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5/29/2016 9:33 PM
 
I'm at about 41 ounces with my poncho tarp (MLD Cuben Fiber) and the usgi bivy.

8 stakes and some guy lines for the tarp weight about 2 ounces.

Trekking poles I have anyway or can use a stick or tree if I don't.

Having an event bivy that weighed in the mid teens would be a huge weight loss and improve the performance of a shelter option I already enjoy. At 18 ounces without stakes and lines the Trailstar wins the lightweight almost bombproof shelter thay can shed heavy snow option imo but that doesn't mean I want to set it up all the time.
 
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5/30/2016 10:36 AM
 
veriest1 wrote:
Take-a-knee wrote:
The USMC Improved Bivy is pretty sweet if you can locate one.  30 or so ounces, built in bug net.  It has a "rip-able" U-shaped, coil-type double zipper that goes down to about your waist on each side.

 

This is also known as the Catoma Bed Net and is one of the shelters I have. It's a great shelter and very nice hwne camping off the bike but it's bulky and heavy with the rain fly at 4.5 pounds.

I could probably forego the fly and pair it with my Trail Star in some conditions for a very nice shelter.
 

 

I think you are thinking of a different shelter. The new USMC bivvy is indeed in the 30oz range and is a very different shelter then the Catoma. Here is my very brief and crummy comparison to an MSS.

MSS bivvys fit the "cheap and cheerful" role perfectly and perhaps teach you some good habits on site selection and sleeping outside when you are first starting out, but I think it is natural to abandon them for more efficient shelters when priorities change. I still have a soft spot for bivvys and find them one of the more enjoyable ways to sleep outside (bugs and weather permitting) but I haven't relied on one in quite a while.

Haven't looked at the state of the bivvy market in quite some time, can't seem to find any event bivvys similar to the MSS (full clamshell, long single zip,) most seem to put the opening right above the face which I don't care for.

 
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5/30/2016 1:32 PM
 

Actually, Catoma DID make the IBNS and EBNS (Enhanced Bed Net Shelter) for the Marines.  The EBNS comes with a fly.  I have two IBNSs.  One bought at a mil surplus, and the other issued to me.  

Splitting hairs.  Bottom line...both are likely too heavy for what the OP has in mind.


Hill People Gear Coureurs des Bois (Brand Ambassador). Victoria faveat paratam. De Oppresso Liber.
 
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5/31/2016 8:00 AM
 
Fowler wrote:
veriest1 wrote:
Take-a-knee wrote:
The USMC Improved Bivy is pretty sweet if you can locate one.  30 or so ounces, built in bug net.  It has a "rip-able" U-shaped, coil-type double zipper that goes down to about your waist on each side.

 

This is also known as the Catoma Bed Net and is one of the shelters I have. It's a great shelter and very nice hwne camping off the bike but it's bulky and heavy with the rain fly at 4.5 pounds.

I could probably forego the fly and pair it with my Trail Star in some conditions for a very nice shelter.
 

 

I think you are thinking of a different shelter. The new USMC bivvy is indeed in the 30oz range and is a very different shelter then the Catoma. Here is my very brief and crummy comparison to an MSS.

MSS bivvys fit the "cheap and cheerful" role perfectly and perhaps teach you some good habits on site selection and sleeping outside when you are first starting out, but I think it is natural to abandon them for more efficient shelters when priorities change. I still have a soft spot for bivvys and find them one of the more enjoyable ways to sleep outside (bugs and weather permitting) but I haven't relied on one in quite a while.

Haven't looked at the state of the bivvy market in quite some time, can't seem to find any event bivvys similar to the MSS (full clamshell, long single zip,) most seem to put the opening right above the face which I don't care for.

 

Indeed all the acronyms have gotten the best of me. 

That USMC bivy looks horribly cramped and isn't light enough for me to make the switch. I like everything else about the design.

 
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5/31/2016 8:36 AM
 
My first b-sack was a Sierra Designs goretex in the '90s which I quickly deemed unacceptable for Missouri summer camping. In CO, I've used a USGI woodland bivy a few times like the OP with supplementary poncho over the head end and yeah, it's heavy. Tough to fault a $25 bivy.

