Bivy and Tarp?

Joined
Jan 15, 2022
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1,563
For what it's worth, my setup is a US Military Improved Combat Shelter with a Walmart 10x12 camouflage tarp.
 
Joined
Sep 5, 2023
Messages
14
I’ve contemplated this same thing. Bugs are not near as much a concern to me as the rain is though. I think if I go this route, one of the OR Alpine Bivy‘s would be the way to go. They’re supposed to be very weather resistant and I think weigh around 19oz. Combined with a UL tarp, I think it would be a good setup in goat country.
 

TaperPin

WKR
Joined
Jul 12, 2023
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2,082
I can’t keep the inside of a tent dry in the rain with trips outside to pee and cook. I gotta hand it to you bivy guys - you’re tougher than us tent sleepers.
 
Joined
Sep 5, 2023
Messages
14
I can’t keep the inside of a tent dry in the rain with trips outside to pee and cook. I gotta hand it to you bivy guys - you’re tougher than us tent sleepers.
For what it’s worth, having something like a tarp over the top of the Bivy would provide the room to cook without the moisture buildup. Peeing would definitely be a bigger challenge though!
 

TaperPin

WKR
Joined
Jul 12, 2023
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2,082
For what it’s worth, having something like a tarp over the top of the Bivy would provide the room to cook without the moisture buildup. Peeing would definitely be a bigger challenge though!
I guess you’ll just have to pack in a gallon jug to pee in, and leave it on the road on the way back home?! Lol
 

UtahJimmy

WKR
Joined
Jul 6, 2016
Messages
884
Location
SLC, UT
For what it’s worth, having something like a tarp over the top of the Bivy would provide the room to cook without the moisture buildup. Peeing would definitely be a bigger challenge though!
Pissing is the easiest thing in a tarp, don't even have to get out of your bag. Probably my favorite feature of floorless shelters.

A bivy is going to give you condensation problems most likely unless it breathes really really well. Skip the bivy and get a slightly larger tarp if you're worried about rain splash. Or just pitch it correctly and you'll be fine.
 
Joined
Jun 7, 2023
Messages
361
Location
Wyoming
The bivy/tarp combo is my favorite way to camp in the backcountry. With today's tents, it's not the lightest option, but it's a fast and fun way to go, as every site offers a new challenge. It's also super cheap compared to a DCF ultralight shelter that costs $600+. As others have said, tarp size matters. The living space of a 5x8 is so much smaller than a 8x10.
 
Joined
Dec 13, 2017
Messages
579
Location
SE AZ
I’ve been thinking about reducing weight for my shelter and sleep system. One thing that has my interest currently is using a bivy. I already have a tarp (that I haven’t used yet) and was thinking that a tarp with a bivy would be a good combo and would accomplish my goal. However, the more I started thinking about it, I wondered if the tarp and bivy are serving the same purpose (keep me and my quilt dry while sleeping). Would it be better to go with one vs. the other to minimize things I’m carrying and further reduce weight?

Am I missing something? If the conditions don’t call for precipitation, does a person really need the tarp? If conditions do call for rain and I bring the tarp, should I also bring the bivy? In what situation would a person need both? I know wind might be a consideration, but how big of a consideration is it?

I’ve always used a traditional tent, so this would be unchartered territory for me.
Why not something like an MLD Bug Bivy 2 paired with a tarp? Gives you protection from bugs, breathes a bit better than a bivy, and gives you improved protection from the rain when you do need to deploy the tarp.
 

Radford

FNG
Joined
Nov 5, 2023
Messages
30
Got me thinking about this setup now. Seems to check a lot of boxes. Only downside is not having the hot tent. Anyone got a solution to that?
 
OP
L

Loper

WKR
Joined
Jul 1, 2020
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921
I ended up going with a tarp and a piece of tyvek this fall in late Sept. / early Oct. I had brought a tent as well, but the weather forecast didn’t call for rain so it didn’t got in my pack. The set up worked out great, but it was a full moon for the nights I was hunting and I woke up in the middle of the night and I thought someone was shining a spot light on me.
 

Radford

FNG
Joined
Nov 5, 2023
Messages
30
The only sleep systems I use anymore, for all my mountain hunts, are a DCF Borah Gear bivy and a DCF tarp of some sort. My lightest sleep system weighs just over 11 oz. and is not much bigger than my hand, when in its stuff sack.
That sounds real attractive to me. My setup is small, but not that small!
I ended up going with a tarp and a piece of tyvek this fall in late Sept. / early Oct. I had brought a tent as well, but the weather forecast didn’t call for rain so it didn’t got in my pack. The set up worked out great, but it was a full moon for the nights I was hunting and I woke up in the middle of the night and I thought someone was shining a spot light on me.
Ha! I think I may go this route. I really like my hot tent when it is cold though so I need to figure that out.
 

Hussar

Lil-Rokslider
Joined
May 10, 2021
Messages
175
Another vote for the Borah Gear bivy and tarp setup. I have the Borah gear solo tarp. If weather is not a concern, it's great for keeping the moonlight off you. But it's too small to be of actual use in rougher weather. I'd definitely snag a 7x9 or 8x10 tarp if I was in an area with worse weather.
 
Joined
Jul 5, 2018
Messages
95
Location
Atlanta, GA
I switched to a borah bivy and tarp from a three season tent last year and couldn't be happier. Borah makes great gear and even repaired my bivy for free despite the damage being my fault.
 
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