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 Post subject: Bivy and bag condensation question
PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2009 6:46 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 20, 2008 9:10 pm
Posts: 1437
Location: UT
Just got a Bibler Tripod bivy....
My question is.... Do any of you know if the bivy and bag being in near total contact is going to cause problems? (Ex: condensation wet out)

Or is this just the way a bivy works? Sorry for the noob question I'm a veteran desert camper, but winter camping is a new realm for me.
BTW...the bag is a down Western Mountaineering.

Thanks!

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 Post subject: Re: Bivy and bag condensation question
PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2009 9:58 pm 
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What type of shell do you have on your bag?

The only time condensation becomes a problem is when you have a waterproof shell on your bag. Your body heat drives water through your bag's shell, but not all the way through the bivy. It then freezes on the outside of your bag...not a good thing!

Of course since it's a down bag you have to really be sure not to get any spindrift into the inside of the bag, your body heat can't dry out the down and you will have serious lofting issues.

I recommend learning how to dig/build snow caves, amazingly warm if properly constructed and you won't need to worry about needing a bivy.

Cheers

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 Post subject: Re: Bivy and bag condensation question
PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 9:44 am 
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Posts: 478
Location: Meyers, CA
The Tripod is barely a bivy and almost a tent. I've never used one, but I've been out on trips with folks using them and they seemed happy with it.

Condensation is something that happens in cold environs, but as long as you can keep vents open it's not too bad. I am sure spindrift and all the snow stuck to you that sneaks in your bag degrades the loft and warmth a bit, but it's not a killer.

I have a friend who made a vapor barrier pajama suit for preventing any moisture escaping from his skin and entering the down and degrading it (and making it heavier). He swears it worked, but it seems like overkill to me.

Your desert comment comment reminded me the only time, I've gotten a down bag seriously wet, so that the down compressed and it became a heavy worthless bowling ball, was in a torrential down pour in Death Valley.


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 Post subject: Re: Bivy and bag condensation question
PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 12:55 pm 
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Posts: 12
The easiest solution is an overbag .. though, that is more $, of course.

I'm a big fan of MEC's Emperor Penguin .. not sure what the equivalent products available south of the border would be, though.


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 Post subject: Re: Bivy and bag condensation question
PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 1:28 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 20, 2008 9:10 pm
Posts: 1437
Location: UT
Thanks all for the replies.... :D

The the shell is not waterproof so no worries there, Utah is extremely dry in the winter (ironic I know), so not much worry of condensation from the air.
Definitely going to use the bivy in conjunction with a sil trap to cover my pack, avoid spindrift, etc... And I'm only going to use it for those wild hair, spur of the moment overnights. For multiday trips I will take a tent, or build a quinzee. I just can't see being cramped in a mini tent for multiple days and I can't take my dog.

Thanks again!

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 Post subject: Re: Bivy and bag condensation question
PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 8:12 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 26, 2005 8:31 pm
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Location: Salt Lake
Hey Snurfer I have 3 different bivies including the Bibler tripod , I do believe the interior is lined with the material they call todd tex , it does an extremely good job combating condensation , I winter camp with mine usually for single night trips and I love it ! .... Enjoy

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 Post subject: Re: Bivy and bag condensation question
PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 9:13 pm 
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Location: Bozeman, MT
The human body emits multiple pints of fluid from your breath while sleeping so there is no escaping the moisture that will collect on the inside of even the most breathable of bivy sacks.

If you're going to be spending more than a couple nights outside in this bivy at a time just do your best to let your sleeping bag sit out in the sun for 15 or 30 minutes everyday. that will be more than enough time to dry out the moisture that will inevitably build up from condensation in your bivy.

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 Post subject: Re: Bivy and bag condensation question
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 12:00 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2008 10:59 am
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Location: San Diego
All of WM's bags have a waterproof coating on them, its just a matter of how many PSI it takes to permeate that coating. When you get out of your bivy, unless you have superb ventilation, you're going to have some droplets of water on the outside of the bag, its just a matter of what you do with those droplets. If you very gingerly shake them off and let the bag dry none of that moisture will get to the down. If you ball it up and shove it in your bag you'll have some wet down.

IF you don't notice the water beading up its time to invest in some Revivex. In any case ventilation is key.

just my 2 cents.


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 Post subject: Re: Bivy and bag condensation question
PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2011 6:19 am 
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Location: Routt County Co.
I use a VBL and NF goretex bivy on all winter trips, the VBL takes some getting used to but never fails. My whole setup is approaching 20 years old and still performs well due to proper care and storage. Got me through a low of -37 this past winter, getting out was another story.


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 Post subject: Re: Bivy and bag condensation question
PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 2:26 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2011 6:15 pm
Posts: 693
Location: Tahoma, Ca
bivy's work best when using them with no sleeping bag, just the clothes you're wearing and a ensolite pad for a quick fetal position alpine start. you'll have a down coat with you any way. some mountaineers take a space blanket. unless you've been sweating a ton, don't even take off your boots.

don't freeze to death.

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