Gear Nirvana

As I sat down to write this post I tried to think of a word or phrase to describe my latest piece of backpacking gear. And suddenly it hit me.

Nirvana.

Oh brother. How pretentious.

But just for fun, I decided to check the definition of "nirvana" to see if it really did fit.

"An ideal condition of rest, harmony, stability, or joy."

Yep, that seems about right.

Okay, maybe "joy" is taking it too far, but I think my new Meteor Bivy is ideal.

And the best thing is, I made it myself.

Meteor Bivy

The Meteor Bivy is the creation of Ron "Fallingwater" Moak, owner of Six Moon Designs. About five years ago he designed it, I think, with the idea of making it part of his line of lightweight backpacking gear. For whatever reason, he chose instead to publish the pattern on his Web site.

Though I've used it on just one overnight trip so far, I've found it to be just what I wanted: a lightweight all-in-one solution for managing weather and bugs without being encumbered with a tent. It's well-suited to work with a small tarp. In my case, that's an Integral Designs Sil Poncho.

It was an easy project to tackle. All of the materials were found at one source, thru-hiker.com. I made a full-sized pattern and cut the materials in one evening, then assembled it over three more evenings.

The directions Ron provided were a little skimpy, and if I had to do it over again there are a couple things I might do differently, but overall it turned out well.

I even added my own modification. I added an extra loop of webbing inside the netting to provide a place to hang a headlamp for nighttime reading.

The best part is, it weighs just 7.5 ounces. Combine it with my poncho (8.5 ounces) and that gives me an excellent, all weather shelter at about one pound.

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