Bivy sack in the wintry gun season

PredatorX

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Aug 16, 2015
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727
Anyone use a bivy in MT rifle season by chance? I would have a nice base camp but I also run a bivy...just never in the snow.

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Desk Jockey

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Apr 5, 2015
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Not hunting but I have snow camped in a bivy.

it can work but you gotta be prepared to do a little excavation and preparation. You don’t have to build an igloo but some effort pays off. I like to get below the snow level with some side cover to break/block wind at least. Last time out, I stomped a 4x8 trench about 2-3 feet deep and made a lean to with a tarp. It was enough to keep me out of the wind but I ended up with drifting snow coming in my hole overnight.

Downside IMO is if the weather gets shitty you are basically confined to your bag, which sucks. not having a place to lay out gear or change or layer up can suck too. Lastly, blowing or drifting can cover you up or just fill in your sleeping area, which also sucks.
 

Jauwater

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Jun 30, 2016
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I do a lot of Winter backpacking. I've used a goretex military bivy several times right on the snow. A little story in regards.

Last year my brother in law came on a trip with me, and my girlfriend at the time. Hes a workhorse, and well experienced in the outdoors. He used the goretex bivy on this trip because we had planned on camping in backcountry cabins. This particular cabin had been condemned recently so we kept going. We ended up making camp about a mile off the ridge, trying to get out of some weather. Knowing they were calling for about 8" of snow in the valley, we figured up on the ridge would be a blizzard. Well, I woke up at about 2am to exactly that, a blizzard. Our tent was caving in from the snow so I had to get out and push the snow off the edges of the tent. It had dumped almost three feet of snow so far, way more then we had ever expected. I knew the general area he setup the bivy, but we setup camp in the dark while it was snowing, so I never got a good visual of the campsites surrounding. Never found where he setup cause he was 4 feet under a snow drift. He had setup the bivy in between two huge rock formations thinking they might keep the drift off him, but instead the wind blew all the snow right into that crack. I stayed up the rest of the morning, and I finally see him pop up out of the snow. He said he had one of the best nights of sleep hes ever had. Said he was overly warm. Said he woke up once over the night, and felt the heavy snow on him. He said it was almost like a gentle hug. He fell right back to sleep till the sun came up. Just happy as a pig in shit. My gf on the other hand, in a roomy tent, plush pad, warm sleeping pad was fighting back tears thinking we weren't gonna make it out alive.

I use mostly a bivy / tarp setup if I'm solo, and I feel pretty confident with it in most weather.

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FlyGuy

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Aug 13, 2016
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The Woodlands, TX
I’ve never done it, but if I were to do it I’d at least want a sheep tarp to give me room to open up and air out or change clothes in bad weather, as well as a little more protection from the elements for my pack and weapon. I have the OR stargazer and no way any of that stuff will fit inside the bivy with me. (tbh, I would want the sheep tarp over the bivy sack in ANY season - spring, summer or Fall)





You can’t cheat the mountain
 

Pacific_Fork

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May 26, 2019
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253
Bivys were useful in the 90s-2000s when there wasnt the tents and tipis that weight nothing and set up in 2 minutes like there are today. I cant think of a reason to ever use a bivy.
 

FlyGuy

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Aug 13, 2016
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The Woodlands, TX
For most occasions I agree with you, but They are great in steep and windy terrain where all you have is a tiny deer bed sized footprint to sleep in. I still want a very small tarp for additional protection, but if The only spot to lay down is on the exposed ridgeline with no wind breaks, then you can’t beat it.


You can’t cheat the mountain
 

Cg_7

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Dec 31, 2018
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Location
Pitt
I have not used them personally, but my friend who was a marine for 10+ years swears by them and absolutely loves them!
 

5 shot group

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Oct 20, 2018
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Montana
I use a standard military gortex bivy all the time for just quick overnights or if I will be moving a lot. After getting buried in snow and having to stand outside in the wind and crappy weather to finish getting dressed, I use it for fair weather only now.

A small one person tent weighs about the same and is a much better option
 

COOPDUCK

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Joined
Apr 4, 2020
Messages
39
Makes me feel a lot better reading this. I’m doing a rifle elk hunt in a few weeks where snow and cold temps should be expected. I’m doing it out of a two person ultralight backpacking tent. I’ve been feeling like I need a tipi with a stove like all the cool kids. But if dudes can bury themselves in snow in a bevy and be just fine, my two person tent will be more than adequate.
 
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