Summit Bothy Bags.
Manufacturers Of Outdoor Survival Equipment
reviewed by Jonathan Lagoe of www.ukclimbing.com
many winter mountaineers and ski tourers, Bothy Bags probably fall
into the category of gear that you didnt realise you needed.
However, once tried, they are at item which you are likely to put
at the top of your winter packing list.
For the uninitiated, a kisu / bothy bag is basically a simple pu waterproofed
nylon tent, open at the bottom, with a draw cord round the base. In
use, the people inside become the tent poles, pulling in the draw
cord and sitting on the skirt which is formed inside. They have been
around a long time, the larger versions gaining popularity with rescue
teams and instructors, but the average mountaineer will probably go
for the 1-3 man size.
As a piece of winter emergency kit a Bothy Bag has several advantages
over a bivi-bag. The most immediately noticeable is that 2 or more
peoples body heat makes for a surprisingly warm environment
in which to regroup, sit out the night, or just eat your butties.
I have used these on Arctic ski treks and found that two of us could
comfortably eat lunch, gloves off, with a minus 10 blizzard blowing
outside. Other plus points are that you can keep your crampons on,
the sitting position is practical and good for morale and one bothy
bag is lighter than two bivi-bags.
The Summit Bothy Bag meet the main criteria of simplicity and robustness
and have the kind of cheery yellow colour that fools you into thinking
the weather has cleared up outside. They incorporate all of the basic
features you need; a couple of Velcro-sealable vents, integral stuff
sac and draw cord. They also have loop tabs at the corners, which
opens up more options below the tree line.
Summit Bothy Bags are currently in use with a number of mountain
rescue teams and mountain guides. They come in several sizes upto
20 person and are available direct from the manufacturer
in the uk