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Bivy camping


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Viewing 25 posts - 1 through 25 (of 34 total)
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  • #3793013
    dirtbag
    BPL Member

    @dirtbaghiker

    Just returned from a short 2 night trip that started with a few miles night hiking and had beautiful sleeping arrangements on both nights. I have not yet edited any footage, hopefully will get around to that this week, but will post here a few pictures of where I slept on night #2. The overnight temperature hit a low of 26*-28* F with a slight breeze. I used a 15* quilt and my MLD eVent bivy with the Nemo Switchback and MLD Goodnight 1\8 foam pad for this trip. I was skeptical of ditching my Xlite inflatable pad until I saw my buddy inflating his, after I was already set up for the evening!! When his pad was finally inflated, I again thought maybe I would miss my air pad.. But no, I would not and did not. I was cozy comfortable both nights and was able to use both of my pads throughout the day and evening for sit and lay down breaks and to cozy close to the fire in the evening without any fear of ember punctures happening! I also did not miss having to inflate AND deflate that pad in evening and chilly cold mornimgs.. Even with the wing lock valve! Alas, I knew I was missing nothing when he woke up in the morning cussin that his pad was deflated and it caused him to wake twice during the night because it was flat!! Cliche?? Lol. Whatever.. I was comfortable and slept well and everything worked perfectly for me as needed. So simple and fail proof and efficient.  I was set up in the dark on night 1 like that.. And packed up both mornings 1,2,3! That’s what I want! Well, here are a few pictures of where I slept on night #2..

    #3793014
    Thom
    BPL Member

    @popcornman

    Locale: N NY

    Thanks
    Thom

    #3793015
    Jerry Adams
    BPL Member

    @retiredjerry

    Locale: Oregon and Washington

    I like it when the bivy is covered by frost in the morning:)

    That Nemo pad looks interesting.  14.5 ounces, 0.9 inch.  I wonder how that sleeps compared to an air pad.  It would take up more room in your pack

    #3793016
    dirtbag
    BPL Member

    @dirtbaghiker

    The nemo pad was comfortable for me. Back in the day, years ago I used to just sleep on a Gossamer Gear Nightlite pad.. torso length. Then I started using the thermarest Z lite SOL pad. That too was comfortable. Then air pads.. hammocks.. back to air pads.. now back to ccf pads.  I cut 2 sections off of it and its perfect.  It folds up and I slide it against my back in my Nero pack! Worked perfect!! I dont like it strapped on top of my pack.. too cluncky. I also dont like it in my pack because then I cant get it easily when i stop for breaks or if its the last thing I want to pack before hiking out in the chily morning! 

    #3793017
    dirtbag
    BPL Member

    @dirtbaghiker

    Hard to see in that photo, but the orange pad is on the back side and it fits perfect!

    #3793018
    dirtbag
    BPL Member

    @dirtbaghiker

    I WISH I could be “that guy”  that could get comfortable using just the 1/8 ccf pad.  Not now in winter.. but maybe next summer? Just have to be way more aware of site selection and that may limit my options of where I lile to sleep.

    #3793030
    Ryan Jordan
    Admin

    @ryan

    Locale: Central Rockies

    What a gorgeous spot for a bivy!

    I’m intrigued with the idea of going back to foam pads. I can sleep comfortably on two pads (like two switchbacks), where one is full length and the other is torso sized.

    I’ve been researching foams because I’d love to take a foam roll instead of an air pad on winter trips where I’m sleeping on snow. Two Nemo Switchbacks stacked still provide an R-value of only 4, but interestingly, I’ve had no major issues of cold seeping through this setup when on snow in moderate temps (say, down to 25 F or so). But haven’t tested this in the mid-winter temps we get, which are near 0 F.

    I’m wondering if there’s anyone left still using only foam pad(s) for sleeping on snow during the winter?

    #3793033
    Chris K
    BPL Member

    @cmkannen-2-2

    On an overnight in Wild Basin this week I slept on a thin layer of snow at 10F with a torso length Prolite (3.2R) and a Switchback. Obviously the Prolite is warmer than CCF but for whatever reason these older tech pads seem to punch above their R-value.

    One con though… I do the pack under the legs thing, and don’t love it. “Keeping track” of three things under me is too much. Would prefer 2 x full length pads next time.

