Feathered Friends 300x250
Superior Down Sleeping Bags & Clothing

Ultralight Adventure Equipment (ULA)    

   
 
 
Lite Gear Talk

Backcountry Gear Clearance and Sale

Amazon.com
Backpacking Forums
BackcountryGear.com
backcountry gear

---- Our Gear Store ----
The Lightweight Gear Store
 
 ULTRA-LIGHT 

Ultralight Backpacks
Ultralight Bivy Sacks
Ultralight Shelters
Ultralight Tarps
Ultralight Tents
Ultralight Raingear
Ultralight Stoves & Cookware
Ultralight Down Sleeping Bags
Ultralight Synthetic Sleep Bags
Ultralight Apparel


the Titanium Page
WM Extremelite Sleeping Bags

 CAMPING & HIKING 

Backpacks
Tents
Sleeping Bags
Hydration
Kitchen
Accessories

 CLIMBING 

Ropes & Cordage
Protection & Hardware
Carabiners & Quickdraws
Climbing Packs & Bags
Big Wall
Rescue & Industrial

 MEN'S APPAREL 

Jackets
Shirts
Baselayer
Headwear
Gloves
Accessories

 WOMEN'S APPAREL 

Jackets
Shirts
Baselayer
Headwear
Gloves
Accessories

 FOOTWEAR 

Men's Footwear
Women's Footwear

 CLEARANCE 

Backpacks
Mens Apparel
Womens Apparel
Climbing
Footwear
Accessories

 BRANDS 

Black Diamond
Granite Gear
La Sportiva
Osprey
Smartwool

 WAYS TO SHOP 

Sale
Clearance
Top Brands
All Brands

 Backpacking Equipment 

Shelters
BackPacks
Sleeping Bags
Water Treatment
Kitchen
Hydration
Climbing


 Backcountry Gear Clearance


 WINTER CAMPING 

Shelters
Bivy Bags
Sleeping Bags
Sleeping Pads
Snow Sports
Winter Kitchen

 SNOWSPORTS 

Snowshoes
Avalanche Gear
Skins
Hats, Gloves, & Gaiters
Accessories

Stay Healthy--Eat Well

MARY JANES FARM ORGANIC MEALS

Mary Janes Farm Organic Backcountry Meals

NATURAL HIGH GOURMET MEALS

Natural High

 

Page 2 of 3 < 1 2 3 >
Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#134991 - 06/11/10 12:32 AM Re: Two serious bivy questions [Re: Bushman]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Originally Posted By Bushman
http://www.mountainlaureldesigns.com/shop/product_info.php?cPath=22&products_id=134

I would use this in a rain storm.

Yeah man everyone here is trying to help you avoid what they might have been through...me I almost always have to find out myself. So go buy a bivy and sleep on your lawn with the sprinklers on all night laugh


I'd use that in a rain storm if I had my nice tarp with me.

Otherwise I'd be heading for the car and not caring how wet I got on the way. (I keep a dry set of clothes in the car.)
_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

http://hikeandbackpack.com

Top
#134992 - 06/11/10 12:35 AM Re: Two serious bivy questions [Re: gregpphoto]
taM Offline
member

Registered: 01/31/10
Posts: 112
Loc: Nashville, TN
Originally Posted By gregpphoto
Originally Posted By taM
man...this guy is really angry about this bivy.

People are trying to give well thought out advice, and they get e-shouted at.


I'm from New Jersey what do you want from me? smile


A willingness to listen to and learn from the seasoned veterans of whom you've requested advice would probably be a start... shocked
_________________________
Light, Cheap, Durable...
pick two

Top
#134995 - 06/11/10 01:05 AM Re: Two serious bivy questions [Re: taM]
ChrisFol Offline
member

Registered: 07/23/09
Posts: 387
Loc: Denver, Colordo
Originally Posted By taM
Originally Posted By gregpphoto
Originally Posted By taM
man...this guy is really angry about this bivy.

People are trying to give well thought out advice, and they get e-shouted at.


I'm from New Jersey what do you want from me? smile


A willingness to listen to and learn from the seasoned veterans of whom you've requested advice would probably be a start... shocked


I know taM; I do not see the point of people who come on here seeking advice but in the end all they are seeking is what they want to hear.

