Jul 26, 2008 at 9:29 pm #1230374
I am looking for some good blogs, articles, forums etc dedicated to bivy camping.
Anyone knows of any such resouces?Aug 19, 2008 at 1:58 am #1447640
bump..Aug 19, 2008 at 2:15 am #1447642
Chris JonesBPL Member
Do a search for Ronald Turnbull…Aug 19, 2008 at 4:43 am #1447649
Chris, thank you so much!Aug 19, 2008 at 2:58 pm #1447715
@ptcLocale: The Scottish Highlands
I'm still finding my feet again, but after a huge gap (last time was the '70s), I started bivying again this year.
I'm still learning how to live without a tent, but there's some trip reports on my blog at http://www.petesy.co.ukAug 21, 2008 at 8:07 am #1447993
Thanks Peter. Looking forward to reading your trip reports.Aug 21, 2008 at 12:31 pm #1448025
I remember looking closely at the Three Wire Bivy when it came out, and your blog is making me reconsider. My hiking style is very similar to yours; I'm in a very rainy climate, and I prefer solo backpacking above treeline. I'd rather risk high winds and rain for the chance at a spectacular sunset/sunrise than to dip down below treeline and lose all views. Most of my trips are 1-2 nights. Unlike you, I never eat in my tent (black bear problems), so that's not a concern for me.
I am trying to decide whether to get this bivy or the Integral Designs eVent Overbag. The Overbag is 10oz lighter, and I can cinch down the opening to expose only my face, which should improve condensation issues vs. the Three Wire. If it begins to rain, I can simply turn the bivy on its side, or throw over my rain jacket. Or I could bring a small tarp and still be lighter than the Three Wire.
However, the Three Wire is simpler to set up than a bivy/tarp combo, and the Three Wire has built in netting. I'm a big fan of simplicity.
So my questions for you are as follows:
For a simple overnighter, do you find that you miss the ability to sit upright under a shelter? Do you miss an overheard shelter during the day that a small tarp could provide?
With the bag zipped open and the bug netting shut, is it reasonably comfortable? For example, if I wanted to take an afternoon nap in the shade and be protected under the bug netting, would I feel much of a breeze?
Lastly, if you remove the stakes, can you sit upright and still have the head area cover you? In other words, If I wanted to get out in the rain, could I first sit upright, then use the awning to help keep rain out as I exit?
Basically, I am trying to decide between the versatility of the Overbag + tarp / mosquito net vs. the simplicity and ease of setup of the Three WIre. I am hesitant to take the Three Wire and a tarp, because this would be heavier than my huge GoLite Hex 3 with bug netting.
One last question: with the Terra Nova Laser Competition as light as the Three Wire, I am curious why you have tried bivying again?
Thanks in advance.Aug 21, 2008 at 1:00 pm #1448027
I'll give the ID All e-Vent overbag a 10 out of 10. I bought it partly on the recommendation of a forum member from your neck of the woods, David Ure.
I've never had any condensation in it. The fabric is superb! I like the fact that it is all e-Vent. If i roll over at night, there is no unbreathable fabric to end up on top of me. I use a tarp with it, as in Scotlands rainy climate, i like a dry space for getting in and out, and cooking. If the weather is good, the tarp might stay in the bag, but i like to have one with me. The small tarp/bivvy bag combo is a good forecast combo only, for me anyway.
For the weight of the 3-wire, you could use a Titanium Goat bivvy with your Hex 3. I use both, for more unsettled weather.Aug 21, 2008 at 1:07 pm #1448029
Thanks Mike for the helpful comments.Aug 21, 2008 at 4:50 pm #1448055
Chris JonesBPL Member
When using your ID e-Vent overbag, how do you deal with biting insects such as mosquitoes and midges?Aug 21, 2008 at 4:57 pm #1448057
@walksoftlyLocale: Piney Woods
I have a regular-sized Montbell sleeping bag cover that comes in at just over 6 ozs. It has sealed seams and is waterproof except for the opening around your face. It does require a ground sheet as it is not bomb-proof. With some netting from GG it is a great, breathable shelter. When it rains I turn over and cover up my head with a WB rain jacket. I am small enough that I can zip the jacket and not worry about tossing it off during the night. Rain is only a problem in that it is LOUD when your shelter is so close to you ears!
Much talk about how to get into a bivy when it is raining. I use a small umbrella.Aug 22, 2008 at 8:12 am #1448102
I use a MLD bug-bivvy and a full size tarp during midge/bug season, usually June – Sept. I don't like sleeping with my head in a bug-net. I use the ID bivvy the rest of the year.
If i'm camping high in an exposed or windy area during midge/bug season, i usually use my Terra Nova Laserlite tent.
I'm lucky enough to live a short drive from the mountains, and pick my shelter to suit the conditions at the time.Aug 22, 2008 at 10:12 am #1448115
I've looked closely at the Montbell Breeze as well, and it's certainly tempting. One advantage of the Integral designs and especially the Big Agnes is the ability to store gear in the head area. Still, 6-8oz for a wp/b bivy is tempting.
