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The Portland Hiking Meetup Group Message Board Gear Talk › Bivy or Tent?

Bivy or Tent?

A former member
Post #: 1
I am rebuilding my kit and I am trying to decide between a bivy or a tent. I have never used a bivy before but it seems like some people love them. My budget is ultra low, trying to stay sub $100. As far as tents go I am looking at this.­

I am more of a long trip backpacker than a day hiker, so I need something that will be comfortable for at least a week to a month. I know with my price point I am not going to get the best of the best. Any suggestions? Open to ideas and all input.
thank you,
A former member
Post #: 1
I'm trying to decide on this myself. I'm use to using two light weight tarps , rope and a hammock, (cover and foot print if needed), but this method also has some draw backs, (mosquito's).

You might also consider want to consider a hammock with rain fly. This keeps you off the ground, and dry. This can be done for the price that your willing to pay.

Personally I am also considering picking up the REI passage 2 Tent for $149.00.

You can also consider looking at Craig's list for better deals.

A former member
Post #: 1
i'm a recent convert to hammock camping. it makes a TON of sense for the pacific northwest. i use a hammock with a rain fly. my hammock has a bugnet on it.

-gets you off the wet ground
-there are a MILLION trees in the pacific northwest
-wider range of campsites to select from (you no longer need flat ground, you can setup your site on a steep hill and still have the same comfortable setup)
-comfort. hammocks are comfortable
-packable, hammocks are lightweight and don't take up a lot of room

i could go on, but i'll stop. your question was bivy or tent. a bivy is ultralightweight, but doesn't allow you to do anything under shelter (i'm assuming you're talking about a bivy sack, which is essentially a waterproof bag for your sleeping bag). in the PNW, there's lots of rain and when you setup camp, it's necc to have something overhead so you can cook, spread out gear, etc. i'd go tent or if you want to go lightweight, maybe just a tarp
user 9676491
Portland, OR
Post #: 6
I've camped for years using a tarp and bivy combo, it's pretty flexible and effective. Minor drawbacks are it's not as light as a just a bivy especially with one person, but a 12x12 silnylon tarp is pretty light. Also, if you're in a cloud or around lots of spindrift things will get damp and/or snow dusted. It's not really a big deal. Bugs can be a problem- but they are mostly active dusk and dawn and then certain times of year and can be managed with a bit of thought and some bivies provide bug protection.

I love the idea of a hammock and have used a hennesey hammock whenever I thought it would work for a trip. For bushwhacking on steep forested terrain there's little that beats a hammock. I thought it had a few draw backs in terms of flexibility some of which a do it yourself kit could address, but I don't choose to use it that much.

If you do long distance I would go bivy and a 12x12 silylon tarp. The bivy can be really basic, more a dirt and light rain and bug guard, I've used ones made out of tyvek, which work but they dont breath and are slippery. You will, over long distances, likely find yourself in many types of terrain. Will a hammock always be viable?

If you're going to be bedding down in hard weather for days at a time a tent can be really nice, if it's not too small.
A former member
Post #: 2
Warren, well spoken.

My hammock setup can be used on the ground if need be... all that's needed is trekking poles, it's an easy conversion to use the rain fly as a tarp tent and even the hammock itself can be used as a bivy/bug net

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