When people talk about using a bivvy bag as their sole means of shelter, I'm often the one that'll pipe up and say how miserable an experience it can be if you're already wet or if it starts to rain. Recently, I've been thinking about what would be required to make a 'bivvy only' approach more practical. Obviously the answer is a tarp but how much or little would be required?
I figured that it needed to be light and to pack small. There had to be enough coverage to enable you to get in and out of your bag under cover. Ideally it would allow you to 'cook' and provide shelter for your gear if required. I also wanted something that was very fast to set up, didn't require any faffing about with bikes / wheels to hold it up and could be set-up by anyone, even those 'tarp phobic' amongst us.
Anyway, this is it. As a complete shelter inc' Spinnaker tarp, Dymeena lines, carbon pole and pegs it weighs just a whisker under 180g and I reckon I can possibly reduce that a little more yet. It sets up with just 4 pegs and takes about 30 seconds. It'll cover one person from the thighs up and allow room to cook or cover the top half of two good friends. The entire thing inc' the pole fits in the palm of your hand.