Nov 16, 2010 at 4:58 pm #1265558
My days of backpacking are over. Now I do day hikes but do so alone most of the time. I'm looking at getting a really lightweight tarp setup in the event I break a leg, twist an ankle or otherwise have a problem and must stay overnight. I would pack it solely for survival and would not use it for any other purpose.
I want to be protected from the elements which, in my part of the country (the Northeast), means lots of rain and bugs. It would be used for 3 seasons, not four and, hopefully, I'll never have to use it.
Any suggestions would be appreciated.Nov 16, 2010 at 5:02 pm #1664971
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
I would think that the best lightweight item to take is a bivouac sack. I mean, that is exactly what they were intended for. Some are as light as about six ounces. I sewed one that went about 8 ounces.
–B.G.–Nov 16, 2010 at 5:09 pm #1664974
The AMK Heatsheets Emergency Bivy might be a good choice:
If you're set on a tarp, you could try a poncho tarp that could double as rain gear, otherwise it really depends on factors like how much coverage you want, how compact you want it to be, and how much you want to spend.Nov 16, 2010 at 5:10 pm #1664977
I'd also look into getting a light bivy bag. Most tarps that are light enough to add to your daypack without second thought will also be very expensive (cuben). I'd recommend taking a look at AMK emergency bivy bags, this one weights only 3.8 oz
A bothy bag might also be suitable and you could use it while hiking as well.Nov 16, 2010 at 5:19 pm #1664987
@owareLocale: Steptoe Butte
Here is a thread on another site with a couple of good
photos.Nov 16, 2010 at 5:26 pm #1664990Nov 16, 2010 at 5:27 pm #1664992
7 oz and in colors that someone can actually find you in a survival situation.
For bugs, carry a 1.5oz headnet.Nov 16, 2010 at 5:45 pm #1665004
Ironically, I do have a goretex bivy sack but am claustrophic and absolutely hate being in it. It's a great concept but just doesn't work in my case. In a crisis, I'd use it but would prefer to get a tarp of some type.Nov 16, 2010 at 5:50 pm #1665008
@retropumpLocale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
On day trips I always carry an MLD cuben poncho (4oz) or an 2-person AMK heat sheet (3 oz), plus a bit of guyline. I haven't had to use it yet…hope I never do! The heatsheet is a real bargain at $5.50!Nov 16, 2010 at 5:50 pm #1665009
I carry a 2 person heatsheet that I can use as a tarp (doesn't have grommets, but simply putting in a small rock or a little duff and making a little "bundle" works well)
w/ that I carry the AMK Thermolite bivy- heavier than their heatsheet bivy, but more insulating as well
I also carry a GG thinlight pad- weighs all of 2 oz and comes in handy as a sit pad (but would also be useful in a forced overnighter)
I agree- headnet would be sufficient for the bugs- exposure is the real riskNov 16, 2010 at 5:52 pm #1665011
in a survival situation bugs are just extra protein … lolNov 16, 2010 at 6:43 pm #1665040
@wandering_bobLocale: Oregon, USA
Look at the Six Moon Designs Wild Oasis. http://www.sixmoondesigns.com
Full perimeter bug netting
Actually big enough to lie down, sit up, and move around in, unlike a bivy. That's something to consider if you're injured or waiting out a storm.
Silnylon single wall shelter uses one trekking pole or an optional collapsible tent pole.Nov 16, 2010 at 6:55 pm #1665044
wild thing bivy shelter sounds like it would suit your needs. there are two versions, one that's expensive and one that's really expensive. big enough to invite in others who might be in your same predicament.Nov 16, 2010 at 7:11 pm #1665051
So, has anyone actually used an AMK Thermolite bivy? (either the original or the newer 2.0 version)
I've used mine once in summer weather as an ultralight sleeping bag (worked great) but never in colder weather.
If anyone has any experience with an AMK Thermolite bivy in colder weather, please by all means share your experience.
