Author Topic: Bivvying  (Read 503 times)

Bivvying
« on: June 08, 2020, 08:10:35 am »
Never used a bivvy before. Do people that cyclo bivvy ever use them without sleeping bags or roll mats. I ask because on some 400 km rides I've seen tired riders kipping in bus shelters, garage forecourts and grass verges. I bought the bivvy as an emergency shelter but haven't needed it yet. I'd appreciate what others do. Thanks

Re: Bivvying
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2020, 08:38:16 am »
I guess it depends on the weather.  Even in mid-summer it can get cold at night, although you might get away with wearing all your clothes and just using a lightweight sleeping bag liner.  It's also amazing how much cold and damp strikes up from the ground so a mat might be useful, you can get some very light mats which pack down small although the really small, light mats are the expensive ones!

I've bivvyed a few times now using an Alpkit Hunka.  I've always used a Thermarest mat and at least a summer weight sleeping bag.  I also put a plastic emergency bivvy bag on the ground as groundsheet.  Its not a particularly light or compact set up but I've been as comfortable as you can be in a bivvy.

Re: Bivvying
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2020, 09:06:40 am »
Yes I’ve used just the bivvy on audax.  Because they trap air they insulate quite well on their own.  Best to keep your head out the bag though so you don’t breath moisture into them.  I’ve used a rack pack as a pillow before but a big enough dry bag spun round and closed can hold enough air to work. Generally you are only looking for 1-2 hours actual sleep so bivvy on its own works for that. For full overnight I’d want a liner or sleeping bag. If you find a hay stack in a field the loose straw works well as a base.

Re: Bivvying
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2020, 12:33:20 pm »
Their is a wonderful little book by Ronald Turnbull called "The Book of the Bivvy" published by Cicerone Guides.

It tells you all you could wish to know about bivvies and a little that you'd rather not know.

For me, the bivvy bag is instead of a tent not instead of a sleeping bag but you audaxers are not as others so ymmv  :)

Never knowingly under caffeinated

Re: Bivvying
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2020, 12:45:38 pm »
Their is a wonderful little book by Ronald Turnbull called "The Book of the Bivvy" published by Cicerone Guides.

It tells you all you could wish to know about bivvies and a little that you'd rather not know...

That looks like a excellent read, I've just purchased the Kindle version, thanks for the tip off!

Re: Bivvying
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2020, 07:32:13 pm »
Thanks for the replies. Looks like a mixed bag of responses.( Oops, Dad pun). I'll try it out in the garden. I ought to have been clearer in the way I envisage using it. Probably for up to 2 hrs if totally worn out on an audax, 3-400 km.

Re: Bivvying
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2020, 09:15:44 pm »
Yes, I've slept in one without a sleeping bag, usually with a silk liner and sometimes with a foam pad underneath.

Even on a chilly summer night, I've managed to get 2 hours sleep as they do retain body heat. It helps to get as warm as you can beforehand, eg put on lots of layers and climb a hill briskly before stopping.

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Re: Bivvying
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2020, 10:39:25 pm »
I've used it once in anger, on the Cambrian 4D permanent down a tiny little lane in the darkest Pembrokeshire interior.  I used to carry a bivvy or a survival bag on 400s and 600s but stopped a while ago when I slimmed down the amount I carried.  But I might rethink the idea now you've raised the topic, it would be more comfortable than a 15 minute catnap by the side of the road and probably better for me.
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Re: Bivvying
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2020, 03:03:12 pm »
I also have a too light bivvy tale.

I think it was 98 or certainly around that time.

We were traversing the black cuillin on Skye. It’s a classic traverse and we were doing it over two days with a bivvy on the ridge.  We’d completed the In Pinn and bivvied down about an hour further along the ridge.  Charles and I had bivvy bags and summer down sleeping bags.  Gary trying to save weight had a bivvy and his down duvet jacket.  Gary kept waking us up for a good two hours before sunrise.  He was too cold.  So bare bones for audax is fine as stops are usually short. But planned bivvy as I said above have a warmer liner or bag as well.