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#206163 - 03/02/22 08:15 PM Emergency Bivvy Sack
Jim M Offline
member

Registered: 11/23/03
Posts: 401
Loc: Kitsap Peninsula, WA
There are lots of light weight emergency bivvy sacks on the market. On day hikes of any length I currently have been carrying a SOL thermal bivvy, about 6 ounces.
Have you ever used one in on an unexpected night out without a sleeping bag or tent? How did that work out? What warm clothing did you have? What were the temps at night? would you recommend carrying such a thing?
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Jim M

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#206168 - 03/04/22 12:38 PM Re: Emergency Bivvy Sack [Re: Jim M]
DustinV Offline
member

Registered: 01/31/10
Posts: 126
Loc: Lakewood, CO
I have one of the older, rectangular models. I was planning on using it as a ground sheet under a new tarp, 15 years ago. The first night out, it was unexpectedly rainy and cold, so I put my pad whole sleep system inside the bivy and slept warm and dry. Since it was just an overnighter, my biggest concern was that I looked like a Chipotle burrito for the cats in the area. If it were a longer trip, I'd have been more worried about condensation.

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#206169 - 03/04/22 01:24 PM Re: Emergency Bivvy Sack [Re: Jim M]
hikingpnw Offline
newbie

Registered: 03/03/22
Posts: 3
Loc: Washington
I personally like to carry my bivvy sack during the summer when it's drier and I don't need to worry about rain as much. Generally during the summer here in Washington it stays in the 60s or warmer. I think it's always good to be prepared even if you're just planning for a day hike so definitely if it's not much more weight to carry I think it would be worth it to carry around.

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#206175 - 03/05/22 02:24 PM Re: Emergency Bivvy Sack [Re: DustinV]
Jim M Offline
member

Registered: 11/23/03
Posts: 401
Loc: Kitsap Peninsula, WA
You said you kept warm and dry in spite of the rain and cold. Definitely a positive comment on the bivy bag. Thanks. My old Gortex bivy has worked well for me; no condensation and definitely adds to warmth and is waterproof 100%. My only comment is that if it is raining you definitely need at least a small tarp to cook under, eat, read, change clothes and many other camp chores. It seems a lot less confining if you can leave your head out from under the bivvy but covered by the tarp.
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Jim M

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#206180 - 03/05/22 08:46 PM Re: Emergency Bivvy Sack [Re: Jim M]
DustinV Offline
member

Registered: 01/31/10
Posts: 126
Loc: Lakewood, CO
I stayed dry because I happened to stay below the warmth necessary for significant condensation in the sleeping bag, which wasn't rated to the temp that night. And I was under the tarp, so the rain itself wasn't much of an issue, just the wet ground.

I try to avoid single-use things nowadays, so I usually bring a poncho that can be a picnic area, tarp shelter or can be wrapped into a bivy. I also have a bothy bag that can be a wind/rain shelter, or wrap around a hammock.

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#206199 - 03/13/22 09:57 PM Re: Emergency Bivvy Sack---Bothy Bag [Re: DustinV]
Jim M Offline
member

Registered: 11/23/03
Posts: 401
Loc: Kitsap Peninsula, WA
I doubt many people will know what a Bothy bag is. I read that it was a Scottish term. It is a bag two people can sit in. I have also heard it called a tent-bag and another term in mountaineering I cannot recall. It seems like an excellent survival tool, but wouldn't an ultralight single wall tent be as good or better? Even if you can't pitch a tent on account of conditions, you can wrap up in it and use it like a bivvy or a Bothy.
Jim
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Jim M

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#206200 - 03/14/22 10:06 AM Re: Emergency Bivvy Sack---Bothy Bag [Re: Jim M]
DustinV Offline
member

Registered: 01/31/10
Posts: 126
Loc: Lakewood, CO
Absolutely there are single-wall tents that would be better. My go-to is a Gatewood Cape. The bothy is an emergency wind shelter/tube tent/poncho/pillow... It's not great for any of these uses, but it can be adapted pretty easily.

I've only brought it along a couple of times, when we were going to spend a lot of time above treeline away from the shelters in the afternoon, when storms can roll in very quickly and be severe.

The last time I brought it, I also intended to slide it over my hammock if the weather got crazy, to protect the precious down underquilt and add a few degrees of warmth. It turned out both days and nights were calm, so I had an 8 ounce insurance policy that I didn't use.

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#206213 - 03/20/22 07:08 PM Re: Emergency Bivvy Sack---Bothy Bag [Re: DustinV]
Jim M Offline
member

Registered: 11/23/03
Posts: 401
Loc: Kitsap Peninsula, WA
I looked up the Gatewood Cape on their site and watched a couple of videos. I think it may very well be the lightest thing possible for the protection it offers. Thanks for that tip.
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Jim M

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#206214 - 03/20/22 07:12 PM Re: Tarp configurations [Re: Jim M]
Jim M Offline
member

Registered: 11/23/03
Posts: 401
Loc: Kitsap Peninsula, WA
Here is a topic I have thought about over the years. You can find dozens of ways to pitch a tarp if you look online. I have used several of these; like the flying wedge, the A-frame, and the lean-to because they are simple to set up. I carry a 7x7 nylon tarp when I hike solo and there is any chance of spending the night out, and have used it in summer as my only shelter. (I am not bothered much my mosquitoes.)
Here is my question. What configuration for a square or rectangular tarp have used and what do you prefer?
Just curious.
_________________________
Jim M

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#206216 - 03/22/22 10:33 AM Re: Tarp configurations [Re: Jim M]
DustinV Offline
member

Registered: 01/31/10
Posts: 126
Loc: Lakewood, CO
Jim, I love my Gatewood. It's one of the few pieces of gear I really don't think about replacing --except maybe with the new version that's lighter. It provides great coverage from all sides by itself, but I use either a light bivy or the net tent underneath as a ground sheet and mosquito barrier.

I've used my old Golite poncho in a diamond config a few times, both on the ground and over a hammock. I've seen a few videos of people putting them up in half pyramids and such, but I like maximizing the length and sleeping under the diagonal.

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#206219 - 03/22/22 01:31 PM Re: Tarp configurations [Re: DustinV]
4evrplan Offline
member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 912
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
Dustin, do you carry separate rain gear when you bring the Gatewood Cape? If not, has that ever been an issue, say if you need to visit the "cat hole" when it's raining after you've set up camp?
_________________________
The journey is more important than the destination.

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#206227 - 03/24/22 05:11 PM Re: Emergency Bivvy Sack [Re: Jim M]
DustinV Offline
member

Registered: 01/31/10
Posts: 126
Loc: Lakewood, CO
I'm definitely playing the odds when I bring a poncho/tarp. The weather moves so quickly in CO, especially the higher you go, that I'm rarely caught in an all-day storm, but it can happen.

I usually bring an old SD rain jacket that only weighs about 4oz. It's not the most rain-resistant, though, and is really somewhere between a rain and wind shell. It will hold off rain for a few minutes --long enough to fill in a cathole.

I'd like to try a poncho and wind shell combo (thus my thread asking if anyone had done that and used DWR spray effectively) but I know I'd be playing longer odds, that way.

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