Essential equipment to make bivouac

Essential equipment to make bivouac
To spend the night in the open, in the middle of the mountain, does not have to be tedious. There are techniques and good advice for a bivouac to be as comfortable as possible.

Bivouac is one of the most desired experiences for those people in love with the mountains, although sometimes it is a necessary practice in very long treks or when there are adverse weather conditions. Those who are thinking about carrying out this practice should have enough experience in orientation in the natural environment and its interpretation, as well as in accident prevention and basic survival techniques, because any incident during the night will be less bearable than during the day. Also, to make bivouac it is necessary to take into account some minimum guidelines, which we can sometimes ignore. In addition to carrying a headlamp with batteries or charged battery, it is essential to bivouac on a flat ground, sheltered from the wind, and away from rivers, ravines (avenues of water in case of heavy rain) and cliffs (falling stones by wildlife). And, of course, the generated garbage must return with us.

In addition, we must know the region where you want to bivouac, the current season, the weather forecast and the expected temperature at the altitude where the overnight will be made, simply with a sleeping bag, an insulation layer and a cover.

Insulation layer

It is the mat or mattress that we spread on the ground and, on this, our sleeping bag, in order to avoid losing temperature or get wet in contact with this, which could be wet. In addition, the insulation layer slightly softens the small stones or protuberances.

Sleeping bag

Depending on the time of year and the expected temperature at the overnight altitude, one sleeping bag or another should be chosen, taking into account our body height. Even in summer, it is necessary to carry a sleeping bag, no matter how light it may be, since, depending on the region, the temperature can drop during the night.


The bivouac holster is an essential element if we are going to spend the night in a place with snow, or if there is a forecast of rain or snowfall. It is a waterproof cover that could keep us dry (depending on its breathability), in case of the aforementioned weather adversities.

In addition to this basic equipment for bivouac, which should be as light as possible, it is necessary to calculate the food and water that we will need during the trekking, depending on the expected days of duration. Canned food, nuts and water sources along the way can be very helpful.