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Ultralight Bivy Sacks 101 – SectionHiker.com

Ultralight Bivy Sacks 101

Ultralight bivy sacks are utilized by backpackers for cowboy tenting or underneath floorless shelters, akin to tarps or pyramids, to guard their sleeping luggage/quilts and sleeping pads from wind, bugs, mice, and different creepy crawlers. Most are usually not waterproof and performance extra like sleeping bag covers encapsulating a sleeping pad and sleeping bag or quilt, with mosquito netting over the top and face for insect safety. They’re very totally different from heavier-duty waterproof bivy sacks used for winter tenting or mountaineering, just like the Outside Analysis Alpine Ascent Bivy, or the Rab Ridge Raider Bivy, which resemble mini-tents with collapsible rods to make them extra livable in harsh climate.

Ultralight Bivy Sack under a floorless Dyneema DCF Tarp
Ultralight bivy sack underneath a floorless Dyneema DCF Tarp

Most ultralight bivy sacks are sized to be used with a sleeping pad and a sleeping bag or quilt. However sleeping in them actually isn’t as claustrophobic as it would look. There’s nonetheless loads of room to sleep in your aspect or prop your head up in your arm to learn at night time. Bivies with aspect zipper entry are additionally loads simpler to get into and out of than ones with entrance openings the place you could slide in toes first. That is notably true at night time if you’re feeling particularly silly and uncoordinated.

Ultralight Bivy Sack under a floorless pyramid trap
Ultralight Bivy Sack underneath a floorless pyramid entice

Many ultralight bivy sacks have a wire loop which you could tie to the underside of your shelter to carry the bug netting up off of your face if you sleep. You can even tie this wire to the rafters in a path shelter and use your bivy to guard you from bugs and mice. Your bivy sack additionally supplies a wee bit extra privateness inside a shelter if you wish to grow to be your lengthy underwear.

When sleeping underneath a flat tarp or catenary minimize tarp, a bivy sack helps shield your sleep system from splash-back, which happens when rain bounces off the bottom and underneath your tarp and in your sleeping gear. This may be a problem you probably have a slim rectangular or catenary minimize tarp however is much less of a priority for those who use a wider one, whose sides are staked near the bottom in unhealthy climate.

Using a bivy sack in a shelter. Cabot Cabin - White Mountains
Utilizing a bivy sack in a shelter. Cabot Cabin – White Mountains

Most ultralight bivy sacks don’t impart a lot further heat to your sleeping bag or quilt at night time, perhaps 5 levels tops, though they may block a breeze from chilling you. They’re typically made with a high cloth that’s fairly breathable to assist vent any condensation build-up at night time. In extremely popular climate, you should use the highest cloth of a bivy like a sheet for sleeping. Some ultralight bivy sacks can be found which might be all mesh to be used in hotter climate use, however the norm is a component mesh and half stable cloth.

Tarping in the Pemigewasset Wilderness
Tarping within the Pemigewasset Wilderness

Ultralight bivy sacks are fairly delicate items of drugs made by hand and should be handled gently in order for you them to final. When you purchase a bivy sack that has a zipper, it’s good to lubricate it periodically with Gear-Assist Zipper Lubricant so it doesn’t snag, and to dry your bivy sack out after each journey you are taking to keep away from mildew. When you see black mildew spots start to kind on the bivy cloth, washing your bivy sack out with Revivex Odor Eliminator will eradicate the mold and forestall harm to the material.

Really useful UL Bivy Sacks

Why Would You Use an Ultralight Bivy Sack?

Thus far we’ve mentioned what an ultralight bivy sack is, however not why you’d wish to use one. There are principally two causes: tarp tenting (for gear weight discount) and wilderness immersion.

Tarp tenting with a flat tarp, a catenary minimize tarp, or a pyramid tarp is lighter weight than utilizing a tent, even an ultralight Dyneema DCF tent from the likes of Zpacks or Tarptent. You continue to want some form of insect safety underneath a tarp and at 5-8 oz, a bivy sack weighs considerably lower than an internal tent or internet tent, making it potential to hold an entire shelter system that weighs underneath a pound.

As well as, sleeping in an ultralight bivy sack is a way more immersive solution to expertise the wilderness than sleeping inside a tent, with partitions and a flooring. When you cowboy camp in a bivy sack or sleep underneath a tarp, you’ll really feel a lot nearer to the surroundings surrounding you.

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