Bivy BAGS...


Grand poopa
Dec 9, 2000
Boise, Idaho
Any Input ?

Who uses them
Is the BIVY a bag itself or jsut the shell like this ?


I can't tell by the Link above.. If it's a Sleeping bag itself, Will my real down bag go inside of it ?
Moosie, your sleeping bag goes inside the bivy. I've used them from time to time, they add about 10 degrees to the rating of your sleeping bag and more importantly they provide another layer of water-proofing.

Even though you have a good tent, if you get into a good AK down pour, you'll be glad you got one.

I had a buddy who had to sleep in his rain gear, inside his sleeping bag, while on a goat hunt in AK, for several days. He had a top quality tent, but 32 hours of continual rain, and even the best tents leak. I bet my buddy would have given up his left one for a bivy, and I bet he'd never be without one again.

The good thing though, he killed one hell of a goat on that trip.
Ok Buzz, I use a goretex sleeping bag cover if tent hunting in sustained wet weather conditions,the Huntech bivy is more like a miniature emergency tent and does that well. but whateva works is good, there is now some very good new sleeping bags being made that have a goretex type cover they reckon you can sleep in a ditch {christ knows why} and stay dry but they are expensive.
Don't do it. If you really need it you need it to be the best.

Over the years I have seen all shapes, sizes and materials. Most (all) of the lower grade type do not work when needed.

You best go with the Outdoor Research #1 or #2 models.
I can add that I was almost impressed with Swazi Davies Bivi (his conpany makes) he brought this last season. Have you read the story of that hunt?

The Kiwi's Goat hunt

I don't think Davey will ever bring a a 'down' bag on a backpack hunt up here again. If it were not for his good Bivi he would have been in BAD shape.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ 03-16-2003 11:31: Message edited by: muskeg ]</font>

A bivouac bag is just a bag, no insulation. You can use it just by itself on warm nights. Or you can put your sleeping bag inside the bivvy bag.

I have used them over the years and I still own a couple. My experience has indicated that they are not an acceptable substitite for a tent. Even the best don't keep out the rain as well as a good tent and the one you linked doesn't look like one of the best.

BTW good tents don't leak. On several ocasions I have spent several days waiting out the rain/snow inside a Moss Stardome and/or a North Face VE-25. Neither leaked a bit.

One sure way to make it rain is to sleep out with just a bivvy bag. Then you will understand why you really wish you had a tent.

WELL... looks like I own this bag now.
Brand new North Face Bivy bag


Mind you, I don' plan just sleeping in this bag under the stars..., I own 2-4 season tents. The Sierra Design we just bought will be our home in AK this year for 18 days..


So, I have a 4 season tent, A water proof vestivule, will cover it in a blue TARP, And put my down bag with a water Resistant lining inside a waterproof Bivy sack...

If I get Wet I'm not sure what Else I could have done
KC said, "BTW good tents don't leak."

HAHA, thats a good one.

When was the last time you hunted SE AK?

I dont believe I've ever called my buddy Ed Toribio when it isnt raining up there. One time he said it was raining too hard to fish! and that guy has webbed feet!

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ 03-16-2003 18:13: Message edited by: BuzzH ]</font>
I agree with KC. Good tents don't leak. In all the years I guided up here I never had the inside of a tent get wet.
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>If I get Wet I'm not sure what Else I could have done<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Could leave the smut mags at home.


When you hunt, do you pack the tent with you as you move around looking for critters? If you do, surely you have disassembled a wet tent (the exterior) and reassembled it later that day and found the tent to be wet on the inside from rolling it up and packing it. True?