So here goes-- sure go ahead and purchase a completely waterproof bivy to use in tempretures above +32 degrees-- you will have an awesome time! The Minimalist bivy is the way to go for your needs! Happy trails.

Top
#134998 - 06/11/10 06:59 AM Re: Two serious bivy questions [Re: gregpphoto]
Glenn Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
"Unless I get a fully yes or no answer,..."

OK, to answer fully: NO.

Top
#135000 - 06/11/10 07:50 AM Re: Two serious bivy questions [Re: gregpphoto]
kbennett Offline
member

Registered: 10/27/03
Posts: 820
Loc: north carolina
Originally Posted By gregpphoto
How is something completely storm proof not useful for a lightweight hiker? Furthermore, you're sleep system checks in under a pound. So does the REI bivy. Not how much does your system cost? REI Minimalist is $90.


This question has been answered several times.

Originally Posted By gregpphoto


I'm from New Jersey what do you want from me? smile


I was raised in New Jersey, and I don't yell at people who are trying to answer my questions.

_________________________
--Ken B

Top
#135002 - 06/11/10 09:52 AM Re: Two serious bivy questions [Re: gregpphoto]
MarkNM Offline
member

Registered: 05/03/10
Posts: 141
Loc: Pompton Lakes, NJ
Originally Posted By gregpphoto
Originally Posted By taM
man...this guy is really angry about this bivy.

People are trying to give well thought out advice, and they get e-shouted at.


I'm from New Jersey what do you want from me? smile

I'm 27 and was born and raised in NJ. I also have respect. Don't crap on my state please...
_________________________
I do it because I can...it also helps that you are not there...

Top
#135006 - 06/11/10 11:20 AM Re: Two serious bivy questions [Re: Glenn]
gregpphoto Offline
member

Registered: 01/15/09
Posts: 23
Loc: New Jersey
Originally Posted By Glenn
"Unless I get a fully yes or no answer,..."

OK, to answer fully: NO.


You say no, others say yes. So I wasted everyone's time, including my own, because I'm still at square one. Did not know REI lets you use gear and then return it, so that's what I'll be doing.

I have no aversion to listening to those with good advice to give. But when the advice is inapplicable to my situation, I will disregard it. I don't care about tarps, I want a waterproof bag to slide into and not have to worry about anything else. If no one can point such an item out to me, I will look elsewhere or perhaps make own. Thanks anyway!
_________________________
www.gregpphoto.com

Top
#135007 - 06/11/10 11:57 AM Re: Two serious bivy questions [Re: gregpphoto]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2742
Loc: California
I use the OR (Outdoor Research) Basic Bivy. REI sells it. It is 1lb 4 oz. - a bit more heavy and expensive than what you may want. It has a Gor-Tex top and coated nylon bottom. I have used mine in a lot of wet conditions and it does not leak. I do have to check it and occassionally patch small pin-size holes. Bivys are on the ground and tend to get rough use (roll around at night- bump up against sharp sticks, etc). It does gather condensation inside. I feel the Gor-Tex works well in this application- however I do not find Gor-Tex good for jackets where you are producing more sweat. If you are a very sweaty sleeper, you may get more condensation inside.

Only you can determine if the waterproof-condensation balance is suitable for your use. Each brand of bivy is different.

So if the one you are trying does not work, you may want to try the OR bivy.

I can certainly relate to your desire to not fuss with setting up a tarp or tent. I love how I can just plop down in the bivy almost anywhere because it requires such a small area of flat ground. One time near Palisade Lakes in the Sierra I got caught in pouring down rain with breaks between downpours. I was only half a mile short of my desired campsite. I hopped in the bivy and hunkered down when it rained, and moved when it was dry - reaching my destination where it only took minutes to hop in. And if you do not like the feel of the first site you pick, just move - no hastles at all. That said, I would not want to spend a week out in a bivy if it were to steadily rain every day.

Good luck. I think that even if you end up going to a light tent, owning a bivy is a good thing - really adds to your backpacking flexibility. I do not use mine all the time- but sure like to have it when conditions are right.

Top
#135010 - 06/11/10 12:17 PM Re: Two serious bivy questions [Re: gregpphoto]
kbennett Offline
member

Registered: 10/27/03
Posts: 820
Loc: north carolina
Originally Posted By gregpphoto

I have no aversion to listening to those with good advice to give. But when the advice is inapplicable to my situation, I will disregard it. I don't care about tarps, I want a waterproof bag to slide into and not have to worry about anything else.


