A guide to the bivouac - the pinnacle of minimalist wild-camping. Accounts of bivvybag adventures, both nice and nasty, alternate with practical chapters on lightweight kit and long-distance bivvying, and the book finishes with a selection of bivvybag expeditions. Informative, honest and highly entertaining!
They are the best of nights, they are the worst of nights… Bivvying offers a chance to experience a whole new level of immersion in the outdoors, with just a lightweight bag between you and the elements. The Book of the Bivvy provides an informed, humorous, instructive, wry insight into the world of the bivouac, drawing upon Ronald Turnbull's own extensive experience.
The book is a half-and-half mix of how to do it and why to do it (or how not to do it and why not to do it). Accounts of bivvybag nights and expeditions, both nice and nasty, are interspersed with practical tips about types of membrane, sites, techniques and minimalist kit. There are stories and anecdotes from all over the UK, plus a few from abroad. The rich and colourful history of the bivvy is also explored in Ronald's own inimitable style, with descriptions of how Diogenes (the Cynic) bivvied under timber and how the Eigerwand was climbed only through improved bivvying technique.
The Book of the Bivvy is a celebration of back-to-basic camping, the perfect antidote to our fast-paced, comfort-based modern life. Honest and entertaining, there is every chance it will inspire you to find a remote hilltop, roll out your bag and watch the sunset.
For nearly 50 years Cicerone have been producing guidebooks on recognised treks, regions, areas and general tips for hikers.
We have used them countless times and they've always provided excellent insight and knowledge that you only get through experience, giving you the edge to make your trip a success and more enjoyable too.
If you're a gram counter you can easily remove sections of the book to take with you making your own ultra-lightweight guidebook with only the essential sections that you require.
- Reviewed by Ultralight Outdoor Gear
SeasonsSpring to autumn, plus (for tough types) winter
CentresHillsides, hilltops and valleys throughout the UK, including islands; warmer climes Abroad
DifficultyBivvybag sleeping asks for some physical and mental resilience - but the rewards are out of proportion.
Must SeeThe definitive account of bivvybag sleeping in the UK, fully revised and updated for its 20th anniversary edition; bivvybag nights, both nice and nasty; bivvy history - how improved bivouac technique enabled the first successful ascent of the Eigerwand
Bag for life
Bivvy night 1: Snowdon
2 Primitive Bivvy
Bivvy night 2: Peigne and suffering
Problems of the polybag
Plastic bag for pleasure purposes
3 Bivvy History
Rude people enquire into futurity
Nights on the Eiger
Bivvy night 3: A walk on the Wye side
Mr Brown’s little green bag
4 Midlevel Baggery
Bivvy night 4: Fast asleep on the Berwickshire coast
Bivvy night 5: A bedroom in Borrowdale
Bag and camera
Bivvy night 6: Man management
Poncho, basha, tarp – and the groovy group shelter
5 Time, things & Miguel
6 Sleeping on Summits
Bivvy night 7: Great Gable
Walking on the wet side
7 The Comfort Zone
Bivvy night 8: Up Base Brown in down
Route 1: Merrick two-day trip
8 But What if it rains?
Bivvy night 9: Wet under thorns in Belfast
What if it rains?
Look after your bivvy and your bivvy will look after you
9 Across Scotland by bag
Wetness and weight: cross-Scotland constraints
Route 2: Acharacle to Aberdeenshire
10 The art of lightweight long-distance
Bag and baggage
The fuel on the hill
Bivvy night 10: A peat-hole on Bowland
The importance of water
11 Mountains under the moon
Route 3: Coleridge’s Helvellyn overnight crossing
12 Bivvybag routes
Route 4: Lakeland all the way
Route 5: Rannoch Moor: the beauty and the bog
Bivvy night 11: Helm Crag
13 But that was in another country
Route 6: Sierra Nevada: the Spanish 3000s
Bivvy night 12: Cima Cadin
14 And in the end
Sheltered housing for the elderly