Beginner Bivy Kit

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  • Beginner Bivy Kit
  • Chew
    Member

    Generally looking for some advice before i start spening my money.

    Looking to do some overnight Bivving with the bike. Looking at light weight kit that doesnt cost loads and Alpkit seems to do both.

    Sleeping bag
    Is the Pipedream worth the extra £35 to save 465grams? and will the 400 be sufficient for 3 season bivving?

    Sleeping mat
    Will the Wee Airic be comfortable enough or do i need something bigger?

    Bivy
    Am i better to go for a dark coloured one to be more discrete? although i like the look of the red Hunka one

    Premier Icon Sim
    Subscriber

    Doss Bag: Pipedream 400 is fine for 3 seasons and is worth the extra money. If it's particularly cold run around before getting into the bag and wear layers, easy!

    Mat: Wee Airic is as comfortable as a 3/4 length mat gets. Read into that what you will 🙂

    Bivvy Bag: Choose whatever colour you like unless your planning some proper cheeky bivvying in which case black will help you stay undiscovered.

    elliptic
    Member

    Strangely enough, bright red kit that stands out in daylight becomes quite hard to see in dim twilight due to the Purkinje effect. First really noticed this with my own bright red bivvy bag. May not help if you're prone to late lie-ins though…

    Full length mat is worth having, and like Sim says wear extra fleece, hat etc to boost warmth as required. (If it's cold you'll not be undressing before you get in!)

    Oh, and those milk-carton style packs of wine are quite handy to save the weight of a bottle 🙂

    B.A.Nana
    Member

    Agree with sim re the bag, you can always wear more clothes in bed. Infact, to keep the bag clean for as long as possible, I would recommend always wearing clean dry socks, long johns, long sleave baselayer and beanie (all this gear can be part of what you're wearing the next day anyway, so not necessarily additional kit).
    In cooler seasons, I have a lightweight duvet jacket, which is loads more useful than a heavier, bulkier sleeping bag.

    Premier Icon Nick
    Subscriber

    Only downside with the PD is that you must not let it get wet. There are synthetic bags out there at around the £90 mark that are rated down to 0 deg and weigh in at around 1kg weight with pretty good pack sizes (Mountain Hardware Lamina 35 springs to mind).

    Plenty of threads about this so do a search.

    I find the wee airic fine and perfectly comfortable, wouldn't bother with a longer mat myself.

    thomthumb
    Member

    my 3/4 mat (wee airic) has always been confy enough – i've used full length ones (not bivvying) and can't see the need (unless it's really cold)

    as said above get whatever colour bivvy you fancy. mostly you'll be hiding away from people by your camp spot more than your camo.

    tarp is also a good investment. look at DD hammocks one (£30) or make one out of spinniker cloth if your handy with a sewing machine…

    HTH

    slugwash
    Member

    Despite it's shorter length and reduced thickness compared with other inflatable mats I find the Wee Airic comfortable enough for most situations. However I sometimes take a foam mat (3/4 or full length) along as well, if the weather's Arctic or if we're not cycling too far, for extra comfort.

    Like thomthumb [edit] DIDN'T [/edit] 😉 suggest a hammock is a nice touch if you've got the space spare in your pack, especially if the ground's rocky or uneven. There's nothing like swaying in the night-time breeze as you drift off to sleep. It's better than sliding down a hill in your sleeping bag at a dischordant angle to your sleeping mat!

    And that's another thing, if you haven't got a hammock then look for somewher flat to bivvy down, lots of people seem to think that they'll get a good nights sleep on a 1-in-4 incline if they sleep with their head pointing upwards. They just end up in a heap at the bottom of the hill, and then complain that sleeping out is uncomfortable.

    BTW, don't forget to invest in your morning coffee making facilities. Most important!

    thomthumb
    Member

    I wasn't actually recomending a hammock – just the tarp! 🙂

    don't see the appeal of the hammock – sweaty and cold apparently.

    mafu26
    Member

    Slight thread hi-jack, but how do you have your tarp erected?

    I've got the small alpkit one and haven't been very successful in getting it up in decent position.

    I notice slugwash has used a bike to support the tarp, do you have the full picture of the tarp please mate?

    Ta!

    Premier Icon Tiger6791
    Subscriber

    Really small, really cheap camping mat.

    I've got the full size one and like it a lot! For the money you won't find anything smaller / lighter

    willard
    Member

    Get one of these bad-boys..

