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Thread: Bivi for a beginner?

  1. #21
    Mini Goon
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    Thanks for the replies guys. The main reason for me to go the bivvi/tarp route at the moment is cost, it looks like I can get a lightweight waterproof shelter for around £50, a bargain compared to the £280 for a Laser comp, and lighter. Pole wise, well I willhave a tripod and ossibly a monopod so if I did put the tarp up I have enough stuff to do a one pole design. It will also bea lot quicker to strike if needed too.

    Mole, where would I be able to get a cheap tarp like that? I was also wondering about getting an army poncho, I've had a bit of experience with them years ago (in the Army Cadets) but can't remember if they have eyelets and guy points?

    Also I've been looking around for definitions on lifters and such but am getting nowhere, I assume they are just points to peg along the sides to stop flapping?

    As for a general design, a piece of tarp around 2.7x1.4m with 5 (plastic) eyelets down either long side and an extra eyelet in the middle of each short side? (to make something like ***(photo link doesnt work, single pole design from here)). Then 4 long guys (3m?) and 8 short guys (50cm?)



    Also groundsheet, and thermarest inside or outside Bivvi (I assume outside for the Hunka?)

    Thanks again

  2. #22
    Mini Goon Andy DJ's Avatar
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    Thermarest inside the bivvi top stop it getting damp and punctured.

    I made the one below and thought tabs would be better than eyelets as they wouldn't rip out as easy. 2.9m x 1.5m is the measurement I worked on. Bought a 3m length of 80gsm PU ripstop from Point Northand cut off 10cm for re-enforcing. Chose PU as its easier to work with than Silnylon. If I remeber rightly I used 1.5m guys on the sides to give the option of raising the tarp off the ground more, should I want to



  3. #23
    Mini Goon
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    How did you go about making the tabs (any good guides I can look at?), and how did you attach them on to material/make reinforced areas (as I understand it is difficult to glue Silnylon together, I assume standard PU doens't have that problem)? Also I assume I would need to sew all edges up as none of the edges will come already with seams?

    Thanks.

  4. #24
    Widdler Eggy's Avatar
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    Thermarest inside or out will depend on the size of your mat and bivi. I'm short and got a womens thermarest and find that if I put it inside the bivi ( Rab Survival Zone ), it is difficult to get a good fit around the head and face and it makes moving about inside a bit difficult. Try a night both ways and see which you prefer.

  5. #25
    Ultra King
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    Someone mentioned that a lightweight tent such as the laser comp would be as light as a tarp / bivvy combo. That is quite possibly true but unfortunately the lase comp does not come in and size that I can fit in and the closest tent I could get to suit me is a single skin two man from force10.

    If you can make a 860g two skin tent why can't you make a 1kg - 1.2kg tent large enough for taller people to enjoy too. I have also got a new tarp to use with my bivvy, it is 2.5m square. I already had the bivvy which gets used inside the single skin tent in conditions likely to cause major condensation problems and to help with the warmth (namely winter and very wet weather).

    IMO tent manufacturers get down to low tent weights by reducing the size of everything from the webbing through to the actual size of the tent. This limits the number of people who can use it and I find it annoying. It is of course one way to get into the Guinness bokk of records, although why not make it only suitable for kids that way it could be made truly light. Kind of like those rides at the Blackpool pleasure beach but in reverse, those that are above the line can not use the tent.

    Good luck with your tarp making. Have you looked in at Aldi or Lidl as they do a very cheap tarp like cover for about £3. It is a cover for stuff in an open boot or on a roof rack. I got one after a post on here although probably not use it as a tarp asI have a better one now. Might make a good cheap come and try it type of thing. BTW did I say it has eyelets around the edge and a length of cord (about 4mm thick).

  6. #26
    Ultra King Mole's Avatar
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    The cheap woven polyTarps like I'm on about are found in most diy stores, farm supplies, often supermarkets....

    Lifters are guying points mid panel rather than at the edge - to stop flapping panels...

