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Night Fishing Essentials


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Firstly look at where you will be putting your shelter, try to squeeze under a tree or tight to a hedge or a bush to keep you out of the wind as much as possible.

Twin skin shelters are probably the best shelter you can use, as the air between the skins adds warmth by providing an insulating layer. This also reduces condensation that sometimes forms under single skin shelters that can drip over your sleeping bag, making your stay uncomfortable.

Make sure you check your shelter is regularly water proofed, you can either use the Fabsil spray or the paint on variety.

Make sure your Shelter is securely pegged down, i tend to push the pegs down at a slight angle to prevent them being pulled out so easily.

For those of you who use brollies it might be worth you buying an over wrap, it wont eliminate the condensation totally but it does reduce it a little.


This is how i arrange my shelter





Arranging your shelter properly will pay dividends at night, try to use the same lay out every time you go fishing until you become familiar with the way it is set up. Soon enough you will know where everything is even in the dark and you won't be fumbling around looking for bits and pieces. Notice in the second picture i always have my foot wear to the right hand side of the door. Getting a run at night can be a very confusing situation so it is important that you know where all of your gear is before hand.

Even the cook wear is always just outside the bivvy to the left hand side, i just find it easier to the left. Never bring your cook wear inside, always do the cooking and changing of gas outside.

The floor i like to cover in an old army blanket, these are very warm to the touch in Winter, and stop some of the cold coming through the floor. I also like to use a mat in the entrance of the door just to wipe my feet as i enter the bivvy and its also somewhere to keep muddy boots.



Sleeping Attire


A decent comfortable bedchair is a must, what ever sleep you do get you will want to make sure its as comfortable as possible. I have a six leg bedchair version, which is just perfect for setting up on any ground. Also i never tighten the spigot joints down, i think it just gives you a little more freedom when setting up over uneven ground.


The sleeping bag i have is a five season sleeping bag, with a fleece inner, this particular sleeping bag has a hood at the top and the bottom of the bag which slides over each end of your bedchair. There is also a retaining strap just to secure the sleeping bag down about mid way. All of these points keep the sleeping bag nice and stretched out over the bedchair which make for a more comfortable sleep.

I also use a bedchair cover which has six retaining straps that clip around the legs of the bedchair.


This just ensures the damp air stays out of your sleeping bag, and i quite often only use this cover during the summer months when the five season bag would just simply be to warm.

Make sure that when you are not sleeping, the bedchair is fully covered with this cover, there is nothing worst than climbing into a damp sleeping bag. For Winter months you might also want to consider purchasing a hot water bottle and put this in the sleeping bag about an hour before you intend going to sleep.


Cook Wear


If you are using a gas cooker i would suggest buying one of these little converters.


This is just so you are not tied to purchasing one type of can of gas, a lot of the screw top versions are more expensive than the bayonet versions. This cap simply screws onto your gas bottle connector, so you can use both types of cans.


These shields really make a difference, wrapped around the stove, firstly protecting anything from getting burnt and keeping the wind off your gas.



Important Note


While on the subject of stoves, please do not use your stove or lantern while your shelter is zipped up. The evaporation of CARBON MONOXIDE is greatly reduced by the thermal barrier in between the two skins of your bivvy, especially when your shelter is either wet, iced over or covered in snow. The side effects of CARBON MONOXIDE poisoning are as follows.


Mild Frontal Headache, malaise, nausea, vomiting, dizziness and manual loss of dexterity.

Headache with rapid heartbeat, confusion, lethargy, visual disturbances.

Death can happen with in one to two hours of exposer.


You and Bits and Pieces


Torches, headtorches and bivvy lights are all a good idea to have, always make sure you have spare batteries. Make sure your mobile phone is fully charged, just in case. I usually hang my headtorch on the spigot joint of the bedchair. You might even want to consider getting yourself a little pocket radio, just to give yourself something to listen to during those long dark nights. Personally i like to take a book to read.