The advice is perfectly applicable to your situation. Many hikers have tried the "waterproof bag to slide into" and found that it doesn't work well. The reasons are listed above. If you wish to disregard the experience of other hikers, then you may do so, but your responses have been aggressive and rude.

I present to you the State Bird of New Jersey. Enjoy your hikes.
_________________________
--Ken B

Top
#135011 - 06/11/10 01:02 PM Re: Two serious bivy questions [Re: kbennett]
gregpphoto Offline
member

Registered: 01/15/09
Posts: 23
Loc: New Jersey
Aggressive maybe, but I don't think I was rude to anyone. If I was, then I apologize. The reasons listed contradicted my reasons for owning a bivy in the first place. I'm a cold sleeper, so overheating shouldn't be an issue. I'm a spartan camper, I don't care about comfort so long as I'm not damaging my body (I have some lower back problems from time to time). I never have to worry about being tentbound for any period of time because as I've stated numerous times, I don't have the luxury of allowing any wasted days in the wilderness. I've been working 6-7 days a week for six months now, with only a week off. So when I'm in the woods I'm always hiking in the daylight hours, regardless of the weather. And I don't get up to pee in the night either smile

If "I present to you the state bird of New Jersey" is in reference to the middle finger, then I love it!

Originally Posted By kbennett
Originally Posted By gregpphoto

I have no aversion to listening to those with good advice to give. But when the advice is inapplicable to my situation, I will disregard it. I don't care about tarps, I want a waterproof bag to slide into and not have to worry about anything else.


The advice is perfectly applicable to your situation. Many hikers have tried the "waterproof bag to slide into" and found that it doesn't work well. The reasons are listed above. If you wish to disregard the experience of other hikers, then you may do so, but your responses have been aggressive and rude.

I present to you the State Bird of New Jersey. Enjoy your hikes.


Edited by gregpphoto (06/11/10 01:03 PM)
_________________________
www.gregpphoto.com

Top
#135050 - 06/12/10 02:09 AM Re: Two serious bivy questions [Re: taM]
Bushman Offline
member

Registered: 07/01/09
Posts: 122
Loc: California
Imagine if we got in to HAMMOCK CAMPING wink
edit : Really if I could hold a pee in all night I would get a bivy too. Before you talk about spartan stuff you need to live on a beach for a summer and in your car during the winter...
welcome to the forums, people only help you here and joke around and thats how its is. thanks

edit: wandering daisy touched on is, but if its raining for more than two days, a soggy tarp or tent is better than a soggy bivy. Its defiantly something to think about. Also you trip-pod tarp idea is cool-multi use items is what I try and do.


Edited by Bushman (06/12/10 02:24 AM)

Top
#135077 - 06/13/10 12:36 AM Re: Two serious bivy questions [Re: gregpphoto]
jps1021 Offline
member

Registered: 12/27/09
Posts: 58
Loc: Vegas

Man, a lot of crude that's spilt over from the Gulf to this post, eh?

Well, here's my thoughts.

On the bivy:

Most bivy sacks are waterproof top and bottom (GoreTex, eVent, various laminates). Some are really just covers, but read the specs and info on the tags, catalog, web page, etc... It will tell you if its waterproof or resistant or just not.

Condensation, yes you'll get it at bit. Then again, you'll have condensation in your bag in a tent and inside the walls of a tent. Something you'll have to deal with regardless of your sleep setup.

Now, I never had used a bivy until I bought one of the REI Minimalists this past winter for $70. Now, I don't even want to use my tents when I'm car camping. Just sooooo much quicker and easier to set up and tear down (or just to open the valve on the air pad and throw it all in the back seat). Not to mention the space and weight savings. And having the mesh laying on my face at times does not bother me a bit. Plus, I'm in the desert and want to be able to have a way to keep myself enclosed so nothing crawl, slithers, etc... in thru the night!

I think one of the sticking points is that of the weather. Well, just pay attention to the forecast for where you are going and if it should be good with no rain, take the bivy, indeed. If there may or will be weather coming thru, take a tent or take a bivy and tarp setup. If you have the right size tarp and setup, you'll keep yourself and all your gear dry while around camp.