Here's where I'm currently leaning:
Montbell bivy long and wide (8.3oz)
Six Moon Designs Serentiy NetTent (7.7oz)
Six Moon Designs Gatewood Cape (12oz)
There is definitely some redundancy here, but also some real versatility and safety. Most importantly, it most closely mimics a double-wall shelter (bug free living space, fully enclosed fly, a waterproof outer (cape) and breathable inner (bivy)), with the added protection of a wp/b bivy in the event of tent failure. And though it adds up to 28oz (the weight of the Terra Nova), I am able to save significant weight by replacing my eVent rain jacket (11.3oz) with a Tyvek jacket (3.5oz) and removing my pack cover (2oz). Therefore the net weight of this sleep system vs. any other system I would consider is only 18.2oz.
I get added versatiliy and improved views, since I can use just the bivy most of the time, use just the bug tent for lower elevations/afternoon naps, and have the Gatewood as my rainy weather backup/afternoon shade or to aid in condensation reduction.
The two disadvantages are that I loose my nice breathable eVent jacket and I loose some simplicity some of the time. Oh, and it's not freestanding. I'm not fully convinced, though, so your input is welcome!Aug 22, 2008 at 10:30 am #1448117
I think you have it about right John. There is no 'right' method of bivving. It involves compromises. Living close to where you hike enables you to choose the right gear more easily.
Bivvying in an area of dry settled weather, is totally different from bivvying in an area with a maritime climate!Aug 22, 2008 at 12:08 pm #1448128Aug 22, 2008 at 1:50 pm #1448143
When you say the Unishelter has 40", is that along the zipper length, or do you get to open up the bivy 40"? My understanding is that there is more mesh on the BA Three wire. Also, do you have a weight for the bivy and pole?Aug 22, 2008 at 2:24 pm #1448154Aug 22, 2008 at 3:11 pm #1448163
Patrick YoungBPL Member
Mine weighs 28.3 oz for bivy and poles, no stakes or stuff sacks.Aug 22, 2008 at 3:31 pm #1448166Aug 22, 2008 at 4:27 pm #1448174
@walksoftlyLocale: Piney Woods
The two bivies pictured above are actual shelters where you can store gear and turn over inside the bivy. The Montbell is more of a sleeping bag cover and when you roll from your back to your side, the whole thing comes with you.
I tuck the front of mine under my arms with the hood behind me laying flat. It really does put you out there in the middle of nature. Not for the squeamish. On the other hand when you want to sit up you just sit up! Don't find it to be claustrophobic at all (we REALLY need spell check on this site!!!).
Just an observation. I have a cat that lives outdoors. We have gotten a lot of rain in North Texas over the last two weeks. When the cat comes home to eat he is almost perfectly dry. I like to think that he is nimble enough to run between the rain drops, but I'm sure that he just finds natural shelter to stay dry. With a bivy like the Montbell you have to do the same. Always on the lookout for natural shelter to keep you protected – not the best protection out in an open space.Aug 22, 2008 at 4:48 pm #1448182
@pivvayLocale: Rocky Mountains
Michael is spot on but I just love the montbell "bivy". I've spent a lot of nights out in the past couple years and I've never been unhappy with it. Yes you're pretty "out there" but I enjoy that and I've never been able to beat the weight without major compromises (non breathable options).
Nothing is better than crawling into my bag and bivy and staring at the stars or waking up in the middle of the night to see cloudy skies have parted and there are now a million stars twinkling above your head.
And when my wife doesn't share the same opinion or when it's winter and I need shelter to cook, that's what the firstlight is for.Aug 22, 2008 at 11:10 pm #1448210
@greyhoundLocale: Sierra Nevada
Dave, I'm sorry if you've posted this already elsewhere, but how do the dimensions compare between the two bivies? The Three wire looks wider in the photo above, but what are your observations.
Any preferences, pros, or cons between the two?Aug 23, 2008 at 7:23 am #1448227Aug 23, 2008 at 11:34 am #1448247
For anyone interested, I have found some interesting articles on bivy camping at psychovertical.comAug 23, 2008 at 2:49 pm #1448257
@ryanLocale: Rocky Mountains
Yes! I LOVE bivy camping!
Twenty years ago did we ever think we "have to revive" the lost art of bivy camping because the reason for its loss was related to the fact that other types of shelters are lighter? Crazy.
But there is an aesthetic to bivy camping that cannot be replaced by overhead shelters.
The thing I really like about bivy camping is the ability to camp anywhere. With a tarp or tent, I'm pretty limited to places where I can pitch them.
With a bivy, I can scramble up the side of a cliff and sleep on a ledge, plop down on a huge flat piece of talus, or tuck into a rock wall at the summit of a ridge. That is stealth camping at its finest IMO!
My favorite lux bivy is the ID Unishelter (in eVENT of course!) because of the overhead pole design, the ventilation, the room at the head, the ease of entry, and eVENT fabric. Otherwise I like the eVENT Overbag, for sheer simplicity, putting my head end under a tree or bush if it's raining, or turning it upside down if it gets really bad.
I don't spend much time worrying about rain and bivy entry/exit, because if that's the type of condition I'm anticipating, I just take all synthetic insulation and not worry too much about getting a little water or snow inside.
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