Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Vol Biv Anyone?

Lately, Jeff and I have been absolutely obsessed with planning a couple vol bivy trips.  Given all the work we have put it, I figure it makes sense to document our preparation here.

Vol What?

Vol bivouac, or "vol biv"for short, originates from the French and translates to "fly camping".  The objective is fly a paraglider cross country as far as possible carrying all the gear you need to camp upon landing.  Get up the next day and do it again.  It's the ultimate, self-supported paragliding, hiking, & mountain climbing adventure.

Vol biv has always been at the fringe of the sport of paragliding.  Early pioneers have made some fantastic journeys- crossing the Alp, the Himalayas, and even the Karakoram in Pakistan.  New advancements in both paragliding and camping equipment have opened up the sport and bigger journeys are now possible.  The latest paragliding gear is lighter and more efficient.  You can fly farther and when you have to hike and climb, the weight is half as much as paragliding kits from even 5 years ago.  Advances in the ultralight backpacking industry also help to reduce weight and complexity of a vol biv kit.

Jeff and I have been researching gear, techniques and routes for almost a year now.  Subsequent posts will document all the research to date.  We have a shakedown trip planned for later this winter on the West coast, then Jeff is jumping in the deep end with a solo trip to New Zealand in February. 

Jeff is blogging about his NZ route research here.

I'll leave you with some links to vol biv stories and expeditions on the net.

Nic Neynen's  "Share My Joys" blog and Youtube videos have been a big inspiration to us.

The Sierra Safari was an expedition up the Sierra's and is documented in "500 Miles to Nowhere."

A nice trip across the Pyrenees. 

Sati & Melody's trip across the Alps.

1 comment:

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