Tom de Dorlodot: The gear I use for bivouac

VON THOMAS DE DORLODOT · 4. March 2015

 

I often receive messages of pilots who would like to know what gear we use for bivouac. I usually say « light is right », « Less is more »… On a flying day your gliders carries you but on a walking day you carry your glider. So let’s keep it light and simple… During Red Bull X Alps I usually carry around 9.5kg. In bivouac it’s a bit more depending on food and extra gear (stove, fishing rod, etc).

Here is what I took with me for the Travesia del Cauca in Colombia:

Glider: Gradient Aspen 5, light version. It weights 4kg and it’s a perfect glider for bivouac flying. Easy to fly, safe, easy to take off and land anywhere and it has very good performance.

Harness: Sup’Air Delight 2. This time I took the Delight 2, because I wanted to try out this brand new harness. It’s very comfortable as it feels like a competition harness. It is a great compromise and has a big back protection and enough room for storage. It’s 3,6kg which I believe is maybe a little heavy for bivouac but great for all uses. If you want to use only one harness for XC and bivouac, that’s the one. Usually I go lighter (Sup’Air XC13, 2,3kg). The team is working on a much lighter one for the Red Bull X Alps 2015.

Rescue: Sup’Air X-Tralite M. A great choice, only 1.2kg.

Carabiners: Sup’Air Connect. (12grams).

Bag-pack: Gradient light Rucksack. Developed for X Alps. It weights around 800grams. One of the most important piece of gear. It has to be comfortable and feel great on your back. It’s better if it’s visible (reflector, flashy color) in case you walk on roads by night.

Helmet:  I use a Black Diamond Vapor. 199grams only! I wrote my blood type on it. It might help to gain time in case of a crash.

Walking poles: Black Diamond Distance Z Trekking poles. Great to hike and very helpful to climb a mountain, easy to store. I have used it in the past as a fishing rod and as a pole for selfie…

Headlamp: You will need one. Black Diamond Re Volt Headlamp. I love the fact that you can recharge it by USB.

Shoes: Salomon Speedcross 3 CS. Great grip in muddy / rocky terrain. The XA Pro 3D is better on paved roads. GORE TEX is a must for rain and humidity.

Jacket: Salomon Bonatti WP Jacket. Light and strong.

Watch: Garmin Forerunner 220. Track distance, pace and heart rate.

Camera: Garmin VIRB Elite. Long battery lifetime, stabilization, display and GPS track! Up to 3 hours battery which is very good for bivouac.

GPS: Garmin Etrex 30. 140 grams. Light and small with all the features we need. The maps are just great and it’s so easy to navigate through mountains with it.

Vivofit: It counts your steps, the calories you burn, your heart rate, the distance you covered… Really light and really cool.

Phone: Iphone 5S. Great for posting pictures, calling friends, listening to music… I buy a local sim card in every country I go.

Live tracking: Loctome via Iphone 5S. Great app, very easy to use. Great to keep your family on a computer all day.

Extra battery pack: Power monkey explorer 2. Strong and water proof. It can recharge pretty much anything (VIRB, Iphone, Headlamp, GPS). It will be needed if you are far from civilization for a few days.

Matress: Thermarest Neo air XLite. 350 grams and super comfy.

Sleeping bag: Aspen 5… ;-)

Camel bag: Salomon Soft reservoir. 1.4 L.

Gloves: Black Diamond Windweight.

Extras:

-Micropure. In case you have doubts about the quality of the water.

-Knife, Swiss army knife or a light Leatherman.

-Compeed for blisters.

-Suncream.

-Teeth brush.

-A bit of ripstop, a few lines.

-Sunglasses.

-Buff.

-Plastic bag to protect your glider in case of heavy rains.

-A picture of your girlfriend…


Picture credit: Krystle Wright.

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