[at-l] Bivouac Bags

Carla & Dave Hicks carla_dave_hicks at verizon.net
Fri Jul 23 08:37:16 CDT 2010

I never did the whole AT w/one.  But back when...I did use the Gore-Tex model 
quite a bit -- including some cold weather hiking.   Never a problem breathing 
even with a heavy snow fall at night.  I did use a vapor barrier inside my bag 
in cold weather.

A word of warning, however, Re: snowy nights.  Never leave anything un-packed 
outside and bear bag your pack.  Digging for stuff in a foot of new snow is no 
fun -- even if you are sure you know where it was stacked.

The only condensate problems I remember were rainstorm conditions in 
cool-not-cold weather.


PS: can't speak to the newer "xxxTex" material.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Tom McGinnis" <sloetoe at yahoo.com>
To: <at-l at backcountry.net>; "Bob Quinn" <bob.quinn1 at comcast.net>
Sent: Friday, July 23, 2010 8:57 AM
Subject: Re: [at-l] Bivouac Bags

I did the whole AT in Gore-Tex model (back when dinosaurs walked the trails, 
blah blah blah), and never remember a problem. (But I think *'remember"* is a 
key word here.) It could be that I left myself a little tunnel (as per winter 
camping) and slept without issue...

Fast-forward to now, and I've got Integral Designs "Todd-tex" models, which 
seem to breathe less/condensate more, and ventilation becomes an issue. (For 
people who haven't bivied, we're talking rain/storm conditions here, not just 
zipping some mosquito netting across your face and using boots or a baseball 
cap to keep it off your face.) But like I just suggested, if you treat things 
as if you were in a winter bag and leaving just a nose-tunnel with which to 
breathe, you'll be just fine.

(And while we're talking bivies -- something I re-discovered this January, 
when Southern temps sat around 10°-5°F for a week plus(?) -- with the Todd-Tex 
(ID's own -- I think it's the same as Bibler's, right? Or is it that 
"IntegralTex is the same as Todd-Tex? Hoo boy.), IT WILL NOT PASS H20 VAPOR 
BELOW ~10°F -- it will be quickly overwhelmed. I left my car at ~0°F (with a 
vapor barrier in the trunk), figuring things would warm up. 5 days later (and 
I don't think it got above 15°F at any time), the accumulated condensation was 
turning my bag into a brick -- more like New England than Springer Mtn. I'd 
been spoiled by warmer winter hikes for a few trips; keep that vapor barrier 
handy for the cold stuff.)


--- On Thu, 7/22/10, Bob Quinn <bob.quinn1 at comcast.net> wrote:
I just got a bivouac bag, never had one
before. When I got in, and zipped it up it was really stuffy. Has
anyone ever heard of a person suffocating in one of these things when it
is all closed up as it would be in rain or snow?


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