How to choose your bivouac camp equipment?

What equipment do you need for a bivouac trip?

Are you planning a bivouac trip? Here you'll find all our advice on what to bring with you when setting off to discover the world.

You’ve been on the trails all day and now you’re looking for a quiet, idyllic spot to stop? It’s time to pitch your tent and get some rest. If you want to be able to sit back, admire the nature around you and enjoy these rare moments of peace, you need to be perfectly equipped. This guide will help you prepare for your bivouac trip so that is a success, whatever the circumstances may be. Here you'll find all the equipment you need for your walking tour, so that it goes as smoothly as possible.

How to choose your bivouac camp equipment?

What is the difference between bivouacking and camping?

Camping and bivouacking do not require the same equipment, so it's essential to distinguish between the two. On a camping holiday, you pack everything you need into your vehicle, pitch your tent for several days and maintain a direct link with civilisation. Bivouacking gives you the chance to set up camp right in the heart of nature, far away from any shops or amenities. So it's essential to think carefully about what equipment you need to take with you.

If you're going bivouacking, you should opt for less bulky, lighter equipment, as you'll be carrying it yourself. So as not to tire yourself out further, you should pack only the bare minimum, and opt for products specially designed for travel. We therefore prefer lightweight, foldable materials that are easy to carry.

What to take for a bivouac trip: preparing for an outing in the great outdoors

To ensure that your bivouac trip goes as smoothly as possible, it's essential to prepare in advance so that you have everything you need and are ready for every eventuality.

The first step is to research the area you are visiting. This will enable you to bring equipment that is suited to the environment, for example, you will need more waterproof items if you’re visiting an area where it rains frequently. Gathering this information will help you to create a list of equipment to take with you on your adventure.

Secondly, to prepare for your trip properly, it may be useful to find out about the various rules in place for bivouac trips. Bivouacking gives you the chance to spend the night in the open air, without any constraints on location or time, but bivouac trips do have to meet certain requirements. For example, it is important to know that you’re not allowed to pitch a tent in a nature reserve or at the seaside.

How to choose your bivouac camp equipment?
How to choose your bivouac camp equipment?

Tents: choose a good-quality one to ensure a good night’s rest

When we think about what to take on a bivouac trip, a tent is the first thing that comes to mind. Tents are known to provide a cosy cocoon in the heart of nature, where you can relax after a long day of hiking. However, it is essential to choose the right one so that it can serve its purpose without getting in the way or being an inconvenience.

There are many factors to take into account when choosing a tent for your bivouac trip. The first thing to consider is the tent’s weight, as you'll be carrying it all day long during your hike. We therefore recommend choosing a lightweight model that weighs no more than two kilos.

What's more, unlike camping, your tent will be pitched and dismantled every day, so it's best to opt for one that is easy to pitch and store away, so you don't waste too much time.

The final factor to consider when choosing your tent is how big it is. The number of hikers and the amount of things they have with them will determine whether you opt for a larger or smaller model.

How to choose your bivouac camp equipment?

Bedding: stay warm in all conditions

When you are in the middle of nowhere, you won’t have the comfort of a heater. That’s why you need to take a sleeping bag with you.

These days, there are a huge range of sleeping bags to choose from that meet different needs.

How to choose your bivouac camp equipment?

In order to pack the right sleeping bag that will provide the ideal temperature for your nights away from home, it's essential that you find out about the climate of the region you'll be visiting. Your choice of bedding will depend on whether you're heading for a hot, humid, dry or cold area. In order to meet everyone's needs, we’ve developed a range of models: down, synthetic sleeping bags, etc.

In addition to the heating and insulating qualities of your sleeping bag, there are a number of other technical features to take into account. Sleeping bags have developed significantly over the years, and there are now many models available on the market with a range of practical features: fast drying, waterproof, lightweight, compression, etc.

How to choose your bivouac camp equipment?

Mattresses: combining comfort and practicality

Once you've chosen your tent and sleeping bag, the next thing you need to pack is a mattress. A mattress is an essential piece of equipment for a bivouac trip, and you should take care when choosing one because it could affect how you feel the following day. If your mattress is too thin and doesn’t provide you with any comfort during the night, you may wake up with some aches and pains that will leave you feeling uncomfortable for the whole day.

There are several types of mattress to choose from for your bivouac trips. First of all, you’ll no doubt find a foam, thin and rollable mattress, which has the advantage of being very hard wearing. While you’re on the move, you can put this on the outside of your backpack so that you don’t use up space inside your bag.

Another common type is an air mattress. Air mattresses are lightweight and soft, and provide good insulation so that you stay warm and dry while you’re sleeping on the ground.

The latest technology when it comes to mattresses for a bivouac trip is self-inflating mattresses, which don’t require any effort on your part. After a long day of hiking, all you need to do is make yourself comfortable.

Bivouacking equipment: mealtime essentials

As well as sleeping equipment, you also need to be well equipped so that you can feed yourself when you go bivouacking, even when you're out in the wilderness, far from any shops or amenities. Your walking tour may last for several days, and therefore it is important to think about what you will eat.

There are a number of essential items to take with you so that you can prepare hot meals wherever you are. For example, there’s the stove, which is really easy to use and particularly useful if you are hiking in colder areas. We also recommend packing a set of foldable and collapsible crockery so that you can eat in the best possible conditions.

Depending on the length of your trip, you may also want to opt for water filters or water purification tablets. These items are practical to carry and take up very little space, saving you from carrying litres of water on long days out hiking. They will also ensure that you don't become dehydrated, whatever the length of your stay.

How to choose your bivouac camp equipment?
How to choose your bivouac camp equipment?

Hygiene and health: don’t forget your first aid kit

When you pack your bag for your bivouac trip, it's important to dedicate a space to hygiene- and health-related items. Throughout your hike, you'll want to take care of yourself and have a wash after long days of physical activity; we therefore recommend taking soap with you. Make sure you choose non-polluting organic brands of soap, which you can use to wash your body but also for washing clothes and dishes.

It’s also important to bring a small first aid kit with you, in case you hurt yourself during your hike. Ideally, it should include the following essentials: plasters, antiseptic wipes, tweezers, scissors, painkillers and anti-inflammatories, anti-bacterial creams and even an aspivenin.

How to choose your bivouac camp equipment?

Bivouacking equipment: practical accessories

Once you've got all the items mentioned above, you're almost ready to set off on your adventure. In order to ensure you have everything you need, we also recommend that you take a few final practical items with you: compass, GPS device, map and mobile phone.

This will ensure that you never get lost and that you can call for help in the event of a problem. You can also take an external battery or solar charger with you to ensure you always have enough battery power.

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