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Western Mountaineering on water resistant down and Pertex fabric
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Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Shelter on 11/04/2013 16:03:34 MST Print View

> For those that do, what's your lightweight shelter of choice to keep your down
> dry on wet & humid trips with little sunlight for several days?

This is where you get to play Dirty Harry - 'do you feel lucky?'.

You might decide that you can handle (say) 3 nights of humidity and go UL with a little tarp. You might be lucky.
Or you might decide that you don't want to worry too much about it, and take a decent single-wall tent. Good shelter.
Or, if conditions are going to be a bit more severe, you might take a double-wall tunnel tent and just not worry at all :-)

Guess what? It's your choice!

PS: I am not a big fan of bivy sacks in bad weather.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Maybe if you ride them into the ground... on 11/04/2013 16:15:02 MST Print View

"My new bag is a MH Ultralamina, which was still cheaper than a down bag. I expect to get years of service."

fwiw, my mh lamina 35 degree bag crapped out on me after about 60 nights.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Why I don't like bivy bags on 11/04/2013 16:35:08 MST Print View

I was asked by PM why I don't like bivy bags, and half way through writing the answer I thought I should post it here rather than by PM. You will note that a lot of them have to do with how my wife and I travel, but they are not the sole reasons.

* Two cramped confining bivy sacks weigh as much as one comfortable tent.
* When it is cold we snuggle up together to share warmth: works in a tent.
* Changing out of wet clothing in bad weather is dead easy in a tent; it is horrible in a bivy sack.
* In cold weather bivy sacks tend to get condensation on the inside, which of course transfers back to the quilt(/SB) shell and insulation. In a tent the condensation is MUCH less, and is on the roof, far from the shell.
* In bad weather you need to be sheltered for >12 hours. Try lying still in a bivy bag for that long! dead easy in a tent.
* Try cooking in bad weather in a bivy bag. You may set it alight. It is dead easy in a tent, even in a howling snow storm.
* It is 3 am, the weather is awful, and you need to go to the loo. Not hard to get dressed in enough gear in a tent for a brief trip outside, but try that in the dark in a bivy sack.

Enough? I am sure I can think of more.


Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Why I don't like bivy bags on 11/04/2013 16:51:56 MST Print View

I haven't used a real bivy bag before, but I wouldn't mind using one for camping in mostly dry summer weather where I most likely wouldn't need a shelter. Seems like a lightweight option for an occasional storm or shower.
Bivy camping when I know that it's going to rain? No thanks.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Bivy's "limited" use (IMHO) on 11/05/2013 14:58:41 MST Print View

I am PM "postee" to Roger re. bivy sacks.

Being a confirmed and baptized tenter I agreee with every point Roger made.

Personally my ONLY use for a bivy sack would be in a snow shelter, i.e. quinzhee, trench, cave, or igloo. There it would keep my bag drier.