/ Scotland winter emergency shelter - placky bag, heatsheet etc?

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iksander on 10 Jan 2013
While I have a standard orange placky bag and a bothy bag (and a bivvy bag...) I've always preferred to take nothing when winter climbing, reckoning on squidging my mashed limbs into my empty rucksack and wrapping my in case of emergency.

However I now have £20 burning a hole in my pocket, and wondering if I should upgrade to something more space age? I undertand the blizzard bags are pretty much impossible to re-holster once deployed but that doesn't really bother me because I wouldn't plan on making a habit of using it.

Are the reflexcell (sp?) ones better than "heat sheets", heatsheet bags - or should I just hope my partner has one?
IPPurewater on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to iksander: The blizzard bags won't go back into the original packaging. However my single one packs into a stuff sack approximately 9" long and 7" dia, so not too big.

Why not take a two person bothy bag ?

Ian
JayPee630 - on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to iksander:

I carry the same in summer and winter - a ultralight Terra Nova 2 person bothy bag and a AMK emergency bivy. The bivy fits in the bothy bag bag and together they barely weigh anything and don't take up much room.
iksander on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to IPPurewater:

> Why not take a two person bothy bag ?

well... because it's 400g. 9" long and 7" dia also seems pretty big?

I know these things are a judgment call between conditions, skill and luck but I've come full circle from taking the kitchen sink to pretty much just climbing gear, a primaloft vest (or jacket if grim), some salami/cheese and a map, compass and a headtorch.
xplorer on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to iksander:
If weight is that much of an issue. You could use a brown paper bag. As tough as old boots
iksander on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to xplorer:
> (In reply to iksander)
> If weight is that much of an issue. You could use a brown paper bag. As tough as old boots


I'd never get out of it! boom boom
Dan Walker - on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to iksander:
I think you've got to consider three things: How often the it's going to be used, who by, and how much weight/bulk are you prepared to carry?

If you just want an emergency thing the blizzard vests are very good for sticking on other people - think hypothermic person wearing shit clothing.

The blizzard bags are also excellent in terms of warmth for bulk - but they do weigh a fair bit to be carrying around all the time though and I'd be a bit reluctant to break open the vacuum pack unless I really needed to.
(Also, if somebody has to wait with a casualty for a long time they're likely to get cold sitting about doing nothing)

The Superlite 2 person bothy is excellent -especially if there's two of you. It's very light and compact. Bit small, but that's the point I guess, more squashed = warmer! ...However, I wouldn't want to pay £70 for it!

I've always found regular bivy bags to be pretty cold compared with a bothy bag/KISU.

A cheap bothy bag might be your best bet - you can probably find one for not much more than £20.

Pritchard - on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to iksander:

You can get the blizzard bag repacked by sending it off to manufacturer (provided its not trashed), alternatively just accept its a bit bigger, you can get a regular use case for them.

As for hoping your partner has one, not a great ethos, be self sufficient. I imagine your mate will want to use theirs if it hits the fan, not hand it over to you.

Craig
The Ex-Engineer - on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to iksander: I've been asking myself the same sorts of questions and have come to some sort of a decision. I bought a 2-4 man emergency shelter and an AMK emergency bivvy in early 2012 and have recently just bought a blizzard bag.

It would depend on the route, location and weather but as a minimum I'd take the AMK emergency bivvy. They seem a good bit of kit and I've repackaged mine even more compactly in a tiny ziplock bag and it lives in my small mountain first aid kit.

The vast majority of time I'd probably also carry the emergency shelter. My thinking being that there are few routes in Scotland that I would be tackling with a rucsac where weight is that critical. Equally, if I decide to climb without my rucsac, I will have lost nothing by carrying the shelter with me to the base of the climb. I may upgrade to a lighter shelter at some point in the future.

However, I also instruct in winter and spend a fair bit of time on easier mountaineering routes. In both these circumstances I will probably carry the blizzard bag. It gives an added level of safety should there be a casualty on the mountain and in extremis can usefully be converted to an improvised insulted jacket. They are also cheap enough to be disposable compared with a real bivvy/sleeping bag or spare warm kit - so I'd have no hesitation in offering it up to a 3rd party in event of an accident.

HTH
ccmm on 10 Jan 2013 - host31-54-114-209.range31-54.btcentralplus.com
In reply to Dan Walker:
> (In reply to iksander)

> If you just want an emergency thing the blizzard vests are very good for sticking on other people - think hypothermic person wearing shit clothing.

I thought they were thermal insulation i.e. if the wearer is hypothermic and you put on the shiny tinfoil bag they stay hypothermic.


IPPurewater on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to iksander: My blizzard bag weighs just 350g in it's stuff bag. I think that is rather light. The bothy bag is a weighty 370g. I don't even notice the weight and never have a problem with the bulk in my 40l sack.

