Author Topic: Getting ready! I slept out in my garden last night.  (Read 1561 times)

jimbob

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2414
Re: Getting ready! I slept out in my garden last night.
« Reply #30 on: 11:57:10, 05/04/21 »
Ultra light groundsheets can be got by using that plastic window double glazing sheets, the sort you put up in draughty old houses for the winter, you use a hairdryer to shrink it to fit drum tight. Wickes sell it for about 4 for 6 sq. Metres at about 1 oz per square metre. The extreme ultralight movement tend to give it a good write up. My experience of it was a long time ago but it was certainly very tough stuff. I stopped using it because every spring I had to repaint the windows due to the double sided sellotape type stuff that held the sheet in place also stripped the paint when being removed, we moved house, it was cheaper.
Too little, too late, too bad......

ninthace

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7972
Re: Getting ready! I slept out in my garden last night.
« Reply #31 on: 13:08:55, 05/04/21 »

I also expect to be hiking more in the South this year and when I wild camp the possibility of nearby wild boar needs to taken into consideration. I've read that Ashdown Forest is a particular 'hotspot' in my location. I experienced wild boar when I was in France a few years ago and was warned so many times about them by locals, (and by locals between Hawkhurst and Rye) and having seen a couple in action and how fast they move I don't want to walk unprepared.
  In my experience. having spent some time walking through heavily populated "boar country". unless you are chasing them with dogs or trying to shoot them, you are far more likely to see the back end of a boar disappearing than the front end approaching.  If it really is a concern to you, do not move quietly and you probably won't see any  boar at all!
Solvitur Ambulando

gunwharfman

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6352
Re: Getting ready! I slept out in my garden last night.
« Reply #32 on: 09:44:55, 07/04/21 »
I'm having real fun in my garden at the moment.

As I discovered in 2019, Bivvy and Tarp camping is a bit different from tent camping the matter I want to sort out before I go on a trip is what to stand or sit on as I get ready to get into my sleeping quilt. My first thought was to add to my equipment with another groundsheet but my answer was staring me in the face, I've just cut my groundsheet in half. So one half is under me and the other half is beside me with my stuff on top and once in my bivvy, I can then slide everything in one go to be in easy reach.

The other matter for me to think about is, in bad weather how easy will it be to lower my tarp to cover me more effectively? My preference is to do it whilst staying in my bivvy, but although I can adjust the height of my poles securing the strings and the tent pegs is the problem, to do that I have to get out of my bivvy. At the moment I'm studying knots on YouTube to see if I can solve this matter by shortening the strings whilst staying in my bivvy?

Bivvy camping also creates another small problem for me to think about, once properly packed I now have real space left in my rucksack. If I was trying to be 'perfect' I would now go out and buy a smaller capacity rucksack. I may decide to do this?

But before doing so I need to make another decision for myself, can I really hike for more than a week just living out of a bivvy and tarp? To date, I've only done short, less than a week trips, so I have my thinking cap on right now. If I plan for a two-week hike I don't want to regret the decision I make. Of course, I could just take the easy way out and just take my tent.

harland

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1383
Re: Getting ready! I slept out in my garden last night.
« Reply #33 on: 09:57:45, 07/04/21 »
Not sure if this is what you need but Google "Sheepshank", clearly you would need to do this when setting up and then undo the knot easily to let the side down. As an alternative Google "quick-release knots", you could use the one to tie a horse - not sure how this would be in practice but a man of your experience could probably sort something out!

Perranwell

  • New Member
  • *
  • Posts: 23
Re: Getting ready! I slept out in my garden last night.
« Reply #34 on: 11:54:05, 07/04/21 »
I'm going through a similar process right now--planning to switch to tarp and bivvy, and mugging up on various configurations and knots on YouTube. Come the 12th, I'll be back and forth to the woods to practise.
*
My methods are changing because of COVID. I want to be stealthier for the time being, to keep away from people as much as possible. Last summer I did that with a tent; but it wasn't always easy finding a spot to hide even a small khaki tent, and I'd feel anxious as sunset approached. So I'm thinking a bivvy will make it easier to just doss down covertly. I plan to deploy the tarp only if the weather is dodgy.
*
As far as closing the tarp up is concerned, one solution I'm considering is setting it very low if the weather's bad. The tarpologists on YouTube claim they stay dry without the need to close right up--so I'm going to experiment on the hoof. But I'm also bringing a military poncho. I figure I could peg that over an opening from inside if need be. It can also act as a groundsheet. Or as a small shelter poled up over one's head in lieu of putting up the main tarp. (My bivvy bag's supposed to be waterproof and breathable, so we'll see about that.) The poncho can also just be pulled over the bivvy bag if it rains on me while sleeping untarped, including over my head.
*
I've bought a lighter rucksack too, my first ultralight one. I've been practising packing Ray Jardine style, compressing items much less, so the bag feels full but loose. Looking forward to not cramming everything in so tight and hard in future.
*
Don't know if I'll be out of my depth with tarping. But I'm reasonably philosophical about difficult nights. They're soon over and forgotten during the next day's hiking. When I hike on my own, I'm not interested in the camping side of things. I don't cook. I tend to walk till dusk, and having to bed down is just a necessary irritant.

gunwharfman

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6352
Re: Getting ready! I slept out in my garden last night.
« Reply #35 on: 13:48:31, 11/04/21 »
I slept out in my garden again last night.

