I rolled into the car camping site at 11:30 pm after only sleeping a few hours following a cross-country flight to Seattle and a two-hour drive to the Cascades. Needless to say, when I got there, I was ready to sleep immediately. I brought my Eagle’s Nest Hammock sleep system but I had no interest in setting anything up, regardless of how easy it was. So I looked up at the sky, double-checking the weather report’s accuracy, and went straight for my Outdoor Research Bug Bivy.
The bivy (bivouac sac) is a simple, quick setup and it does the job of keeping out the bugs. If you’re unfamiliar with bivies, they’re essentially wee little tents that pretty much just fit your sleeping bag. Hardcore campers think they can hike/camp without tents, just using bivies—but they’re usually mistaken. Bivies can be very cramped and besides the physical effect it can have on you, there can be a massive psychological effect of having a comfortable end to a night of camping.
But I’m not too picky, and the quickness and mesh screen that allowed me to see stars outweighed anything else.
I inflated my Thermarest and slid it into the bivy. This particular bivy has a strap that allows the sleeping pad to stay in place, which is extremely nice. There’s also a small pole—that, when assembled, provides some rigidity to sit up and not be immediately touching the netting…though there’s still not much space.
And then I simply threw my open bag into the bivy, slid in myself, and zipped it closed. Then something amazing happened, I woke up. That’s right, I slept like a baby, with the wind gently blowing through the mesh and the sounds of the forest alive all about me.
My conclusion on the OR Bug Bivy is that it’s the closest thing you can get to sleeping out under the stars, just without the bugs. So, it’s a great arrow to have in your quiver when you’re headed camping.