I have been threatening to do this for ages and I eventually plucked up the courage to get out and do a solo bivvy camp out.
I didn’t go far, about an hour from home and had a return home plan via the A4 if need be, which I think would take me about 30 mins. I had no bike lights but a pretty decent torch and gorilla tape that I could use to strap it to my bike helmet or bars.
My original plan was to head for the West Woods, but my disliking of strange noises in the night got the better of me and I thought the fewer rustling trees the better. This spot in a field next to Silbury Hill was sheltered from the rain that looked likely by a large tree and was low enough to be out of the wind. At least I thought it was!
I made the shelter by using the top of the barbed wire as support and tied the corners with guy rope. I pinned the other end to the ground with 2 tent pegs and laid my bike on it for good measure.
Shelter Kit List:
- Tarpaulin – approx 3m by 2m from Amazon £8.00
- Bivvy Bag – Mountain Warehouse approx £20-25
- Paracord/guy rope – £5
- Tent pegs x 4 (only used 2)
The long grass provided some cushion from the remarkably bumpy ground, but also scraped and scratched against the tarp all night spooking me every few minutes.
I had bivvy bag and a 2 season sleeping bag from Mountain Warehouse and was plenty warm enough at night.
My bike bag was loaded with every usual spare, tools and first aid, as well as some extra layers and clothes in case I got wet and a variety of last minute food snatched from the cupboards at home. Baked Beans, cuppa soup, tinned soup, few biscuits, cereal and tea bags.
I had 2 litres of water specifically for boiling for tea (on top of 2 that was in my hydration bladder) and about a half a pint of milk.
My cooking set up consisted of my Alpkit Jackal Brukit and smaller Kraku stove – the idea was to have the two so I didn’t have to worry about cleaning out the cooking one to boil water in for tea. I’ve previously done a short review of the Kraku – check the link on my Youtube channel. The Brukit might need some treatment also soon.
Thoughts and conclusions
This was my first bivvy and by default my first solo bivvy too – so what did I think? What would I do different next time? Would there be a next time?
In the whole I enjoyed it once I settled (or got too tired to worry about the noises), and I’d love to do this again. I am now hoping for a warm September and looking for some other spots within an hours or so from home.
Sleep – I was perfectly comfortable and warm enough maybe by the end of September I’d need a warmer sleeping bag, but for a coolish August night this was perfect.
Shelter – The tarp fixed over the fence was ideal. Maybe I could use something to protect it from the barbed wire (some old inner tube or something), but otherwise this was perfect. I need to try some sort of free standing shelter next, maybe some poles are required.
Food – One night is easy. I took a tin of soup, a crusty roll, some biscuits and tea for the evening. And took a portion of cereal (mixed up some granola, choco pillows and raisens) and more tea and biscuits for breakfast. I also had a couple of bananas and cereal bars.
Clothing – As it was August and I wasn’t far from home I had my riding shorts and jersey on. And i took a spare jersey, socks and a water proof – as well as a woolly hat.
Lighting – I could do with recommendations for a night light / lamp of some sort. I had a pretty decent mini torch with me and spare battery, but could have done with some sort of lantern.
Time for some research.
I’d be keen to hear any advice on your set up.