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  1. #1
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    Default To Bivy or not to Bivy...?

    I am currently in the middle of making a downquilt (Thruhiker.com, quilt kit) Ordered 15.0oz of down fill.

    I am a cold sleeper

    I will be sleeping in a Gossamer Gear "The One". I think I will end up tenting most of the time but can see my self in a shelter.

    My Question: Is it worth it to carry a MYOG bivy? (estimate 7oz)

    It will provide a few things:

    1. Extra Warmth ( 5*-10*)
    2. Wind/Draft Protection
    3. Moisture Management for Down Quilt (i.e. splash)
    4. Second Sleep Option/ Bug Protection (i.e. to use when staying in shelters to keep bugs/mice off, or if its not raining to sleep under the stars)


    Right now my base weight is between 10-11lbs (listed weights only I dont own a scale) Im trying to get below the 10lb marker. At the same token I have no qualms about HYOH and not being under the 10lb mark.

    Really im interested in peoples opinions about point 4, while also considering the benefits of the first three. Will I end up wanting to ditch this peice of gear or is it worth its weight?

    My current sleeping bag is 32oz and it sucks (EMS Mountainlight)
    My estimate of my quilt and bivy combo is 29oz +/-1 still lighter and a hole lot warmer and functional than my current setup.

    To bivy or not to bivy that is the question

    Apr 1st NOBO

    Thanks


    - Walk Softly and Carry a Big Spirit

  2. #2
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    I use a bivy when I tarp, but not when I carry a tarptent. It's very useful for #4, out in the open or in AT shelters. Not sure how useful it will be inside The One -- but, my lovely wife has needed wind/cold protection inside our tarptent on very windy nights. So it might prove useful.
    Ken B
    'Big Cranky'
    Our Long Trail journal

  3. #3
    CDT - 2013, PCT - 2009, AT - 1300 miles done burger's Avatar
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    If you're going to tent most of the time, then I don't see the point of a bivy. And when you're in a shelter, you don't have to worry much about 1, 2, or 3 on your list.

    If you want a second sleep option, then just take a silk liner. I think mine weighs 4 oz. and adds just about as much warmth as a bivy. A liner won't really keep bugs off you in a shelter, but that's also true of most breathable fabrics that bivy sacks are made from.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by burger View Post
    If you're going to tent most of the time, then I don't see the point of a bivy. And when you're in a shelter, you don't have to worry much about 1, 2, or 3 on your list.

    If you want a second sleep option, then just take a silk liner. I think mine weighs 4 oz. and adds just about as much warmth as a bivy. A liner won't really keep bugs off you in a shelter, but that's also true of most breathable fabrics that bivy sacks are made from.
    Are you saying that bugs will get in through a fabric like Momentum90 or through the mesh? I cant imagine that being the case but again I have never used a bivy. I dont mind bugs being on me, I just dont want them in me.

    Thanks

  5. #5
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    I'm doing something vaguely similar starting on the AT in a couple of weeks, but I have a light Oware bivy, 6.4 oz and not water proof on top, just "water resistant". I wouldn't bring it if I was starting with an actual tent, however --- I'm using a Gatewood Cape as both raingear and shelter for when I'm not in a shelter. The bivy will be good in the shelter, and as you say, extra warmth and wind/draft protection for this floorless ~tent that's more like a shaped tarp.

    About a quarter of the way along the trail (Pearisburg) I'll swap bivy + cape for a tarptent (Contrail) plus just a more conventional poncho. That swap will add roughly 3/4 pound to my base weight, but will be nicer when it gets buggy and/or the shelters get more crowded.

    If I were starting with a fully enclosed tent to begin with, however, I'd be a bit less inclined to bring any sort of bivy, particularly for an April 1st start (I'm starting Feb 25th).