As for the LaFuma, I took a chance and picked up one of those for $40 too. Got to say it's a joke at its rating. More like a 55-60 degree travel bag. No way I could even use that here in the West at 8-9000 feet in August. I used it, and it worked fine over the winter, as an overbag. I'll use it for that, a travel bag for sleeping on the floor or perhaps summer low-desert camping. But that's all it can do for me. However, there are a lot of AT thru-hikers and the like that love the bag. And when you're talking about using this in the East where there are 95 deg days with 95% humidity, only dropping down to 70-75 deg at night, that bag will do just fine. Just don't expect this thing to keep you warm anywhere near that 45 degree rating. Not even with the few extra degrees of warmth the bivy and some light clothing will give you.

Now you could do what you are saying and try to use the LaFuma and a liner, in addition to the bivy. But that actually adds up to more weight (Lafuma and liner) than you would have with a quality down or synth bag that would definitely keep you warm down to 40 or 45 degrees.

Final thoughts: If you have the money, take the shot and just buy 'em (You know what everyone else can do and where they can go!). Remember, if it doesn't work out, you can still buy something else. And, the more gear you have, the closer you'll be to having the perfect match of gear for any conditions and environments you'll be going to play!

Just Explore and Enjoy!

Top
#135078 - 06/13/10 12:38 AM Re: Two serious bivy questions [Re: gregpphoto]
Tango61 Offline
member

Registered: 12/27/05
Posts: 931
Loc: East Texas Piney Woods

You are now officially in charge of research.

Buy it, try it and report back.

Full trip report expected including environmental conditions.

Enjoy.
_________________________
If you think you can, you can. If you think you can't, you can't. Either way, you're right.

Top
#135092 - 06/13/10 02:26 PM Re: Two serious bivy questions [Re: gregpphoto]
Glenn Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
OK, now you're changing the parameters and trying to apply my answer to it. Your question was: "...unless I can get a fully yes or no answer as to whether or not this particular bivy (REI Minimalist) is 100% waterproof..."

It's not. It can't be with a big mesh hole over the face. Thus, my answer: NO.

Now, it appears you're wanting to take that very specific answer and make it my answer to the use of bivies in general. You can't - go back and read my earlier post. In case you don't care to do that, I'll summarize: there are waterproof bivies out there; the Minimalist is not one of them. They'll only be waterproof until you open them in the rain to get in or out; then water will get in - unless you use it in combination with a tarp.

I'm not interested in starting or feeding a argument, or making you any more irritated than you appear to be, so this will be my last post on this particular subject.

I encourage you to make your own decisions - that's what I usually do. Good luck in finding the shelter that's perfect for you. I found mine: MSR Carbon Reflex 1; I just spent the whole weekend hiking in the rain and sleeping in it in the rain. Not a drop got in on its own, and there was no noticeable condensation, even fully buttoned down (though wet rainsuits, etc., did make the inside a bit moist - no way to avoid that.)

Top
#135130 - 06/14/10 04:16 PM Re: Two serious bivy questions [Re: jps1021]
gregpphoto Offline
member

Registered: 01/15/09
Posts: 23
Loc: New Jersey
I already own the Lafuma 30 deg. bag, so I might stick with that instead of the 45 deg bag. My hiking is mostly Northeast, but in the mountains. Most nights in the Adirondacks between 2-3000 ft. gets down to 50s and 40s almost every night I've been there (in August).

Originally Posted By jps1021

As for the LaFuma, I took a chance and picked up one of those for $40 too. Got to say it's a joke at its rating. More like a 55-60 degree travel bag. No way I could even use that here in the West at 8-9000 feet in August. I used it, and it worked fine over the winter, as an overbag. I'll use it for that, a travel bag for sleeping on the floor or perhaps summer low-desert camping. But that's all it can do for me. However, there are a lot of AT thru-hikers and the like that love the bag. And when you're talking about using this in the East where there are 95 deg days with 95% humidity, only dropping down to 70-75 deg at night, that bag will do just fine. Just don't expect this thing to keep you warm anywhere near that 45 degree rating. Not even with the few extra degrees of warmth the bivy and some light clothing will give you.


