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Bivy sack as rain shelter

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Re: Bivy sack as rain shelter

Postby WouterB » Wed Oct 27, 2010 9:23 pm

I have a 1,4kg Jack Wolfskin Gossamer. Bought it over 10 years ago when I was 16. It's far from the perfect tent, but at the time, it was cheap and ticked all the boxes. I've used it in both winter and summer about twice a year, every year. It's small, light and it just works (although it takes a lot of practice to successfully pitch it in soft deep snow). It's very small, but I can change my clothes in there and even cook in the tent.

I've seen people struggle with bivy bags, and most of them weren't that much smaller or lighter. But most importantly, I know which one I would prefer.
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Re: Bivy sack as rain shelter

Postby fatdad » Thu Oct 28, 2010 12:17 am

I think it really depends on where and in what kind of weather you plan using it. I've used mine for 3 dayers in the Sierra when I was going really light (even leaving behind the stove). They're fine if the weather's not too soggy, which, if it was, a tarp would suck too. Let's put it this way, they've been around long enough and used enough (see Sierra Ledge Rat's' gallery) that they're kind of tried and true. They just work better in some conditions that others.
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Re: Bivy sack as rain shelter

Postby mconnell » Thu Oct 28, 2010 2:08 am

WouterB wrote:I have a 1,4kg Jack Wolfskin Gossamer. Bought it over 10 years ago when I was 16. It's far from the perfect tent, but at the time, it was cheap and ticked all the boxes. I've used it in both winter and summer about twice a year, every year. It's small, light and it just works (although it takes a lot of practice to successfully pitch it in soft deep snow). It's very small, but I can change my clothes in there and even cook in the tent.

I've seen people struggle with bivy bags, and most of them weren't that much smaller or lighter. But most importantly, I know which one I would prefer.


1,4kg is pretty damn heavy for a bivy sack. My weighs around 0,4kg.

Unless I am expecting dry weather, know that there is other shelter (rock overhangs, etc.) or am planning on digging a cave, I opt for a tent similar in size/weight to WouterB's.
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Re: Bivy sack as rain shelter

Postby JHH60 » Thu Oct 28, 2010 5:49 am

I actually do have a couple of pretty light 2 man tents (MSR Zoid for 3 season at a little under 4lb and a Bibler iTent for 4 season/snow at a little over 4 lb) that I can use when I'm out with someone else, or solo in bad weather. I was just wondering how practical a bivy would be for really light (under 1 lb) solo shelter if I knew there was significant chance of rain. Sounds like it's OK if fast and ultralight is an over-riding issue but otherwise not a comfortable choice in bad weather. Thanks all.
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