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Topic: Calling All Bivy Sleepers!, Winter Use< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 02 2013, 8:09 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Looking into possibly using a bivy for fast & light winter backpacking... Getting away from a tent is a new world for me, ANY information about this subject is helpful!

Thank you in advance!!!


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 02 2013, 9:02 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Are you expecting snow on your winter trips?

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 02 2013, 9:05 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Yes!

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 02 2013, 9:05 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Bivy user here - Brutal existence. Stick with a tent...

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 03 2013, 3:55 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I bivied for a few winter trips, but soon went back to a tent.  I once had a MLD bivy made of Epic fabric back when it was "all that".  I thought it would breathe great.  It did...up until the condensation from my body heat mixed with the zero degree temps and iced up all the pores in the Epic fabric.  The ice was on the inside of my bivy!  It was a miserable night that I never repeated.  I use a Hilleberg tent in winter now.

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 03 2013, 6:16 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Why not use a tarp(cuben)? I recently started useing MLD Patrol shelter. Weighs about 7 ounces with stakes and guylines. I also use a Bear Paw Wilderness bug bivy(10 ounces)... For, you guessed it, when its buggy out. If its not buggy and not going to rain or snow, I can use the bivy as a ground sheet and sleep out "cowboy" style. If I need the tarp, I can easily pitch that for weather protection and again I have the option of useing the bivy under the tarp however needed. There are multiple options here. I can pitch the Patrol Shelter hi off the ground or tight to the ground..depending on weather. I can also make all the height adjustments from under it. If it is raining, I can pitch it first and take it down last..keeping my other gear dry.  Yes, I can also sit up near one end of the tarp, but no, I can not stand and stretch. Still, much more room then just a bivy and no condensation. All of this for a pound.1. I considered a bivy at one point, but I am glad I went the way I did. I may never use my tents again...

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 03 2013, 6:53 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I used a bivy for several years and it can work most times in winter but can be a royal pain others. I went back to a tent after spending a day and half huddled in a bivy during a blizzard. Can't do anything in one under those conditions.

QUOTE
with stakes and guylines.

Note that specialized snow stakes or other securing means are required in deep snow and none work very well in several feet of powder.


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 03 2013, 9:37 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Fast and light winter backpacking? That's right up there with "government efficiency."

You need more calories, more water, more insulation and more skills to survive a real winter experience... A tent will be safer. If you're expecting winter snow and winter wind, a 4 season tent is safer. Anything longer than a night out and you'd be safer with a 4 season tent. A "light" winter load can easily be heavier than my heaviest 3 season load...

A 2.5 pound GoLite Shangri-La 3 will win a spot in my pack over a bivy any day - room for gear, room for cooking if it storms, room for a friend. Cause you shouldn't winter camp alone...


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 03 2013, 9:54 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

" Fast and light winter backpacking? That's right up there with "government efficiency."

Best quote I have seen in a long time.


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 03 2013, 10:47 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(AlmostThere @ Oct. 03 2013, 9:37 am)
QUOTE
Fast and light winter backpacking? That's right up there with "government efficiency."

HAHAHAAAAAAA LOVE IT!!! :p

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 03 2013, 10:59 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The extra long winter nights, the close to impossible task of keeping dry, the lack of any serious shelter from any sort of big storm (and they come up fast): I've better shelters at just about the same or slightly greater weight so why choose the least satisfactory option?

In summer I sleep shleterless by default, in Winter (California Sierra) it makes no sense to me to do so.

Do you have enough snow depth so carrying snow cave and igloo making tools would provide an option? But then the weights gone back up....

As above floorless can work great in winter on snowpack. My goto for then are a pair of Chouinard MegaMids single pole mids that offer a lot of sheltered area for the weight. I save my Cuben Mountain Laurel Designs SoloMid (11 ozs.) for summers when I just need the occasional shelter (as above plus or minus the bugnet inner).
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 03 2013, 11:05 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

[QUOTE]Fast and light winter backpacking? That's right up there with "government efficiency."

I definitely like your quote, however I never intended on giving the assumption of being UL. I am simply weighing options and considering alternatives. I really don't have enough solid justification for leaving a tent behind, that's all!


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 03 2013, 11:34 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

My go to shelter for winter is a 4 season Golite Shangri-La 5 (5 man) fly (floorless). 2lbs, 10 oz including pole, palatial (I can stand up in it, cook inside without fear), and is in my opinion, a near perfect winter shelter. It's literally one pound more than my bivy (which I also bring as backup).







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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 03 2013, 11:40 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Tigger,

Anymore interior shots?

