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Bothy bag fabric question
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Chris Collins
(hobbitling) - F
Bothy bag fabric question on 11/04/2009 13:01:12 MST Print View

I want to make a bothy bag as an emergency shelter for winter dayhiking. my idea is to make the it sort of jelly fish shaped so that there is a sort of "seat" around the inner bottom edge to sit on while inside it. I was thinking of making the sitting area, and the lower parts of the bag from silnylon, and the upper parts, that will not be in contact with snow, from Epic. it will have vent tubes, trek pole prop-up points, and guy line loops, so it could be used as a sort of tent like shelter as well.

does that seem like a workable solution.

First post by the way! long time lurker.

Edited by hobbitling on 11/04/2009 13:02:53 MST.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Bothy bag fabric question on 11/04/2009 13:12:21 MST Print View

Such a thing is commercially available. I'm sure someone will remember the brand.


Chris Collins
(hobbitling) - F
well...yeah...but this is a MYOG forum. on 11/04/2009 13:26:29 MST Print View

I've seen them. the most widely known is the "terra nova" brand. The design isn't really original, I'm just wondering about the fabric choice. most Bothy bags I've seen are silnylon all over.

Justin Chaussee
(judach) - F

Locale: Earth
Re: well...yeah...but this is a MYOG forum. on 11/04/2009 13:35:53 MST Print View

What in the world is a bothy bag?

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Bothy bag fabric question on 11/04/2009 13:41:31 MST Print View

That fabric combo will work fine, but if it's just an emergency day-hike shelter, it would be lighter to use silnylon all over. A little condensation on the inner would be the least of my worries if i actually had to overnight in an emergency, and for short lunch stops, etc...breathability should not be a problem.

Diplomatic Mike

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
Bothy bag on 11/04/2009 14:03:14 MST Print View

Lunch break inside a bothy bag

Chris Collins
(hobbitling) - F
What's a bothy bag, you ask? on 11/04/2009 14:17:33 MST Print View

What's a bothy bag, you ask?

Thomas Burns
(nerdboy52) - MLife

Locale: "Alas, poor Yogi.I knew him well."
Bothy Bag on 11/04/2009 14:19:47 MST Print View

Well. I have to say, I'd never heard of BB's until this thread, but I want one now. How many times have i sat in the miserable rain eating my soggy sandwich on some god-forsaken dayhike?

The problem seems to be how one arranges it for solo use. They seem to depend on at least two people to provide structure.

The fabric seems to be obvious: Silnylon provides the best compromise between weight, durability, and water resistance.


P.S. Keep us up to date! I'd like to make one myself for solo use.

Chris Collins
(hobbitling) - F
solo bothy on 11/04/2009 14:23:33 MST Print View

I think you use trekking poles for solo.

I don't know about the silnylon for the whole thing though. this isn't like a bivy where you can aim your breath out the face hole or unzip part of it. all your breath and sweat (and sometimes that of several people) is going into the air. I imagine it could get quite condensified in a hurry. That's probably why they have that little vent tube. and in an emergency cold weather scenario, that could become a problem. But I suppose rain gear could be used as well.

a semi-breathable fabric might be a good solution, unless it's really pouring. I'm sure it could handle snow as long as you are awake to shake it off every once in a while.

Edited by hobbitling on 11/04/2009 14:30:40 MST.

Diplomatic Mike

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
Bothy bag on 11/04/2009 14:57:50 MST Print View

I wouldn't worry about condensation if you're just using it for short breaks. That link i posted showed myself and 2 friends escaping a cold, gale force wind to have something to eat and drink. It gets nice and warm in there very quickly. I wouldn't want to spend a night in one, though. Even though mine is a 4 man bothy bag, there isn't enough room to lie down.

Jim W.
(jimqpublic) - MLife

Locale: So-Cal
Bothy Bag ventilation in a gale on 11/04/2009 15:14:08 MST Print View

All the uses I've read about are for harsh weather- normally windy plus precipitation. With the wind blowing and the fabric flapping a bit it will pump a lot of air in and out.

I would want translucent fabric or some plastic windows.

Walter Carrington
(Snowleopard) - M

Locale: Mass.
Zarski sack. on 11/05/2009 08:05:30 MST Print View

The bothy bags are the same idea as Zarski sacks. A Zarski sack is a tube of material with draw string closures at the two ends. In an emergency the group sits inside (on packs or pads). The plans I've seen were half breathable half non-breathable nylon (half the circumference of the tube is breathable). With half a dozen people inside in sub 0F, they're impressively warm, but certainly not comfortable except in temperature. They're definitely not for the claustrophobic; having a window would be nice.