I guess you missed my initial post where I addressed the mesh opening: "I understand the REI bivy has a mesh face opening, which I'll easily seal up by rigging my poncho over my photo tripod and placing that over my head. But other than that, is it the real deal as far as waterproof goes?"

Originally Posted By Glenn
OK, now you're changing the parameters and trying to apply my answer to it. Your question was: "...unless I can get a fully yes or no answer as to whether or not this particular bivy (REI Minimalist) is 100% waterproof..."

It's not. It can't be with a big mesh hole over the face. Thus, my answer: NO.


Edited by gregpphoto (06/14/10 04:17 PM)
_________________________
www.gregpphoto.com

Top
#135138 - 06/14/10 04:56 PM Re: Two serious bivy questions [Re: gregpphoto]
DTape Offline
member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 654
Loc: Upstate NY
Instead of draping the poncho over a tripod, why not just pitch it as a tarp?
_________________________
http://ducttapeadk.blogspot.com

Top
#135158 - 06/14/10 10:49 PM Re: Two serious bivy questions [Re: DTape]
gregpphoto Offline
member

Registered: 01/15/09
Posts: 23
Loc: New Jersey
Well thats the plan if I'm needing to cook. If I roll into camp and I eat and then it starts raining, I need not string it up seriously. The only thing I use shelter for is to sleep under. I go to bed well past hikers midnight because I really enjoy night photography, and I'm up before the sunrise of course. So I spend 6-8 hours in the bivy a night, period. If I'm breathing, I'm hiking! As far as comfort goes, I don't care much for it or against it. As long as I wake up and my back isn't crinked, I'm happy. And as long as I find somewhat level ground, it usually works out as such.

Originally Posted By DTape
Instead of draping the poncho over a tripod, why not just pitch it as a tarp?


Edited by gregpphoto (06/14/10 10:50 PM)
_________________________
www.gregpphoto.com

Top
#135229 - 06/16/10 08:46 PM Re: Two serious bivy questions (Hmmm...) [Re: ChrisFol]
300winmag Offline
member

Registered: 02/28/06
Posts: 1342
Loc: Nevada, USA
BIVY> I'd look for a good eVent bivy, at least one W/ an eVent top. You'll need the extra breathability in certain conditions.

BAG> As long as the bags are rated by the European "EN" standard (as explained in the reply below) they SHOULD be as warm as advertised.

MATTRESS> A thick Neo-Air or other tubular mattress will take up too much room in the bivy so get a Thermarest foam filled type, the lightest you can find.

FINAL NOTE: Look at a light solo tent like the TarpTent Contrail or Moment instead of a bivy. Extra insulating clothes will serve a dual purpose. Keep you warm on cold mornings and evenings and also in your bag when sleeping. Think of these warmer clothes as a safety item.Since they are "camp clothes" and you don't have to worry about sweating them up they can be down insulated pants and jacket to save weight and space.


Eric
_________________________
"There are no comfortable backpacks. Some are just less uncomfortable than others."

Top
#135231 - 06/16/10 09:29 PM Re: Two serious bivy questions [Re: gregpphoto]
Kent W Offline
member

Registered: 10/15/09
Posts: 607
Loc: IL.
Sounds to me like you already have aLL THE ANSWERS, WHY ASK!

Top
#135270 - 06/18/10 01:31 PM Re: Two serious bivy questions [Re: gregpphoto]
HikerJoe Offline
newbie

Registered: 05/25/10
Posts: 5
Loc: Indiana, USA
Greg, it seems most readers didn't get the point, you don't want to set up a tarp! I understand your frustration with the replies. I am also from NJ and the last I heard the Goldfinch was the state bird! Although I think a vulture would be more appropriate given NJ politics! I confirm the return policy of REI, you can even get a good deal on returned gear if you can get to one of their garage sales. I use a tarp with a "BivyBag", something REI made in the '70's it has Polarguard insulation on top with a breathable fabric. The bottom is water proof coated nylon with a sleeve for a pad. It works great. I asked REI about reintroducing this product but they have no recollection of ever selling it. (I have the REI tag for proof). I digrees, buy the bivy, try it out, experiment, if it does not keep you dry, return it and try something else. I am always making changes to my "kit". For more favaorable responses to your ultralight technique, try the BackPacking Light website: http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/index.html?id=SIEXUJYW:65.116.201.10 They camp they way you suggested to most of the time. I don't know why everyone got so testy with you here. Have fun. Do youpost your pictures anywhere?

