How to Bivvy Out

A nearby stream, flat ground and well-spaced trees, form a good bivvy site.

Set your tarp height to roughly the same height as your chest. This is a good measurement tool and will mean you can sit up underneath your tarp comfortably. 

Keep all your sleeping layers inside your bivvy bag. This will help protect your gear from the elements.

Inside your bivvy bag should be in order of bottom to top.

Bivvy > Sleeping matt > Sleeping bag

Before going to sleep, take off your boots. Lift your insoles and stand them upright inside your boots. This will help to ventilate your boots and dry off any moisture or sweat. Your socks may also be damp from sweat, you can take them off and hang them to dry on your ridgeline.

Leave your socks on for a few minutes to air off, don’t wear damp socks in your sleeping bag, you will increase the moisture in your bag.

Make sure that all your gear is under your tarp before going to sleep for the night to protect it from any rain in the night.

Keep your layers on until your sleeping bag warms up. Give it 10 minutes before taking off your top layers. You can then use your top layers to form a pillow. A pillow is very important!

Once your sleeping bag has warmed up. Take off some layers. Don’t sleep fully clothed. You don’t want to get too hot and sweat in the night.

In winter, if you sweat, you will get colder much faster.

“You sweat, you die” – Les Stroud, Survivorman

Use a stuff sack to help make a pillow if needed. In cold nights pull up the draw strings on your bivvy bag or sleeping bag. This helps trap the warm air inside..

Never cover your face or breath into your sleeping bag. This will cause condensation in your bag and you will wake up damp, wet and cold.

Author: Paul

Paul has had an interest in the outdoors since he was a young kid. Walking, tracking and exploring the wilderness around him, from disused overgrown railway lines to the vast wilderness of the UK national parks. Over the last few years Paul has honed his skills into specific areas of bushcraft and survival. He is an expert in map reading, shelter building and knots, traps and fishing.


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