    OTOH, you could always mail it home if you decide along the way that it's not worth the weight, so no need to sweat it too much!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by WalkSoftly33 View Post
    Are you saying that bugs will get in through a fabric like Momentum90 or through the mesh? I cant imagine that being the case but again I have never used a bivy. I dont mind bugs being on me, I just dont want them in me.

    Thanks
    I'm not sure about the Momentum, but mosquitos can bite through thin fabrics and definitely through netting that is right against your skin. If you make your own, think about a method to keep the netting away from your face.

  7. #7
    CDT - 2013, PCT - 2009, AT - 1300 miles done burger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowleopard View Post
    think about a method to keep the netting away from your face.
    That's really easy--wear a baseball cap or any hat with a stiff brim to sleep.

  8. #8

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    my understanding is that 'The One' is an enclosed shelter, so carrying a bivy would be totally redundant in terms of shelter/bug protection (and I really remember only a handful of nights on the AT where bugs were a real problem)

    For warmth, a sleeping pad might be a huge plus (and I believe that there are some available in the same weight range as you describe for your bivy)

  9. #9

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    No bivys for me. I have used a highly breathable water resistant bivy in the past and even that, in temps. below 10 degrees F or so got very damp inside.
    I use a hammock lately but if I didn't I'd be looking at a single walled shelter for most three season camping (make sure it has lots of mesh if you sleep hot). I recently tested a Lightheart Gear tent here and was impressed by its room, light weight, and breathability. It, btw, is actually a double walled tent geared toward warm weather usage, but it has a semi-pyramid shape which does very well in high winds when staked securely.
    As I live, declares the Lord God, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn back from his way and live. Ezekiel 33:11

  10. #10
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    Thank you for the responses, I think that I am going to go without a bivy, I just think it will be something I will end up ditching. More hassle than it is worth. I Might bring a liner as suggested to add the exta warmth that I will need early and in the whites or buy a warmer bag for those sections.

  11. #11

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    I am a VERY cold sleeper only when I feel moisture. The bivy no matter how "breathable" they say it is always gets damp. The One is a nice tent, but if you are going to shelter it also. Just get a nice Neoair and with the money you saved from not buying a bivy, get a lighter/warmer sleeping bag. Just my .02
    Of course after buying a neoair you ptrobably wont have any $ left...lol. nice matress but not cheap

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by WalkSoftly33 View Post
    I am currently in the middle of making a downquilt (Thruhiker.com, quilt kit) Ordered 15.0oz of down fill.

    I am a cold sleeper

    I will be sleeping in a Gossamer Gear "The One". I think I will end up tenting most of the time but can see my self in a shelter.

    My Question: Is it worth it to carry a MYOG bivy? (estimate 7oz)

    It will provide a few things:

    1. Extra Warmth ( 5*-10*)
    2. Wind/Draft Protection
    3. Moisture Management for Down Quilt (i.e. splash)
    4. Second Sleep Option/ Bug Protection (i.e. to use when staying in shelters to keep bugs/mice off, or if its not raining to sleep under the stars)


    Right now my base weight is between 10-11lbs (listed weights only I dont own a scale) Im trying to get below the 10lb marker. At the same token I have no qualms about HYOH and not being under the 10lb mark.

    Really im interested in peoples opinions about point 4, while also considering the benefits of the first three. Will I end up wanting to ditch this peice of gear or is it worth its weight?

    My current sleeping bag is 32oz and it sucks (EMS Mountainlight)
    My estimate of my quilt and bivy combo is 29oz +/-1 still lighter and a hole lot warmer and functional than my current setup.

