Today is my 31st birthday. I should be fishing, however, strong storms and high winds are keeping me off the water for today. Yes, i am bummed out, but i plan to be out tomorrow morning porgy fishing So, what kind of cool gear did I get for my birthday? Well I have yet to see my whole family but my wonderful wife got me a gift card to ll bean and an Outdoor Research Highland Bivy for my up coming weekend back packing trip.
For those of you who don't know a bivy is a minimalist type shelter that has no set up time yet gives you a little added protection from wind and rain. The pack weight of the bivy is 1 pound 7 ounces as it comes in the bag. For that weight you are getting a water proof, breathable shelter which also includes a mesh cover for your face to keep biting insects like ticks out. Set up time seems very fast and simple. First you unpack it and stake it to the ground( Stakes not included). Then just insert your sleeping pad and bag and you are good to sleep free of bugs. The OR High Land bivy has a pertex liner, which is similar to Gore-tex, but not quite as breathable. It will keep water out while letting most of the condensation out from the inside.
I plan to take the bivy out on an over night hike on the AT this weekend. The less than two pounds for a shelter is really nice when compared to my 3 pound ll bean tent. I read some reviews on this bivy and it seems like condensation is an issue, but it looks like all bivys have the same problem. I will also probably take a light weight nylon tarp with me in the event of rain. I will give the shelter a shot and try and keep some air moving in the bag to lessen the condensation. I have high hopes for this type of shelter since my whole sleep system is around 5.5 pounds and can fit into any day pack. I can easily see using this shelter on fishing trips so i can stay into the next day. I would also like to say you can set the bivy up just about anywhere you need to, so when fishing along the housatonic river i will have a shelter to ninja camp in. I will test the shelter out this weekend and take a bunch of pics.