Cicerone The Book of the Bivvy

Weighs 198g
Code: AW181324
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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!

Cicerone says:

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


Spring to autumn, plus (for tough types) winter


Hillsides, hilltops and valleys throughout the UK, including islands; warmer climes Abroad


Bivvybag sleeping asks for some physical and mental resilience - but the rewards are out of proportion.

Must See

The 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
  • Edition: Third
  • Number of pages: 176
  • Size: 17.2 x 11.6 x 1.1cm
  • Weighs: 198g


1  Introduction  
    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 
    Polybag facts 


 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 
    Cave behaviour       
    Bivvy night 5: A bedroom in Borrowdale   
    Fallback bag
    Bag and camera  
    Bivvy night 6: Man management  
    Bag shopping 
    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 
    Sleeping mats      
    Dew process 
    Route 1: Merrick two-day trip

 8  But What if it rains?       
    Bivvy night 9: Wet under thorns in Belfast
    Further suffering      
    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        
    Fast food   
    High cuisine
    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  
    Foreign parts 
    Route 6: Sierra Nevada: the Spanish 3000s       
    Bivvy night 12: Cima Cadin   

 14 And in the end 
    Sheltered housing for the elderly 



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