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Thread: bivy shelter

  1. #1

    Default bivy shelter

    I have been trying to think of ways to make my backpack a little lighter for a sheep hunt. One idea I had was using a bivy and a good light weight tarp over top. I could drop several pounds by not having a tent. Has anyone had any experience with this type of camp? Just wondering if I would be kicking myself after 5 or 6 days of bad weather.

  2. #2
    Member Bighorse's Avatar
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    You'd be kicking yourself after 5 or 6 days of bad weather for sure. Your crotch would be rotting and your spotting scope would be nothing but another weight in your pack. Light vs. functional is a major consideration. Some guys are hugely tough and durable and endure anything for sheep others carry more weight for comfort reasons.

    What category are you in?

    I've done bivy hunts only when the weather is favorable or when I'm planning on hauling out an entire game animal solo.

  3. #3
    Member e45colt's Avatar
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    A good bivy is designed to be used alone. I have used the Titanium Goat, Ptarmigan bivy on several cool misty/light rain nights using my Wiggy's bag. I was warm as toast and dry inside the bag but, the bivy does cause condensation to form on the inside of the bivy and outside the bag. I would not use a down filled bag with a bivy for this reason.
    As long as you have enough dry weather to air out your gear it should work well. I have not and prefer not to use a bivy in super heavy rain so cannot comment on it. I have used a couple different floorless tents from Golite and like them a lot.
    Afflicted by condition human

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    A bivy combined with a Megamid is a good combo, at least the combo I have comes in at 4.5lbs, but these days there is a selection of very lightweight pack tents available. Finding one at or under 6lbs is not so difficult, look at Cabelas XPG for example. I have all mentioned and have used them all on sheep hunts. Solo I prefer the megamid/bivy combo, if hunting with a partner the tent makes more sense as it provides shelter for 2 and overall reduces weight for the party.

  5. #5

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    Might look into a GoLite Shangrila 3 or 5 which if you use trekking poles as your center pole and a TI Goat bivy should come in at about 2.5 poudns all up for the SL3 with bivy bag or 2.75 pounds all up for the SL5. Currently everything on GoLite is 40% off so teh SL3 tent is $165 (normally $275) and the SL5 is $210 (normally $350). Just another option.

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    Member yogibear's Avatar
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    Default I was kicking myself...

    ...after 5-6 days of bad weather WITH a tent and a tarp to sit upright under. I couldn't imagine not having a tent to at least stretch out in. Maybe I'm a wimp, but I sure as heck wouldn't do it.

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    Member Hunt&FishAK's Avatar
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    i dislike bivy bags for the fact that its too tight not enough room to move around freely....tents are worth the weight on extended trips IMO..when its crappy weather, the first thing youll want to do is make yourself comfortable enough to stay in it for the day or longer if you have to....also for safety reasons, such in case of an emergency where you might have to wait awhile to get out....a tent would be much better for countless reasons....also more room to keep your extra gear inside and dry, and a nice dry place to change clothes, eat, and what have you....one thing I personally enjoy, when the situation is right, is being able to sit in the door of my tent out of the weather, with the door open enough to glass the area for game.....just sayin, lots more uses and freedoms with a small tent.



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  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by flat foot View Post
    I have been trying to think of ways to make my backpack a little lighter for a sheep hunt. One idea I had was using a bivy and a good light weight tarp over top. I could drop several pounds by not having a tent. Has anyone had any experience with this type of camp? Just wondering if I would be kicking myself after 5 or 6 days of bad weather.
    I think Marc w/Wiggys in Anchorage has something like this.
    Alaska Outdoors Television ~ Outdoor Channel

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    I use ORs bivy sack, lightweight, and totally waterproof. Used it on late solo sheep hunts the last two years, in the snow works great for me.

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    my military bivvy, with the light bag works pretty good...but condensation is a problem after a few days. in bad weather it is recommended for an emergency only...i vote for the tent.
    happy trails.
    jh

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    I think what were concluding is the bivy works and if weight savings are paramount haul it. I think you'll find that some folks have both and will fly in, float, boat, ect......set up a tent and use a bivy to spike the mountain tops. I did just that last August for a goat hunt. We had a tent at 3,000 ft. and spiked out to hunt goat in the craggies at 4,000 traveling light with the bivy.