I consider it weight worth carrying, on the off chance it might save me, my partner or someone who has been injured that we can assist.
ice.solo - on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to iksander:

blizzard jacket and tarp, replace the pad in your pack with something like a bit of a ridgerest.
blizz jkt on top, feet into pack, ass on bit of ridgerest, tarp around the lot.

will cost a lot more than 20 pounds, but covers more applications and weighs minimal. save money elsewhere.
the difference between a cell bag and a heat sheet is the difference between a sleeping bag and a blanket, ie about 6hrs of survival time.

worry about getting the blizz jkt back into the packet when it happens.
Dan Walker - on 11 Jan 2013
In reply to Craig Mc:

If it's cold enough to develop hypothermia, the outside temperature is going to be significantly less than the person’s core. Unless they’re actually frozen solid – i.e. dead, and the sun’s just come out! With this in mind you want to minimise further heat loss by insulating them from the (cold) external environment.
Obviously, the situation changes as soon as they’re in a warm emergency department...
Flatus Vetus - on 11 Jan 2013
In reply to iksander:

I carry one of these, quite light at ablou 120g

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0qowpN7KD9s
Flatus Vetus - on 11 Jan 2013
In reply to Flatus Vetus:
> (In reply to iksander)
>
> I carry one of these, quite light at ablou 120g
>
> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0qowpN7KD9s

I carry one of these, quite light at about 120g even!
Jamie B - on 11 Jan 2013
In reply to iksander:

I've always just carried a 2-person bothy bag between 2. If the crap hits the fan I quite like the idea of being able to share body heat and good cheer. They're pretty warm and can be used for regular stops and packed away again without any difficulty. Pretty light between 2 - if you carry it give your mate a bit more rack or the thermos.

mikekeswick - on 11 Jan 2013
In reply to Flatus Vetus: When the sh=~ hits the fan laddo will wish he'd been on a better diet, all these dudes are so funny.....
Robert Durran - on 11 Jan 2013
In reply to Dan Walker:
> The Superlite 2 person bothy is excellent -especially if there's two of you. It's very light and compact. Bit small, but that's the point I guess, more squashed = warmer! ...However, I wouldn't want to pay £70 for it!

A 2 person bothy bag is a really good piece of kit and definitely a potential life saver if you, say, broke an ankle and were immobilised in crap winter weather (or even not so crap) for any length of time. I carry mine all the time, summer and winter. Yes, it does cost more than a poly bag, but, given that it will last almost indefinitelly given the amount of use it is likely to get (I've used mine twice in ten years), it is a pretty good investment; if you're sat injured on ledge overnight in a blizzard, £70 will seem neither here nor there.
tjin - on 11 Jan 2013
Not sure about a scottish winter.

The Ortovox Gemini Double / Vaude Ultralight two person bivvy is a full lenght 2 person bivvy, but also has ventilation on the other side. This allows it to be used as a two person bothy as well. Also usuable as poncho. Only 4000 grams. (wel mine atleast, somehow the weight of this thing is somewhere between 325 and 450 grams according to several websites).

For lighweight, i got both the heatsheat single and double versions. Combined with a pair of handwarmers and you will sort of survive...
davidbeynon - on 11 Jan 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:

Only twice in 10 years? I use mine fairly regularly, as bothy bags are fantastic for lunch stops in crap weather.
ads.ukclimbing.com
edinburgh_man on 11 Jan 2013
In reply to iksander:

+1 for a bothy bag.

I agree totally with Robert Durran's comments on this one:

"A 2 person bothy bag is a really good piece of kit and definitely a potential life saver if you, say, broke an ankle and were immobilised in crap winter weather (or even not so crap) for any length of time."

Also, bothy bags are great for raising your morale when used a temporary shelter for a brew / chew stop.

Further info from another man who knows more than me here:
http://www.ukclimbing.com/gear/review.php?id=1163

and here:
http://andy-kirkpatrick.com/blog/view/bothy_or_bivy_bag
Dan Walker - on 11 Jan 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to Dan Walker)
> [...]
>
> if you're sat injured on ledge overnight in a blizzard, £70 will seem neither here nor there.

Completely agree - I managed to get one at trade price & would have paid double that when freezing my arse off on a ledge ;)

jayjackson - on 12 Jan 2013
In reply to iksander:
Bothy bag for me, bulky, but not heavy - think it's a Terranova one - and as others have said, great for non-emergency stops too.
I always carry a bit of foam roll-mat, cut down to fit in the bag somewhere, as extra insulation from the ground - remarkable how much heat can be saved with a bit of foam, far better than sitting on your bag or ropes, and also makes those non-emergency stops more comfortable.
Cameron94 on 12 Jan 2013
In reply to iksander: When I came off mountainbiking I was on the ground stationary for just over an hour; I was wet although there was no rain and not much wind the temprature was between 4-8oC, I had general MTB clothing on plus six or so extra jackets laid on top whilest I was in an 8 man bothy bag with my college lecturer and medic. Two hours after the inicial accident my body temp was 35.5oC and I was shivering like nobodys buisness.
I hate to think what the outcome would be if I was injured winter climbing without some sort of shelter to share heat. I carry a 2-3 bothy bag or a plastic survival bag if I'm on my own.
The weight really has no bearing on my deciscion to carry it, if it's that much of a problem get fitter.
iksander on 14 Jan 2013
In reply to iksander: Got the AMK bag - impressed by the small size, light weight and oversize stuff sack. Hopefully it will be possible to get it back in there after use.

FWIW I find it a bit pious of those who imply that it is irrepsonsible to go out on the hill without x,y or z. We all make our own choices in response to the circumstances and have to take responsibility for them. I can understand the argument that on occasions our decisions can put others in danger - but that also applies to anyone, regardless of experience or equipment.
ScraggyGoat on 14 Jan 2013
In reply to iksander:

Agree up to everyone on the day to make thier own choices. I have a two person bothy and a blizzard bag. On some days none are in my sac, on other days at more remote venues, I have one and my climbing partner the other.

If you're broken in a high and craggy resting place and you're partner has to go along way to get mobile signal, or worse walk out to shout for help, it will be a long time before help arrives, particularly if flying conditions are bad.

Alternatively the choice of route, accessible venue, good conditions may mean you choose to go light.

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