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The Book of the Bivvy [Kindle Edition]

Ronald Turnbull
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £9.99
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Book Description

A guide to bivvybag skills and expeditions, The Book of The Bivvy is a half-and-half mix of how to do it and why to do it (or how not to do it, and why not to do it). Accounts of expeditions, both nice and nasty, alternate with practical chapters about the technicalities of the breathable membrane, how little kit you really can get away with and the secrets of lightweight long distance. The book closes with a selection of bivvybag expeditions to initiate the unwary into the secrets. Ronald's informed, humorous, instructive, wry look at the world of the bivouac is certainly the first, and perhaps the last, word on this unexplored territory. Along the way Ronald shows that 1900 to 1969 was the dark age of the bivouac, how Diogenes (the Cynic) bivvied under timber, and that the Eiger was climbed only through improved bivvying technique.

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Review

Winner: Outdoor Writer's Guild Awards for Excellence: Best Outdoor Book 2001Quirky. Entertaining. Funny. Heart warming. Very well researched and stunningly presented. (OWG Award judges)Thank you for writing The Book of the Bivvy. I bivvied out on Friday night near Capel Curig, alone in an ex-British Army bivvy bag bought for GBP12 from an army surplus store. Even though it was August Bank Holiday I saw no-one between 6pm Friday and 10:30am on Saturday and had no trouble finding accommodation. I hope to do this often - my only regret is not trying it sooner (Anthony Walmsley, via email)This book by a very well respected outdoors' author, is both a joy and an inspiration, sure to make you want to take off and seek out the wild places, ten-less at that! At least those of us who enjoy camping outwith just a bivvy bag have found a guide to the hobby that we can recommend to beginners.Ronald Turnbull's book is a gallimaufry of good things; full of sound advice, such as choosing a bivvy bag - from basic polybag to state-of-the-art expensive shelter, what to do if it rains, long-distance bivvying, all related in a humorous and informative style - making this an ideal bedside book even if you just read it in the comfort of your home...Ten out of ten, Mr Turnbull, but please come and bivvy on Dartmoor...Rating *****(John Bainbridge, Dartmoor News Sept/Oct 2002)'Turnbull is ultimately worth reading, not just because of the clever quirkiness of his thoughts and phrases but because his night yomps and his high bivvies and his off-beat, off-beaten-track jaunts show that he retains that most basic of outdoor-writer essentials: a simple love of being out there, somewhere, on the surface of the planet.(The Angry Corrie, 1999)'

About the Author

Ronald Turnbull was one of the first people to walk the Southern Upland Way. He is a runner as well as a walker, and in 1986 was awarded the Long Distance Trophy of the Fell Running Association for a non-stop journey over the 148 hills of Southern Scotland. Outside the Southern Uplands he walks, climbs and runs in the Highlands and sometimes in England.

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More About the Author

I'm an all-weather walker, writer and photographer based in Southern Scotland. My special interest is in multi-day backpack trips over rough country, and I have completed 18 different coast-to-coast journeys across various parts of the UK. I like to sleep out without tent on UK hilltops, and have achieved comfortable nights on more than 70 in Scotland, Cumbria, and elsewhere in the UK.

In 1995 I won the Fell Running Association's Long Distance Trophy for a 10-day run over all the hills of Southern Scotland - a journey of 450 miles with over 90,000ft of ascent. I once completed the Ben Nevis race in 1hr 58 mins, and have climbed the Eiger but by its Mittelegi Ridge not its North Face.

I write in the magazines Lakeland Walker, TGO (formerly The Great Outdoors), Trail, Cumbria and elsewhere. In 1999, The Angry Corrie magazine wrote: "Turnbull is ultimately worth reading, not just because of the clever quirkiness of his thoughts and phrases but because his night yomps and his high bivvies and his off-beat, off-beaten-track jaunts show that he retains that most basic of outdoor-writer essentials: a simple love of being out there, somewhere, on the surface of the planet."