I'd like to see your set up.


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 03 2013, 11:46 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hanging out during a storm


Homemade gear loft.


Headlamp hung above gear loft for soft ambient lighting during winter nights (translucent silnylon)



After stuff has been taken out


Bivy and tarp on shelf with cold pit dug. Three of us fit comfortably in winter. I would not want more than that though.


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 03 2013, 12:01 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Is that the pole that comes / the Shangri-La?

My apologies spaceman for the hijack but I am examining my winter shelter set up as well


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 03 2013, 12:24 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(wcolucci @ Oct. 03 2013, 9:01 am)
QUOTE
Is that the pole that comes / the Shangri-La?

My apologies spaceman for the hijack but I am examining my winter shelter set up as well

Yes. I think it's .5 inch and has about 8 - 12 inches at the bottom that has a click lock system to heighten the pole depending on ground level conditions (you can see one of the holes for the click lock in this pic).

I did end up making this little contraption to keep the pole from sinking into the ground in soft snow out of various things found at Home Depot.



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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 03 2013, 12:29 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I've used a GoreTex bivy from 3-season to winter overnights.  It's pretty "snug" and warm - just need to watch for internal condensation and (of course) have some sort of tarp or overhang for falling snow during the long nights of winter.  That same "snugness" kind of made it "clammy" for 3-season pursuits where the evenings were warm before cooling down.

Might go back to a lighter one with a little silnylon if my knee keeps acting up; my winter shelter now is the (discontinued) Big Agnes eVent Sarvis 1+


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 03 2013, 4:56 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(GottaGamble @ Oct. 03 2013, 3:16 am)
QUOTE
Why not use a tarp(cuben)? I recently started useing MLD Patrol shelter. Weighs about 7 ounces with stakes and guylines. I also use a Bear Paw Wilderness bug bivy(10 ounces)... For, you guessed it, when its buggy out. If its not buggy and not going to rain or snow, I can use the bivy as a ground sheet and sleep out "cowboy" style. If I need the tarp, I can easily pitch that for weather protection and again I have the option of useing the bivy under the tarp however needed. There are multiple options here. I can pitch the Patrol Shelter hi off the ground or tight to the ground..depending on weather. I can also make all the height adjustments from under it. If it is raining, I can pitch it first and take it down last..keeping my other gear dry.  Yes, I can also sit up near one end of the tarp, but no, I can not stand and stretch. Still, much more room then just a bivy and no condensation. All of this for a pound.1. I considered a bivy at one point, but I am glad I went the way I did. I may never use my tents again...

Hey, who knew?  I also have used my Patrol Shelter in the winter.  This was more of an experiment than anything and was only a mile from the parking lot.  As expected, the weather cooperated and I COULD have just cowboy camped.  

Here it is on Mt. Rainier this past January.


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 03 2013, 5:05 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Wow. Nice picture. Glad to see that it worked out well for you.

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 04 2013, 9:33 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

spac3man

I have a bivy that is now on a bit past it's half life, an OR Advanced Bivy. I have not used it in a deep Wyoming winter and hopefully never will. It does go in my extended day pack for winter hikes, but only as an emergency shelter.

I have had some bad experiences with its breathability at 15-25 deg F icing inside or out. When the ice or freezing fog comes in, the breathabilty of the GTX ends, and the sweat soaked freeze-out begins.

I won't say I entirely regret ever buying, and it easily has 50 bag nights in it now across three seasons, but I do not think I ever thought the thing was remotely pleasant or felt, "gee, I am glad I brought the bivy this trip".


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 04 2013, 10:04 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

I've got a Bibler bivy that I've used a lot for UL spring skiing trips -- 1 to 3 nights, 20 lb. pack, no tent, no stove. Caution, these trips only done with excellent, highly vetted weather forecasts, reasonably good "fire exits". Night time low temperature typically 25.

Plus. Bivy is light, small footprint, ultra quick setup, takedown. Incredible cocoon if you need to hunker down from wind.

Minus. "Envelope style" zipper, across the chest. This gets old. You need to slither in and out.  And "in" is cozy, ok if you're asleep but . . . My next one would have a zipper that goes some of the way down towards my waist, allowing me to be more relaxed while "half in/half out", sorting gear from my sleeping bag, eating or whatever.

I'm also noticing Andy Skurka using some of the "new style" UL bivys that weigh a half pound, material highly water resistant but probably not as much as G-T or similar, and combining that with a solo megamid type tarp. Total weight of tarptent and bivy seems to be right about 2 lb. Interesting.
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