I always wear thermals and a good pair of socks underneath all of my clothing. Hats, scarves and gloves are also going to help keep you warm. There are many winter suits available now on the market but make sure they are waterproof and again if need be use Fabsil on these as well. Take a few towels and a change of clothes and a spare pair of boots, trainers etc....... just in case.

Contrary to belief you dont loose most of your heat out of your head you are just as likely if not more likely to loose more heat out of your arms or legs, so remember keep them covered.

Make sure you have plenty of water for hot drinks and food and if your using a gas stove make sure the canister is wrapped in something warm as gas can and will freeze. In addition high calorie foods will help to keep you warm, i always cook what's easiest and quickest and eat little and often, soups, pot noodles, instant mash, tinned curries etc.......


The moral of the story is to be prepared, keep everything tidy, and get familiar with the layout of your shelter. Night fishing and Winter fishing in particular can be quite hard, but with a few easy steps and a bit of thought, you should enjoy your sessions, no matter what the weather throws at you.

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Good post. I can recommend to allways have an extra setup of clothes, especially underwear and woolen socks. Even though your underwear might not feel moist they most likely will be after a days fishing/sitting. Allways put on dry ones before going to bed.


Never use cotton clothing.


During summer months I also only use the bed chair cover.

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If using a gas stove in winter get a propane burning one it will burn hotter and work at lower temperatures , Got one from Go Out Doors for around a tenner last year great little thing .

Gary went through clothing and i'll add ,STAY WARM , at all costs STAY WARM if you have never slept out in the winter don't under estimate just how much the cold will get into you and believe me when that happens it is so hard to get warm again.


P.S. nice write up Gary .

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Cheers guys I enjoyed that...............1 question though, why the advice "Dont wear cotton"??


It absorbs moist and dries very slowly = very bad if your goal is to keep warm. The 2 basic elements you have to get rid of to maintain warmth is wind and moisture. The wind is kot a problem if u have a shelter but moisture is a lot harder. Especially if you wear cotton since it wont go through your clothes but instead get sucked up by the garment. Synthetic clothes do not absorb moisture. Wool is also a good garment. It do not transport moisture as easily as Synthetica but has the property of staying warm even though wet.


Hope that explained it :)


Ive worked with functional clothing some years and the main misstake people do is having xotton when trying to keep dry/warm.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Just another tip. If you've got a young(ish) lad at home, enlist him into the army cadets.


Getting ready for my overnighter tonight I was talking to my mate on the phone about pre-packed ready meals.

"Hang on Dad" says our Son Nick (who is in the aforementioned army cadets) "I've got some stuff upstairs".

He then proceeds to bring down the biggest box of pre-packed food I have ever seen, stuff that he had been issued during camps and field trips that he hadn't eaten.

I've now got sweet and sour chicken, Pilau rice, Chicken Panang, Beef Stroganoff and all day breakfast to take with me, all washed down with either Lemon or Treacle sponge and custard!



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  • 3 weeks later...
I thought it was. I would love to do the same for mine, it's so unnessisary and over the top it's perfect! I want a white one for this winter. How does it fair up in heavy rain, being that its touching the material, do you think it helps in anyway towards insulation, and how did you go about making it?

Its quite cheap in Endicots when I looked into it before but never got round to buying it but it's on my list still of more unnecessary fishing buys :lol:

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It doesn't allow snow or frost to settle on it to quick, its not really beneficial i just like it, i get bored of hearing you must buy this, because of this or you must buy that because of that, its just one of those things i like :)

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On the subject of keeping warm at night I find it beneficial to store all unwanted/un-needed gear under the bedchair. This acts as a thermal barrier to prevent the cold from the ground being transmitted through the air and onto the underside of the bedchair.


It works, try it. :wink:



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On the subject of keeping warm at night I find it beneficial to store all unwanted/un-needed gear under the bedchair. This acts as a thermal barrier to prevent the cold from the ground being transmitted through the air and onto the underside of the bedchair.


It works, try it. :wink:




I always store the bag for the bed under the bed, never thought about it being an insulator before, I'll have to put some of the other bags under there as well.


We have roll mats to go under the blow up mattress when we go camping for the same reason.

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