I've looked at that Borah as well which looks pretty nice, but for solo camping, I too favor the floorless tent option. My go-to is a Golite Utopia which pitches fast, is huge for one person and generous for two and gear and is still light. There are of newer floorless tents out to investigate if like insomniac-me, you need room to thrash around or just hate wearing your tent. My two cents.

"Law is error, you see. It's an attempt to write down a lot of things that everyone ought to know anyway" ~~~ Freeman ibn Solomon - The Gone-Away World (Nick Harkaway)
 
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5/31/2016 9:50 AM
 
tom lambrecht wrote:
My go-to is a Golite Utopia which pitches fast, is huge for one person and generous for two and gear and is still light. There are of newer floorless tents out to investigate if like insomniac-me, you need room to thrash around or just hate wearing your tent. My two cents.

 

How I wish Golite hadn't gone out of business! I have a fair amount of their old gear and almost cherish it.

I never did care for their shelters though as I preferred a simple tarp. One of my favorite places to camp is Big Bend National Park and there are areas where stakes just don't work well so free standing (if you can find room between the prickly things and don't mind the weight) or a bivy are perfect options. 

I've contacted Borah Gear about a custom sized Event bivy. I'll post my findings when they get back to me.

I've spoke with the owner of http://40yearsofwalking.wordpress.com a couple of times in years past and enjoyed his write up on bivy sacks more so than The Book of the Bivy or whatever that hard to find and expensive little piece of paper from Europe is called. His thoughts on the subject can be found here: https://40yearsofwalking.wordpress.com/2011/07/04/the-bivy-condensation-conundrum/

 

 

 
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5/31/2016 9:57 AM
 

How I wish Golite hadn't gone out of business! I have a fair amount of their old gear and almost cherish it.

http://www.dailycamera.com/boulder-business/ci_28585541/golite-2-0-founders-launch-my-trail-defunct

 

 

 
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5/31/2016 10:13 AM
 
My experience is, if I need the protection from weather afforded by a bivy, I want the proyection afforded by a shelter for all my gear and live. I used a tarp for years until good floorless shelters hit the market. The ate generally lighter and easier/quicker to set up than a tarp. However, the more I use one in varied environments the more I like a freestanding over a tipi. I get bivies for some uses, but as a general shelter, either I need protection or not. I just don't get a tarp and bivy.

Co-Owner Hill People Gear "If anything goes wrong it will be a fight to the end, if your training is good enough, survival is there; if not nature claims its foreit." - Dougal Haston
 
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5/31/2016 10:54 AM
 
scothill wrote:
My experience is, if I need the protection from weather afforded by a bivy, I want the proyection afforded by a shelter for all my gear and live. I used a tarp for years until good floorless shelters hit the market. The ate generally lighter and easier/quicker to set up than a tarp. However, the more I use one in varied environments the more I like a freestanding over a tipi. I get bivies for some uses, but as a general shelter, either I need protection or not. I just don't get a tarp and bivy.

 

What are you using as far as free standing shelters go? 

I don't mind setting up the tarp when I want it but most nights I don't bother. The options are what I like about my system. If I predict the weather wrong and something blows in overnight that I wasn't expecting it's no big deal with the bivy bag.

Additionally I like being able to look around and not have a tent between the world and myself.

 
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5/31/2016 11:19 AM
 
scothill wrote:
My experience is, if I need the protection from weather afforded by a bivy, I want the proyection afforded by a shelter for all my gear and live. I used a tarp for years until good floorless shelters hit the market.

 

What he said ...

So liberating not fussing about dirt/wear/coating delam on a tent floor. I use crumpled tyvek groundsheet for my bag. Perfect for snow camping (dig out and tromp down). I like doing the minimalist thing with a Polish half shelter or my GoLite silnylon poncho (and or USGI G-T bivy) when the weatehr looks to be fine, but otherrwise, you have to schlep a wet ruck the next day (or bring more tarpage for them).

The Missus still prefers a floor, but have a Mountainsmith dome for when we're not boondocking.


"Law is error, you see. It's an attempt to write down a lot of things that everyone ought to know anyway" ~~~ Freeman ibn Solomon - The Gone-Away World (Nick Harkaway)
 
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5/31/2016 11:22 AM
 
veriest1 wrote:

Additionally I like being able to look around and not have a tent between the world and myself.

 

This.  In certain circumstances, this could be REALLY important.
 