HJNov 16, 2010 at 10:01 pm #1665131
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
I depend on a poncho and an AMK Heat Sheet bivy bag for summer day hikes backup. If I have it together enough, the poncho can be rigged as a lean-to tarp shelter with the bivy bag under on a bed of debris or conifer boughs and a fire if needed. If I'm not ambulatory, I could just use the bivy or wrapped up in the poncho. I don't carry other rain gear for fair summer weather day hikes.
I have weathered a nasty rainstorm holed up under a tree with my poncho completely covering me. With a basic sit pad and my pack in front of me, I was warm, dry and comfortable. I could open the pack for snacks without getting a drop inside. Add radio and kick back for a break in the weather. It wouldn't be fun, but I could spend a night that way and live to complain about it :)
I think that is the way to think about any non-insulated system— keep yourself reasonably dry and cut the wind and you can get through a long nasty night. You won't be cozy, but you'll survive. Anyone with the essentials– some extra clothing, food, lighting, fire making tools and some basic shelter could go for days if need be.
I own one of the AMK Thermolite bivys but I have never used it. The Heat Sheet bivy is so much smaller and lighter, it has been the first choice to throw in my day hiking kit. Someday (in August) I want to try a uber-minimal summer kit with the Thermolite bivy, poncho tarp, a light pad and a no-cook menu.Nov 16, 2010 at 10:43 pm #1665146
i use the heatsheet bivy as a VBL occasionally … havent had to use it as a survival tool yet
there are tons of reviews on youtube of the amk thermolite bivy … just give it a searchNov 16, 2010 at 11:18 pm #1665157
I've yet to see any of the Thermolite bivvy reviews with practical experience. Maybe I need to look harder.
How does the Heatsheets bivvy work as a VBL? I assume you can never get it back into it's little stuff sack ever again, yes?
HJNov 16, 2010 at 11:51 pm #1665165
it works for me …
you just need to be careful getting in and out of the bag … it isnt very delicate, but like any thing material you can tear and … you can repair it with tape
the sack for it is larger than needed lengthwise … the trick is to fold it along the lenght till its 1/8 … the roll it up like a sleeping bag
if im just using it as a vbl though … i just fold it and stuff it in a zip lock for convenience
if i were to use a vbl regularly id probably get the ID VBL … but i cant justify $85 right now for an emergency VBL
if you want a cold weather emergency bag id go blizzard …
watch the cute survival chicks review and actually use a blizzard bag … 2 chicks and a survival bag … itll be one warm night … lolNov 17, 2010 at 4:12 pm #1665400
I've watch those Peak Survival videos. Nothing specifically wrong with them, but they're not testing them or anything. They're just looking at something straight out of the box and sharing their observations. Not really what I'm looking for.
I saw some user reviews on Summitpost that were based on field experience. Those are more what I'm looking for.
I haven't experimented much with mine. I've got one of the old ones, so maybe I'll experiment with it. No big loss if I tear it or something, right.
Let me know if you are aware of any experience based YouTube or other reviews.
HJNov 17, 2010 at 7:00 pm #1665489
Gives you full protection at 4.7 ounces. The N2 isn't for sale but I just bet Steve could be coaxed into making one…Nov 26, 2010 at 11:09 am #1668118
@davidmilesLocale: Eastern Sierra
I am with a mountain rescue group and have spent several nights in the Thermolite bivy with no sleeping bag. It functions as advertised. It is not breathable so you get some condensation. It will protect you in an emergency, and is far better than the lighter weight mylar bivy sacks. Far more durable too.
I have built my own bivy (big and comfortable) and have made a 7 oz emergency bivy out of the same materials (waterproof/breathable). It does not build up condensation like my goretex bivy.
You are welcome, but…
You MUST include a clear statement that you are selling these: full disclosure is required.
Also, anything commercial like this must go in Gear Deals. I will have it moved.
Online Community Monitor
Backpacking LightNov 27, 2010 at 4:29 pm #1668441
@davidmilesLocale: Eastern Sierra
I forgot to mention that the most important reasons for a simple emergency bivy sack instead of a tarp. First, if you are injured it would be harder to rig a tarp. Second, in high winds the bivy sack offers complete protection from the elements. Third, it can be used anywhere.
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