There are numerous situations when mountaineers may have to bivouac.

A few of them are exceptionally not advised but unavoidable at the same time.

I was going through the details of the K2-Tragedy(2008) and I learnt that in situations where one runs out of time and doesn't want to give up the summit bid, one may end up in a situation when he/she has to bivouac.

I am absolutely not in the mind to do something like what Marco Confortola and Gerard MacDonell or Wilco Van Rooijen did.

What can one do to prepare for such a bivouac? What are things that one should look for in case if he/she/they are going to have to Bivouac?

I believe that when one realizes that he/she has to bivouac, it is pretty late and the sun has set already.

Edit: Lets take this question into consideration Spectifically for High Altitudes.

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    What terrains are you thinking about? The term "country-side long trek" lets me think about some rather flat terrain with vegetation and normally free of snow. Or are we talking about mountain areas with snow all year round and temperatures likely to be below freezing? Commented Jan 10, 2014 at 14:12
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    Too broad. Narrow it down a bit. A bivouac depends on the region involved. The one applicable for someone in one region may not apply for other. Commented Jan 10, 2014 at 19:11

1 Answer 1


In terms of the average hike that you talk about, with not reaching your intended campsite, there's really no difference in bivouacking and just camping without a tent. So you'd basically look for similar conditions that you'd normally camp in.

  • Find a place out of the wind, preferably with a cover like trees.
  • Make sure you're on high ground and not in danger of being flooded from a water source or sudden rainfall.
  • Be sure you're sleeping in a spot you know how to get back out of. It's easy to lose what something looks like in the dark compared to what it looks like next morning, and if you go off looking for a good site, you're more likely to get lost.
  • Get in your bivvy and sleep for the night!

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