User Guide

How To

Click Bivystick on the menu. Hit the button that says CONNECT VIA BLUETOOTH. If you are a Bivystick virgin, touch the ACTIVATE BIVYSTICK button. You will then walk through the steps to set up your device and get it connected to the satellite network. Once your device is connected, it will show the battery power and connectivity on the satellite icon in the upper corner of your screen. You can always check your connection and battery status on the satellite icon on map screen. Once you are connected, you will have access to all the Bivystick features including weather, offline maps, messaging and SOS.

  • 1. Touch MESSAGES on the menu and go to the message screen. If you have an existing text chain you want to continue, just find it and click on it. If you want to create a new message, touch the new message button in the upper right hand corner.
  • 2. Type in the name of the person you want to message. Bivy app connects to your existing contacts on your phone. Be sure that the number you are sending it to is a cell phone or another Bivystick.
  • 3. Type the contents of your message. Messages are limited to 160 characters. Hit send.
  • 4. If you want to share your location in your message, touch the orange button to the left of the text field. This will automatically populate your message field with your GPS coordinates and link to view your location on
  • 5. Once you send your message, you will see the status underneath your message. Once your message has successfully made it to the satellites, there will be a check mark and time stamp.

The satellites do not continually send messages down to your device. If you are out of visibility of the satellites while someone is trying to send you a message, it might take longer for you to receive your message. If you miss a message, the satellites will try to send later. But if you are waiting on an urgent message you can do a manual mailbox check by pressing the Mail button at the top of the message screen. This will ping the satellite system for any messages in your queue. You can do 6 mailbox checks for one credit if you are waiting on a message.

You have 2 options for sharing location. You can share a pin drop location that will send GPS coordinates and link to anyone you choose. The link will take them to a map showing your pin. This is done through the text message screen. See above for details.

You can also share your location through tracking. This will show your progress in 10 min intervals and show where you have been during your time of tracking. To do this

  • 1. Choose Track a New Adventure on the menu screen. Or just hit the large orange track button on the map screen.
  • 2. Choose the activity type you are tracking.
  • 3. Choose if you want to share privately or publicly.
  • 4. Enable Bivystick tracking. This will share a location every 10 minutes as long as you have satellite connectivity. Keep your Bivystick exposed to the sky while tracking. Tracking costs 1 credit per hour of tracking.

Navigate to WEATHER on the menu screen. If you have phone service, it will automatically update your weather forecast and location. If you are out of service, and connected to the Bivystick, you have to manually refresh by pushing the refresh button in the top right corner. You can then choose what type of forecast you want. Depending on satellite connectivity, it can take up to 10 minutes for the forecast to update. Bivy app will send you a push notification once the forecast is updated.

In the case where you need to get in contact with emergency services, you can use the SOS feature.

  • 1. Click SOS on the Menu screen. There are many warnings to make sure you do not accidentally activate an SOS call.
  • 2. To confirm the SOS, you have to type the letters S O S and push send. You will be prompted to type a short message to better describe your needs.
  • 3. You message will be sent to GEOS, a global emergency service dispatcher. A new message thread will be created in the Message screen. You can continue to communicate with GEOS and see status of your messages.

User Guide Categories

Getting Started

At the bottom of the stick there is a little tab. Open that up and you will see a USB port, a MicroUSB port, power button, and indicator lights. Press and hold the power button for 3 seconds until you see the indicator lights flash once. That’s it. Everything else will happen on your phone. If the indicator lights are low, charge the device by plugging in the microUSB cord into device and the other end into any USB charger. If you are only using the Bivystick for satellite communication, the battery will last approximately 200 hrs.

There is a satellite indicator light near the top of the Bivystick. When it flashes green, it means you are connected to at least one satellite in orbit. If it is flashing red, you probably need to get into a spot with a better view of the sky or wait for orbiting satellites to pass overhead. You can also see how strong of a satellite signal you have on the map screen of the app. On the left side there is a satellite icon. If you see green, that means you are connected. Below that you can see the battery life of the Bivystick as well.

The corporate, money-hungry, business tycoon wants us to say yes. But we like to see people out exploring too much, so we made the Bivy app accessible to everyone. It is free to download, and you can use it to find adventures all over the country and track your progress. Or maybe you want to keep a record of everything that you have done in the outdoors. However you use it, the Bivy app is a great resource for anyone that spends time outside and it is completely free to use. When you buy a Bivystick you get access to the more premium features, like weather and offline maps.

Make sure you have turned on the Bluetooth on your phone. Then push the Bivystick power button and hold for 3 seconds to turn it on. Open the Bivy app and choose Bivystick in the menu. Your phone should automatically connect.

Using the Bivystick

All you have to do is open up a new message and choose who you want to send it to. Then touch the orange icon on the left and it will generate a specific URL in your text field. You can add any personal message you want and hit send. Your friend will receive the URL that will take them to a map screen and show exactly where you are. If you have been tracking your progress, it will show them your complete path.

