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#132601 - 04/23/10 10:14 PM Re: bivy vs. UL tent, whats your pref. [Re: ChrisFol]
gorge_medic Offline
member

Registered: 08/06/08
Posts: 131
Loc: Kentucky
I've used both tarp/bivy and UL tent (300winmag's old Contrail, as a matter of fact), and the choice largely depends on the weather forecast; for weekend trips or longer when there's a significant chance of rain or the forecast is unknown, I take the tent. For a short trip in good weather I'l take the tarp/bivy. I should probably add that I use an Equinox ponchotarp rather than a dedicated tarp because I like the multi-use aspect and I can fit underneath a simple lean-to setup.

The caveats are that I hike in the SE US, so most if not all of the time I'm hiking under a fairly thick tree canopy that will deflect heavy rain and winds. My hiking style also keeps me moving until after mosquito feeding time, and the bugs aren't too bad here compared to other places.

I think the final determination comes down to style and budget. If you've got the dough to shell out on a quality tarp/bivy setup and tent, great (I was, thanks to the used gear forum here). Choosing one setup will require a careful analysis of how long you're out (and whether or not you're willing to sack a trip based on a bad forecast), what kind of terrain you'll be in, the bug problems, and your presonal limits of confinement (sleeping in a bivy, tarp or no, can hardly be described as "spacious"!).

YMMV

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#132607 - 04/24/10 12:09 AM Re: bivy vs. UL tent, whats your pref. [Re: gorge_medic]
Howie Offline
member

Registered: 06/02/03
Posts: 481
Loc: Canora, SK, Canada
The only time I have thought about owning a bivy is when I am running out of daylight and there is nowhere to camp. (Where I hike we are supposed to stick to legitimate campsites). Under this circumstance I think it would be nice to simply lay down a bivy on the trail and go to sleep. No muss no fuss. I could do the same using just my sleeping bag but then I would worry about rain the whole night. I think a bivy could be a good emergency rig too. Probably a guy could just crawl in with his cloths on and stay warm and dry until morning. I would choose a bivy that was breathable even if it wasn’t totally waterproof. Condensation is bad news and defeats the purpose in a hurry.

Howie

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#132609 - 04/24/10 12:34 AM Re: bivy vs. UL tent, whats your pref. [Re: Howie]
ChrisFol Offline
member

Registered: 07/23/09
Posts: 387
Loc: Denver, Colordo
Originally Posted By Howie
The only time I have thought about owning a bivy is when I am running out of daylight and there is nowhere to camp. (Where I hike we are supposed to stick to legitimate campsites). Under this circumstance I think it would be nice to simply lay down a bivy on the trail and go to sleep. No muss no fuss. I could do the same using just my sleeping bag but then I would worry about rain the whole night. I think a bivy could be a good emergency rig too. Probably a guy could just crawl in with his cloths on and stay warm and dry until morning. I would choose a bivy that was breathable even if it wasn’t totally waterproof. Condensation is bad news and defeats the purpose in a hurry.

Howie

Most respectable bivys are completely waterproof on the bottom and breathable on the top with some kind of DWR protection. The idea is that the tarp and bottom of the bivy provides most of the rain protection.

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