Top
#135272 - 06/18/10 01:47 PM Re: Two serious bivy questions [Re: HikerJoe]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
Originally Posted By HikerJoe
For more favaorable responses to your ultralight technique, try the BackPacking Light website: http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/index.html?id=SIEXUJYW:65.116.201.10 They camp they way you suggested to most of the time. I don't know why everyone got so testy with you here. Have fun. Do youpost your pictures anywhere?


Yeah, considering a lot of the posters here are also major posters there, and the majority of BPL uses tarps, and BPL is known for it's hospitality, I am sure that you will get more favorable responses at BPL.
_________________________
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

Top
#135275 - 06/18/10 02:11 PM Re: Two serious bivy questions [Re: HikerJoe]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Originally Posted By HikerJoe
Greg, it seems most readers didn't get the point, you don't want to set up a tarp!


No, you don't get the point. We understand he doesn't like a tarp. We have also (many of us) made the same consideration and came up with a whole list of reasons for NOT doing what he wants to do, and told him so. If he does not want to use that info, that's his choice.

No one at BPL is going to advocate doing something that would get a hiker in trouble, despite their ounce counting minimalist ways. Which is why they went to all the trouble of creating a cuben fiber 5 oz tarp - it says something that they go out of their way to create the tarp that weighs the least amount rather than just saying, who needs a tarp? Go without! No problem!
_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

http://hikeandbackpack.com

Top
#135277 - 06/18/10 02:44 PM Re: Two serious bivy questions [Re: HikerJoe]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6372
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
The problem was that the OP was being quite rude at rejecting the advice of a number of experienced backpackers who have, at one time or another, tried using a stand-alone bivy and very promptly quit doing so, for the reasons we have cited. He doesn't have to take the advice, but at least he could be polite about it! I for one suggested several pages ago that he just buy the bivy, try it out and return it to REI if it didn't work for him, but that didn't stop his rather rude posts. This thread has gotten nowhere in three pages, why don't we put a stop to it?

I can just imagine the kind of response the OP will get on BPL if he takes the same tone he has here! I'm a BPL member, so I won't have to imagine it if he does go there. grin


Edited by OregonMouse (06/18/10 02:48 PM)
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

Top
#135896 - 07/06/10 03:41 PM Re: Two serious bivy questions [Re: gregpphoto]
JPete Offline
member

Registered: 05/28/09
Posts: 304
Loc: Eastern Ontario
gregphoto,greetings from another photographer and once neighbor of yours (chief photographer, Wilmington, DE News-Journal in 1960s). I'm afraid I'm late to the party (long hike followed by long hospital stay -- mercifully unrelated) but I think I can offer you some encouragement with your plan. Big difference, cameras were my work, rarely took them on the trail.

First, I do not know the specific equipment you are considering,but I do know bivys. and have the experience to offer "proof of concept."

I have backpacked since c.1950, and have essentially always used some version of the bivy/poncho system. Rarely ever carried a tent, though I've used several types of bug-net.

I started with the military blanket bag and Egyptian cotton (water resistant) cover. Military poncho rigged lean-to usually was enough to stay dry enough and shelter pack and boots (if the wind direction held). Later, I used a Thos. Black & Sons sleeping bag cover ("Icelandic"-water resistant) as a bivy with a very light down bag. Used lightweight commercial poncho just as above.

In 1996 I thru-hiked the AT for the first time. I used an Integral Designs South Col Bivy. It was 27 oz., breathable top, waterproof bottom. It had bug-net face, and could be completely closed (I never did). I was delighted with it, and rarely felt the need to rig my poncho. However, one night, the poncho was committed to another use, and I was out, wide open through a very long night of absolutely driving rain. I was never able to identify for certain where the rain got in, but I slept in a puddle. Fortunately, it was not very cold, and I was using a synthetic bag at the time. I found I had to open the side zip a bit to breath. My pack and boots were deeply soaked.

Like you, I used layers and a very light bag (Cascade Designs, 40 degrees fahrenheit, bit over a pound). I never got cold, so I cannot be exact, but it was clear that the bivy was giving me several extra degrees of warmth, probably about six or maybe even eight. I was warm when I reached out and grabbed a frozen water bottle, twice.

