School Night Bivvy Club & DD Hammocks
Back in 2019 Darroch wrote a blog post for DD Hammocks about the simple enjoyment of sneaking in a mid-week bikepacking adventure which we thought worth adding to our blog. Since then it has evolved from regular with the original #schoolnightbivvyclub crew to monthly 'Bath Outdoors' bivvy nights.
Geeking out on kit and equipment is an enjoyable part of bikepacking which makes our job as an outdoor equipment and bike shop all the more enjoyable.
The idea for #schoolnightbivviclub came about a couple of years ago having met Katherine Moore at a bikepacking demo evening I was giving at Johns Bikes in Bath.
Our mutual love of bikepacking brought together a group of friends and acquaintances in the area who were ‘time poor’ but keen to shoe horn their adventures into the working week.
So we've left the office, where are we heading to?
The format for our midweek adventures has remained very simple:
⦁ Arrive at work prepared for overnight bivvi
⦁ Cycle directly from work to rendezvous (RV), meet crew, faff about a bit, buy provisions and cycle to bivvi site
⦁ Set up camp
⦁ Enjoy company, dinner and night under stars
⦁ Wake up, make breakfast or head to nearest café
⦁ Return to desk smug having enjoyed a sneaky midweek break!
Over the past 18 months our mid-week outings have brought together a group of people with mixed ability and experience forging great ride buddies. Mainly mountain and gravel bikers with varying degrees of experience wild camping. The group has no structure outside of some guiding principles including but not limited to the responsible use of the outdoors (leave no trace), fun, companionship, safe practice, skill development, experimentation and the cross pollination of ideas and experience.
Comfier than your own bed and with the right company, far more entertaining than weeknight soap operas!
A School Night Bivvi Club outing typically consists of an evening with a dryish forecast, 1-2 hour ride allowing for plenty of time to set up camp and enjoy food and drink prior to a night under the stars. We’ll normally meet near a shop off our route to buy individual/group provisions. Food varies from meat and vegetables cooked over an open fire, traditional foods (e.g. chorizo, rice, cheese & dried mushrooms to make a camp risotto) to instant noodles cooked on a gas stove. Add to this chocolate, toasted marshmallows, charged hip flasks for post dinner pudding and fireside chat and you have all the ingredients of a memorable mid-week evening before returning smugly to work the following day.
Within the group we use a mix of small tents, bivvi bags, hammocks and tarps. Experimenting with food, kit and equipment has been an unexpected benefit of @schoolnightbivviclub rides as most of us have different set ups for shelter, cooking and load carrying. Each ride provides new knowledge, skill, improvements to set ups and enthusiasm for our next ride. Always good to see how other people operate in the outdoors!
DD Hammocks in particular have proved to be an excellent performer being lightweight, robust and great value for money. A number of our group now have either DD Camping Hammocks or DD Superlight Hammocks combined with DD Superlight Tarps.
Early start amongst nature, heading back to the office with a smile on your face - the dream!
So if you like the sound of this or would just like to see what its all about. Head down to Bath Outdoors on our next bikepacking shop ride or event. Dates are published on our Facebook and Instagram pages.