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5/31/2016 11:31 AM
 
I use a Golite Utopia 2, which I really like, except the foot entry. I have a really nice NF Peregrine that seldom gets used, but it occurred to me yesterday I may be able to use the fly as a floorless shelter, which very well might become my go to if that is the case. I am a huge fan of seeing out, which has always been one of my issues with the tipi style tents. I have a LBO from Seekoutside and it has been used a fair amount as just a three sided shelter, with my back to a tree so to speak.

In retrospect, the size of the tarp may make a difference. When I was living under one, in my FS days, I used a 12x12, and simply didn't worry about squalls blowing through. Two of us lived under it, and we both had good synthetic bags, and didn't worry about a bit of weather. I also always pictched it so that it was a simple matter to lower one end or the other if it got really nasty. At one point, we stayed in our sleeping bags for almost 24 hours with the tarp about 8" off our noses. It was cold enough that we just hunkered. In a shelter we would have had more options, under a tarp it was just staying warm, which meant our bags.

I use good synthetic bags, and have never worried about them keeping warm and even dry in a slight drizzle. Heck I had them get pretty wet on the outside in a heavy dew and not worried about it. When I am sleeping out I just find a good naturally shelters spot anyway, which keeps a lot of weather off anyway. It is easy to find a bush to snuggle up under if you don't have a shelter.

Co-Owner Hill People Gear "If anything goes wrong it will be a fight to the end, if your training is good enough, survival is there; if not nature claims its foreit." - Dougal Haston
 
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5/31/2016 2:10 PM
 
scothill wrote:
 I have a really nice NF Peregrine that seldom gets used, but it occurred to me yesterday I may be able to use the fly as a floorless shelter, which very well might become my go to if that is the case.

 

Have a rummage sale Big Agnes which touts the fly-only feature, but I have to stick the "fast-fly" floor in to do it, grrrr. Only flaw in the GoLite's simple but functional design is when it's pouring and you're trying to get in, lots of water comes with you. If it had a floor, that would be a real drag (grin).


"Law is error, you see. It's an attempt to write down a lot of things that everyone ought to know anyway" ~~~ Freeman ibn Solomon - The Gone-Away World (Nick Harkaway)
 
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5/31/2016 3:46 PM
 
Paulgus wrote:

How I wish Golite hadn't gone out of business! I have a fair amount of their old gear and almost cherish it.

http://www.dailycamera.com/boulder-business/ci_28585541/golite-2-0-founders-launch-my-trail-defunct

 

 

 

Yeah, but it's not the same. The only thing they seem to be selling these days are the few products they had left that people were actually buying.

They no longer make their really lightweight quilts from before they redesigned them, or the Ion, and the new jam is pretty heavy by today's standards for an UL pack.

 
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5/31/2016 4:55 PM
 
I use the Army MSS Bivy and a standard, lightweight tarp which will soon get replaced with an Aqua Quest Defender tarp. I only pull the tarp when weather looks to be getting nasty, otherwise I just use the bivy. I carry the bivy in a 20L roll-up dry bag strapped to the bottom of my rucksack. (easy in and easy out) I also have a Kelty 2 man backpacking tent if I think I'll be in an area suitable for it at which point, I'd leave the bivy and just use the bag.  Options are always a nice thing.

* Fidelis Usque Ad Mortem * De Oppresso Liber *
 
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5/31/2016 9:23 PM
 
WIth the Aqua Quest Defender that'll be over five pounds of shelter gregg!

I'm still waiting to hear back from Borah Gear. I have high hopes for a custom sized bivy from them meeting my needs. There's a little less mesh than I'd like but I like the side zipper.
 
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5/31/2016 11:37 PM
 
veriest1 wrote:
WIth the Aqua Quest Defender that'll be over five pounds of shelter gregg!

I'm still waiting to hear back from Borah Gear. I have high hopes for a custom sized bivy from them meeting my needs. There's a little less mesh than I'd like but I like the side zipper.

True, the weight is high but with the Aqua Quest, I'd probably forego the bivy and just carry a bag.  With that, I'd have several options to play with depending on conditions.  Bivy, bivy & tarp, bag and aqua quest, bag & tent, etc...  I don't usually carry a ton of gear as I'm not usually out for long durations.  I do a pretty good job of keeping my ruck weight manageable for me given the circumstances.