  7. #27
    Ultra King Matt C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Time to go View Post
    IMO tent manufacturers get down to low tent weights by reducing the size of everything from the webbing through to the actual size of the tent. This limits the number of people who can use it and I find it annoying. It is of course one way to get into the Guinness bokk of records, although why not make it only suitable for kids that way it could be made truly light. Kind of like those rides at the Blackpool pleasure beach but in reverse, those that are above the line can not use the tent.

    As a 6-footer who can live happily in the Laser Comp (or Akto) I don't think that's true. There's as much useable room in those models as there was in things like the Saunders Backpacker / Jetpacker / Spacepacker models that were leading the way in UK lightweight at the start of the '80s.
    </blockquote>

    If you can make a 860g two skin tent why can't you make a 1kg - 1.2kg tent large enough for taller people to enjoy too. [/QUOTE]


    I suspect that the answer is you can, but not commercially on account of the economics of production, minimum order sizes, stockholding costs, limited market for the product etc. Of course that's not much comfort if you fall outside the majority market size.

    Edit: Oops, sorry about all that cr@p at the top......

  8. #28
    Goon Hols's Avatar
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    I made a very cheap and effective tarp by hacking a £12 tesco tent in half diagonally, and taking off the floor. Big enough for one + kit, atleast. Already got pegging points and guylines etc, and handy lil tie bits which work well with a walking pole. It weighs less than 250g and has definately been put through its paces.



    I'm sure you could find a similar cheapy tent to hack to bits that isn't flowery-I just used what i had

    Btw, I'm local to Dartmoor and the SWCP, so if you want anyone to walk with

  9. #29
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    If you watched The Apprentice on Wednesday 6th May you will have seen the Selk Bag appear for the week 7 task.

  10. #30
    Ultra King NickNick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hols View Post
    I made a very cheap and effective tarp by hacking a £12 tesco tent in half diagonally, and taking off the floor. Big enough for one + kit, atleast. Already got pegging points and guylines etc, and handy lil tie bits which work well with a walking pole. It weighs less than 250g and has definately been put through its paces.




    I'm sure you could find a similar cheapy tent to hack to bits that isn't flowery-I just used what i had

    Btw, I'm local to Dartmoor and the SWCP, so if you want anyone to walk with
    Why didn't you leave half the floor? You appear to use a floor, why not the factory attached one?

    Great idea, by the way. Yours, I should point out, not mine!

  11. #31
    Mini Goon
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    Ah, thanks time to go and , I don't know where the lidl/aldi is around here but i'll have a look in sainsburys and the local building suppliers.

    Hols, that's pretty much what I was thnking of tarp shape wise, i'll have a look round for some cheap tents too. And at the flowers, I thought they were camo before you said... Thanks for the offer of a walking partner, I may take you up on that some time.

    Stourvale walker, that's exactly what my girlfriend has been going on about for the last week... Still not sure about it

  12. #32
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    I know people at the 6 foot mark who find lightweight tents a real squeeze and only for shorter trips. I also don't think people 6 foot and above or shorter people who like more length dispite a small weight penalty would necessarily be a limited market. Thes UL tents might have started out for the mountain marathon types who squeeze two people into a 1/1+ man tent in order to reduce weight, but then migrate into the mainstream use. The lightest tents were once argued against by gear testers as having too flimsy material. Not durable enough for everyday use, now they sell more than the limited mountain marathon market would support.

    What I am saying is there is a market out there for a sub 1.5kg tent that is longer/larger but made with the same technology as the worlds lightest tent. It doesn't take much, 220cm instead of 206cm like one inner tent I looked at. I am sure if such a product was out there then it would be more than the 6foot plus people that would buy it. IMO 300g or so weight penalty for such a space gain would be hardly noticable in real use.

    Never used saunders tents so can't comment about them. But technology has improved in terms of fabrics, cut, design and the details such as thin webbing and smaller buckles. All these should allow space gains without significant weight penalties. IMO now we should be able tohave a good sized space for the weight of the 80s tents. Is it a case that from the 80s all weight gains from technology has been counteracted by fiddly design and additions like the backpacking sacks did. A mate has an 80s Karrimor that is very comfortable when heavily loaded yet weighs about 1.2kg. With the newer fabrics with dynema and the like we are only just getting down to that weight now. Is that where we are now? getting back to the sub1kg tents as shown on the front cover of a 70s or 80s TGO issue I once saw (the issue where someone did a winter tour of the munros or something like that).

