• This topic has 51 replies, 30 voices, and was last updated 6 years ago by alpin.
Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 52 total)
  • how long could you bivvy for?
  • Premier Icon seosamh77
    Subscriber

    Is a bivvy and a tarp viable for doing the west highland way and perhaps beyond? reckoning 3 days on the way, but might go further if feeling fit? I’ve took a week off in April, so leave on the saturday and just come back when we feel like it kinda thing.

    Normally I just take a tent for cycle camping but bivvy appeals as it’ll reduce weight.

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    45 mins.

    iolo
    Member

    me- 10 minutes before I go looking for the nearest Holiday Inn

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Subscriber

    I’m hoping it will be ok for 7 nights in May/June. Most I’ve done so far is 2 consecutive nights. I reckon it would be easy to stretch that by either using a b+b for a night or even just a campsite.

    Premier Icon cynic-al
    Subscriber

    Depends on the weather perhaps? No less luxury otherwise than a tent.

    If you mean wild camping, up to you!

    Premier Icon seosamh77
    Subscriber

    Should add that the tent I’d normally take camping on one/two nighters os the gelert solo, so it’s coffin like regardless, I suppose not much different!

    Premier Icon seosamh77
    Subscriber

    cynic-al, aye the weather is the one thing I’d be concerned about, but as you say that’s the same in a tent…. Aye would be wild camping. probably would add a night somewhere, just to get squared up properly tbh as scotroutes mentions..

    Going longer than 2 nights is a push, even in good weather, for me. A B&B night, then I’d be fine for another 2 nights bivvy I reckon. You’ll be able to get a room unannounced in April no probs I reckon.

    Premier Icon jameso
    Subscriber

    All depends on the weather and how comfortable you are with your kit. If you sleep well in the dirt and the weathers fair more nights than not there’s no reason you couldn’t go for weeks like that.
    Ideally take a small tarp and know how to set it up if needed to keep the worst of any rain off the open end of your bivvy.

    fr0sty125
    Member

    I wouldn’t want to have to carry more than two days food so as long as you can resupply then I would say 10-14 days. Pennine way walking and wild camping was longer but I didn’t really enjoy it that much!

    Chew
    Member

    Depends on the weather really. Scotland > April 😕

    I’ve done a few 5 nights in a row without any issues, but longer than that wouldnt be much fun.

    As a rule i’d say 2-3 nights out biving, then hotel/B&B/Hostel/ Campsite/Bothy and repeat. Last summers trip worked on that basis for a full month.

    Are you on the run?

    Premier Icon seosamh77
    Subscriber

    The whole plan is just to be flexible and follow our noses and stop and start when we feel. As for carrying food, wouldn’t really be an issue, just be a case of eating in pubs etc, if we needed to carry food, wouldn’t be any longer than the next available pit stop, which is never really all that far in scotland at most I’d be carrying dinner and breakfast over night.

    Premier Icon seosamh77
    Subscriber

    woodlikesbeer – Member
    Are you on the run?

    Aye, penciled myself in for a bank robbery on the 18th April! 😀

    Premier Icon seosamh77
    Subscriber

    Chew – Member
    Depends on the weather really. Scotland > April

    Aye I know, can be iffy, can also be great, pot luck really. First stop would probably be rowchoish bothy (a minimum out of the exclusion zone anyway)if I started from my front door(south side.)

    plumber
    Member

    in 2008 I bivvyed for up to 6 nights before a night under shelter – it was warm though

    Premier Icon jameso
    Subscriber

    Scotland > April

    Yeah, I’d predict 2-3 nights max at a time for myself )

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    I don’t know how the Way breaks up for cycling but there’s 2 campsites with wigwam things, one at Inverarnan (Drover’s Inn) which you actually pass through on the Way and one just before Tyndrum which is about 2 minutes ride off route, could be a good alternative for one night (though they tend to book out in advance).

    There’s always baggage forwarders- if I ever get myself together enough to do it, that’ll be how I do it.

    postierich
    Member

    Did 3 days in good weather in the Lakes, I reckon a week would be my limit!

    Pawsy_Bear
    Member

    Slept outside in bivi for 6 weeks in Canada, it was mainly dry. Every night under the stars. Pull the flap over your face and snooze. In the UK I use bivi with hoop. Less weight and far more efficient at keeping you dry.

    rene59
    Member

    A bivi and tarp won’t weigh much less than a small lightweight tent and your sleeping bag and bivi will need aired/dried every day if there is condensation.

    I have persevered a few times with bivi and tarp as I do find the idea appealing but whenever I try it I can never get on with it for more than a night. I always revert back to the small tent setup, much more comfortable especially in conditions encountered in Scotland.

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Subscriber

    It’s probably worth adding that a small tarp and a waterproof bivvy bag (essential for Scotland) won’t be much lighter than a lightweight tent (like a F10 Helium Carbon 100).

    EDit: 🙂 someone else just did!

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner
    Subscriber

    Did a week a few times in the Lakes as a kid, but we knew a couple of spots with guaranteed shelter and were rarely up high enough for severe weather to stop us getting to a road or a town.

    Don’t know the West Highland Way, but if there’s a chance of continuous severe weather I like to be able to get somewhere safe as quickly as possible.

    qwerty
    Member

    There are some very weathered types in central London been doing it for years.

    Premier Icon seosamh77
    Subscriber

    Northwind – Member
    I don’t know how the Way breaks up for cycling but there’s 2 campsites with wigwam things, one at Inverarnan (Drover’s Inn) which you actually pass through on the Way and one just before Tyndrum which is about 2 minutes ride off route, could be a good alternative for one night (though they tend to book out in advance).

