We recommend that the bivvy is always packed away dry or is dried as soon as possible after a session. This prevents mildew from forming and in turn prevents damage / breakdown of the materials used.
Avoid contact with fuel, oil (in baits/ cooking) and chemicals as the stains from these may be impossible to remove and will probably attack the fabric and damage the proofing.
Avoid pitching under trees as sap may fall onto the outer and it is almost impossible to remove.
Wherever possible pitch your bivvy with the wind to the rear. During strong winds try and keep the door closed as much as possible as this increases strength and stability of the bivvy. Wherever possible consider any natural shelter from large trees but remember in very strong winds trees can also be damaged so be careful not to pitch your bivvy directly under any likely looking branches.
The pegs supplied are general purpose and will be more than suitable for most bank side surfaces however there are many more styles commercially available which are more suited to gravel / sandy banks a good idea for strong winds is to double peg the windward edge and cross the pegs at around 45 degrees.
Cooking in your bivvy is not recommended, not only are naked flames dangerous in tents but the build up of dangerous carbon monoxide can be detrimental to your health we recommend cooking outside of the bivvy as this also helps to keep condensation to a minimum (see condensation notes). On hard stony ground or on ground where the ground sheet is subjected to potentially damaging objects (tree roots etc) we recommend the use of a secondary ground sheet. This becomes more important in sewn in groundsheet as any holes could mean moisture entering the inner cavity of the tent.
Be careful to erect the bivvy correctly. We offer extensive instruction booklets supplied with each bivvy, we also offer instructional videos on line at www.youtube.com/user/aquaproducts1 and we have a team of knowledgeable staff who are familiar with the correct techniques in which to erect your bivvy. It is a good idea to have a practice run at home prior to your first session. Never force zips, ensure poles are inserted correctly, and never over tension poles as this can cause lasting damage to your bivvy.
While fishing your bivvy can come into contact with all sorts of smells from bait and food remember rodents have an acute sense of smell and can think that your bivvy will make a good place to set up home. Rodent damage is one of the hardest to repair as they very often chew through several layers of material more often than not this takes place over winter when gear is stored for long periods of time. By keeping your bivvy clean, it can help reduce the appeal to rodents but also airing it at regular intervals will decrease the likelihood of these things going unnoticed.
For cleaning technical fabrics such as those used in bivvys, we recommend the use of use Universal Cleaner from Grangers. Wash your bivvy whilst erect using warm water and a sponge - never scrub. Most of the time simply hosing down the bivvy and removing mud and debris with a sponge will be enough to prevent a build up. Do not use detergents of any type. These will strip away the protective coating of the fabric.
We use the highest standard of zips we can source and in normal conditions they will provide years of trouble free service. Periodically a zip lube may be used to ensure that they operate to the same high standard throughout the life of the bivvy.
However bank side conditions can get muddy so we recommend that zips get special attention keep the teeth free of mud as this can hamper the performance. This usually means the zip struggles to
slide freely more often than not resulting in a forced zip that fails NEVER FORCE A ZIP as this can cause permanent damage the teeth.
Again, take the time to dry the bivvy completely before packing the bivvy away.
Over time the coating on the outside of the fabric will wear a good indicator is when the material goes darker and it appears to hold water at this stage the material will no longer form droplets on the fabric and run off easily. We recommend when you notice these symptoms that you re–proof the material or annually whichever is soonest.
The product we recommend is Fabsil Gold because it won't affect the breathability of the Aquatexx. This can be purchased directly from ourselves at www.aquaproducts.co.uk. We recommend the brush on version as we feel it’s more economic with less waste. Simply apply to the bivvy/brolly with either a brush or an atomiser spray, and ensure that its completely dry before you pack it away this will provide you with added protection for another year.
Condensation can show in various forms such as droplets on the inside of the bivvy to patches generally around the head end or in some cases all over. Remember if you are sharing a bivvy this will exaggerate the condensation. Cooking inside the bivvy will also cause condensation, as moisture will form on the inside of the material. Please note that even modern breathable materials will suffer from condensation albeit on a smaller scale.
A single skinned bivvy will always suffer more from condensation than those used with wraps. You must ensure when using wraps that they are designed for the bivvy being used, because if a wrap
that touches the inner skin will in fact make the condensation worse.
When being used with a wrap there must be sufficient air circulation between the two skins this is usually aided by the pole sleeves standing the fabrics apart and an air gap at the base of the wrap this is completely normal.
The use of a ground sheet will also help to reduce condensation.
If the sleeping bag or cover is just slightly soiled simply brush off as much as possible then sponge down the outer with clean water and leave to dry.
It is not recommended that your sleeping bag is stored in the bedchair. If it is damp mildew will form and continually compressing the fibres can cause the performance to be reduced irreversibly. Ideally they should be stored loose in a cotton or mesh bag.
Always air your bag thoroughly before storing and each day during a trip if possible.
Synthetic bags can be machine washed, though due to the size we recommend using a larger commercial machine for this purpose.
Use a specialist cleaning product such as Grangers 30 degree cleaner.
If using a smaller washing machine you may have to repeat the rinse cycle to ensure that all the cleaning agent has been rinsed from your sleeping bag.
If weather permits you can just hang your bag out to dry alternatively in a warm, well aired space.
A good solution is to use a liner to reduce the number of times your bag will need to be cleaned; this will increase the life of the bag.
Always follow any instructions given on the bag.
Always rinse the bag thoroughly, as any cleaning products left behind will affect the loft of the bag when it has dried.
If you are reluctant to clean your bag at home or fear damaging your bag we recommend that you have it cleaned professionally by the following companies:
WL Franklin (Sheffield) 01142 686161