Yes. If you do not own a Bivystick, you can still have access to offline maps and weather by upgrading the map to Premium, or through one-time, in-app purchases.

Once the device is active, anyone with the Bivy app can connect to the Bivystick. However, only one phone at a time can be connected. So all your friend has to do is open the Bivy app, go to BIVYSTICK in the menu, and connect. Once connected, you can check the connection through the icon on the left hand side of the map screen. This icon will also show you the satellite signal strength and battery life.

All you have to do is plug your phone charging cord into the USB port on the bottom of the Bivystick. Your phone will automatically charge. But don’t worry, you will not drain the Bivystick battery completely. It will always reserve about 20% of the battery to ensure you have enough to get a message or an SOS out. We do recommend keeping your Bivystick as charged up as possible just in case you find yourself in a situation where you need to communicate.

Hopefully you’re okay, but if you are hitting SOS, chances are that something has hit the fan. Once it is pushed, a message with your profile and location info is sent to Global Rescue,  a global emergency dispatch. They will then coordinate communication with local emergency services and put them in contact with you via text message over the Bivystick. They will also notify your emergency contacts to let them know you have activated your SOS. 

Credits and Cost

Our goal is to make it flexible and non-committal. We offer a monthly base plan for $17.99 that gives you 10 credits and access to the satellite network for 30 days. If at the end of those 30 days, you no longer need your Bivystick, no problem. Just cancel your account at no cost or penalty. If you keep it active for consecutive months, any unused credits will roll over.

When you activate your Bivystick, you are given 10 credits to use. Each credit is basically one action of the Bivystick.
1 credit = 1 message, or 1 location share, or 1 weather report, or 1 hour of tracking.

Your credits are valid for as long as your Bivystick is active. If you use all 10 credits and are way off-the-grid out of service, your device will still work great and you will be charged $0.50 per additional credit used. You can also buy additional credits beforehand and a cheaper rate. If you do not use all of your credits by the end of 30 days, and you pay the monthly base plan to keep the device active, all unused credits will rollover and are available to use later.

If you only use your Bivystick a couple of times a year, then we will assume you are a regular person that has a job, maybe a family, and busy life like the rest of us. So we don’t want to punish you for that. Let’s say you have a backcountry trip in July for a couple weeks. Then just activate your Bivystick for $17.99 and you are good to go for 30 days. There is no fee to turn it off or park your service at the end of your trip, just don’t pay for another month. You return to the daily grind in the city, and then your friend talks you into a surf trip in Indonesia later that year. No problem! Just activate again before you leave for the same price of $17.99. No annual fee or contract to worry about. Take the Bivystick with you and have peace of mind on the other side of the world.

You can get 1 hour of tracking and sharing your location for 1 credit. The Bivystick will send out an update of your track every 10 minutes.

Yes, it costs to both send and receive messages. So don’t give the number out for the annoying family group message with all your cousins and uncles that think text messaging is a substitute for long, wordy emails. Plus, you don’t want to be aware of all that nonsense when you’re off the grid.

Your Bivystick stays active in 30 day increments, so if you run out of credits on day 10, no worries. Your Bivystick will continue to send and receive text messages at the cost of $0.50 per message.


You can find it under ABOUT MY BIVYSTICK, which is on the Bivystick page on the app. Or you can always send a message to someone and ask them what your number is.

The Bivystick is rated IPx6, which means it can handle rain storms, dust storms, being dropped in the snow, etc… It is a potentially lifesaving device, however, so treat like you would something you depend on.

No, it is not waterproof. It does have a rating of IPx6. Which means it can keep out dust and sand particles and withstand rain, water splashes, snow, and other moist environments. Just don’t take underwater with you.

You will need a phone to do anything with Bivystick. If you are with a partner, make sure they download the Bivy app too before heading out. If one phone is no more, you can connect the Bivystick to any phone that has the Bivy app. The number and account will be the same.

Sometimes your friends reply quickly, but if you are not in view of any satellites, the message won’t come through yet. Just keep moving or get out to a more open area and they will eventually show up. Also, make sure that your contacts know to reply to the Bivystick number, as well as your actual cell phone number.

The Iridium satellite network has over 60 satellites orbiting Earth. That’s a lot, and they are cruising. So at any given time and location, chances are good that a satellite is passing over. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. To increase your chances, try getting to an area where you have the largest view of the sky and the horizon. And then be a little patient. We find that messages get out reliably when there are 3 or more bars of service. If there are fewer than 3 bars, it can be sporadic. Sometimes you just have to wait. But don’t worry, the Bivystick will continue to push the message until it is picked up by a satellite. If you are in a wide open space and messages continue to fail, please reach out to Customer Service.

Yes. Connect to your Bivystick via Bluetooth. Go to the Bivystick screen in the app. Click on ABOUT MY BIVYSTICK. At the bottom of the screen there is a button that says RESET BIVYSTICK. After about 60 seconds, your Bivystick should be ready to go.