Bothy Bags

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  • Bothy Bags
  • Premier Icon Nipper99
    Subscriber

    These have passed me by a bit – I can see the one in FGF but what else is good or do other people use.

    Due to an epic on the hills yesterday it would seem like a good investment. I have been looking at on of the Rab ones today which seems pretty good.

    beano68
    Member

    They can be a life saver when out on the hills either solo riding or part of a group when things go wrong.

    Got mine from Alpkit and packs down nicely and at a good price.

    poly
    Member

    I have a cheap small (2 person) one, never used it “in anger”. I have used a bigger one in anger as part of a bigger group – not cycling. Without doubt potential to save lives in some circumstances and just to provide a moral boosting recovery in others. They are a no brainer if you are only in light clothing in properly remote areas – I’m less convinced on their need at trail centres.

    As they are rarely used, and if damaged in use it probably doesn’t matter if it is really needed I’m not convinced that they need to be from a premium make – unless the expensive ones pack smaller / lighter.

    Spin
    Member

    This is tiny and light and so you are much more likely to carry it.

    link

    Spin
    Member

    Bothy bags are great for group use but I think a survival bag like the one I’ve linked to is more appropriate for an individual to carry.

    Premier Icon gallowayboy
    Subscriber

    I have a Terra Nova Bothy 4 – they’re £36 from Above and Beyond, probably a bit cheaper elsewhere.Four or five people can get warm quickly in the foulest conditions, just pop over your heads, pull down to bum level and sit down. I carry it in the hills in winter, or if the weather is suspect. The 2 is a bit cheaper/smaller.
    Well worth the price and the weight – can be life savers.
    Good for a picnic in the rain with kids as well.
    Mostly only use it on walking trips though, only once used in on a big biking trip in Scotland

    OCB
    Member

    I [now] carry one of the bright yellow JDS 2-man bothy bags on my winter moorland expeditions, having got caught out in a hideous winter storm back along and thinking at the time what a great idea a bothy bag would have been … 🙄

    I also have a SOL bivvy bag with me, but that’s tiny, so it kinda stays in my bag most of the time.

    The bothy gets used sometimes in a non-emergency kinda way – just for providing a useful bit of shelter if there’s not much else around and you need a quick break out of the weather (albeit it gets a bit fuggy after a few minutes, but you can always lift the sheltered side a bit). Having sat out the wind / rain in it for a bit, I can see how it’d be welcome if you *really* needed it too.

    The bivvy / survival bag is only to make things more comfortable if I’ve made a serious mistake and need to stay put for a while – fingers crossed it’ll stay in it’s little bag (other than for my checking it from time to time).

    I carry a whistle too on the moors …

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Subscriber

    I have a 2-man Terra Nova and a 4-man KISU. Neither has been used in extremis but both provide a comforting bit of shelter when it really is blowing a hoolie. Their effectiveness becomes apparent when you get under it covered in ice and it soon starts melting off. The most difficult part can be trying to get it packed away again when it’s gale force winds.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Subscriber

    Scotroutes +1

    I also have one of the one man mini sleeping bags, much better when solo and almost as good as a three season sleeping bag.

    B.A.Nana
    Member

    Mate of mine carrys one on walks and climbing trips and altho not essential it has made one or two winter lunch stops more pleasant, can’t say it’s ever compelled me into carrying one tho. Big remote MTB Biking in winter rides tho, it sounds like a good idea tbh.

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Subscriber

    Matt, I reckoned you’d be the only one to know what a KISU is (was) 🙂

    wanmankylung
    Member

    I’ve got a two man bothy bag which was made many years ago by a company in aviemore. I forget the name of the manufacturer, but it’s a truly brilliant bit of kit. Never been used in anger, but it has kept us warm many times on the top of winter mountains whilst having tea.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Subscriber

    KISU? Lost mine in Liverpool, circa 1993….

    poly
    Member

    Matt, I reckoned you’d be the only one to know what a KISU is (was)

    No infact the one I’ve used “for real” was a genuine KISU and was before you ever saw them in the shops (and internet shopping!).

    Premier Icon boxelder
    Subscriber

    Great for groups of young kids when sandwich munching etc.
    Never felt the need to carry mine biking a trail centre though….

    Premier Icon Nipper99
    Subscriber

    Have bought the Rab Superlight 2 man bothy bag – pricer than some by quite a way. Weighs nothing and about the size of a grapefruit when in its in its stuff sack so your not going to not think about not just leaving it in your sack on a permanent basis.

    Premier Icon tillydog
    Subscriber

    Forgive my ignorance, but are these supposed to replace the ubiquitous ‘orange bag’ that I have been carrying around since the year ‘dot’? (Walking, not biking)

    (I would use it the other way up, though.)

    Are they as good for sledging on? 😉

    ninfan
    Member

    I’ve had days out on the hill in the foulest, most horrible weather utterley transformed with the use of an old ’58 pattern poncho.

    I am sure there are lighter weight versions available now, but don’t know if they have the press studs etc that allow you to clip them together to make a bigger shelter.

    poly
    Member

    Forgive my ignorance, but are these supposed to replace the ubiquitous ‘orange bag’ that I have been carrying around since the year ‘dot’? (Walking, not biking)

    They serve a similar role. They are designed to host a “group” (i.e. 2-10(?) people depending on the size of the bag. They are used sitting up, huddled close, which is a quite effective way to share heat, still be able to have a (moral boosting) conversation, keep the wind and rain off etc. It is amazing how quick they warm up. As placed over, rather than climbed into, an injured casualty can be accommodated without moving them. You can also managed to get a cold wet person changed into dry clothes in one, which is not too easy in the big bag.

    Head first in a plastic bag obviously has a risk of suffocation and certainly would be clostrophobic. With the head not covered you’ll know that it is less effective.

    You can probably accommodate 3 people in one the size of your folded orange bag (especially if your orange bag has ever been opened and refolded). The original commercial concept was developed by Karimor, and was known as the Karimor Instructor Survival Unit (KISU), and gives a very basic shelter.

    Unlike a bag they are sort of breathable so you tend not to become wetter than when you went in!

    No use for sledging.

    B.A.Nana
    Member

    Forgive my ignorance, but are these supposed to replace the ubiquitous ‘orange bag’ that I have been carrying around since the year ‘dot’? (Walking, not biking)

    usually has some form of breather to let the fug out, and less bulky. Probably lighter as well for the same space. I suppose the attraction of them is you can get out of the weather and yet still socialise in a huddle.

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    I’ve always known them as group shelters. Have a 4-6 man one somewhere kicking about from my ML days.

    Modern ones seem very flash with windows etc, mine is just a huge ripstop pertex bag.

    Premier Icon tillydog
    Subscriber

    Thanks.

    …Head first in a plastic bag obviously has a risk of suffocation and certainly would be clostrophobic…

    ‘Tis certainly claustrophobic (and damp), but you poke a hole to breathe 🙂

    Interesting thought about using them for a “routine” stop (i.e. non emergency). I’ll have to look out for them next time I’m in a shop.

    No use for sledging

    🙁

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