    There’s always baggage forwarders- if I ever get myself together enough to do it, that’ll be how I do it.I know the way fairly well tbh, I’ve done the top half, and well I know the bottom half like the back of my hand, it’s just rowardennen to tyndrum I don’t know. suppose it’s really just one of those ideas where we don’t particularly want to be tied down to a timetable, so off we go at our own leisure.

    tbh it’s probably a spring board to long trips in more places that we don’t really know, so the whw is as good a place to get the experience, as should things go tits up, well it’s not really all that remote, so easy enough to get yourself out of trouble.

    I’m just thinking out loud really, as only set thing is that the whw will be getting done in April, I’m really just talking out ideas.

    Suppose the weather forecast the day before we go will ultimately decide our plans. Which could even completely change the route aswell, as you know what scotland is like, can be pissing half a mile up the road, but sunny where you are.

    Premier Icon nedrapier
    Subscriber

    Depends what the biggest challenge is:

    In a sheltered cove, with stones and moss for building materials, the pair erected a hut which was to be their home for the next eight months.[79] With ready supplies of bear, walrus and seal to keep their larder stocked, their principal enemy was not hunger but inactivity

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nansen%27s_Fram_expedition

    Premier Icon seosamh77
    Subscriber

    rene59 – Member
    A bivi and tarp won’t weigh much less than a small lightweight tent and your sleeping bag and bivi will need aired/dried every day if there is condensation.

    Yes, fair point, it will be less bulky though and easier to strap to the bike with bungy cords or whatever.

    Good point about the condensation thing though, will look into that. cheers.

    rayyoung
    Member

    Keep your gear dry and and with the right frame of mind you can bivi for as long as you like. Gelert solo tents are useless in my opinion, once in them you can do nothing but sleep because they are so small. Lightweight tents are an option but will cost four times the amount that a tarp and bivi bag weighing the same will cost. I have done the WHW and the north east end of Loch Lomond is a nightmare, be prepared to push, drag carry and scramble with your loaded bike for 3 to 4 hours depending on your fitness. There is also a 12 foot ladder to climb. If that’s ok with you then go for it otherwise get the ferry. If your going for it then Doune bothy is a welcome stop over after your epic bike hike, it also has a fire with lots of wood easy to find. Have fun.

    Premier Icon seosamh77
    Subscriber

    aye know all about north of inversnaid, currently got about 5 or 6 options about how to tackle that! My current mind set if just to go for it, but I know it can be avoided various ways.

    Cheers on the Doune bothy heads up, was wondering about that.

    Ewan
    Member

    I’ve done five nights in a row bivying in the alps, carrying everything on my back (plus a water filter).

    After three nights it’s grim. Esp if it’s been raining. Three nights seems quite nice tho, done that a few times.

    Weight for weight a well set-up tarp will give you nearly as much weather protection as a tent but much more room. Quite often you won’t actually require a bivvy bag under a tarp, so condensation becomes less of an issue.

    I can’t see any reason why you can’t spend the same number of nights under a tarp as you’d be willing to spend in a tent.

    If we were talking about a bivvy bag only and no tarp then that’d be a different matter 😉

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Subscriber

    Five nights on the Spey, well plush, in winter.

    Canoe river Spey by matt_outandabout, on Flickr
    I reckon indefinitely like that.

    sweepy
    Member

    This was home for 3 or 4 nights when our tent was flattened on a canoe trip on Lewis, one of my best camping trips ever, and the wind which flattened the tent kept the midgies away.
    Midgies can make a bivvy hell.

    Did a fair few nights on the bounce in my old job..

    ton
    Member

    I did 1 nights bivi last year, hated it, did 2 nights cycle camping too, hated that, loved it when I was younger.
    nice comfy b n b for me from now on, or a hostel bed at a push.

    Premier Icon kennyp
    Subscriber

    I’d say that midges would be more of an issue than weather. At least with a tent you can crawl inside and read a book or something. I know you can zip up bivvy bags, but it gets very confined, especially when the sun isn’t due to set for another five hours. For any more than one night I think I’d take a lightweight tent instead.

    b r
    Member

    Weight for weight a well set-up tarp will give you nearly as much weather protection as a tent but much more room

    How much would your setup weigh? As I’ve a small 2-man tent that weighs under 2kg, and big enough to actually live/cook in.

    http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=26949

    Premier Icon seosamh77
    Subscriber

    b r, not sure on the weight. Looks like you can get bivvies at around 350g a bit of tarp wouldn’t weight that much i’d imagine? Anyone let me know roughly the weight of tarps, some ropes and a pole or 2? But consider a gelert solo is 1.5kg I wouldn’t imagine a tarp would be anywhere near the difference.

    Ton, shame about that I love any type of camping, cycle camping in particular, getting lighter and taking less stuff every time, defo the way forward.

    Kenny midgies will be fine in April, usually not bad up till June, though the mild winter this year could play havoc with that…

    Cheers for the pics earlier BTW very interesting.

    Premier Icon kennyp
    Subscriber

    Kenny midgies will be fine in April, usually not bad up till June, though the mild winter this year could play havoc with that…

    It varies I guess from place to place and year to year. I always cram as much as possible in the window from mid April to mid/late May as I reckon that’s the best balance between warm weather and no midges. As you say though, the mild weather this winter might mean loads of the little sods!

    Premier Icon seosamh77
    Subscriber

    So I’ve been googling some bivis, alpkit hunka looks about the best value eh? How waterproof is that? Would you need a full tarp to go with it in the rain, or would some kind of half micro tarp do for the top half of your body suffice? If so could probably get the weight for the combo down to a good bit less than a kilo, which isn’t too shabby at all.

    Think I’ll buy something like that regardless, if I don’t use it on this trip there’ll be plenty of other opportunities to do so.

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 52 total)

The topic ‘how long could you bivvy for?’ is closed to new replies.