.e. sleeping out under the stars. There not much fun in midge country or the normal UK weather.







two photo's from South America circa 1886.

Good photos for over 130 years ago :D
These boots are made for walking.... so long as the rest of my body agrees

Owen

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Re: Bivi bag camping, do you?
« Reply #19 on: 22:55:41, 23/10/17 »
Whoops, should have read that more carefully. 1986.

archaeoroutes

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Re: Bivi bag camping, do you?
« Reply #20 on: 14:43:56, 24/10/17 »
In wooded areas, I use a tarp (IFS) with a bivi. Anywhere upland in the UK and I'll use a tent (or just a bivi if I plan on spending the night on a rocky ledge).
Walking routes visiting ancient sites in Britain's uplands: http://amzn.to/2j91hIj

beefy

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Re: Bivi bag camping, do you?
« Reply #21 on: 17:50:19, 24/10/17 »


not read all the posts but heres my thoughts and some things to think about ...
bivvy bags are ok in good weather, or for cave camping, if you get caught out in a storm your either outside in the rain, or inside the bag where you are very restricted, unless you use a tarp, then the weight goes up, you cant beat a tent in my opinion.

hooped bivvy bags such as the Rab Ridge Raider are great, and ive enjoyed using mine, but i sold it because as i said before i prefer a tent, because i like the ability to move around, use my stove etc.

i once wild camped on cadair idris in my RRR, and the wind was so strong it pressed on the side of the bivvy, compressing the loft in my sleeping bag, so i got really cold with the wind chill, this would not have happened in a tent where the bag would have stayed lofted.

i bought a Dutch army hooped bivvy bag before the RRR, it was great for stealth camping, camoflaged, with a nice long zip making entry and exit easy, and huge, i could fit all my gear including rucksack inside with me out of the weather,
definitely worth considering if your not bothered about the weight, but it was heavier than my tent.
it all depends on why you want to bivvy,

if its to save weight, then a bivvy like the Alpkit Hunka might be worth a go, but not much comfort on its own, so adding a tarp ups the comfort, but ups the weight, or you could use a poncho as in the video below.

in my opinion a tent is a much better option, and more storm proof if you need it.
its a question of how light you want to go, as opposed to how much comfort you want
the lighter your pack, the more miserable you will be, we carry a few home comforts, like a chairs for instance, not only usefull outside the tent, but we use them inside without the legs to lean against giving us a nice level of comfort,

as most of you know me and April go out in all weathers,
i carry a 2 man tent its an MSR Elixir, its not the lightest of tents, but it suits us because it gives us a great level of comfort and liveability, without being too heavy to carry,
you can also pitch the inner only for stargazing, but we never do
and at 200 you cant beat its value for money, its a great tent,
has 2 doors and a footprint is included, we pitch the fly on its own to use as a shelter for lunch in a storm, and even sheltered under the footprint once, when we got a sudden heavy downpour, we laughed as we watched another couple getting soaked ...

Hunka bivvy bag and poncho setup
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=diIPSE0Jqtg


Dutch army bivvy wild camp
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34j23kMvNps


HTH ...  8)
43 wild camps last year 32 this year ( ͡ᵔ ͜ʖ ͡ᵔ )
Plus 2 campsites :)

NeilC

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Re: Bivi bag camping, do you?
« Reply #22 on: 22:54:08, 24/10/17 »
If you want to try it out to see if you like it you can get an ex army bag off eBay for like 20 and sell it for the same when you're done with it.

gunwharfman

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Re: Bivi bag camping, do you?
« Reply #23 on: 16:24:48, 26/10/17 »
Thanks everyone, your views and experience of Bivi's is very useful to me. It certainly has made me think. Not quite sure what to do now?

I've looked at (on line) the models available to me and the one I am still most interested in is the Snugpak Stratosphere, Why, because it has a zip for me to make a side entry, it would cover my head and its fairly cheap. My main worries are the possible condensation problem and where to keep my boots and rucksack safely and dry!

From your entries I tried to really ask myself why am I looking at such a thing? I think it goes back to the times when I have been forced to wild camp, or when I planned to wild camp. Part of this is when, for example, I am in a pub and it would be nice to leave and be able to find a patch of grass within a few minutes. Not keen on trudging out of a village in the dark and then, in the dark, having to put up my tent. I would hope that theBivi might allow me have almost instant readiness, and allow me to be discreet even though people and houses might be all around me.

I had thought about taking my Alpkit Tarp as well, but I could also take the waterproof outer layer of my Marmot Pulsar 1 tent, or the outer layer of my Zephyros 1 tent. This means that I have choice, which is good. If I took a tent outer then the problem of storing my rucksack and boots would not be a problem in bad weather. I would still have to come up with a plan if I decided I didn't need to erect a cover over the Bivi.

On the other hand I could just stay simple and buy a new tent. I'm still thinking as to what I really want, maybe by Christmas I would have decided?

Owen

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Re: Bivi bag camping, do you?
« Reply #24 on: 17:02:40, 26/10/17 »
Use your pack as a pillow and stuff your boots under your knees, either outside the bivi if wet or inside if it's freezing along with your gas and water bottle.

NeilC

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Re: Bivi bag camping, do you?
« Reply #25 on: 15:25:07, 27/10/17 »
If you cover your head and breath into it, you'll likely get terrible condensation.

Doddy

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Re: Bivi bag camping, do you?
« Reply #26 on: 16:19:32, 28/10/17 »
My combo is a Tarp/Tent Notch, MLD Superlight bivvy and Mtn Hardware Summerlite sleeeping bag. for 3 season use. The bivvy is useful for cowboy camping looking at the stars or a stealth camp when space or time is limited to look for a bigger/better spot; the bivvy is good to keep the sleeping bag clean and gives  me the confidence my bag is secure in torrential downpours.

gunwharfman

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Re: Bivi bag camping, do you?
« Reply #27 on: 16:19:00, 30/10/17 »
I'm near to buying a Snugpak Stratospere Bivi bag but for those who are in the know, can you give me an opinion please. I've obviously read that at times, condensation might be a problem. Would draping a high absorbency towel on top of my sleeping bag whilst I sleep, help to minimise this, or am I just being daft?

Doddy

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Re: Bivi bag camping, do you?
« Reply #28 on: 21:48:12, 30/10/17 »

If I am understanding it right, the towel will be damp rather than the top of the bag. If the moisture is on the bag on its own it is easy to wipe off; so I guess if moisture is on the towel it might make it marginally more easier to deal with.
Is there any way you can try cowboy camping before you commit to expense. I think condensation is just one of the issues you might find i.e sleeping with face to the elements, bugs, early daylight; try just sleeping without a tent on a dry night to see how you get on. There are pluses and it can give a new freedom.
I once tried my MLD Superlight bivvy just laid on top inside my sleeping bag as a type of vapour barrier to be warmer and it seemed to work; however it is a thin fabric.The sleeping bag can sometimes be damp at the foot, I think more heat/dampness can just gravitate downward as I often seem to be on a bit of a slope; it often dries as I leave it facing the sun when I am making breakfast.

Mel

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Re: Bivi bag camping, do you?
« Reply #29 on: 22:19:37, 30/10/17 »
This isn't going to turn into a "purchasing mistake" is it gunwharfman?  :-\   :-X   ;)
No expense spared in pursuit of a bargain ;)