Monday, 2 July 2012

Newsham Moor bivvy ride

"But what if a fox eats your face?"

Our friend Ann didn't understand why I was going to sleep in a bag in a field on my own. I don't think Sarah did either, but she's used to me doing odd things by now.

So, sit at home and watch Graham Norton on TV, or go for a ride, kip somewhere and ride back again? I loaded up my bike.

Bike loaded with bivvy kit

I've plans for the summer, so this was a chance to test out my new Alpkit Hunka bivvy bag. I say new, but like most bivvy bags it's sat accusingly in the wardrobe not being used for a year or so. It was also a chance for me to see just how terrifying it was to go to sleep along in a field.

It turns out, it's not scary at all, though it is light until very, very late so I alternated between reading a book inside the bag when it rained and watching the clouds blow overhead and the lights coming on in the valley below when it didn't rain.

Bedroom view

I slept on and off through the night. A £7 sleeping bag from Tesco is cheap and light, but not particularly warm, even when wearing a warm jacket and a merino base layer. Not cold enough to make me think about taking a heavier bag next time though.

As well as being light until very late, the sun makes a very early appearance, with the sky starting to get light at about 3:30. I probably only slept for two or three hours altogether.


So, at just after 4am, I packed up and headed home.

Packing up the next morning

Home by six for a couple of hours of coffee and internet before anyone else was up; not a bad way to spend a half a day.

I knew I'd either love or hate bivvying. I think I'm hooked...

Distance: 60km (30km there and 30km back)
Surface: Road
Time: 3:40 riding time, but out of the house for 11 hours
Weather: Warm, windy, a few showers
Bike: Inbred SS (with 2.4″ rear tyre on 32:17)

Alpkit Hunka bivvy bag, with Tesco sleeping bags inside, in a 13l Alpkit Airlock Xtra dry bag and bungied to the bars. Bivvy bag was ace and sleeping bag adequate. Need to get better straps for next time as the bungy only just fit.
Alpkit Wee Airic camping mat carried in a 20l Alpkit Gourdon rucsac, along with warm/spare clothes, water, book, torch and some spare food. This was too heavy; need to look into a frame bag and/or seatpost pack.

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