Saturday 11th June
Leaves Peebles 1pm
Kingsmeadows Road Park
Returns next day
The Bivvy Night is simple – we all meet up in Peebles, head off riding into the hills through the afternoon and into the evening.
Then we find somewhere nice to stop for the night, get settled down and have a peaceful (usually – snoring has featured previously) night under the stars, or whatever weather might be on offer.
The next day we continue our bike journey, which is usually well away into the back country, and then pedal back to Peebles. It’s a real get away from it all experience, and if you’ve never tried bivvying out in the hills, it comes highly recommended. Memories are made of trips like these.
There’s effort required though! You have to carry your own supplies and overnight equipment. Numbers will be limited, and we’ll try to help sort out kit sharing (eg we don’t want everyone to bring their own stove), but everyone will need to have (and carry!) their own bivvy bag etc. and know roughly what they are doing.
We’re sorting out the route and suggestions for somewhere to stop, but we won’t tuck you in, read you a story or bring you supper – you need to be self-sufficient for this one!
This is not officially a guided trip and it’s free to come along.
Everyone is expected to treat the land (and hence landowners) with respect. We’ll leave no trace and everyone will carry everything they need in and out.
How it works
Once your place has been confirmed on the bivvy trip, you’ll be contacted with final details and kit list, but riders will meet at 1pm, Kingsmeadows Rd Car Park, Peebles. We’ll head up into the hills, to a suitable bivvy location where we’ll spend the night, and then head back to Peebles by a nice route the next morning. If the weather’s kind we can include some classic trails – we won’t be stuck for choice! We’d expect to be back in Peebles around lunchtime the next day.
Everyone is responsible for themselves and their own bike, kit, bivvy equipment, food and hydration, though we are planning to pass a water source on our route, to top-up supplies. Please note, this is a small group adventure, not a package holiday with company reps and organised entertainment! We will have sufficient local riders to help show the way, and we expect some splitting of groups going at different speeds. It’s NOT a race of any kind.
If you’re taking part with friends it’s a good idea to share kit like stoves and fuel.
Out all-nighters info
Here’s some information which might be helpful, not definitive – just some thoughts and suggestions:
Food & sufficient calories
It’s your responsibility to bring as much food as you think you’ll need to keep you going from when we meet up until the following lunchtime. We’ll camp near water sources so you won’t need to carry all your cooking/washing up water with you. Bringing a stove and pan is optional- you could manage on cold food throughout, but hot drinks are great for morale.
Bring sandwiches or rolls and/or your usual trail snacks for the ride. We’re not planning to stop to set up stoves for hot food until we stop at the bivvy site which could be at 7.30pm or so. Suggestions for food to bring if you are wanting a hot meal when we do stop would be:
Super noodles, quick cook pasta and a wee tub of pesto or other sauce, or one of those fancy packets of ready meals from a camping shop.
Or you could just go for hot drinks- cup-a-soup, tea or coffee (+ powdered milk).
For breakfast- more sandwiches or rolls, or cereal with powdered milk, or just cereal bars maybe a hot drink. or if you want to eat something hot again, porridge sachets.
Snacks to fuel your riding: sport bars, gels, bananas etc.
We will aim to be back in Peebles by 2pm.
Opinions differ widely (see http://www.bikepacking.net/ ‘personal setups’) or various forum threads on Singletrack but the suggestions here are pretty much main stream.
Essential to each have
Bivvy bag (or lightweight tent- opinions differ- can be almost as light and gives you room to get changed, but this is less sociable and it may be harder to find a spot to pitch it)
Sleeping bag (lightweight packable summer bags are available, but will you be warm enough?)
Sleeping mat (e.g. foam mat or thermarest)
Food (at the very least bring something for breakfast, and perhaps some energy foods)
Warm layer (dependent on weather but e.g. lightweight down jacket or gilet, fleece or merino layer)
Woolly hat and/or buff
Lightweight waterproof coat
Small torch (e.g. head torch)
(Essential if this affects you: medications you need to take, glasses / contact lenses)
Some way of carrying it all- at least a rucksack or perhaps also some stuff on your bike (e.g. strapped onto your bars or under your saddle, or using bar and/or saddle bag, rear rack (on a hardtail))
Very nice to each have
Spare clothes- e.g. clean dry baselayer to sleep in, spare warm socks to sleep in, spare gloves
Essential but don’t all need to carry- can be shared
Spare inner tube(s), mini-pump, multi-tool, any other bike spares
Map/compass and/or GPS
Toilet paper in a ziplock bag
First aid kit
Very nice to have and can be shared
Camping Stove + lighter/matches, pot (which you also eat out of), mug, fork and/or spoon (or spork)….. which means you can have hot drinks (tea, cupasoup etc.) and/or hot food (super noodles, porridge etc.)
Camera (or just use camera-phone)
We strongly suggest:
1) On at least one occasion, sleep outdoors with your sleeping bag/mat and bivvy bag to check it all works for you.
2) On at least one occasion you have a trial pack with everything you need and see if you can ride off road. (You might want to increase your shock pressures!).
Ideally, you should combine 1 & 2 into a proper ‘trial run’.
3) You pack things bearing in mind the order in which you’ll need them: have your bivvy bag, sleeping bag and mat handy.