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    Well I have been experimenting with them for the past couple seasons. If I had to carry one thing to spike out it is a tarp and my pad. Air circulates under a tarp and I have never had a problem camping in a tarp. Bivys condense. I carry a tarp and a bivy in case it really gets nasty. But a tent is best and they are very light now adays. Air circulating can dry stuff and keep your bag dry. The only time I am completely dry after a night in my bivy is middle of Summer when you dont need one anyways!
    I come home with an honestly earned feeling that something good has taken place. It makes no difference whether I got anything, it has to do with how the day was spent. Fred Bear

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    I spent a lot of time considering this same question last year prior to a sheep hunt. In the end I decided to purchase a single man, free standing, ultra light , 3 season tent. The tent weighted 2lbs. 3oz. which was just about 3-4oz. more than the bivy I was looking at. It rained about 90% of the time on this 8 day hunt, and for me, in that kind of weather, it was the best decision I could have made. The tent is made by Big Agnus and I think it's called the UL Fly Creek.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bighorse View Post
    I think what were concluding is the bivy works and if weight savings are paramount haul it. I think you'll find that some folks have both and will fly in, float, boat, ect......set up a tent and use a bivy to spike the mountain tops. I did just that last August for a goat hunt. We had a tent at 3,000 ft. and spiked out to hunt goat in the craggies at 4,000 traveling light with the bivy.
    This seems like a good way to go. I've siwashed it before without a bag or bivie, wrapped up in a space blanket, crawled inside my OR xl pack cover and curled up on my pack.... I'd of given dang near anything for a bivie and my bag that cold, windy, rainy night.

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    I used to take a tarp but finally got tired of waking up under a stiff frozen plastic sheet, I have tried several "gortex" and similar (though defintely not ALL of them) and they seem to collect condensation and breath vapor and not dispell it - I finally started making my own out of 10 or 13 oz marine canvas (the 100% cotton stuff) into a contained "bedroll" with 1 or 2 zippers, it still collects some moisture insid facee but having the zipper facilitates airing - I've found that if I situate my face to my breath sort of blows outside it reduces the moisture dramatically

  16. #16

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    Depends on how far you have to spike in before you start to hunt. If you are planning on hiking in greater than 5 or 10 miles, I would suggest considering siwashing. Bring your rain coat, rain pants or hip boots, warm jacket and pants, long underwear, freeze dried food, a water bottle, a msr stove, a cook pot, and your hunting gear and call it good. If you spare some room maybe bring a little tarp and sleeping pad. I would take a sleeping pad over a bag if you got warm clothes. The sleeping pad keeps you warm at night because it keeps your body off the ground. If you got warm clothes, you don't necessarily need a bag. Unless the weather takes a turn for the worse. That way once you kill your sheep, all you have to do is throw it all in your pack and head for home. If you are going to fly in and you are going to be close to the sheep, bring all your normal gear (i.e. tent, sleeping bag, etc.). Siwashing is well worth it if you are hiking a long ways to and from your base camp or landing strip, road etc.

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    Member shphtr's Avatar
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    There are multiple light (2.5 - 3.5 pound range) one and two man tents that sometimes weigh less than some bivy sacks and in which you will be infinitely more comfortable. It is not unheard of to spend 48 to 72+ hours in a tent waiting out the rain, for, and/or fog. Your choice but I would strongly favor a small weather proof tent vs a bivy.
    "Actions speak louder than words - 'nough said"

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    I purchased a Hilleberg Akto last year but have yet to use it. I took have been in enough situations where I would much prefer a light tent to a bivy. But... in the even of getting caught out overnight, a bivy is better than nothing. Looking forward to using the Akto.

  19. #19
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    Default I'm not a fan of bivies

    For me, bivies are too confining with too many potential problems with condensation. This fall when I go sheep hunting I'll be bringing a Six Moon Designs Lunar Solo. 23 oz (not including stakes and using your hiking pole as the tent pole.) It's got a floor, a bug screen and you can sit up in it. Usually there's little or no condensation, and under the worst conditions condensation is still manageable. I have used this shelter a lot with a down bag with no problem, by being smart about where I set up.

    I would consider it a tarp-tent. Speaking of which, Henry Shire also makes good tarp-tents.

    Check out these reviews for a bunch of ultralight tarp-tents.

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    I like it if the weather forecast isn't TERRIBLE.

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