How to Make Your Own Bivy Sack

Written by sarah metzker erdemir
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How to Make Your Own Bivy Sack
(Image courtesy of Wikipedia Commons)

A bivy sack, short for bivouac sack, is the choice for campers who can't or don't want to sleep in a tent. It is an airtight, watertight, windproof bag that goes over the sleeping bag and the user's head. A bivy sack makes a sleeping bag warmer, and lets you sleep under the stars and in places where pitching a tent isn't practical. A bivy sack can be quite expensive, however, so try these steps for making your own.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Sewing machine
  • 3 yards Gore-Tex
  • 3 yards coated nylon taffeta or other waterproof net fabric
  • Thread
  • 30-inch and 8-inch zipper or Velcro
  • Scissors

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  1. 1

    Cut the Gore-Tex and taffeta so that they are 40 inches across and 2 ½ yards long.

  2. 2

    Lay the taffeta on the Gore-Tex with the Gore-Tex inside facing out.

  3. 3

    Sew the fabrics together with the seam ½-inch from the edge.

  4. 4

    After sewing all around the edges, stop the seam 30 inches from where you started (this is where you will attach a zipper).

  5. 5

    Sew the fabrics again along the first seam for extra strength.

  6. 6

    Attach the 30-inch zipper or Velcro to the opening on the side. This is where you will get in and out of the sack.

  7. 7

    Cut an 8-inch slit in the Gore-Tex and attach the 8-inch zipper or Velcro.

  8. 8

    Turn the bag right-side out so the seams are inside. It is now ready to use.

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