In 2006 I thru-hiked again. By now I had hiking poles, a very fine, well-thought-out oversize poncho and very light bivy (also very well thought-out, about 5 oz, breathable top, waterproof bottom) both by Ron Bell of Mountain Laurel Designs (also a former photographer). The poles and Ron's innovative poncho gave me several new ways to pitch quickly, so I have not tried the bivy in an extended downpour (it did hold up to several unexpected and fairly heavy showers). If the weather seems "iffy" I will stake down the bottom corners of the poncho and accordian-fold it over the foot of the bivy so I can pull it up for serious rain or to cut serious wind.

In reasonable weather, I still do as I have for years, just throw down my bedroll, maybe rock down the poncho over my boots and pack, and tuck in. Usually, I leave the bivy partly open. Incidentally, did the same thing as a journalist with Special Forces and Ranger unit training exercises. With the Marines, active duty, it was usually just roll up in the poncho and poncho liner, similar, but lots of condensate.

I think this constitutes enough experience to justify a few flat statements:

First, all bivy's (even cotton) will condense to some degree, in the right circumstances, but working the way I have described, I think I remember it being a serious nuisance about once(it's only a problem if it keeps you awake, or soaks your sleeping bag dangerously).

Second, I can't quite imagine that any bivy would be totally, completely waterproof in an extended downpour (you have to breath, get in and out, etc.), but the South Col is close. (I suspect that Ron Bell's little gem is is fairly close, but not quite ready to push it).

Third, I think you are on the right track for sure. The tripod with poncho arrangement gives you shielded breathing room in a storm, and solves the other weaknesses of the bivy alone, shelter for pack and boots, and, using poles and a couple of stakes would also allow you to easily solve another problem, shelter for your kitchen. I say go for it!!!

I also note that what I'm saying and suggesting is not very far from what wiser heads have said to you above. But I do like your idea.













Top
#136014 - 07/10/10 04:10 AM Re: Two serious bivy questions [Re: lori]
ghdfans2010 Offline
newbie

Registered: 07/10/10
Posts: 3
Loc: VA
I want to say that I do not know of anyone who would take a bivy without a tarp.

Top
Page 2 of 3 < 1 2 3 >

Shout Box

Highest Quality Lightweight Down Sleeping Bags
 
Western Mountaineering Sleeping Bags
 
Lite Gear Talk - Featured Topics
Bivvy Sack combo Arrangement
by Jim M
10/18/17 01:58 AM
what is the lightest framed backpack around 40L
by toddfw2003
10/16/17 07:23 PM
a worthy challenger to the msr pocket rocket2
by the-gr8t-waldo
10/16/17 01:28 PM
Backcountry Discussion - Featured Topics
Backpacking/Camping Near Savannah, GA
by Sean&Brit
Yesterday at 08:27 PM
Napa Fires
by balzaccom
10/11/17 07:43 PM
Backpacking the Ouachita Trail thanksgiving
by toddfw2003
10/05/17 11:54 PM
Make Your Own Gear - Featured Topics
lightest grommets to use
by toddfw2003
Yesterday at 06:13 PM
alcohol stove comparisons
by Bike_packer
10/03/17 08:56 PM
Can footprint plasticizer harm tent ground-sheet?
by Weston1000
09/10/17 02:24 AM
Featured Photos
Breakneck Ridge, New York
May 2012 Eclipse, Lassen Park
New Years Eve 2011
Trip Report with Photos
Seven Devils, Idaho
Oat Hill Mine Trail 2012
Dark Canyon - Utah
Who's Online
1 registered (), 32 Guests and 0 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
Sean&Brit, Blackbuzzard, LivelyLiz, Weve, Tones21
12425 Registered Users
Forum Links
Disclaimer
Policies
Site Links
HOME
Backpacking.net
Family Hiking
Lightweight Gear Store
Backpacking Book Store
Lightweight Zone
Hiking Essentials

Outdoor Gear Daily Deals
Outlets, Sales, Bargains

Our long-time Sponsor, BackcountryGear.com - The leading source for ultralite/lightweight outdoor gear:

Backcountry Forum
 
 

Since 1996 - the Original Backcountry Forum
Copyright © The Lightweight Backpacker & BackcountryForum.com