When is a bivy sack necessary?
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Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: "Full shelter"? on 06/16/2013 18:10:20 MDT Print View

+1 on what Nick said. Maybe in an 8x10 with two and nasty weather. If the tarp/tent edge can be piched close to the ground and it is wind stable, you're in pretty good shape without a bivy. No way in a full tent unless I wanted the warmth.

I use a Gatewood Cape, which can be pitched high or low and the low pitch is fine for full protection. I use a fairly large ground sheet and roll the edges under in the high side to duct water under if it looks like the site is going to be troublesome with water drainage.

Edited by dwambaugh on 06/16/2013 18:16:30 MDT.

David Poston
(dgposton) - F

Locale: Texas / Colorado
Hexamid solo on 06/16/2013 18:30:57 MDT Print View

Nick,

Would you use a bivy with the Hexamid solo tarp? Wasn't sure if you were referring to the tarp or net version of the shelter. The nice thing about the Hexamid, I suppose, is the cuben fiber bathtub floor, which alleviates problems with groundwater.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Hexamid solo on 06/16/2013 18:44:34 MDT Print View

My Hexamid doesn't have the net. I use the cuben poncho/ground sheet rarely as a groundsheet, don't want to develop pin holes if possible. Normally a waterproof foam pad serves as my sleeping pad and groundsheet. If I expect problems with drainage I will use the poncho/groundsheet. With temps down to around freezing I am usually using a cuben quilt.

Edit: I have never used the Hexamid with a bivy. Also I don't set it up unless rain is in the forecast.

Edited by ngatel on 06/16/2013 18:46:47 MDT.

terry tiedeman
(Terry62) - F
bivy on 06/16/2013 18:50:41 MDT Print View

My shelters are the MLD duo grace tarp, the cricket tarp and soon I will have a patrol shelter. I always use a superlight bivy. It helps keep me warmer and helps protect from drafts. It keeps my bag very clean so I don't have to wash it much. It helps with bugs, mosquitoes, flies etc. and I don't have to bring a ground sheet. If I were in a fully enclosed Mid I would probably use it anyway just because of the familiarity and comfort of the bivy unless I was camping with a woman. But having said all of that my main reason I love the bivy is that I am a huge fan of cowboy camping and it is really worth it to me to have the option to not put up my shelter every night and have great star gazing and nature scenery while I am falling asleep. This way my quilt is protected from dew in the morning and from nighttime winds.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: bivy @ Terry on 06/16/2013 19:09:44 MDT Print View

This is the beauty (or downfall) of gear. What works for one person may not be the solution for another. The solution is to get out a lot and figure out what works for each of us.

Randy Martin
(randalmartin) - F

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: bivy @ Terry on 06/16/2013 20:31:54 MDT Print View

"The solution is to get out a lot and figure out what works for each of us."

The beauty of BPL forums is we get to build knowledge from the experience of others that do get a chance to get out a lot. I am a perfect example of someone that doesn't get out a lot (maybe 10 nights a year), and for that I am very thankful for the knowledge/experience of many on this site like Nick so I have a much better shot at getting the right gear for me the first time.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: to dream the unworkable dream..... on 06/16/2013 21:12:06 MDT Print View

Reading this I was reminded of the Thomas Edison quote, "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."

Start testing in the back yard, then the mountainside :)

Thaddaeus Wharton
(Thadjw) - MLife
Re: on 06/24/2013 01:22:04 MDT Print View

Bivy seems to add about 5 degrees more warmth for me. Keeps thugs in place. Light bivy like a ZPacks bivy at 4 oz is very useful.

Pete Staehling
(staehpj1) - F
Warmth on 06/24/2013 04:54:30 MDT Print View

I would have said a bit more than 5 degrees are added by the bivy, but it probably depends on how windy it is and how well sheltered you are. I do know that when cowboy camping on top of the bivy, if it turns cold and windy, climbing into the bivy and zipping up makes a big difference.

I have found that for me the sleeping bag and bivy combo I use is lighter than the heavier bag that I would probably take without the bivy, so the bivy actually saves rather than adds weight for me with my particular gear. At least that is the case for warmish weather where a cold night (15-35 F) is possible/likely. That description seems to match most of the trips I have done.