    To bivy or not to bivy that is the question

    Apr 1st NOBO

    Thanks


    - Walk Softly and Carry a Big Spirit
    You will get #1, #2, and #3 being enclosed inside a tent like the GG The One. Seems, having a bivy inside a tent is redundant for the purposes you mention. I think there are lighter ways to acheive many of the same results you mention for hauling a bivy with the rest of your set-up. If you are that concerned with #1 and #2 perhaps a quilt is not your best choice. I don't use a quilt for some of the very reasons you mention - I'm a clold sleeper - I'm concerned about staying warm and doing so without having to sleep in all my clothing, I toss and turn from side to side throughout the night so drafts and wind protection are a concern for me if I attempt sleeping under a quilt in cold weather while cowboying or under a tarp, which is how I most often camp/sleep. I can see you having three different sleeping options on the AT - cowboying under your quilt, sleeping under your quilt inside The One, and sleeping under your quilt inside a shelter. How many sleeping options do you want? What wt are you willing to haul for all the added options you are considering? Most hikers who opt for gear like The One and a quilt are doing so because saving wt. is a very high priority. By carrying all these extra options and gear you are considering you would be defeating that purpose.

    If you want rain and bug protection sleep inside The One. Just rain protection consider sleeping in a shelter or in The One. On nice cloudless non buggy nights cowboy camp. Or, if you absolutely must bring a headnet for those few nights when you want to cowboy and insects are a problem. BUT, really, keep it simple! It's easier that way!

  13. #13
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    best advice on whiteblaze is Keep it Simple!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    You will get #1, #2, and #3 being enclosed inside a tent like the GG The One. Seems, having a bivy inside a tent is redundant for the purposes you mention. I think there are lighter ways to acheive many of the same results you mention for hauling a bivy with the rest of your set-up. If you are that concerned with #1 and #2 perhaps a quilt is not your best choice. I don't use a quilt for some of the very reasons you mention - I'm a clold sleeper - I'm concerned about staying warm and doing so without having to sleep in all my clothing, I toss and turn from side to side throughout the night so drafts and wind protection are a concern for me if I attempt sleeping under a quilt in cold weather while cowboying or under a tarp, which is how I most often camp/sleep. I can see you having three different sleeping options on the AT - cowboying under your quilt, sleeping under your quilt inside The One, and sleeping under your quilt inside a shelter. How many sleeping options do you want? What wt are you willing to haul for all the added options you are considering? Most hikers who opt for gear like The One and a quilt are doing so because saving wt. is a very high priority. By carrying all these extra options and gear you are considering you would be defeating that purpose.

    If you want rain and bug protection sleep inside The One. Just rain protection consider sleeping in a shelter or in The One. On nice cloudless non buggy nights cowboy camp. Or, if you absolutely must bring a headnet for those few nights when you want to cowboy and insects are a problem. BUT, really, keep it simple! It's easier that way!
    KISS Keep It Simple Stupid

    You are right the bivy would be redundant. I think that I will be warm enough with my current set up, and above have options to sleep warmth is my main concern. As for draft I may just ad a little extra width to the quilt up top. Currently making it so I will play with some patterns

    Setup
    1/8th GG thinlight under
    Neo-air Short
    GG Nightlight Torso pad under legs (Also, Sit pad, Pack pad, backup torso)
    Quilt: 15.4oz 800+down w/ 3" baffle

    Layering
    Montbell Alpine Light Down Jacket
    Icebreaker 200wt merino L/s top (might swap out for 150wt)
    Smartwool microwt merino bottom
    smartwool Midwt merino socks
    SSerius Fleece Baclava
    MH Dome Perigon Hat

    When needed nylon convertible hiking Pants and hiking collared shirt could be worn, also could stuff my legs inside my pack under my quilt.

    What do you guys think

    Apr 1st nobo

  15. #15
    See you at Springer, Winter 09' Chance09's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WalkSoftly33 View Post
    When needed nylon convertible hiking Pants and hiking collared shirt could be worn, also could stuff my legs inside my pack under my quilt.

    What do you guys think

    Apr 1st nobo
    In all honesty, I think you're going to be hot. You may get cold one or two nights right at the start (although I doubt it), but in the summer I think you'll end up sending some stuff home. There were nights I was sleeping in just my silk liner and long johns.
    AT - Georgia to Maine '09
    PCT - Mexico to Canada '10
    CDT - Canada to Mexico '11


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