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Poncho question

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Poncho question

Postby TahoeJeff » Wed Feb 23, 2011 1:47 pm

I recall a couple of people here were poncho enthusiasts. Are you guys going with something super basic:
http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___77461
Or something more sophisticated:
http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___20275
If you have a poncho capable of being a shelter, have you used it as such?



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Re: Poncho question

Postby AlmostThere » Wed Feb 23, 2011 2:10 pm

I dunno about enthusiastic. Hiking in cold rain or sleet is hardly inspiring that sort of emotion in me...

I use an emergency poncho most of the time. I also have a heavy as heck PU coated $15 dollar model from Sport Authority, with a bit of extension to cover the backpack. I might experiment with it as a shelter at some point - it has loops on the corners.

Either does well as a ground sheet or tarp or sit pad - tho I replace the emergency poncho about once a year.
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Re: Poncho question

Postby oldranger » Wed Feb 23, 2011 3:45 pm

I use one like the expensive one. Became a believer in ponchos my first two years as a BC ranger.
First I typically hiked in shorts and the poncho kept my core dry, and just as important my long pants stayed dry in my pack. People with rain jackets/pants always seemed to get cold when they stopped. Then on another trip I spent 2 nights in the Box Canyon branch of Sugarloaf Creek exploring the canyon in detail. It rained the whole time and my primary shelter was a bivy sack. The poncho worked nicely as a shelter for cooking in the rain. Since then I've used the poncho to set up a cooking area in anticipation of an overnight snow storm. Sure enough 2" of snow covered everything but I had a comfortable extension from my tent to do my cooking. The flexibility of the poncho at 7 oz keeps me bringing it on every trip though frequently it never gets used.

mike
Last edited by oldranger on Wed Feb 23, 2011 11:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Mike

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Re: Poncho question

Postby BSquared » Wed Feb 23, 2011 7:55 pm

Amen! The only situation that bothers me with the poncho is rain+wind, especially when the wind is whipping around from several different directions at once. Then, I just get wet.
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Re: Poncho question

Postby Hetchy » Wed Feb 23, 2011 10:43 pm

Me Too!
I am so tired of spending a small fortune on fancy schmansy hi tech "waterproof breatheable" rain jackets only to find out they are sweat collectors.
All the pit zips and vnet flaps in the world are useless when the jacket is pinned to your shoulder girdle by your pack straps.
I have come full circle back to a simple cheap poncho and a golite umbrella.
The umbrella isn't always practical but for steady windless rain it's the "cat's meow".
I will never forget all of the dirty wet thru hikers i met at the end of a three day stretch of rain in Washington.. we looked like wet rats in our Uber-expensive jackets and parkas. Then a fellow named Lucky larry shows up in his $2 plastic poncho looking like a car salesman fresh off the showroom floor. We wanted to fling mud on him!
Every jacket I tried relied on a breatheable material protected by a Durable water repellant finish. Everything is great for 200 miles until the finish gets scuffed up. The membrane wets out, stops breathing, and ends up as wet inside as if you were exposed to the rain. A hot clothes dryer in town restores the DWR somewhat but never as good as new. The damage accumulates until the whole jacket wets out in short order and stops breathing entirely.
Anyhow After spending hundreds of dollars and trying every high tech jacket out there I am back to the simple,cheap, un-sexy, non-breatheable but well ventilated, poncho.
I will never again be lured by the siren song of the promise of a breatheable water proof jacket... yea.. right!
Anyhow if you are looking for a fancy (and expensive) hybrid poncho here is a design called a "Packa":
http://www.thepacka.com/index_files/MVC-012E.JPG
Personally I am going with an Outdoor Products Backpacker poncho- urethane nylon 11 ounces. I added some velcro straps to make it a bit more wind friendly.
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/4 ... SS500_.jpg
You can see that the packa has arm protection and the advantage of pit zips.
Of course the cheaper backpacker pocho does not have zippers to break or fuss with but lacks lower arm protection. Some folks make sleeves out of tyvek to use with their ponchos. I am thinking : "What the heck.. my arms wont melt if they get wet."
Anyhow one good thing about that Packa is it's made by a cottage gear manufacturer named Cedar Tree and not a factory in China that uses slave labor.
Me.. well I went with the slave labor. :retard:
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Re: Poncho question

Postby AlmostThere » Thu Feb 24, 2011 8:48 am

My 2 dollah poncho on the way up to Monarch Lakes (Mineral King) kept me dry, and with a few rubber bands, it was quite adjustable. I looked goofy with a poncho rubber banded to the buckles on the pack, or the sternum strap, but it kept the front tied high for ventilation and was quick to adjust when the sleet started again. When in full poncho mode I put the rubber bands on my wrists for storage. Next day, we started in full sun - rolled up the poncho, snapped on the rubber bands, stuffed it in a pack pocket.
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Re: Poncho question

Postby TahoeJeff » Thu Feb 24, 2011 10:01 am

Thanks for all the good advise guys! I'm with Hetchy; sick of jackets and lookin' for something cheaper and more user friendly. I also like OldRangers use of the poncho as a cooking shelter in the rain/snow.
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Re: Poncho question

Postby maverick » Thu Feb 24, 2011 11:14 am

Hi TJ

I also have been using a pancho for a long time.
I started using it when I jumped into the ultra light side of things, and it was my rain
gear, shelter, and pack cover all in one.
Since then I have started carrying a shelter because it really did not offer me a lot
of room to move around under in a storm, and I am worried about my expensive camera
gear, otherwise I would it would still be used as my shelter.
As other mentioned nothing breathes better, but in windy-rainy conditions when I tie
the elastic loop around my waist things can get a little steamy in which case the pit
zips may come in handy.
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Re: Poncho question

Postby quentinc » Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:29 pm

I always rip ponchos, particularly when there's stop & start rain and you have to take them off frequently (unless you grew up in a greenhouse). So I bought a Marmot Precip which, to my disgust, is almost useless in anything more than light rain. Any other suggestions for a lightweight rain jacket that actually works?
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Re: Poncho question

Postby rlown » Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:46 pm

I'm guessing a full-on Gortex shell is what you need. I had one for backpacking (wearing it in my avatar). It was from REI. I also sport a "Bud Grant" really heavy duck hunting jacket, which has been in constant rain since '91 during duck season.. It only started to leak last year at the shoulder seams. Still, not enough to care.

Bummer your precip didn't work for you. It's the weight balance vs rain protection that's the call. You go heavier, and you'll be drier. I'd return the precip if it didn't work for you.

I'm not a poncho fan. can't fish easily in them.
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Re: Poncho question

Postby sparky » Tue Aug 16, 2011 9:09 pm

I love my poncho. It has many other uses as other folks have pointed out.
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