Bivouac camping

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KK6GFF
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Bivouac camping

#1

Post by KK6GFF » Sun Jul 12, 2015 9:15 pm

This deer season I decided I want to try bivouac camping, camping with no tent, under the stars. I want to try it several times and live the experience. I got a Butler Bag (thanks Dave for letting us know about it!) which should keep me warm and I plan on putting a thermarest underneath it for comfort. My only concern is snakes and scorpions getting too close or into the sleeping bag. Does anyone know about any product or technique to keep them away? I was thinking there has to exist a powder to make a perimeter or something similar.

I heard that throwing sage in the campfire keeps animals and insects away, but with the fire restrictions that won't be possible...

Thanks!
Roger
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DaveK
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Re: Bivouac camping

#2

Post by DaveK » Mon Jul 13, 2015 10:19 am

KK6GFF wrote:This deer season I decided I want to try bivouac camping, camping with no tent, under the stars. I want to try it several times and live the experience. I got a Butler Bag (thanks Dave for letting us know about it!) which should keep me warm and I plan on putting a thermarest underneath it for comfort. My only concern is snakes and scorpions getting too close or into the sleeping bag. Does anyone know about any product or technique to keep them away? I was thinking there has to exist a powder to make a perimeter or something similar.

I heard that throwing sage in the campfire keeps animals and insects away, but with the fire restrictions that won't be possible...

Thanks!
Roger

Roger

I'm not aware of anything that repels snakes except a healthy load of lead poisoning. In colder temps snakes are less likely to be active at night but since it is summer and the temps are up, they can be more active at night than during the day. Scorpions and other nasty pests are a concern as well. If weight or space is a concern there are small light weight bivouac tents or coverings that will protect the opening of your bag. Also keep in mind that during the day, your unattended and uncovered bag may become a snake home. Quite a nasty surprise when you slip into the bag.

Cabela's sells a Bivy tent that can help keep these pests out of your tent at night and during the day (see: http://www.cabelas.com/product/Eagles-C ... s&Ntt=bivy ) It hits the scale at about three pounds and is very reasonably priced.

Glad you like the bag. You will fully appreciate its qualities immediately but a little more so when it gets really cold. Good luck!!!
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DennisDawg
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Re: Bivouac camping

#3

Post by DennisDawg » Mon Jul 13, 2015 3:03 pm

I have used a bivy for some time. I have never had any issues with snakes, dangerous insects or critters. Most know what you are and want to stay away. I stuff my socks in my boots . . .

I have a Sierra Designs Baffin bivy, and into that I insert whatever sleeping bad I want. I usually put on top of a Thermarest Z-Lite but you could cut it to fit inside. I usually you my coat for a pillow. Most critters that are a problem find a human too big to swallow, the same reason there are not bears all over the forest dead from rattle snake bites!

I normally do not leave my Bivy setup and left behind but one only need zip it up to keep any critters out. I normally just roll it up and take it because it takes just a second to put away.

The advantage of a Bivy is it is super fast to set up camp. If you keep the sleeping bag in the bivy, you unroll the ground cloth and put a stake or two in it, drop the mattress and unroll the bivy . . .done. You can also just unroll the thing in the back of a truck. Set up in a minute, asleep in 5.

Over time, all the gear of camping became more and more cumbersome . . .
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Re: Bivouac camping

#4

Post by DennisDawg » Mon Jul 13, 2015 3:16 pm

DaveK wrote: Cabela's sells a Bivy tent that can help keep these pests out of your tent at night and during the day (see: http://www.cabelas.com/product/Eagles-C ... s&Ntt=bivy ) It hits the scale at about three pounds and is very reasonably priced.
3.24 pounds is a lot in a pack for a bivy. My one man tent is 2.68 packed without its bags (i.e stuffed) and it has poles and has lived though some weather. My bivy comes in at 1 pound and for nice weather camping my bag is just 3, 14 oz for my pad and about .5 for a thin tarp… 5.375 lbs for the whole sleep system.
Local Repeaters On Which You Might Find Me (K6DOB):
  • Big Bear K6BB 147.330+ PL: 131.8 - Keller Peak KE6TZG: 146.385+ PL: 146.2 - Sierra Peak KD6DDM 146.610- PL: 103.5

