Bivouacking out in nature, a big step to a little adventure
The star hotel by Mother Nature
What could be more exciting than sleeping under a real starry sky for one night? In the great outdoors. Sure, pretty much every one of us has camped before. And when we remember our childhood, that was already an exciting adventure. Next Level is now a bivouac overnight stay. The great freedom and the close proximity to nature radiate an irresistible charm for many. Only, what is there to consider? Because even this little adventure can have its pitfalls. With these four tips you can’t do anything wrong.
1. The right time:
If you are not one of the Himalayan bivouac experts, you should not stay overnight in the months around autumn, winter and spring. Check that it doesn’t get colder than 12° Celsius at night and read the weather forecast on all channels! A nightly thunderstorm or a rain shower can quickly destroy the dreamlike excursion.
2. The right equipment:
It actually goes without saying that sleeping bag and sleeping mat are part of the basic equipment. The following applies to the sleeping mat: the thicker, the greater the insulating effect and thus the sleeping comfort. For optimum heat management we recommend a mummy sleeping bag made of synthetic fibre. They are light, easy to compress and do not lose their warming effect when exposed to moisture. With a sleeping bag that has a comfort range of 6° to 13°, the crickets and not the clattering teeth should be heard in the summer bivouac.
A useful addition that does not take up much storage space is a waterproof nylon protective cover for the sleeping bag. It is reasonably priced and protects the sleeping bag from moisture and dirt during foggy nights. Food, gas cooker, water bottles, garbage bag, handkerchiefs and a small torch are of course also part of the adventure backpack.
3. The right place:
As far as the choice of a suitable and allowed sleeping place is concerned, the spirits are divided. The ridge between wildcamping and emergency bivouacs is narrow and for some foresters a matter of interpretation. Basically, if you lie down with a sleeping bag, sleeping mat, bivouac bag and without a tent for one night, you are usually tolerated. Unless the overnight stay turns into a party and garbage is left behind or takes place in an area where it is expressly forbidden for (nature) protection reasons.
What else applies to the perfect sleeping place:
Even if it is the summit of romance, the place to sleep should not be situated directly on the river. Due to the water, it gets very quickly moist and cold at night. Lakes are also the ideal place for mosquito colonies.
Don't hide in the undergrowth. See that you can leave the place even in the dark if you have to.
Make sure that your sleeping place is well protected from the wind.
Very importantly, take a good look at the site and see if it is located on an ant's road or near an ant hill.
If you travel in Europe, you don't have to be afraid of bloodthirsty animals. At the most of bloodthirsty mosquitoes. Avoid sleeping places directly at the lake or in swampy areas. The mosquito season lasts from 1 June to 30 September.
4. The right behavior:
If you are a guest of Mother Nature, you must behave yourself. And despite all the freedom, there are very clear rules:
Open fires can cause great damage, especially in summer. Listen to your gut feeling, but in case of doubt, don't use cowboy romance.
If the situation permits a fire, watch out for the inflammable sleeping bags. One spark alone is often enough to cause great damage. If possible, only use hardwoods, as conifers often crack and spread their embers widely, as they contain a lot of resin.
If you don't want to eat plants, herbs and insects, we recommend the classic pasta pot. Gives energy and can be perfectly prepared with a gas cooker.
Don't leave a trace! Garbage must be taken back to the smallest shreds. A garbage bag is therefore an absolute must-have item.
Should a hunter or a forester disturb your night camp in the early morning hours of the Lord God, show understanding.
All in all, a night under the starry sky is an exciting thing that every nature lover should have done once. A little bit of planning, check out the weather and get some really good equipment. Because who knows, the wildbiwakening has already made many an addict. Alps, Corsica or Portuguese mountains, there is still a lot to discover in Europe.