Saturday, 3 August 2019

Ultralight Bivvy

Geertop Plume Bivy II Ultralight Tent

1 Person Waterproof Bivy Tent for Backpacking

Fast Easy Setup

Color: Camouflage


    【Ultralight Backpacking Tent】Weight about 2.8 lb (1.13 kg) for entire kit, aluminum poles pack into a compact size 19 x 5 x 5 inch (47 x 12 x 12 cm) bag, easy to put the tent on backpack, good for 1 person backpacking travel, camping, or cycle touring.

    【Waterproof Tent for 1 Person】Up to PU5000 MM waterproof grade with the outer tent fly, and the tent floor is PU8000 MM, fully seam taped and double stitching, provides protection against heavy rainstorms, mesh windows on each end provide air flow to prevent condensation.

    【Easy to Set up】Two-pole frame system with shock-corded aluminum poles allow for fast easy set up and dismantle. Only takes 2 min to erect, saving you time. The mesh door allows the air to circulate & provide ventilation.

    【Large 1 Room Space】The Tent measures 7 ft 7 in x 2 ft 6 in with a height of 24 inches, suitable for a single person, enough room to turn over, for eating or reading. More spacious and provides a comfortable camping experience for you.

    【3 Season Single Tent】A lightweight backpacking tent perfect for camping, hiking, climbing, self-driving tour, fishing and other outdoor activities in 3 seasons.


    Key Features
  • Cross aluminum pole design to increase the strength structure of the tent.
  • Aluminum tent stakes paired with strong tent feet to prevent tearing in gale winds.
  • Mesh in the top of the tent and in the two ventilation windows allows for greater airflow throughout the entire tent.
  • Taped sealed seams ensure waterproofing.
  • Portable: Even with all the included features, the tent still easily fits in a standard backpack.
  • Internal storage pockets are perfect for holding phones, keys, wallets or any other small items you want close by.

I recently bought the Geertop bivvy tent from Amazon (although I could have also purchased directly from the Geertop web site) and I am extremely pleased with this item. An estimated delivery time provided by Amazon was 24 days but the parcel was delivered in under two weeks. The first thing that stood out for me was the weight and size of the bivvy - despite having read the specs I was completely surprised at how light and compact the actual package was.

This is everything I was looking for in a bivvy. I was initially searching for a Dutch Army hooped bivvy (as scarce as hen's teeth) when I came across the Geertop Plume II Bivvy & was immediately sold on it. This is an excellent, well made product, that is lightweight & packs away compactly and in my opinion a superior product to what I was initially looking for. Great for cycle touring or solo tramping. It is quick & easy to erect, and inside is spacious with plenty of headroom.

Of course I immediately erected the bivvy and here again I was impressed at how easy it was to pitch and at the amount of headroom provided inside. Without reading the instruction sheet (attached inside the storage bag) I had the tent erected in double quick time; especially important if pitching in wet weather.

The double zips (with rope pulls) allow you to position them at any position you find convenient for locating in the dark, and the velcro tabs on the outer door fly keep it secured over the zips. Mesh pockets provide storage for small items such as keys, wallet etc. The only modification I would suggest that Geertop make to the bivvy to improve it is a small gear loop on the inside above the head area (preferably directly under one of the poles) so that a small LED light could be hung there.

The flap covering the ventilation window at the head end can be rolled up and secured with two small toggles.

Although I have yet to test it in heavy rain conditions a YouTube video I watched convinced me that it should be suitably waterproof.

However, to provide additional waterproofing underneath and to protect it from stabby sticks and stones plus dirt & water, I intend to pair it up with a Geertop tent footprint.

My expectations are that this bivvy will provide excellent lightweight shelter for me on cycle tours or solo backpacking expeditions. I am happy to give this bivvy a hearty recommendation and a thumbs up.  I couldn't wish for a better bivvy.

Saturday, 27 January 2018

Different Configurational Uses of My OneTigris Camping Tarp

Exploring the different ways in which I can use my OneTigris Camping Tarp, for both hammock and bivvy (ground) use.

The first five configurations are open-ended and can be used by either hammockers or ground-dwellers. Although it may be difficult to get a decent hang inside the Bodybag.

The Square Arch can accommodate three campers or two side-by-side hammockers.

Hammock Diamond Tarp
A Frame
C Fly Roof
Body Bag

Square Arch
Bivibag Cornet

Monday, 22 January 2018

Farrimond Friction Hitch - a very useful hitch for tarps and ridgelines

I want to share with you one of my favorite knots (actually a hitch) for adjusting tarp and ridge lines.

It's called the Farrimond Friction Hitch and it is a quick release hitch that is also an adjustable hitch. It is useful when the length of a line will need to be occasionally adjusted or tensioned. The real beauty of this hitch is that when it needs to be released a quick tug on the free end will untie it.

It is a form of prussic knot and can be used in place of a tautline hitch.

See the diagram below for instructions on how to tie it.

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Bothamley Park

I recently had the opportunity to set up in Bothamley Park, Porirua to try out my hammock and to fine tune its setup.

My hammocking gear was an ex-army tent-half/tarp, snakeskins, unbranded hammock, and a OneTigris under-quilt, with a US army woobie blanket for top warmth. Since it is mid-summer the woobie was all that was required for a top cover.

The location I choose was near the Community Harvest Patch where they hold the annual blackberry picking festival on the last Sunday in February.

In addition to hosting the annual blackberry festival, which has its own dedicated patch that doesn't get sprayed, Bothamley Park has also been planted out by volunteers with fruit trees for foragers. 

Bothamley Park also hosts a weekly Parkrun which is a 5km run - you against the clock, every Saturday at 8:00am.

This is an easy walk-in site, popular with both cyclist and walkers, close to housing areas with multiple entrances.

There are plenty of trails, streams, bridges, swimming holes, and occasional small waterfalls.

Trout inhabit the waterways, and special ramps have been  been put in place for spawning whitebait.

The gentle wander through Bothamley Park in Cannons Creek is suitable for beginners with access for both bikes and walkers. 

This track is part of the Te Araroa walkway.

Follow this link for more information regarding this track and location.

My camp-site & setup

My OneTigris winter weight under-quilt and snakeskins with tarp inside

Ex-army tent-half/tarp

 The camp site from a different point of view

Monday, 8 January 2018


I have just recently rediscovered the joy of hammock camping, having first hammocked in the Malaysian jungles in the mid '70's while serving as an rifleman in the New Zealand Army.

My hammocking gear currently comprises of a OneTigris Rain Fly Camping Tarp, Mosquito Net Camping Hammock, and four-season full length Hammock Under-quilt.

I've so far found the OneTigris gear to be inexpensive and well made. Items can either be purchased direct from their on-line store in China, with free shipping, or through Amazon.

I now only need to get their matching
Camping Duck Down Sleeping Bag in Realtree camo to complete the set. 

Additionally, I'm also looking forward to trialing their hammock cocoon as soon as it's made available (forecast is for sometime early 2018).

My OneTigris Gear

Hammock with integral mosquito net

Winter-weight under-quilt