[Cdt-l] "Ohhhh, Poncho!" Re: Cdt-l Digest, Vol 18, Issue 10

Ken Powers ken at gottawalk.com
Thu Mar 12 14:08:11 CDT 2009

We use the silnylon ponchos to cover us and our packs. We find that we can don our ponchos much faster than dropping our pack, digging out our rain jacket, putting on the jacket, then putting the pack on. We tuck the corners of the poncho under our hip belt. When the rain stops I like to let the corners loose to help dry the poncho. We find the poncho acts as another layer to help keep us warm.

Like Jeff said you won't stay dry no matter what you use. You just want to stay warm. My hypothermia experience was with a rain jacket. Semi-frozen sleet dripped down my collar and I didn't have enough layers to stay warm. Soon I wasn't smart enough to get more layers out of the pack. Scary in retrospect.

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  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Jeffrey Olson 
  Cc: cdt-l at backcountry.net 
  Sent: Thursday, March 12, 2009 11:36 AM
  Subject: Re: [Cdt-l] "Ohhhh, Poncho!" Re: Cdt-l Digest, Vol 18, Issue 10

  My take is the opposite.  I much prefer a poncho as I sweat a lot, it breathes, and I actually stay drier that way.  I don't get wet from rain when I wear a rain jacket - I get wet from sweat.  As to blowing, flapping, etc., You get used to tucking and using the belt, etc.  I would never use a poncho to cover my pack.  

  And, the best part, is it actually keeps the rain off from the bottom of my waist, which having a long waist, is an issue.  My closest brush with hypothermia came from wearing a rain jacket that did not do a good job covering my waist, and water leeched up my polypro and 3 oz wind shirt!!  

  Go well...


  Tom McGinnis wrote: 
I would like to hear more comments about ponchos compared
to rain jackets and pants as I have no experience with them.
### "Ohhhh, Sisco!"

### It seems most appropriate to say "Ponchos blow!" on the CDT, as the wind will just play parachute with you.

My boys and I hiked a bit with Sly in '07, traversing ~250 miles between the Wind River range and some other stuff, and we had at least a spot of rain every day. We were trying out silnylon ponchos as dual-use rainwear and shelter, and though removing ties from them every morning was a pain and time magnet, it seemed that wearing the things during precip was actually worse. The only time you caught the breeze was when you were trying to pass it over your head, it was ALWAYS slimy and gooey, they DO absorb water to a degree, and so gain weight so you're constantly trying to dry them out, you STILL have to pack a wind garment for insulation help and for when in camp, ... ... it was just a failure as a gear choice, a time magnet, a big pain in the ass. You don't want to use a poncho in the CDT unless you're up for all of that, along with the steady flapflapflap all around you when you're actually wearing the thing. And you can't trust 'em to cover your
 pack, so pack extra for wind and for pack ANYWAY.

Use a fly and a jacket and a rain cover, and simplify your life.
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