For the past few weeks I’ve been experimenting with sleeping outside. My sleep system is pretty simple:
- 9 x 12 foot heavy canvas paint drop cloth (folded in half) from local hardware store (base, helps keep the bivy bag clean)
- USGI Thermarest sleep pad (since I’m too fragile to sleep directly on concrete)
- Rolled up foam pad (used as pillow)
- Hunka XL bivvy bag (used as light weight sleeping bag)
- Wool blanket (in case it gets to chilly)
It’s been working pretty good, but I wake up with insect bites. Strange since we don’t have mosquitoes, maybe noseeums? Anyway, the bites itch like crazy so I decided I need a tent. I wanted something small that would work without stakes. After all, it’s pretty hard to drive tent stakes through a concrete patio… What I found was a USGI surplus bivvy bag. A bivvy bag is usually just a bag, but this acts like a mini tent to keep insects and other critters off me while I sleep.
It comes with a little carry bag and sets up easily. It seems a little flimsy so I’m not going to recommend it until I try it long enough to test its durability. The top is just netting so it won’t protect you from rain or snow, just bugs. I tried it the first time last night. Not a lot of room to move around once you’re inside so I didn’t use the Hunka XL. Just but the sleeping pad inside and covered up with the wool blanket. It worked fine. Slept sound and woke up with no new insect bites. This little mini tent is worth checking out if a full size tent is a little too much and a traditional bivvy bag isn’t quite enough.