To Bivy or not to Bivy?

fishslap

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Jan 8, 2017
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Longmont, CO
I'm curious what the trail weight and packing volume is for this?

I've considered doing a bivy/tarp set up and I'm trying to see the benefits of it.

My current set up is a Big Agnes UL3 and packed its 3 pounds. I use it solo and with a hunting partner. Enough room for two and packs are covered over night.

I wonder what I would gain (or lose) by going to a bivy/tarp set up.



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Silex with stove jack + titanium stakes + 2 carbon poles + borah bivy = 2lb 11oz. I would put it all in the larger bag plus a sea to summit pillow and it would probably compress down to at least 3/4 of the large bag in the pic. I think the bivy is wide. It has the mesh face area. I think full mesh top might be better for breathability if using in a shelter and you don’t need the extra bag protection. Changing the main guy lines to something thinner, eliminating the stove jack, eliminating the small bag the bivy is in would probably bring it down to 2.5lb or less. Could use trekking poles vs carbon dedicated poles but not worth it to me.
 

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Marble

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Silex with stove jack + titanium stakes + 2 carbon poles + borah bivy = 2lb 11oz. I would put it all in the larger bag plus a sea to summit pillow and it would probably compress down to at least 3/4 of the large bag in the pic. I think the bivy is wide. It has the mesh face area. I think full mesh top might be better for breathability if using in a shelter and you don’t need the extra bag protection. Changing the main guy lines to something thinner, eliminating the stove jack, eliminating the small bag the bivy is in would probably bring it down to 2.5lb or less. Could use trekking poles vs carbon dedicated poles but not worth it to me.
Thank you!

So it looks like I could shed about a pound.

I'll have to look at the Bivies in a store and get an idea how well I would fit in them.

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sneaky

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I added up my tarp/bivy/pad/ quilt/ pillow setup and come out to 4lbs for everything including stakes. Trekking poles are already with me, and it can also be set up without them.

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rclouse79

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Dec 10, 2019
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Check out Borah gear. I bought their tarp, which is 9x7 and a custom bivy with a 6 inch strip of mesh running down the center to stop condensation. I have found the best pitch is to stake down the two corners 9 ft apart, cut two three foot poles for the other two corners and tension them with cord to the ground. A third peg in the middle along the ground is nice. I can’t remember if I had this added or not, but there are two loops on the midline. I attach those with shock cord and run a line from the middle of the shock cord to a tree behind me. This gives you a little space underneath and acts as a shock absorber for the wind. The tarp and bivy can’t be much more than a pound. This is my September archery setup for one or two nights out when the weather forecast is favorable.
If I have my kid with me I bring the cimmaron and same bivy.
 

TristanJH

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Mar 2, 2018
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OR
Same here. Running a light bivy as a groundsheet inside a floorless shelter and I'll crawl into it when conditions become excessively buggy, dusty, or cold.

Additional benefits are that it enables you to spike out or pitch a faster camp on multi-day pack-ins/outs.
 

bohica17

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Mar 6, 2022
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How durable are these borah’s? Anything to worry about on top of tarp or just need to be semi cautious?
 

Moserkr

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Feb 26, 2020
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Mountains of CA
How durable are these borah’s? Anything to worry about on top of tarp or just need to be semi cautious?
Ive been using a borah bivy for 60+ days a year for 5 years now? I just scrape away any rocks, twigs, etc. until its “clean”, then lay the bivy right on the dirt. Dirt Im in is crushed granite a lot of times which is like sandpaper, wears gear out. Never had a hole, leak, or even a scratch far as I can tell. If I washed it, which I never have, it would probably look new. Ill buy another IF this one ever wears out.
 

bohica17

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Mar 6, 2022
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Ive been using a borah bivy for 60+ days a year for 5 years now? I just scrape away any rocks, twigs, etc. until its “clean”, then lay the bivy right on the dirt. Dirt Im in is crushed granite a lot of times which is like sandpaper, wears gear out. Never had a hole, leak, or even a scratch far as I can tell. If I washed it, which I never have, it would probably look new. Ill buy another IF this one ever wears out.
Thanks for the input
 

shawdawg

Member
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Mar 12, 2022
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N Idaho
I'm excited to add a borah bivy to my kit. Been doing floorless for years. Ability to customize it for condensation is a good idea.
 

mtwarden

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Oct 18, 2016
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Montana
once I got into full on dcf tents- storm worthy, double wall, floor, bug netting, two big vestibules, etc all for 2 lbs (including stakes!) hard to go back to a bivy

0PmuFlS.jpg
 

Jimss

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Mar 6, 2015
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I bought a bivy bag around 15 years ago and have yet to use it! I use the fly off my Hilleberg 4 season tent. It is rock solid in the worse conditions and also has gobs of room for me plus all my gear. Very nice when weather gets ugly. I often bring painters plastic for a floor that only weighs a matter of ounces. Even if you don't like my fly idea painters plastic sure is nice to protect from dirt, mud, wet ground, bugs, ground, etc. It's only a few dollars at home depot.
 

mxgsfmdpx

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Oct 22, 2019
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Central Arizona
I’ve spent hundreds of nights with just a western mountaneering GWS bag and a sheet of tyvek over top of me. If that’s what “bivy” means then heck yes, always bivy 😎
 

Maverick1

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Jun 1, 2013
Messages
834
I use a bivy sack as a ground cloth underneath an 8x10 tarp held up by a shooting stick.

When I first started thinking about going on an overnight bivy-style hunt, I wasn't sure it was for me.

I purchased an ultralight tarp from the local REI store and used a collapsible shooting stick I already had. The tarp and titanium stakes weigh about 16 oz, and the shooting stick about 6 oz. I pair this with a 6 oz TiGoat bivy (since out of business) - and have my shelter needs covered for a total of ~28 oz.

(I usually put my sleeping pad inside the bivy sack, zipper it up, and put my sleeping bag on TOP of the bivy, not inside. On day's when I am not carrying my camp with me on my back, I stuff the sleeping bag inside the bivy and stash both underneath the tarp for the day.)

I've looked at some of the lighter options available over the years (cuben fiber tarp, ultralight hiking sticks) and haven't felt the need to upgrade. (The September snow storm in 2020 caused a small tear in the tarp near one of the grommets....patched it up with some seam sealer, good to go.)

Been working great for the last 15-20 years.

IMG_2023.JPG
 

slatty

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Mar 21, 2018
Messages
302
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British Columbia
Will echo the borah bivy. I really like mine. I've used it in a variety of shelters and my light setup is with the mountainsmith LT shelter. Very happy with it. Much more room and more comfort than the solo tarptent I used for years.
 
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