* Fidelis Usque Ad Mortem * De Oppresso Liber *
 
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6/1/2016 7:06 AM
 
gregg.masnick wrote:
veriest1 wrote:
WIth the Aqua Quest Defender that'll be over five pounds of shelter gregg!

I'm still waiting to hear back from Borah Gear. I have high hopes for a custom sized bivy from them meeting my needs. There's a little less mesh than I'd like but I like the side zipper.

True, the weight is high but with the Aqua Quest, I'd probably forego the bivy and just carry a bag.  With that, I'd have several options to play with depending on conditions.  Bivy, bivy & tarp, bag and aqua quest, bag & tent, etc...  I don't usually carry a ton of gear as I'm not usually out for long durations.  I do a pretty good job of keeping my ruck weight manageable for me given the circumstances.

Gregg, have you considered one of these? http://www.bushcraftoutfitters.com/Si...

We use these in my job out in the jungle and also in the mountains.  A lot lighter than the Aqua Quest, but still very strong.  Multiple pitching options, as well.


Hill People Gear Coureurs des Bois (Brand Ambassador). Victoria faveat paratam. De Oppresso Liber.
 
New Post
6/1/2016 8:40 AM
 
alpendrms wrote:
gregg.masnick wrote:
veriest1 wrote:
WIth the Aqua Quest Defender that'll be over five pounds of shelter gregg!

I'm still waiting to hear back from Borah Gear. I have high hopes for a custom sized bivy from them meeting my needs. There's a little less mesh than I'd like but I like the side zipper.

True, the weight is high but with the Aqua Quest, I'd probably forego the bivy and just carry a bag.  With that, I'd have several options to play with depending on conditions.  Bivy, bivy & tarp, bag and aqua quest, bag & tent, etc...  I don't usually carry a ton of gear as I'm not usually out for long durations.  I do a pretty good job of keeping my ruck weight manageable for me given the circumstances.

Gregg, have you considered one of these? http://www.bushcraftoutfitters.com/Si...

We use these in my job out in the jungle and also in the mountains.  A lot lighter than the Aqua Quest, but still very strong.  Multiple pitching options, as well.

 Truth be told, I was originally searching for the Marine poncho / tarp but was unable to locate one.  My nephew has one and I got to see it during a recent overland trip.  It appeared to be quite like the Army poncho minus the head hole. Very light & durable.  While looking for that, I found the Aqua Quest which looked great with tons of attachment points.  I did not look at the weight or the dimensions when packed.  (My fault)  With Veriest1's post yesterday, I went back to Amazon and had a look and was not happy.  3 1/2 lbs and packed dimensions of 12" x 6" is actually a lot bigger and heavier than I wanted. I guess I'll keep looking and will definitely have a look at bushcraft outfitters as well.


* Fidelis Usque Ad Mortem * De Oppresso Liber *
 
New Post
6/1/2016 9:20 AM
 
Integral Designs used to make a 5x8 SilTarp and I can attest they're pretty awesome but they're pricey. They also make a decent rain cape when wrapped around the body. I used one as part of my shelter system and it was my only piece of rain gear when hiking the Outer Mountain Loop in Big Bend a few years ago since rain isn't real common out there. For the money a silnylon poncho tarp is a little more useful IMO.

If you want a large tarp to use without the bivy I have to recommend the MLD Trailstar above all else. It's very roomy and can be pitched as a pyramid to shed snow by folding one panel in. The Trailstar is on the backs of a lot of the folks running the TGO Challenge in Scotland as well. It weighs 18 ounces with Silnylon construction. http://www.mountainlaureldesigns.com/shop/product_info.php?cPath=51&products_id=102

Here's mine pitched low for uncertain weather conditions in Colorado a few years back.  

Pitched as a high tarp.

I got a response back from Borah Gear this morning. John said, " Ours is quite a bit larger than the USGI bivy, based on the dimensions you sent. I imagine that they are measuring it when layed flat, and in that case ours is 94"x38". Ours are quite roomy, and I usually even store my pack inside with me. We can always make it a bit larger too if you'd like, custom sizing is free."

This is sounding pretty good and checks off most of my requirements. They've gone away from a 100% eVent construction in recent years and are using a silnylon floor of some sort so save weight (and probably cost). The all eVent models weighed in around 24 ounces. These hybrid models are around 13 ounces and seem to be a solid deal.

 
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