    #3793067
    Steve S
    BPL Member

    @steve_s-2

    Snow warms up to freezing at any temperature, so the same closed cell foam that keeps you warm on a summer snow field works just fine sub-zero Fahrenheit.

    #3793070
    Alex H
    BPL Member

    @abhitt

    Locale: southern appalachians or desert SW

    dirtbag, did you have any condensation at that lake location, a perfect set up for it.

    ChrisK, that is the set up I have used for years.  Currently an Exped Flexmat Plus (48″) and a Prolite XS with pack under the legs.  On snow I will take a full length CCF pad under the Prolite.

    #3793074
    dirtbag
    BPL Member

    @dirtbaghiker

    @Alex H.. Ohh , why of course.  Daytime temps hi 40s low 50s,  overnight temperature was mid to upper mid 20s with barely a slight breeze that disappeared near midnight,  100% clear skies, right next to a big lake. I was expecting to wake up in a lake, lol. I did use my eVent bivy anticipating the condensation dilemma. It was not bad at all. In the morning my quilt had minimal dampness, mostly near the footbox. Within a few minutes sitting outside in the morning it appeared to go away. Not at any point during the night or in the morning did I notice it or feel any discomfort from it. I have learned to embrace the condensation, especially being exclusively a bivy user for many years. It does not bother me as long as I am comfortable and it has never been so bad that I had discomfort. I know when to expect it and how to manage it.

    #3793075
    Chris K
    BPL Member

    @cmkannen-2-2

    Steve S – cool, didn’t know that!

    dirtbag – have you tried unzipping the bivy from the bottom a few inches? Wonder if that would help with the footbox moisture. But I like your ‘just embrace it’ attitude.

    #3793082
    dirtbag
    BPL Member

    @dirtbaghiker

    @Chris K. Naaa.. Never really needed too. Most of the time its not an issue. Even this time, it was such a non issue or concern.

    #3793083
    Hopearotie
    BPL Member

    @hopearotieyahoo-com

    I’m with Dirtbag…I use a KG Piñon Bivy and I get some condensation but if I use the tieout at the end of the bivy (I prop it up with a stick or trekking pole) it breathes well and I don’t have issues…little condensation but nothing to worry about. I should say nothing a slight breeze or a little sun can’t fix in a couple min. As a prior wilderness therapy guide I spent most nights in the field with a bivy and had a minimal tarp. I rarely used the tarp (only if it was raining). Now, as a busy mom and wilderness enthusiast, I find a tent almost annoying to set up… with a bivy and tarp you can set up in way more places and with way less work. After doing my job, I was excited to get a shelter, and I’ve tried many, I almost always go back to the tarp/bivy set up. I’m use to it, I can set it up fast and I love to see out before I go to bed and when I wake up. I only use a tent when my hubby comes or when one of my sisters tags along. I don’t do this to be minimalistic or have a low pack weight, I use a bivy because I like them and that’s were most of my experience sleeping outside comes from.

    Dirtbag looks like a fun trip. I admire you folks that are sleeping on closed cell foam pads lol. I’m not that rugged.

    I also agree that the closed cell foam R-Values are underrated. I’ve slept on the prolite pads and havent been cold like I can get on the inflatables. CCF can be bulky but they never lets you down and can be used for so many other things (breaks, a clean space to stretch, carving spoons, and cooking meals). I can honestly say the Thermarest Ridgerest CCF pad is my fave pieces of gear and it hasn’t missed a trip. It was one of the first pieces of gear I bought 10 years ago and it is still going ( I had a cheap blue CCF pad and it lasted maybe a season before it was destroyed)…the $35 I spent on the “Name brand” Ridgerest has been worth every penny. I use CCF pad in the winter even more. I snowshoe all winter and when I take people along we stop for tea/coffee break and I use my collapsible shovel to make an insulated bench to sit and visit/cook on. If I had to give an award to one peice of gear it would be the CCF Ridegrest.

    I’ve never found a need to get the 1/8 inch CCF…less bulk sure, but not as insulating or soft for taking breaks. I also wonder how useful it would be in the winter where it is so thin???

    #3793088
    Dustin V
    BPL Member

    @dustinv

    @dirtbag I read that the hoop removable on that bivy.  Did you use the hoop? If so, did you need to stake it?

