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Thread: Anyone hunt with a Bivy?

  1. #1

    Default Anyone hunt with a Bivy?

    Thinking of picking up a bivy to pack along on some of my hunts. My reasoning is that it would be a nice thing to pack along as I sometimes can get a ways from my base camp while pursueing game. Previously I've packed a sleeping bag and painter's drop cloth to keep me warm and dry if I had to spend the night out. The plan was to fold it in half and weight the corners down with rocks, but a bivy seems like a much simpler solution.

    Here's the model I was looking at http://www.rei.com/product/747832. Does having the model with the hoop help ventelation enough to justify the extra weight and bulk?

  2. #2
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    I don't have one, but it's on my to-buy list. I will be getting one with a pole for my head, as I don't think I would enjoy having the bivy sitting on my face. It's worth the few extra ounces to me.

  3. #3
    Member dkwarthog's Avatar
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    I use one 99% of the time even in my tent. It stays on my sleeping bag right in the stuff sack all the time. It weighs maybe 12-16 oz but keeps the bag drier, adds warmth and gives me that freedom to stay away from camp if I get caught out. I have slept in it in the mountains a bunch of times (even in October) and its OK. A tent is 100% nicer but it will work.

    I just have the cheapest REI gortex one.

    I would definantly get one with a hoop to keep it off my face next time. I get claustrophobic a little like suffocating when Im all zipped up like that. Feels like its hard to breath....


    Actually after looking at the one you linked... That is pretty heavy. You could get a seedhouse SL1 that would weigh only slightly more...I'm looking for a 2+ lb. solo tent now and that seedhouse solo version looks like its pretty good....
    Last edited by dkwarthog; 10-08-2009 at 14:02. Reason: looked at link

  4. #4
    Member Chisana's Avatar
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    I have an OR basic bivy and take it sheep hunting. Haven't really used it much. We have used it when we are making a big move or packing into and out of the hunting area and just don't want to set up the tent. Have also used them while waiting at airstrips. We always talk about using them for 3-4 spike outs, but we have usually killed out sheep before it came to that. Probably will keep taking it just in case.

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    Member Bighorse's Avatar
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    Default Insurance

    This year I used it once as a primary and a few times as back-up insurance.

    The idea of using inside a tent is sound. If your holed up in foul weather and condensation and moisture management is an issue it could be really helpful.

    I've got the OR hooped version. I actually found it pleasant and plenty roomy all things considered. You can really place it in some tight locations too.

  6. #6

    Default Well

    I have one but haven't used it yet. This one seems a little small at 26" wide and seems a little over weight to me.
    " Americans will never need the 2nd Amendment, until the government tries to take it away."

    On the road of life..... Pot holes keep things interesting !

  7. #7
    Member SEEBLAZE's Avatar
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    Never used one, they look like if you were stuck away from main camp they could be very handy. Kind of looks like a bear hot pocket, but I geuss it would be better then nothing at all.

  8. #8
    Member dkwarthog's Avatar
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    LOL, SEEblaze, I've had that thought while laying in it at night....

    maybe they should make one out of kevlar or like one of those bearproof food canisters...

  9. #9
    Member AK LIVIN's Avatar
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    Default They are great!!

    I use one all the time and do recomend getting one with loops for in wet / snowing or cold weather others seem to condensate. I ended up with one that works very well, had plenty of room, "once inside," and never had any condinsation. The one I utilize is a Black Diamond Tripod bivy and found the best deal on it via MooseJaw found on line and they even have free shipping, also included the ground cloth for free. My only complants is that it took a few trips before getting into it was easy. also make sure your sleeping bag opens on the same side as the zipper or you will have a cumbersome time getting inside your bag. The loops sure mag it feel open inside when weather has you stuck inside and can lay on your back and even read a book waiting for the weather to get better. They actually even hold in the heat better than a tent. Like most 3-man tents used for sheep hunting a more like a 1.5 man tent, as you verywell may know. Personally after a few days in the tent my hunting parter is a much better conversation when we don't have to smell each other or listen to each other snore.
    They are light, waterproof, roomy, and tough and would highly recomend my bivy to anyone. Good luck.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bighorse View Post
    This year I used it once as a primary and a few times as back-up insurance.

    The idea of using inside a tent is sound. If your holed up in foul weather and condensation and moisture management is an issue it could be really helpful.

    I've got the OR hooped version. I actually found it pleasant and plenty roomy all things considered. You can really place it in some tight locations too.

  10. #10

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    I've used on for close to 20 years, just as described here. Carry it most of the time on hunts, as a matter of fact. Even without the sleeping bag you'll stay warmer overnight if you're in a bivvy with your hunting clothes. And definitely get one at least with the hoop pole at the head end. Both ends is even better if it's your primary.

    Biggest hassle? Coms. If you RON, getting word back to camp or home that you're okay is better for everyone.

  11. #11
    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
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    I've never hunted with a bivy, didn't have much knock-down power but I sure don't camp anyplace without one.

    I picked up an army gortex bivy at a garage sale for $5 I use for main camping but I also have a light weight Montbell gortex bivy that's the cat's meow.

  12. #12
    Member icb12's Avatar
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    I always take the bivy. Always. Mine stays on the sleeping bag.

    Don't really know what else to say. Its awesome. Well worth it.