  13. #33
    Ultra King Parky Again's Avatar
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    lifters are guy points in the middle of the tarp (a small stone will work wrapped in the tarp material. these are used to pull out a vertical side to create more space. above you'll see two black bits halfway up the back. these are loops you can attach a guy to to pull the lower section more vertical.

    to give youself some more height or if the ground is a bit soft this is handy





    the loops can be daisy chained to your desired length.

  14. #34
    Goon Hols's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AtlasLion View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Hols View Post
    I made a very cheap and effective tarp by hacking a £12 tesco tent in half diagonally, and taking off the floor.
    Why didn't you leave half the floor? You appear to use a floor, why not the factory attached one?

    Great idea, by the way. Yours, I should point out, not mine!
    I did think about it but the floor was super thick heavy stuff, and looked like it wouldn't do the job as a groundsheet anyway (looked like woven plastic?!)-so off it came. Thats the Hunka in action in the pic as a floor

  15. #35
    Goon caveman john's Avatar
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    One thing on dartmoor is I would stay out of the heather and the bracken. Nothing quite like waking up finding all the sheep tics walking around on your bag...

    Hi hols, nice pic. Where were you biving? somewhere north of Steeperton? Oh and do you climb?

  16. #36
    Ultra King NickNick's Avatar
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    OK, it looked like a floor to me! Right, woven flooring not going to be waterproof.

    Thanks.

  17. #37
    Mini Goon
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    Or on your face... lol

    Right, it appears the sleeping bags are back in stock at Alpkit which means I was going to click buy on the skyehigh 600 and the Hunka, until I hit a snag. I'm going to get the long 600, which by the looks of it doesn't fit in the standard Hunka, so it looks like the XL for me? Unless now the Rab SV is the better bet (going to have a look now)?

    Also not as important, but which colour is Electric, and which colour is Nemo? I don't want to get nemo and find out it's bright yellow (or something)...

  18. #38
    Ultra King Mole's Avatar
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  19. #39
    Goon Hols's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Martin View Post

    One thing on dartmoor is I would stay out of the heather and the bracken. Nothing quite like waking up finding all the sheep tics walking around on your bag...

    Hi hols, nice pic. Where were you biving? somewhere north of Steeperton? Oh and do you climb?

    Quality advice that! I'm a tick magnet and they were crawling all over my sleeping bag when I woke up last weekend (in a tent aswell)-not fun.

    Yea, think it was Metheral Hill near Hound well recognised

    I've climbed a few times, not something I do regularly, John

    Ta Mole

    With Alpkit, I know Nemo is the kind of bright blue...only its not bright-hope thats some help

  20. #40
    ‹bermensch R_Mac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt C View Post


    As a 6-footer who can live happily in the Laser Comp (or Akto) I don't think that's true. There's as much useable room in those models as there was in things like the Saunders Backpacker / Jetpacker / Spacepacker models that were leading the way in UK lightweight at the start of the '80s.
    </blockquote>

    Are you sure you don't mean the Satellite rather than the Spacepacker Matt?

    I'm pretty sure the Spacepacker has more useable space than a Phoenix Phreeranger and my Phreeranger has more space than my standard Laser. The Laser is lower and narrower for a start, is a worse design what with a fixed inner and a pole hood and not counting pegs is less than 200g lighter than my Phreeranger which is a pre 1988 model and has a fly Hydrostatic head of 8000mm against the Laser at 4000mm.

    I would tend to agree with TTG, current products (rucksacks/tents) should be lighter than they are on account of the advances in fabrics, the problem is that they add too many, IMO unnescessary features. I have an old Karrimor external frame pack of about 60L capacity that only weighs 1.5kg, my Gregory Z55 weighs 1.575kg

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