Bivvy bags - they're "worth their weight in gold" ...
Many of us will have seen or heard in the news about the couple who were rescued in the Cairngorms recently, after spending a night out in conditions described as "arctic".
They were experienced walkers and reasonably well-equipped, by all accounts.
Cairngorm Mountain Rescue Team Leader Willie Anderson said that the couple spent the night in a bivvy bag - a move that is reckoned to have helped "save their lives".
I reckon that having their collie with them inside a bag probably also meant that, in effect, they had a 'dog water bottle' supplying some more warmth, too! :-)
Bivvy bags come in different guises, from a basic £5 plastic bag (big enough for one person to crawl inside) to waterproofed nylon group shelters, sized to provide shelter for a few people.
Plastic bags & blankets are generally more versatile and effective than the various aluminium ones available (apart from the heavier & bulkier blizzard-type aluminium 'sleeping bags', but these are more specialised and some require repacking professionally after each use to shrink them back down to a reasonable size).
Group shelters (also referred to as KISU's or bothy bags) are the gold standard. These are pretty much standard equipment for any walking group leader to carry, these days. You can prop them up to some extent by using walking poles but, at their simplest, the people inside them provide the support. If you've never used one then you'll be amazed at just how quickly they warm up inside! In fact, I often say that they're, "too good to save for emergencies" and use them frequently for coffee breaks and lunch stops whenever the weather isn't at its best. The effect on group spirits is great and they provide the chance to actually get some food & drink on board when it would be too cold to stop otherwise ... and, of course, they can be a real life-saver.
4 January 2017 by PaulChesh
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