BCU 4-star gear -- bivvy sack

-- Last Updated: Sep-11-05 8:44 AM EST --

What does the BCU expect (and what's a good practical choice) for a bivvy bag -- as listed in the syllabus under "Emergency equipment for personal use"? Would this lightweight emergency survival bag do? Or should one acquire a "real" camping bivvy bag that costs $90 to $300?


Any other products which fit the bill, like emergency bags?

Thanks. --David.

garbage bag
2 heavy duty garbage bags and a set of fleece and you are G2G. they just want you to be prepared for a ‘what if’.

There is a 6’ long emergency bag VCP used to sell from England. under $10, orange and even has ‘emergency’ instructions printed on it. great in your trauma/bivy kit!


the bag you sent the link for is pretty
much ideal. You can pack it small and use it in a pinch. Of course you could have a full on gore-tex bivy sack, but i would only get one if you wanted one.

The requirement to have a bivy bag is really for the day trip at sea where you might unexpectedly need to warm somebody up who has taken a swim. If you were on an extended trip you would hopefully have your sleeping bag and tent ready. And in that event for your bcu assessment you could very well just bring a sleeping bag and tent. But it is impractical for a day trip which is why a bivy sack is recommended.

don’t forget the flask of tea, lest you be flunked categorically.

B(CU) tea

– Last Updated: Sep-11-05 11:50 AM EST –

> don't forget the flask of tea, lest you be flunked categorically

But can I serve it before 4:00 PM? And must I provide biscuits and marmalade as well?

;-))) David.

would an igloo then possibly count as one?

just wondering

as long as you call 'em "crumpets"
you’ll be fine.

Somewhere Out There…
is a “BCU approved” thermos… Maybe you have to sent to England for it. But if it’s Brit, it’s worth it. :wink:


The thermos is inherently British
The original name for the thermos was the Dewar Flask. IOW, it was invented by James Dewar, a Brit… well, a Scot.


And no, nothing (that I know) to do with Scotch whiskey. Now, try offering ~that~ for hypothermia at a 4-star assessment. Might be fun, but technically it should flunk you.


Extreme Pro-tec Emergency Bag Shelter
Anyone interested in having an integrated shelter, sleeping bag, and wind block for 11 oz. and very compact should check this product out. I have used it for both kayak expeditions and winter emergency use. Very very important survival product. Very multi use. Very compact. Worth a look.

The NEW “EXTREME Pro-Tech Bag” is a revolutionary and technically advanced emergency-survival protection bag that provides “total personal protection” from all the ultra- harsh elements of nature. It is pressure and vacuum packed so that it is compact enough to fit into any waist pack or daypack and it weighs just 12 ounces. When needed, it opens to over 7 feet in length and expands to over 3 feet in width. It is fully waterproof and it has a closing draw cord to keep out wind, rain and/or snow.


the orange bivy
bag…has been in my day hatch for about 4 years now and was “the” bag to have for the assessment. kinda silly that there should be a “the” bag but that was what i was led to believe…i slept in it one night over my hypo kit clothes. whatever you bring, like it as you may have to spend the night in it if/when you assess. the spirit of the thing is to have the kit and knowledge to deal with an emergency and an overnight…so have the gear, know how to use it…you know the drill by now.

the bag you illustrated from rei is good. the orange bag may be cheaper if you can find it…don’t know if joel has any and i haven’t seen them locally…could try sweetwater - jeannie may still carry them.

are you taking the assessment or the training, david? if training, ask the trainer if appropriate for the sussing…if assessing you may want to call ahead and find out from the horses mouth…or whatever end replies.

It turns out I have the orange bag…
… in my emergency kit, which shows you how often I open it ;-))). Guess I need to take that advice about knowing your equipment! Not sure the term “bivvy bag” in the 4-star spec fired the same neurons as “orange bag”, but I am finally getting the picture.

The thermo-light, however, does seem a bit more substantial, durable and reusable. Whether it’s worth the $25-30, I dunno.

So I might have to spend the night in my choice of bag?! Hey, I thought 4-star was for day-tripping. Methinks you mean 5-star, eh?


4* vs 5* accomidations
For your 4* assessment you may have to “treat” a hypo vcitim with your full kit including your emergency bivy. I’ve seen paddles posing as hypo victims in some scenarios.

For your 5* training you will have to bivy somewhere with minimal kit (no tent pegs, i think). I upgraded to a real bivy bag for my 5* training. Now it’s my prefered short-stay shelter (in combination with a tarp).



talk about…
misfiring neurons…yes, it’s the 5 star we spent out and not the 4.

it has been awhile on some of those and i get a little fuzzy around the edges.

but what the hell…like what you buy.