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Bivy Choice for Overnighter
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Simon Wurster
(Einstein) - F

Locale: Big Apple
Bivy Choice for Overnighter on 09/05/2008 11:03:58 MDT Print View

I'm going a quick overniter in October here in the NE, and expect nighttime temps in the low 40's, with winds of 8-10 mph. I want to try some stealth camping, so I want to leave my Waypoint 1 tent home, and use a bivy/tarp combination. My bag is a BA Horse Thief w/insul. Air Core mummy, and my tarp is a (green) ID PonchTarp. I'll be wearing a Pat. R1 Balaclava (Horse Thief is hoodless, but has a draft collar...). I will wear appropriate clothing in the bag for the expected temps. based on experience.

Assuming dry to light rain weather, I'm debating between these two combinations:

Option 1
ID BugaBivy (11.5 oz., 15.25 oz. incl. the poles). I'd use the ponchotarp in a lean-to or modified A-frame pitch as both a windbreak and to help with camoflage.

Option 2
MHW Conduit SL Bivy w/ Bug Hood/Hat (17.5 + 1.5 = 19 oz.). I'd still use the ponchotarp as camoflage.

I like the Bugabivy for its roominess, sealed barrier from creepy-crawlies, ventilation, and its gray noseeum netting that lends itself to stealth camping. I'm not sure how much the noseeum will contribute to convective heat loss, but the bug Hood/Hat always seems to have a bit of a microclimate, even when it's windy.

I like the Conduit SL Bivy for its weather protection and definite contribution to convective heat loss. But it's fire engine red (not so good for stealth camping), and has no bug netting -- I've never slept with a Bug Hood/Hat over my head before, and I'm not sure if it'll be cold enough to keep the bivy zipped-up all night.

Do you think the noseeum netting will provide a microclimate, especially underneath a tarp pitched as a lean-to? Am I overthinking the creepy-crawlies for this time of year?


Christopher Holden
(back2basics) - F - MLife

Locale: Southeast USA
Re: Bivy Choice for Overnighter on 09/05/2008 12:14:23 MDT Print View

The only benefits I see you may have is a bit of retained warmth (your bag is rated for 35) or the "sealed barrier from creepy-crawlies". Since it's only an overnighter and dry to light rain, do you even need a bivy? The tarp should protect you from the rain. Even if your bag gets a little wet from dew in the morning, it won't be much and you won't have to worry about down collapsing and being without a warm bag in the coming days. Just hang it out to dry when you get home that day. I'd suggest saving your money unless you want the creepy-crawly barrier or plan on more cold/wet nights out. For an overnighter, insulated underwear/clothing would probably suit me better than a bivy, but you may be different.