My personal website is at www.ronaldturnbull.co.uk

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
By Nothern Climes TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Great little book - interesting chapters and a lovely, tongue-in-cheek style that is very refreshing. I enjoyed it a lot - to the extent that I went out and bought my very own bag. Having said that, although I'd camped out over the years, one go in a 'bag' convinced me that I was not a 'bagger' and I was lucky in that I was able to return it to the shop in a good enough state. Back to (heavier) tents for me. The point is though, this book is very descriptive without being boring. Clearly, the author has lived and breathed the hills and knows his stuff. Not cheap, but worth it I found and very informative.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The only book on bivvies that you need. 13 Dec. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I don't bother with leaving reviews very often, but after reading a few of the previous offerings here (although most are 5*) I felt I had to chip in. Firstly, it's about bivvying. A bivvy bag is a waterproof ('ish) human-sized bag. You sleep in it and hope you don't wake up spooning a badger. A book on bivvying is never going to be a yellow-pages sized epic. What this book does have is something that is often lacking from outdoors publications; character and humour (of the dry variety). There is also more than enough information on choosing a bag that will suit you and your budget, places to go to and a mish-mash of assorted snippets on diet, photography etc. 10 minutes on Google will give you more than enough information on buying a bivvy, what you get from this book is an insight into a 'less is more attitude' told with obvious (and infectious) enthusiasm. He does take the piss out of a few stereotypes along the way but if that's going to upset you then it's probably because he's hitting too close to home. I enjoyed this book and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I loved this little book. As someone who as wild camped for years with tent and full gear this book has inspired me to a whole new experience - do the same but take less gear and travel light! I cannot imagine a better book about sleeping out under the stars. He regularly reminds us that you will get cold and wet and you will need to plan for drying out - he likes to tell it like it is. Most of us make a list of all the stuff we need to take with us and then pack it all. This book questions all the stuff on the list and encourages you to leave most of it behind go light. Why take a tent when you can climb into a big plastic bag? Why take a sleeping bag when you can sleep in your clothes? Why take a stove when you can eat cold stuff? Why take any food at all when you can get a full english at the bottom of the hill? My kinda preparation. Love it. Plenty of detail about places and routes and stuff. Will probably read it again soon to pick up on the bits I missed first time through - not often I do that with a little book.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not so much a book of the bivvy 6 April 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The book is well written and humorous but is not so much a book of the bivvy, but more a record of various treks over various hills and mountains. Granted, the author uses a bivvy each time but constantly complains about how cold and wet they are and not just cold and wet, but how cold and wet each make he's used is and why. For someone fit enough to walk over mountains in all weathers for 8, 12 and even longer hours, without cooker or apparent food, before walking miles down in order to eat, I would of thought he was fit enough to carry something more dryer, warmer and comfortable!
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
I took his advice got my bivvy bag out and put it in my pack with very little else. I walked 100 miles in two and a half days.

The book is great because of the content and superb because of the style. I laughed out loud frequently. I will need to read it again to absorb the information I want from it. Moon cycles, repair tips, how the bag works, what not to take, haggis recipes. I will also have to recreate the trips he describes, but in my own style.

If you go walking then don't take this book for bedtime reading. Because, as Ron says, walking keeps you warm so just walk further.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A jolly good read 23 Jun. 2015
By Rich
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A great small read. Gives some witty and pleasant insights into travelling light, including routes to follow and places to stay particularly in Scotland and The North. Having considered bivvying, this few pounds spent seemed the logical first step before committing to a wet miserable night alone in the middle of nowhere. I now feel much more informed and aware of what to anticipate. As well as that it was a jolly good read in it's own right.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Corking! 28 Sept. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This was a delight. In an age of glamping and easy travel, 'stress free' and 'without all the hassle' it was great to read someone eulogise what is uncomfortable and basic, but brim over with the beauty and the joy of it. He writes in a great, dry manner and shares the horror and the hedgerows. Made me feel my own bib vying was more sane. Useful, practical and written with love.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Bivvy advice and stories from a seasoned bivvyist 26 Dec. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book. The right mix of advice, experience and stories to get you hooked. If you're looking for a manual then I'm sure there's other books more detailed but they won't give you the ethos or the insight from someone so experienced or the inspiration to get out there to uniquely enjoy Scotland or the Lakes without crowds.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars If you have a bivvy bag....you need this book
Quite simply there is nothing else anywhere near as good. If you are thinking about buying a bivvy or taking out you old one, buy this book. Read more
Published 29 days ago by Dr. GSC
5.0 out of 5 stars A delight
A book that passes on a lifetimes experience of bivvying. Be aware its appeal is infectious and if you find yourself in the Cheviots in the mist of a ranging storm ( in just a... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mr D
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny and informative
Great advice funny and useful. Always an entertaining read Mr Turnbull. Now just got to try out some of his advice
Published 1 month ago by D. J. Mullen
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A really great read, left me itching to get out in my bag
Published 2 months ago by Stuart Massey
4.0 out of 5 stars I think I learned something non the less and enjoyed learning about...
Not as informative as I'd hope. But more the philosophical ramblings of an enthusiast. I think I learned something non the less and enjoyed learning about Ron's way of life.
Published 2 months ago by Dan Hayman
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun and inspiring
Read this, and you'll be raring to go out bivvying. The guy is funny, and the information is solid.
Published 2 months ago by Ulla Lauridsen
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspired
perfect - A well impressed nephew!
Published 3 months ago by Claire Tripp
5.0 out of 5 stars Great little book
Lots of useful tips
Published 4 months ago by kevin Powderly
5.0 out of 5 stars Some nice accounts. And lots of advice on how to ...
This is by someone who knows how to bivvy. Some nice accounts. And lots of advice on how to go about bivvying, do's & dont's, types of bivvy, makes, etc. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Ians workshop
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Enjoyed from beginning to end.
Published 5 months ago by Mr. Sj Neale
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