A while back, I had the pleasure of meeting up with one of my old buddies from Ranger Battalion. We thought, “Hey, it’s Veterans Day; let’s go to the woods, drink some whiskey, and talk about the good ol’ days!” No harm in that, right? I knew there was a cold front moving in, but decided to pack light and see how it would go up in the mountains. I brought the Survive Outdoors Longer (SOL) Escape Bivvy with me along with a 20-degree-rated synthetic sleeping bag to see how much, if any, extra protection from the cold the Escape Bivvy would provide during our outing.
We hiked into a high lake in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon. There was no snow on the ground, but the wind was ripping between 20-40 mph, and I was hoping this emergency bivvy was going to perform the necessary job. Due to the windchill, the temperature was ranging between 5 and -10 degrees F. I was expecting to have a very poor night’s sleep considering the temperature was substantially colder than what my sleep system was rated for.
To my surprise, I slept very comfortably, and only had slightly cold feet throughout the night. In very cold conditions, bivvy sacks tend to ice up substantially on the inside due to the moisture from the body freezing before it has a chance to travel through the fabric’s pores. The SOL Escape Bivvy was slightly icy on the inside near the opening, but much less than other waterproof bivvy sacks I have used in similar conditions.