    #3793089
    dirtbag
    BPL Member

    @dirtbaghiker

    @Hopearotie.. couldn’t agree more about using a bivy and tarp. That 1/8 pad comes with me year round.  I also use it as entrance mat to kneel or stand on next to my bivy.. and i am tempted to use it for sleep in summer months.

    #3793090
    dirtbag
    BPL Member

    @dirtbaghiker

    @ Dustin V. Yes the hoop is removable.. but if i understand correctly,  it is NOT Replaceable.  Once its out.. it stays out. I have opted to keep it in. It comes in handy once in a while.  Mostly i tie off to the top of my tarp, or trekking poles as in that picture,  but the wire does help keep mesh off my face and that back head end up. No, i have never staked the bivy out.

    #3793091
    Chris K
    BPL Member

    @cmkannen-2-2

    In the spirit of simplicity what about bringing just one self-inflating pad in the winter? Weight is in the ballpark of two CCF, but the R-value is higher and self-inflaters are pretty rugged.

    Thermarest Women’s Trail Lite is 26 oz, 4.5R, 20 x 66 x 1.5.

    Not as plush as two fresh Switchbacks though

    #3793104
    Steve S
    BPL Member

    @steve_s-2

    Chris, the self-inflating pad R-value that counts is where the sleeper compresses it the most, not the R-value claimed. Self-inflating the pad probably leaves it too readily compressed. By my experience 5/8″ of ccf is sufficient, but 2 3/8″ or 1 cm pads are more convenient. Might try using the self-inflator with a ccf.

    #3793111
    HkNewman
    BPL Member

    @hknewman

    Locale: The West is (still) the Best

    I remember the ease of using my GoreTex OR hooped bivy and it coziness in the Rockies for weekend adventures.  With a synthetic sleeping bag, condensation wasn’t a big concern.   That said the coziness became stifling for warmer trips, though I wonder if eVent would be better?

    A 14 oz hooped WPB bivy and duo foam pad system may be an answer for specialized trips.   Maybe some longer ones.  Ran into an almost 30 year old article archived online from BP’er extolling the bennies of a simple GoreTex bivy for all sorts of backcountry travel.

    #3800710
    John S.
    BPL Member

    @jshann

    For winter camping I would use a MEC bivy ccf pad (1/4″) + GG nightlight torso

    #3800986
    dirtbag
    BPL Member

    @dirtbaghiker

    @John S..  at what temps day/night winter camping?

    Just curious because I am tempted to test my pads out tbis coming weekend in the Catskills.. snow on ground.. mid 20s daytime low 20s – teens overnight..

    #3800996
    Steve S
    BPL Member

    @steve_s-2

    If sleeping on snow it matters little, because the snow warms to 32 degrees Fahrenheit. The pads merely control the rate of melt. With 3/4″ of closed cell pads little melt occurs, IME.

    On the other hand, rocks can be darn cold, so I choose snow whenever there is a choice..

    #3801003
    HkNewman
    BPL Member

    @hknewman

    Locale: The West is (still) the Best

    A-bivying I will go this summer ..

    use a KG Piñon Bivy and I get some condensation but if I use the tieout at the end of the bivy (I prop it up with a stick or trekking pole) it breathes well and I don’t have issues…little condensation but nothing to worry about. I should say nothing a slight breeze

    Wonder if a small patch of net near the top of the foot box would help.  I had the now discontinued EE Recon water-resistant bivy that had a strip of net in the center; great, except if used alone in a strong cold wind, the wind would cut right through it (10d shell fabric on the quilt underneath btw.. maybe a little more needed?).  Probably the same for similar extant designs..

    #3801005
    jscott
    BPL Member

    @book

    Locale: Northern California

    For me, the killer about a bivy is if a storm comes in. Then it becomes a bit claustrophobic. In a tent, you can sit up and move around more easily; plus it seems cozy in a storm. I’ve never felt cozy that way in a bivy in a rain storm. But it likely has to do with what you’re used to. As Hopearotie mentions, she’s most comfortable in a bivy/tarp combo. I also dislike condensation on my bag, but yes, this is most likely manageable in good circumstances. (I saw Dirtbag’s camp by the lake and thought, uh oh, condensation.)

    Keep in mind that I hate bugs and so miss out on cowboy camping, with a full view of the night sky. So I understand something about trade offs between different systems.

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