When I've used my tarp my 'difficulties,' for want of a better word are at the point when I want to get properly dressed/undressed in order to get in my bivvy for the night and to overcome similar problems when I get up.

Assuming that it's not raining, my routine is to lay out my main groundsheet, with mattress, bivvy, and sleeping quilt on top, and then erect my tarp around it all. I then start to organise myself and I like to have something dry to stand on as I do it. The small square sit-on mats for me are just too small so I now have this 2' x 3' wide piece of groundsheet alongside which I use because I can stand or sit on it depending on what I plan or have to do. I haven't done anything yet about how to do it when it raining, I'll get to that over the next few days. Oddly, in all the nights I've used my bivvy from 2019 I have never yet had to face a night of rain.

In addition, I've found out that the thin Odlo baselayer that I recently bought is very comfortable and I can easily double up and use it as a top for sleeping in. To complete my night attire I've just ordered a thin Odlo pair of tights so that my skin is not directly on the bivvy material when I lie down for the night. That is the one problem with my Hunka bivvy, the mattress has to be under it, not inside. I've tried this and the internal space left is just not enough for me. If I was to buy a Hunka all over again I'd definitely purchase the Large version.

As I've discovered bivvy camping presents its own little issues and problems to resolve, getting in and out of a bivvy into the open air is not the same as being able to perform these functions from inside a tent.

I spent last night outside in my garden again trying to perfect my technique. I can also now erect my bivvy in the dark which means that on a real walk all I have to do is find the spot where I plan to sleep, then go to the pub. Then when I leave, wander back to my chosen spot, organise myself in the dark, then get in my bivvy and go to sleep.



 

gunwharfman

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6352
Re: Getting ready! I slept out in my garden last night.
« Reply #36 on: 21:09:40, 15/04/21 »
I spent about three hours today pottering about in my garden trying to come up with the best tent/tarp/bivvy combination to use this year. I've two tents (a Zephyros One and a Marmot Pulsar One, plus a Hunker Bivvy and an Alpkit Tarp and I thought I would look at them individually to decide how I should best use them in 2021. It was very apparent that I could do nothing in particular with my Marmot tent so I quickly put it to one side. I could use the inner mesh to cover me from bugs but that's the best I could come up with.

I want to wild camp more this year and until today I was just thinking of my Hunka and Tarp, but a new option presented itself to me today. When I erected my Zepyros One (I took out the inner tent so I put this to one side as well) and suddenly realised that if I cut one half of it with a pair of scissors at the hoop point I could have a half-round tarp which appears to be more user friendly than my basic rectangular tarp. Has any Walking Forum member ever hacked into one of their old tents in any way to improve their camping experience?

I've hesitated to actually do anything about it at the moment, but as I sit here in front of my PC drinking my second glass of red wine, and eating a few cashew nuts and olives I'm feeling quite good about the idea. If I decide on the idea it will mean an extra 208 grammes to my rucksack carry weight.

To be double sure I'll erect it all in the garden again tomorrow and then sleep out again. By the morning I'm sure I'll be able to make the decision to get my scissors out or not?

ninthace

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7972
Re: Getting ready! I slept out in my garden last night.
« Reply #37 on: 21:18:56, 15/04/21 »
This reply is from someone whose idea of lightweight camping these days is a phone and credit card so it is not couched in recent experience.  How sensitive to overnight changes in wind direction would your combo be?  Is it possible that what would be keeping the weather off at dusk, could be a sail by morning?
Solvitur Ambulando

gunwharfman

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6352
Re: Getting ready! I slept out in my garden last night.
« Reply #38 on: 21:41:39, 15/04/21 »
Some tarps are sold just to cover the head and shoulders, this is the same idea but with a bit more space inside. For me it's all about licking my finger, holding it up to the air to judge the wind direction and then pitching my tarp. Can be a bit of a problem if the wind direction changes in the night and it's raining hard, but to date that hasn't happened to me yet. In fact, in all of the nights I've slept out in my tarp, it has never rained. Just lucky I suppose. I'm sure that I would think differently if I get rained out one night?

Ronin83

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 398
Re: Getting ready! I slept out in my garden last night.
« Reply #39 on: 10:34:45, 16/04/21 »
Sorry if I'm repeating something, but I couldnt be bothered to read all these essays, so..


Regarding lowering the tarp from your bivvy...
Use bungees, not cord. They'll shorten themselves