    Most of my sleeping out (aka aggressive camping) has been done under a tarp, with a dodgy roll mat, a goretex bag and a rubbish sleeping bag, so these hennessey hammocks look like luxury. You just need to be able to find two trees the right distance apart.

    i use a snugpak softie nine and a 3/4 thermarest i dont bother with a bivi bag but i use an army issue poncho over me against a wall or what ever i can find around / bike / tree etc

    Chew you might find some of this of interest

    http://welshridething.blogspot.com/

    or you might not 😉

    Stuart

    gazc
    Member

    alpkit are out of the pipedream 400's at the mo, i've ended up getting the skyehigh 600 instead as i need the bag this weekend 🙁

    alpkit bivvy bag is pretty good, did find the regular a bit too small so changed to an xl and its all good. i prefer a full length mat, i cant get comfortable with my feet/calves off the mat!

    slugwash
    Member

    notice slugwash has used a bike to support the tarp, do you have the full picture of the tarp please mate?

    Ta!

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Subscriber

    Army surplus do bivy bags for peanuts, camo as you like, the genuine surplus ones are plain and often repaired, the fake ones are printed.

    Sleaping bag – go thin and take extra layers in winter.

    Tarp – I aim for shelter anyway, bird hides, caves, abandoned buildings, etc. Bivi bags are good, but why make life hard on yourself by risking getting wet.

    tazzymtb
    Member

    read the book of Bivvy it gives you a good idea of how to really bivvy in the mountains for days rather than the Bivvylite which lots of bike mags seem to recommend. Ride up hill,sleep on ground, ride down hill. Or in the style of certain bike mag journos ride up hill, order takeaway 🙄

    Premier Icon Nick
    Subscriber

    Army surplus do bivy bags for peanuts, camo as you like, the genuine surplus ones are plain and often repaired, the fake ones are printed.

    So the camo one that I got from the Quartermaster at a shall remain nameless RAF base is fake?

    tjr666
    Member

    Proper obvious question…but what do you do with the bike when bivvying?? Was toying around with the idea for this summer, but apprehensive as my bike is expensive and I am a mere mortal and only have the one.

    Premier Icon geoffj
    Subscriber

    Proper obvious question…but what do you do with the bike when bivvying?? Was toying around with the idea for this summer, but apprehensive as my bike is expensive and I am a mere mortal and only have the one.

    Bivvy far away from civilisation chavs to reduce the chance of it being knicked; and/or
    Cheap wire lock it to your kit / tree / self while you are asleep.

    Premier Icon geoffj
    Subscriber

    I've been out a few times with my alpkit hunka and its been great. I was thinking of adding a tarp to the kit, but then you could get a light 1 man tent for the same sort of weight. I guess the tarp makes it a bit more 'under the stars' though?

    some tarps can be less half the weight of even some of the lightest tents, so it really depends on what you get.

    Premier Icon JohnClimber
    Subscriber

    Any online shops worth looking at?

    Premier Icon JohnClimber
    Subscriber

    Ta but what about traps?

    Premier Icon Nick
    Subscriber

    make your own, much cheaper and probably lighter

    backpackinglite

    These guys are great

    Got my basha from them – loads of other good stuff too…

    Actually, I'm wrong – it was Ronnie Sunshine's site…

    Even better…

    u02sgb
    Member

    I'd been thinking about cheap light one man tent. Anyone got any experience of this Gelert Solo? Seems available for ~£30.

    Gelert Solos are alright, obviously it's cheap and to a point you get what you pay for but I can't fault mine. There's a little review thing on the WRT blog (link up there ^).

    They seem to stand upto most things weather wise, perhaps a little draughty in high wind but otherwise very good,

    Stuart

    Just bought one in preparation for the WRT, not been out in it yet but it looks the part, seems well made and importantly packs really small, had the bag adapted with loops to fasten it to the downtube on my Blur which works really well.Would be interested in any other novel ideas on how to carry stuff on a FS bike, apart from spending £100 on a bag from Carousel.

    Premier Icon miketually
    Subscriber

    I've got a Gelert Solo. It stood up to the rain at the first Hit The North event. Very difficult to get in and out of in the rain without some water getting inside, so I'll probably take a tarp along as well when I use it again.

    It also pitches inner first. So, the inner gets wet if you're pitching it in the rain. If it worked outer only, it'd be brilliant for lightweight touring, though the inner doesn't add that much weight or bulk.

    Premier Icon cuckoo
    Subscriber
    alpin
    Member

    ahhh.. reading all this reminds wme of last year's transalp. to save on accomodation mate and i took a tarp and sleeping bags. eat in town in the evening and then ride up into the trees for the night….

    and if you're not so stoned and the light isn't fading you can achieve sometihng quite solid and stable.

    Chew
    Member

    Thanks for he tips guys. Lots of reading and a Blue Peter project for the Tarp.

    May bump into some of you on the WRT

    pistonbroke – i'm having the same issue on carying my stuff on my FS. Think the simple solution will be to carry light bulky stuff on the handle bars. Bivy+Sleeping bag+Tarp+sleeping mat in a dry bag and fixing it to the bars, and then other stuff like spares and food in a 15l backpack.

    NZCol
    Member

    Pistonbroke, Chew – I use one of these Freeload Rack on my Tallboy. Drybag and homemade hoop thing on the front, rest of gear on the rack, works perfectly.

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