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First time bivvy , any tips please ?

First time bivvy , any tips please ?


Postby MountainTrail » Thu Jul 04, 2019 7:15 am

Hi,
finally ditching the tent and planning an overnight bivvy up in Fisherfield this weekend .
Have got the gear , but moving out the comfort zone from being under the canvas .
Any tips or hints about ensuring things run smooth?
Cheers :D
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Re: First time bivvy , any tips please ?

Postby gaffr » Thu Jul 04, 2019 7:53 am

Avoid using a plastic bivvy bag. :lol:
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Re: First time bivvy , any tips please ?

Postby jmarkb » Thu Jul 04, 2019 8:54 am

Go high and find a breezy spot to avoid getting eaten alive!
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Re: First time bivvy , any tips please ?

Postby Caberfeidh » Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:16 am

jmarkb wrote:Go high and find a breezy spot to avoid getting eaten alive!


Nonsense ~ only bivvi in mild, muggy, warm and damp weather with no wind. Lie down in damp, swampy, sheltered areas, preferably near water, or in moorland. Do not use tents, bothies, hostels or any of the other shelters developed over thousands of years of human evolution. Just lie on the ground like a worm. That's progress; the fun never stops.
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Re: First time bivvy , any tips please ?

Postby Sack the Juggler » Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:41 am

the cold will come from the ground and the wind, so make sure that you have a decent mat, and if its too blowy, try to find a hollow or a wall or just drop down from the ridge a bit to take the edge off the wind.
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Re: First time bivvy , any tips please ?

Postby Hike Man » Thu Jul 04, 2019 10:21 am

Never been in any way attracted to sleeping in one, but I reckon in midge country it could be unpleasant so avoid low altitude areas of Scotland when settling down for the night. Due to the lower temperatures at altitude it might be tricky to get a decent kip up high too. I much prefer a tent which gives you protection from the insects and offers a chance to cook indoors if it’s howling a gale or raining.

I like the idea of the minimalist approach to lessen the weight carried when hiking but the climate in the UK and particularly Scotland make sleeping under the stars a remote possibility. I suppose it’s a personal choice but I’d have to be super fit and lean for the weight difference to make any difference to my performance on a days hike and the extra rest in the tent overnight would do me more good.

Good luck and let us know how it goes.
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Re: First time bivvy , any tips please ?

Postby rabthecairnterrier » Thu Jul 04, 2019 10:49 am

The enemies of bivvying are rain and midges, so check the forecast. Not too bad for this weekend - slight risk of scattered showers in the NW but windy enough (and cold enough) to suppress the midges. Ain't going to be warm at all at height, with the Met Office suggesting overnight "feels like" temps around freezing or below thanks to windchill. Not too different from a couple of weekends ago when I bivvied on a summit to catch the midsummer sunrise. Perfectly comfortable but then I was inside the summit shelter which kept off most of the wind, and also wore a light synthetic duvet inside the sleeping bag and bivvy bag. You will definitely need a good sleeping mat!
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Re: First time bivvy , any tips please ?

Postby Alteknacker » Thu Jul 04, 2019 2:59 pm

rabthecairnterrier wrote:...You will definitely need a good sleeping mat!


Seconded. I used my 200gm 3/4 size thermorest a few weekends ago when bivvying, had a good night's sleep, and was as warm as toast.

But there are no midges on the South Downs! I've never tried bivvying when there's a midge risk (except once on Sgurr nan Eag a good few years ago), but if I thought there might be such a risk I'd sleep wearing my midgey net hat or top. I got this recommendation from this site some time ago.
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Re: First time bivvy , any tips please ?

Postby regedmunds » Thu Jul 04, 2019 7:43 pm

I have a Snugpack Stratosphere and tend to use it on short outings, up to 7 days. I also take my 3.5 Alpkit tarp, very useful, especially when its raining. Some nights I use it, some nights I don't.

I originally bought an Alpkit Bivi, really good but I never got on with it, for me too much messing about trying to get in and out of it and I never liked the idea of my head being available to every creepy crawly in the grass.

I also take my ground sheet with me, it goes under the length of my bivi and pokes out about 2' from the bivi entrance side. I use it for standing on with bare feet, getting dressed/undressed and for organising myself. I use my Thermarest Prolite mattress, it's thinnish but effective. I have a Neo Air but I don't find it suitable for my bivi, only for my tent.

I keep my boots inside my bivi, behind my head/pillow, works well, wouldn't like them to go missing in the night.

My rucksack stays on the outside of my bivi and to protect it I use a loop of fishing line attached to a cheap audible alarm (from Amazon) attached to the bivi, just in case anyone tried to steal it in the night.

When I use my tarp, I just stuff the rucksack under it again secured with the alarm attached.

I find a bivi most useful when I want to stealth wild camp. For example, if I leave a pub in the evening I find its easier to find a place to sleep nearby, often with my tent, I feel the need to wander further out if I don't want to be noticed and then disturbed by anyone. I'm always up at dawn, pack and am away before anyone else is around.

I took my bivi to Gran Canaria earlier this year, perfect! I've never used my bivi in the colder months, just doesn't appeal to me!
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Re: First time bivvy , any tips please ?

Postby tony.cee » Fri Jul 05, 2019 10:46 pm

Caberfeidh wrote:
jmarkb wrote:Go high and find a breezy spot to avoid getting eaten alive!


Nonsense ~ only bivvi in mild, muggy, warm and damp weather with no wind. Lie down in damp, swampy, sheltered areas, preferably near water, or in moorland. Do not use tents, bothies, hostels or any of the other shelters developed over thousands of years of human evolution. Just lie on the ground like a worm. That's progress; the fun never stops.



