Camping under the stars on International Bivvy Bag Day

Camping under the stars on International Bivvy Bag Day

Regular tents are great, but have you ever just wanted to look up into the sky whilst camping and take in the view?

The skies are often clearest at night, with a beautiful view of the stars - and come morning, the sunrise is a gorgeous sight.

Fortunately, there’s a solution for those looking to change up their camping experience. And it’s called a bivvy bag.

What is a bivvy bag?

A bivvy is essentially just a waterproof cover which goes over your normal sleeping bag, but it will also typically provide cover for your head and face to protect you from the elements.

This allows you to sleep out in the wild without having to worry about the cold, wind, and rain!

Bivvying is still a niche, however, which is why communities of enthusiasts have risen up to spread the word and help more people experience this exciting hobby.

And that’s where international bivvy bag day comes in.

International bivvy bag day

Last year, avid hillwalker Russ Moorehouse completed his challenge of camping on all 214 Wainwrights.

To celebrate this, he decided to start international bivvy bag day to get more people engaged with this form of camping. 

It was a major success, with 1387 people taking part in just the first year. And this year - he smashed that record.

I started International Bivvybag Day with the aim of getting people out in the wild to experience a night under the stars”, Russ said. “I never expected it to take off and become an annual event, but everyone loved it so much and wanted to do it again, so international bivvy bag day was born.

“It’s a new record this year with over 2124 people taking part from all over the world!”


Saving Dartmoor


International bivvy bag day is on the last Saturday of February. This year it fell on the 25th, and people all across the globe took part.

To record who’s taking part, Russ sets a codeword on the day.

I release a code word at noon on the day to prove the bivvy took place that night. This year it is Save Dartmoor.

“That’s because it’s twenty years to the day of the Scottish Land Reform Act, and we would love to see the same freedoms in England and Wales.”

The Land Reform Act 2003 saw public access to most land and inland water across Scotland. Also known as the “right to roam”, it’s a popular policy which gives land back to the people, allowing everyone to hike and camp across the gorgeous Scottish landscape.

But the right to roam does not exist across the rest of the UK. And in January this year, Dartmoor National Park - one of the only places left in England where wild camping was legal - saw a complete ban. 

With this year’s code for international bivvy bag day, Russ wants to raise awareness to lift the ban on wild camping on Dartmoor - but also would like to see the same freedoms seen in Scotland put in place in England.

Staying warm in a bivvy

Of course, if you’re thinking of heading out in a bivvy, you need to think carefully about your safety and comfort.

Make sure you’re sleeping on a firm, flat piece of land and not on a narrow ledge. You don’t want to take a tumble down a hill whilst sleeping!

And make sure you bring plenty of warm clothes. Russ likes to go out in Sprayway gear - so we’ve put some recommendations below!

For your lower half, the Compass Warm Challenger Pant and Warm Escape Slim Pant are a great choice. Bivvying is a great way to spend a lightweight night on the hill, but temperatures can drop as the sun sets. Our Compass Warm Challenger and Warm Escape Slim Pants are designed to be durable and warm for those chillier days on the hills.

And for jackets - the Cape Wrath Men's and Women’s Jacket. A bivvy bag is a great alternative to a tent if you’re trying to make your rucksack smaller and lighter for a night out under the stars. Our Men’s and Women’s Cape Wrath Jackets feature Lightweight GORE-TEX Paclite Plus. Partnered with our ‘Function First’ ethos, this is the ideal shell to grab before heading out on a bivvy. The Cape Wrath can be easily packed away if the weather improves on the walk into your bivvy spot, but it also provides ample protection should the weather take an unexpected turn.


Get involved


Interested in taking part in the next international bivvy bag day? Join the Facebook group!


And if you find yourself out in a bivvy in some Sprayway gear, let us know. Take a picture and tag us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter with #Sprayway for a chance to feature on our social media.