Bivvy bags.

Awol

LE
I'm thinking of fleeing real life and heading out into the unknown, to see if it's still there, and I'm thinking of taking a bivvy bag, because tents are just so........ Glastonbury.

Can someone advise as to the efficiency or otherwise of those bivvy bags that have been standard issue for the past few years. I'm looking for something that is genuinely good for all seasons. I already have a Terra Nova sleeping bag which cost as much us the national debt of Valenzuela, but is gloriously warm and weighs about the same as a dry teabag.
 
Bivvy bag? Bloody stupid idea. What's the point of having a full length zip on a sleeping bag if you put it inside a bivvy bag?

Get a 58 pattern maggot and a poncho. 2 ponchos if you want luxury.
 
Wotabout a one man tent? That way you’ll have a bit of space between you and the canvas and have a shielded cooking area.

Eg. the snugpak ionosphere

 
Wotabout a one man tent? That way you’ll have a bit of space between you and the canvas and have a shielded cooking area.

Eg. the snugpak ionosphere

looks a bit like the old Ultimate Peapod, I'm maybe showing my age

 
Get one custom made by a local tent/sail maker. Built in foam base and pillow with small fibreglass bow to raise a hood avec mozzie net over your head with a flap to keep out the rain is a useful addition.
 

MrBane

LE
Moderator
Kit Reviewer
Reviews Editor
I'm thinking of fleeing real life and heading out into the unknown, to see if it's still there, and I'm thinking of taking a bivvy bag, because tents are just so........ Glastonbury.

Can someone advise as to the efficiency or otherwise of those bivvy bags that have been standard issue for the past few years. I'm looking for something that is genuinely good for all seasons. I already have a Terra Nova sleeping bag which cost as much us the national debt of Valenzuela, but is gloriously warm and weighs about the same as a dry teabag.
If you're already a TN man, get the TN Saturn. I took one to Afghan and needed nothing else. I sacked off the poles and used my Bergen in the hood to prop it up. I fell asleep on dry sand one night and woke up in a huge puddle of water after a sudden downpour, still bone dry inside. Everyone else was absolutely soaked.

Worth every goddamn penny. Sleeping bag inside it, compressed down into bergan, pull out, shake out, climb in, zip up, sleep.
 
Get a waterproof sleeping bag and you don't "need" a bivvy bag, I just got out into the wilds with a popup tent, and in the winter an aluminium lined sleeping bag so you use your own body heat to keep warm

No good in the summer mind as they're way too hot
 
This lass goes over her thoughts on using an unstructured bivi vs a tent.
What is a Bivvy Bag? (And can it replace my tent?) - Lotsafreshair
Re her concerns about privacy with an unstructured, rollout bivi, that's why she should have tried a structured bivi, such as Mr Bane uses. Similar bivis to his were available which had a means of support, as you do with a tarp but no accompanying poles, so you have to improvise. A 1.5 man tent is the business when it's raining and very comfortable but more to carry and can be tricky to set up in the dark or in windy conditions. It takes up a lot of space in a rucksack. Sometimes the ground just isn't suitable for pitching a tent and isn't great for a bivi either but you might find supports for a hammock. A bivi/hammock might be useful, although it needs a tarp putting up in wet weather.

 

Awol

LE
Thanks for the advice chaps. I know there are some lovely Gucci civilian bivvies out there for a bundle of cash, but I'm looking at buying an issue one, firstly 'cos they are cheap as chips and secondly, they are generally fit for purpose. How have the issue ones changed over the last few years? I'm assuming they have been updated and the more recent ones are the best?
 
I'm thinking of fleeing real life and heading out into the unknown, to see if it's still there, and I'm thinking of taking a bivvy bag, because tents are just so........ Glastonbury.