    Im pining for a MLD event bivy at 7 oz and completely waterproof....

    oh.. the hoops are useless. Just extra weight. 90% of the time you won't use the over the face thing. I don't. I prefer the night air to the stuffy underside of goretex. It has to be raining hard, like a cow pissing on a flat rock for me to use the over the face part. I just zip it up to my chin and snug the draw cord around my noggin. Good to go. Different strokes for different folks though. some really like the hoops for a more tent-like experience.

  13. #13
    Member Chisana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bighorse View Post
    The idea of using inside a tent is sound. If your holed up in foul weather and condensation and moisture management is an issue it could be really helpful.
    I would think this would only enhance the condensation issue because your bag will be right against the clammy fabric of the bivy. Whenever I have used the bivy I have always tried to air out my bag the next day.

  14. #14

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    A bivy sack is definitely a good thing to have. I have used mine on a caribou hunt on the north side of the Brooks and on light backpacking/hunting trips.

    They are goretex, so not completely rainproof, in other words, if it downpours for hours and hours, like it does when you go goat hunting you will still get wet.

    You will most likely have dew on the outside of the bag when you wake up, shake it off immediately so it doesn't soak through, and let it dry out before packing it up, otherwise, you'll pull out a damp bivvy that evening and it will be wet on the inside by that point.

    For lightweight trips, as a shell on your sleeping bag for added warmth inside a tent, and to stuff into the bottom of a day pack in the event you have to spend an unplanned night away from camp, they are really helpful.

  15. #15
    Member dkwarthog's Avatar
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    Chisana is right. A good sleeping bag will wick your moisture (wet clothes, etc) to the outside so its inside of the bivy. You usually need to air out the bag and bivy a bit whether you sleep in a tent or not. At least I do.

  16. #16
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    Default Army Bivy

    The army replaced my old cotton canvas sleeping bag with the "new" bivy sleep system about fifteen or sixteeen years ago now. Since then I have slept in the deserts (Somalia,El Paso, Tx, Kuwait, Iraq, and Afghanistan) in my bivy literally hundreds of times, as well as Alaska and other places I'd rather be. For over a month in 2003 my bivy on top of my HUMMWV was my bed each night. I've used it both in a tent and outside by itself. Through rain, snow, heat and desert dust storms. They work!

    When fully closed, they keep mosquitos off, frost off, they allow the condensation from your breath to escape without allowing water in.
    The army style does not have the head poles, so they just lay across your face. After a while I stopped noticing. I'm so accustmed to the bivy I consider it a part of the sleeping bag. I don't leave home without one.

  17. #17
    Member caribouman's Avatar
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    Default Love to bivy!

    I have been using mine for five years on all my hunts. I make a base camp where I get off the plane setting up a small tent or tarp shelter to cover my extra gear that I don't need while out hunting. I take my Wiggy's two sleeping bag system. If the weather is warm I pack the thin bag and a short thermarest inside the bivy and carry it while out roving around for a few days. If I make a kill I pack the meat back to base camp first, leaving the bag, pad, and bivy if necessary until I return later. Back at base camp I can sleep in the tent in the other half of my Wiggy's bag. This way I get my meat cleaned, hung up, and taken care of ASAP and inside the electric fence. If I make a kill in the evening I can spend the night nearby (at a safe distance) and guard it until morning. I'm always prepared to spend the night as an option. MRE's can eliminate eliminate the weight and bulk of a stove and pot. Many of my hunt locations require I pack all my water since sources are limited, so dehydrated meals aren't an advantage over MRE's.

    The Outdoor Research Bivy does get condensation in it unless you leave it part way open, it does have a net that keeps the skeeters out. There's no room in there for much gear, just a rifle so I have a pack cover or plastic bag to keep the rain off my gear.

    At first I felt very confined but eventually got used to it. Now I think of it as a coocoon and I can block out the noises of the night so I get a good night's sleep. I only take the bag out of the bivy if I get some condensation. When I get up in the morning I just roll up the entire bivy, bag, and pad and stuff it in the sack. That way the sleeping bag doesn't get wet, and it's quick to roll out the next evening in the dark.

    This year to save money I didn't get a room in Kodiak at each end of my hunt, I just stayed at the campgrounds. It was much simpler to roll out the bivy than set up a tent, then take it down again the next morning. It's much harder to dry out a tent than the small bivy.

    It does keep me much warmer than sleeping in a tent.

    Brian

  18. #18
    Member Alaskan22's Avatar
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    Default Definately

    Definately going on my "to get" list!!

    Now, I'll have to dig through the gear section to figure out a few options!
    Know guns. Know peace. Know safety.

    No guns: no peace. No safety!

  19. #19
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    The Wiggy's Single Person Bivy looks pretty awesome and comes with a built in stuff sack, skeeter netting, loop straps for staking, the pop-up hood w/pole and a waterproof cover...2.25 pounds weight. It's now on my to get list.

  20. #20

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    My overnight emergency shelter kit for myself and my hunting partner (wife) consists of a GoLite Shangri-La @ 1.75 pounds and 2 TI Goat Ptarmigan bivys @ 6 oz a piece so at 2.5 pounds total we have bivy sacks inside a waterproof & windproof 50 sq ft shelter. Yes a little heavy but at around 1.25 pound per person its actually comparable to your average bivy and you get the a fully waterproof and windproof shelter to cook change clothes and wait out a storm. The system works great for us atleast and it all fits inside the GoLite Shangri-La 2 stuff sack. Its always in my pack when I leave camp for a day of hunting.

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