Nov
15th
2015

Do you ‘bothy’?


There I was, taking an armchair vacation at home one recent mid-week night while reading the definitive backcountry ski blog www.wildsnow.com.

The article I read was regarding items one should carry in the ski pack for onsite repairs to ski gear. One commenter stated that he aways carried a ‘bothy bag’ where others carried emergency blankets and bivy bags.

Not knowing what a bothy was I set out to the interwebs to learn. A few weeks later I now have a bothy bag.

What is a bothy, where do they come from?

‘Bothies take their name from the small buildings / basic cottages which are available to use free-of-charge in remote, mountainous areas of Scotland, northern England, Ireland, and Wales. These buildings provide basic temporary shelter from the harsh wind, rain and snow. When a bothy building is not available, bothy bags provide a useful emergency alternative.’

Simply put a bothy bag is a large rectangular box shape of fabric, allowing a group of people to quickly get under and take cover from the elements. These shelters can quickly warm up with shared body heat, creating a micro-climate inside the simple structure. They can also be waterproof and offer great protection from biting winds. Thanks to their tiny pack size and weight, they’re extremely portable and will fit easily into most rucksacks and day packs without adding too much weight or taking up much space.’

Source: go here

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After recently getting two person both bag in the mail, I took it outside to use. I was at the 6,000 ele on the south side of Mt. Hood skiing up above the parking lot on a windy rainy foggy day. ‘Perfect’ conditions for a bothy.

I took the bothy out of the stuff sack, pulled it over my head and within a few minutes the ambient  temperature inside the bothy increased rapidly.  Such that I took my ski helmet off without any appreciable notice of cold air whereas the breeze outside was 15-25 ish.

This item will always go with me on all outings, day trips or multi-day.

 

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