:lol: :lol:
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Re: First time bivvy , any tips please ?

Postby crfishwick » Sat Jul 06, 2019 10:44 am

MountainTrail wrote:Hi,
finally ditching the tent and planning an overnight bivvy up in Fisherfield this weekend .
Have got the gear , but moving out the comfort zone from being under the canvas .
Any tips or hints about ensuring things run smooth?
Cheers :D

My tip.

Don't bother take your tent. :lol: Or wear a midge net at all times whilst bivvying. hopefully the weather keeps fine as bivvying is a nightmare if you need to cook. :wink:
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Re: First time bivvy , any tips please ?

Postby crfishwick » Sat Jul 06, 2019 10:47 am

Caberfeidh wrote:
jmarkb wrote:Go high and find a breezy spot to avoid getting eaten alive!


Nonsense ~ only bivvi in mild, muggy, warm and damp weather with no wind. Lie down in damp, swampy, sheltered areas, preferably near water, or in moorland. Do not use tents, bothies, hostels or any of the other shelters developed over thousands of years of human evolution. Just lie on the ground like a worm. That's progress; the fun never stops.

:lol: :lol: A weird sense of humour I think. :lol: :lol:
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Re: First time bivvy , any tips please ?

Postby rabthecairnterrier » Sun Jul 07, 2019 11:40 pm

regedmunds wrote:I have a Snugpack Stratosphere and tend to use it on short outings, up to 7 days. I also take my 3.5 Alpkit tarp, very useful, especially when its raining. Some nights I use it, some nights I don't.

I originally bought an Alpkit Bivi, really good but I never got on with it, for me too much messing about trying to get in and out of it and I never liked the idea of my head being available to every creepy crawly in the grass.

I also take my ground sheet with me, it goes under the length of my bivi and pokes out about 2' from the bivi entrance side. I use it for standing on with bare feet, getting dressed/undressed and for organising myself. I use my Thermarest Prolite mattress, it's thinnish but effective. I have a Neo Air but I don't find it suitable for my bivi, only for my tent.

I keep my boots inside my bivi, behind my head/pillow, works well, wouldn't like them to go missing in the night.

My rucksack stays on the outside of my bivi and to protect it I use a loop of fishing line attached to a cheap audible alarm (from Amazon) attached to the bivi, just in case anyone tried to steal it in the night.

When I use my tarp, I just stuff the rucksack under it again secured with the alarm attached.

I find a bivi most useful when I want to stealth wild camp. For example, if I leave a pub in the evening I find its easier to find a place to sleep nearby, often with my tent, I feel the need to wander further out if I don't want to be noticed and then disturbed by anyone. I'm always up at dawn, pack and am away before anyone else is around.

I took my bivi to Gran Canaria earlier this year, perfect! I've never used my bivi in the colder months, just doesn't appeal to me!


Alpkit tarp and Snugpak Stratosphere combined weight 1.43kg.
Terra Nova Laser Comp 1 (ie a proper tent) weight 0.97kg.
No contest.
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Re: First time bivvy , any tips please ?

Postby crfishwick » Sun Jul 07, 2019 11:46 pm

rabthecairnterrier wrote:
regedmunds wrote:I have a Snugpack Stratosphere and tend to use it on short outings, up to 7 days. I also take my 3.5 Alpkit tarp, very useful, especially when its raining. Some nights I use it, some nights I don't.

I originally bought an Alpkit Bivi, really good but I never got on with it, for me too much messing about trying to get in and out of it and I never liked the idea of my head being available to every creepy crawly in the grass.

I also take my ground sheet with me, it goes under the length of my bivi and pokes out about 2' from the bivi entrance side. I use it for standing on with bare feet, getting dressed/undressed and for organising myself. I use my Thermarest Prolite mattress, it's thinnish but effective. I have a Neo Air but I don't find it suitable for my bivi, only for my tent.

I keep my boots inside my bivi, behind my head/pillow, works well, wouldn't like them to go missing in the night.

My rucksack stays on the outside of my bivi and to protect it I use a loop of fishing line attached to a cheap audible alarm (from Amazon) attached to the bivi, just in case anyone tried to steal it in the night.

When I use my tarp, I just stuff the rucksack under it again secured with the alarm attached.

I find a bivi most useful when I want to stealth wild camp. For example, if I leave a pub in the evening I find its easier to find a place to sleep nearby, often with my tent, I feel the need to wander further out if I don't want to be noticed and then disturbed by anyone. I'm always up at dawn, pack and am away before anyone else is around.

I took my bivi to Gran Canaria earlier this year, perfect! I've never used my bivi in the colder months, just doesn't appeal to me!


Alpkit tarp and Snugpak Stratosphere combined weight 1.43kg.
Terra Nova Laser Comp 1 (ie a proper tent) weight 0.97kg.
No contest.


Agreed there is no contest A Terra Nova Comp is lighter than most advertised bivies. Plus you can just use the outer, that's even lighter! Although you need to cover up to keep the "Wee beasties at bay" :wink:

Bivvies may be useful for the SAS. :wink: Not recommended in Scotland in the midgy season. :lol:
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Re: First time bivvy , any tips please ?

Postby Ben Nachie » Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:55 am

rabthecairnterrier wrote:
Alpkit tarp and Snugpak Stratosphere combined weight 1.43kg.
Terra Nova Laser Comp 1 (ie a proper tent) weight 0.97kg.
No contest.

Pretty much the same conclusion that I came to over 10 years ago. Seems nothing much has changed!
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