Can someone advise as to the efficiency or otherwise of those bivvy bags that have been standard issue for the past few years. I'm looking for something that is genuinely good for all seasons. I already have a Terra Nova sleeping bag which cost as much us the national debt of Valenzuela, but is gloriously warm and weighs about the same as a dry teabag.
The simple answer is, you won't get one that's extremely lightweight, but the Dutch Army DPM 1 man tent is a solid winner for something semi-permanent...

3405257add66678556.jpg
 
Only real difference is the addition of triangle wedge helping to slide into your "horizontal time machine" (stolen from someone smarter than me)
Some of the grey bags backloaded for dpm then mtp never left the store shelf. Surprising how much kit sold on is in good condition.
 
Another option if you want to just lug a sleeping bag, but forget the tent/hamock/bivvy bag what about a mountain shelter?
 

Awol

LE
Several years ago I spent about 500 quid on one of the lightest one man tents on the market. I think it weighs about 600 grams and does the job well (also Terra Nova I think). The only problem is it is a pain in the arrse to put up. I just want something I can just roll out, stick a pole in to provide the head space and climb into. And doesn't cost 500 quid......
 
I used one in scotland, still put down my inflatable thermarest inside it and it was fine, does get a bit damp due to condensation but I just dived in a went to sleep, didn’t really bother adjusting my clothing, spent 3 nights in it no issue however, it did not rain.

For the price you may have one uncomfortable night and then you can add to it with a waterproof lightweight tarp but again, probably better finding some trees to tie the tarp to.

They resell for the same price you pay for them on eBay so you have nothing to lose, perhaps just don’t expect them to be bullet proof and comfy on a bog in the rain, it’s roughing it at its best.
 
Several years ago I spent about 500 quid on one of the lightest one man tents on the market. I think it weighs about 600 grams and does the job well (also Terra Nova I think). The only problem is it is a pain in the arrse to put up. I just want something I can just roll out, stick a pole in to provide the head space and climb into. And doesn't cost 500 quid......
One of these? https://www.outdoorgear.co.uk/Terra-Nova-Laser-Competition-1-Tent

If so, what's the issue with putting it up? Pole in, peg both ends, 4 pegs round the sides, peg guy ropes, done.

More to the point, even with a lot of violent squashing my surplus goretex bivvy bag (one of the green ones) is at least as big as the tent when they are packed.
 
This lass goes over her thoughts on using an unstructured bivi vs a tent.
What is a Bivvy Bag? (And can it replace my tent?) - Lotsafreshair
Re her concerns about privacy with an unstructured, rollout bivi, that's why she should have tried a structured bivi, such as Mr Bane uses. Similar bivis to his were available which had a means of support, as you do with a tarp but no accompanying poles, so you have to improvise. A 1.5 man tent is the business when it's raining and very comfortable but more to carry and can be tricky to set up in the dark or in windy conditions. It takes up a lot of space in a rucksack. Sometimes the ground just isn't suitable for pitching a tent and isn't great for a bivi either but you might find supports for a hammock. A bivi/hammock might be useful, although it needs a tarp putting up in wet weather.

I like hammocking. I have a para-fabric hammock in green and tan that I got from Bali 20 odd years ago (plenty on ebay nowadays), a mossie net from and a Hennessy Hex tarp in OD 70D fabric. It all fits in a bergen sidepouch along with the cord and tent pegs for the tarp and the webbing and carabiners for the hammock.

Biggest thing with hammocking is to have a decent safety rope stretched across above the tarp so that if a branch falls you do not get brained.

Hammocking kit along with a bivvy bag and half a kip mat* gives you the best choices depending on the conditions and terrain you come across.

Note: * The kip mat you can stick in the hammock on really cold nights to give insulation for your arrse.
 
Note: * The kip mat you can stick in the hammock on really cold nights to give insulation for your arrse.
I don't know what climate you've got in your bit of the US but in the UK you're going to want some sort of insulation underneath you for most of the year. When I first started using a hammock I took it out in April and froze all night.

Much more comfortable than sleeping on the ground and there's not much difference in packed size between a hammock and underblanket compared to tent/bivvy and sleeping mat.
 
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