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Bivouac Shelter

Warning. Any instructions given here are for members of the 1st Tadcaster Scout Group.

None of these activities are safe. If you undertake them you do so entirely at your own risk.


This is how we construct a bivouac. It does not use natural materials for the covering because :


For building a standard bivouac we use cheap plastic sheets available in B&Q. These only cost a few pounds and come in small and large sizes. The large size (5m x 4m) produces a comfortable bivouac for at least 4 scouts. Two small size sheets could be used by 2 scouts.

Bivouac Shelter

Select two trees, ideally as far apart as the width of the sheet. Tie a rope at head height between the trees. (Use a harvester's knot to tighten the rope: the tighter the better.)

Place the sheet over the rope in the shape shown. A 6th over-lapping the front, a half making the rear wall, and the rest making the groundsheet. Peg the sheet down at each corner. Add two guys for the front of the sheet. (Bailer twine is fine for this.)

And that's it. The advantage of an open side shelter is that you can light a fire a few feet away from the shelter. Sit in comfort whilst you cook your meal, or keep warm at night.

The best design of fire to use is a reflector fire. It will radiate heat into the shelter.

See our instructions on fire lighting for information on how to build a reflector fire.

Placing you bivouac under trees is a good idea in the colder months of the year, as you will find the trees protect you from frost and cold air. This is particularly true of Scotch's Pine. However, be careful where you place your fire. Do not use a position which might damage the tree.


Alternative designs of bivouac.

There are a number of other designs you can use :

Remember if you need information about any Scout Activity you can email Bill Oldroyd, Scout Leader, 1st Tadcaster. 01937-836078