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Re: Bivouac camping

#5

Post by DaveK » Mon Jul 13, 2015 4:14 pm

DennisDawg wrote:
DaveK wrote: Cabela's sells a Bivy tent that can help keep these pests out of your tent at night and during the day (see: http://www.cabelas.com/product/Eagles-C ... s&Ntt=bivy ) It hits the scale at about three pounds and is very reasonably priced.
3.24 pounds is a lot in a pack for a bivy. My one man tent is 2.68 packed without its bags (i.e stuffed) and it has poles and has lived though some weather. My bivy comes in at 1 pound and for nice weather camping my bag is just 3, 14 oz for my pad and about .5 for a thin tarp… 5.375 lbs for the whole sleep system.

If one is backpacking, then you are correct, that a one pound bivy is better (lighter) than a 3 pound bivy. In Rogers case however, he is using a Butler Bags sleeping bag and as it appears that he is camping near his vehicle, that extra two pounds won't make a difference. In the end though, I suspect that it will boil down to which bivy (if he goes that route) best suits his camping style.
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Re: Bivouac camping

#6

Post by DennisDawg » Mon Jul 13, 2015 4:40 pm

DaveK wrote: If one is backpacking, then you are correct, that a one pound bivy is better (lighter) than a 3 pound bivy. In Rogers case however, he is using a Butler Bags sleeping bag and as it appears that he is camping near his vehicle, that extra two pounds won't make a difference. In the end though, I suspect that it will boil down to which bivy (if he goes that route) best suits his camping style.
Oh, it isn’t about me being right or wrong . . . it is just opinion.

Even if one is camping in 1971 Ford Econoline, lighter, smaller, easier, all have advantages, if only in taking up less space and being easy to put away. There is a point where camping is so full of big heavy accoutrements, it is more work to pack, setup , take down and unpack than is worth to go on the trip.

Once you go bivy, you slim down the gear, enjoy more time, get less attached to one piece of ground and move around more. Small, simple and easy.

With a Butler, I’d probably just put down a light cloth to protect it (I use footprints from small tents) and put the bag on top, then put up a small Noah’s tarp or nothing (OK probably nothing most of the time) rather than a 25 buck tent. It isn’t just the 2lbs lighter that one should consider in a bivy but what will happen when weather goes bad. In the morning I’d roll it up and put it away, not leave it out.
Local Repeaters On Which You Might Find Me (K6DOB):
  • Big Bear K6BB 147.330+ PL: 131.8 - Keller Peak KE6TZG: 146.385+ PL: 146.2 - Sierra Peak KD6DDM 146.610- PL: 103.5

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KK6GFF
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Re: Bivouac camping

#7

Post by KK6GFF » Mon Jul 13, 2015 6:05 pm

Great tips, Dave and Dennis!

Right now I'm really invested in trying no tent or bivy. I want to experience sleeping without any kind of roof. Since I don't have a roofrack on my jeep the idea I had is that I'll set my sleeping bag on the roof of the jeep so the heigh will protect me from the snakes and bad stuff. In order to not to fall I'll put two baseball flags on each side so when I move to either side and touch a stick I know I have to get back to the center. The butler bag seems very sturdy, I don't think it will move much. I'll try one night like that and if I don't want to repeat it (because I broke an arm) then I'll get a bivy. I saw one at Bass Pro very similar and for a similar price to the one DaveK mentions, but wider and it fits the Butler Bag inside :D

The bivy is a great idea because it won't require any time to set down camp, the main reason why I don't want to use a tent for this purpose.
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Re: Bivouac camping

#8

Post by DennisDawg » Mon Jul 13, 2015 7:32 pm

If it works...great...not sure ....

I would go on the ground though. Never had critter issues thus far beyond mosquitos and a head net will work there.

Like you say...packing up is so easy when you ditch the tent... then you start to ditch more...
Local Repeaters On Which You Might Find Me (K6DOB):
  • Big Bear K6BB 147.330+ PL: 131.8 - Keller Peak KE6TZG: 146.385+ PL: 146.2 - Sierra Peak KD6DDM 146.610- PL: 103.5

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