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[pct-l] Bivey Tents
IMHO carrying an extremely light, two person, three and half season tent is
preferable on the PCT than either a bivey or tarp or combination thereof.
I carried a Sierra Designs Starlight (Starflight? Starynight?) that is a
pyramid, two pole, coffin-shaped floor, 3.75 pound tent. I carried it the
entire way and was often thankful. In fact, I joined up with another guy
who was carrying a two person tent in Nth Calif. and we decided to walk
together to the Canadian border together. After a few days we decided it
would be fruitful to consolidate our equipment and just carry one tent, one
stove, etc. . . . . Then we came to the Ray Lakes region of Sth Oregon
before we hit the next food drop and realized the benefit of two tents that
you can crawl into WITH your pack away from the mosquitos. We kept our
redundant equipment and never regretted it. I couldn't imagine camping in
a bivey there and certainly not in two weeks of straight rain in the Nth
Cascades. Yes, the tent gets wet and everything else gets wet but you can
at least play cards and cook and whatever in a tent that a tarp or bivey
wont have space or shelter for.
A bivey bag weighs one and half to two and a half pounds. For the extra one
plus pound of weight the benefits are numerous. I sat out four days of
white-out blizzard at 10,000 feet in the Sierra's while four to five feet
of snow fell. A bivey sack will endanger your survival in that kind of
condition since it could easily be buried overnight and cause suffocation.
The pyramid shape of the Sierra Design tent shed the snow excellantly and
still I almost suffocated one night due to extremely hard snow fall!
Yes, light weight is to be sought after but not at the expense of safety
and sanity. Hiking the PCT is about 95% mental. The tests of your mental
endurance are difficult enough without the added challenges that less than
adequate shelter will introduce. Save the weight elsewhere.
In my most humble opinion,
Greg "Strider" Hummel
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