In reply to M0RCP:
Thanks for the photos Rick. Inspiring indeed.
It’s been many years since I spent a night in my bivvy bag - a Goretex one bought from Cotwold Camping in 1985(?). As mentioned before, my results have been mixed. At various times I have been very cold and very wet in my bivvy bag. Cold because I have used it in winter with an inadequate lightweight down bag and wet because in wet weather it is impossible to dry out or even keep dry in heavy rain in a bivvy bag. Thus with some minor trepidation I plodded out across the lawn at 2130 last night. The set-up was: thin closed-cell foam sheet (laminate floor underlay - brilliant stuff). Mid length Thermarest, Goretex bivvy bag and Snugpak Chrysalis Winter synthetic bag. Shoes were placed in a plastic bag by the side of the bivvy. Everything was done using the red torch bulb which gives plenty of light for such tasks with minimal current drain.
The night was calm and overcast. The grass was wet. I had not checked the forecast so I had no idea what I was in store for. I had warned my wife that if it was too horrible I would come back to bed. Strangely this did not elicit a sympathetic reply.
I climbed in and zipped up. It was very cosy. Five minutes later I was getting hot, ten minutes later and I was unzipping the bivvy bag and sleeping bag. To keep anything like cool enough I had to adopt a position with my head completely outside the bivvy bag. Even then I was a bit hot. It was odd lying there with a slight breeze on my face looking up at the night sky. I was comfortable and warm - but had a problem getting to sleep. As the time ticked by, the sky cleared and I fumbled about to find my glasses and spent a happy ten minutes admiring what stars were visible given the light pollution round here. Very nice.
Glasses off again, I soon fell asleep to the sounds of traffic and mysterious unidentified noises. We have foxes and badgers in our garden… The foxes must have been my last thought as I fell asleep because I woke later having had a vivid dream about being attacked by a fox in my bivvy bag - not good. The breeze was stronger now.
As I lay there drifting off to sleep I was again woken. This time by a pigeon that had been disturbed by something in the tree above. A great clattering and flapping followed which woke up numerous other roosting birds. At that point I found I had a small slug on my face. Turnbull talks about interacting with the environment - seemed like it was interacting with me.
By now I was cool enough to retire inside the bag. …and the next thing knew was that it was light. I was warm and comfortable and had survived the night. I never had to fully zip either the bivvy bag or the sleeping bag. I emerged from the bivvy bag and glanced at my watch, 7:52. I had overslept. My wife watched from inside while eating her breakfast as I fully emerged, picked up my “camp” and trudged back inside to a bemused welcome from wife and children. “Weird” according to my son.
The local weather station (Woodford) showed a low of only 6.5c so it was a warm night. Not a very severe test. Radio operating would be quite possible in the hood of the bivvy so that’s the next test. That will have to be on a summit of course.