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Bivvy bag first timers top tips

First time wild camper? It's ace!

Planning your first time out wild camping in a bivvy bag? It’s ace.

I love being out under the stars, it’s hard to beat really. Over the years I must have spent over 60 nights out bivvying under the big blue/black/grey/rainy/star spangled sky. Much fewer than some i’ll readily admit.  Some on my own, some with friends and lots with clients on adventures, all of them memorable for one reason or another.

So for what it’s worth here are a few ideas to help keep it a positive experience.

1. Make a plan, jot down a good old tick list!

We’re not talking military precision manoeuvres. Just poor a glass of wine with your bivvy team, spread the map out, bust out a google image search for beautiful venue options and pin everyone down to two or three possible nights to allow for poor weather re-scheduling.

Books such as Alastair Humphries Micro Adventures or Phoebe Smiths Wild Nights will help with inspiration (as well as planning).

2. The weather forecast.

So this is your first time out under the stars so give yourself a fighting chance and wait for good weather. Winds under 15mph, warm night time temperatures and no rain in the forecast is ideal. But we’re not made of sugar (you’re not going to dissolve at the first drop of rain) and some of my ‘most memorable’ nights out have been in the worst weather.  But build up to it!

3. Dealing with the damp.

Things are likely to get wet when you’re in a bivvy bag. No matter how breathable the material the chances are that you’ll accumulate condensation and get a bit damp. Minimise this by ensuring you’re not breathing into your bivvy bag and for the remainder of the damp, vanquish it with your positive mental attitude.

4. Pack smart.

Don’t take too much stuff, you just will not need it! Use your first experience as a learning opportunity and take not of all the stuff that remains unused when you get home. BUT have plenty of warm layers, a reliable headtorch, you’re warmest sleeping bag, with a bivvy bag on top and a sleeping mat. If you’re not venturing into a remote area maybe you could even leave your mobile in the car? Go on I dare you!

5. Be a responsible wild camper.

Choose where you go carefully, don’t ruffle any feathers either of land owners other countryside users or indeed ground nesting birds!

Take nothing but photographs, leave nothing but footprints. This means carrying out every last thing you take with you. And for Karma points pick up litter you find.

Oh, and don’t forget to let someone how where you’re going and when you expect to be back. The basics really.

Hope that helps, and let us know how you get on!