Would you RESEAL a tent before you go even on a new one ? Or just a used one.. And, what would you use and WHY.. Would you bring something so MID 18 days on a dry day to spray r rub on the shell ?
I set up a base camp at the lake and pack a tent up to the top usually. Once set up on top I don't move it. The base camp gives us a dry place to come back to because all the mountain stuff is usually wet. On late fall hunts we take in 2 sleeping bags each so we have a dry bag to get into to go along with the dry clothes we stashed at the base camp. This is nice when weathered in at base waiting for pick up.
If it is raining hard when we are setting up we put up the tarp and put the tent together under it and then gently (poles can be broken) move it into place and secure it.
All clothes are sealed in ziplocks. Everything at the base camp is also sealed in dry (river) bags. Our sleeping bags that go up are put in garbage bags and then into our packs. Almost everything is sealed in various sizes of zip locks.
All tents will eventually get wet. I don't care what type you have. The key is to stay dry for as long as possible. After the 3rd or 4th day everything is damp except the things still sealed in ziplocks. Especially when drying out clothing in the foot of you bag at night. We don't break out our Bivi's until absolutely needed.
We use one 2-man tent per person up on top. 2 men in a tent is much more condensation than 1 person per tent, no mater what size tent you have. There is allot of moisture exhaled in your breath. Add wet clothing (by rain or sweat) = wetness. We leave our rain gear either under the fly area or out under the tarp. Boots are left under the fly area.
Sometimes if the weather forecast is right we head out another day deeper with just bivi-sac, bag, 2 days of freeze dried, stove and gas, and a couple dry clothing items and tarp.
We use both the high dollar nylon type tarp and the cheap plastic kind but they are heavier. The high winds shred both types.
I find that the seams in the fly leak after high wind stress. I seam seal before and during the season. I do not use any spray on the fly.
The key is to have the fly very tight to withstand those 70 to 100 mile wind gust and heavy rains. A good ground cloth (plastic) is very important. Tucked in well so no water will get between the floor of the tent and the ground cloth.

This is one of our typical Goat camps for 2 persons. One guide and one hunter.
This camp is 1 1/2 days from the base lake camp.

Treat your tent before you go, even with it being new. Nikwax is probably the best stuff out on the market right now, and they have all sorts of goodies to treat things from your tent, to your pack, boots, raingear, and even maps.

This is the stuff you need for your tent along with a seam sealer.


Sounds like you guys have a pretty good setup. You kinda alarmed me ealier when you said no good tent should get wet, because I know that isn't true, as do you. Isn't the best thing in the world coming back to basecamp, washing up in the freezing creek water, and putting on a change of clean dry clothes? Makes me feel like a new man!!!

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ 03-16-2003 23:57: Message edited by: Ovis ]</font>
It sounds like the scenario Johhnie has explained has more to do with condensation, and not leaking. However if you're having a problem with seams leaking, Johhnie, what kind of seam sealer are you using that you have to re-seal your tents during the season? IMO, there is only one sealer to use, it's called Seamgrip, made by McNett. It's a polyurethane-based stuff that won't dry and crack like most seam sealers. I have a Bombshelter tent that I sealed with Seamgrip 10 years ago, and it is still effective in high winds and pouring rain.
Most tents need the seams sealed. Some come with waterproof seams, but I would make sure what the manufacturer says before I used the tent. I have a 12 year old Wild Country tent that was made with seam tape to make the seams waterproof. I've used it every year for sheep hunting, and the seams are still waterproof. I don't see a need to treat the fly on a new tent with anything like Nikwax, but I guess it wouldn't hurt anything.
When I pack and move a tent that has a wet fly I pack the fly and the tent body seperately to make sure the tent body doesn't get moisture from the fly.
Jim ....

I don't think I ever told anyone ever that a tent won't get wet. And yes it's true that when you break down and reset up things get wet. And it's the best feeling to know you have dry things at base. I nik-wax my fleese, goretx, flys (sometimes), nylon raingear. But I use the stuff you put in the washer have never tried the spray but might give it a try.


My apologies. I thought I read where you agreed with KC, that good tents don't leak. I guess my eyes and head are doing funny things from staring at the puter for the last 2 hours. Sorry about that! Dawg gawnit! It was Ken who said that...Ken??? Your thoughts on the above scenario?

That Nikwax is some pricey stuff, but I'll do anything to stay a bit dryer.


<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ 03-17-2003 00:14: Message edited by: Ovis ]</font>
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