"The first product I purchased from Alpkit somewhere between 5 and 10 years ago was a bivvy bag. Well, I have put it through the wars. It has been in five continents, up mountains in deserts and swamps, beaches and forests. It has been used without sleeping bags or mats in summer, it has laid in snow. It has been used in bus shelters, playing fields, golf courses and even under skateboard ramps... ... It will not wear out. Is this normal behaviour for this product? When will I ever be able to shop for a new one in a different colour? I will continue trying to wear it out, in fact I am dragging it from Tierra del Fuego to Mexico as we speak... but I remain dubious that it will wear."
We loved the sound of Bo's bivvy adventures and asked if he'd tell us a little more and share some photos:
"Some years ago, more than five, less than ten, I welcomed a new piece of kit into my life, my Alpkit Hunka bivvy bag.
Needless to say getting outside has changed forever. I remember occasionally using a bivvy as a student, one of those army surplus, canvas jobs that weigh a lot more than a modern 4 person tent. For years I was packing various tents and now, well maybe I am just lazy. The thing that is most inspiring about bivvy camping is you sleep under the stars… literally. It is a wonderful alternative to a tent, as all of the pulchritude of one's surroundings are allowed to be present throughout the night, no walls or ceiling to block out the wilderness...weather permitting.
A friend asked once if it was not intimidating to sleep 'exposed like that', I believe to the contrary, these days I don't have to wonder about the noise outside of the tent. In fact it is a perfect way to maintain the continuity of one's time in the wilderness. I have pitched tactically before so as to be disturbed by nocturnal animals, how wonderful to wake to night movements or early matinal rituals of neighbouring creatures. No need to get up for sunrise and sunset either.
My bivvy has been on five continents and has been truly tested. Many nights under the shadow of Munros, in woods, in deserts and appreciating on the littoral of the European river system. A few years back my partner and I walked out of our apartment in East London and followed the said river system for three months walking to Bratislava, slinking into our beloved chrysalis' each evening. Sometimes in summer I will go out walking and stuff the bivvy into my backpack because, well, one never knows. Another element I appreciate, apart from the minimal size and weight, is the fact I can virtually use it anywhere without obviously standing out. I have used mine to sleep in many well known city parks and locations that I never would dream of pitching a tent in.
At present, like so many others, my partner and I are caught up in a closed border country. With little much else to do, we are seizing the opportunity to see some of the north of Chile that in more predictable times would be incredibly busy with tourism. With the clearest stretches of night sky in the world, it is too tempting not to unfurl the bivvy and sleep beneath this bespeckled, ink black blanket. Atacama desert does not require a reservation or declaration of identity, she welcomes the weary traveller with open arms and as I lay last night, soft bedded in her sand staring up at Omega Centauri I could not help but feel incredibly grateful."
Big thanks to Bo for sharing this tale to whet our adventure-appetite. It's given us some inspiration for planning our next bivvy adventure!