[Cdt-l] Umbrellas and hats

Bob Sartini bobsartini at gmail.com
Fri Feb 21 13:44:50 CST 2014

I brought my Golite umbrella to NM but I found the sun not as
oppressive as Socal and the wind made the umbrella impractical. That
was last spring. I sent it home right at Lordsburg and never missed

On Fri, Feb 21, 2014 at 2:40 PM, Larry Swearingen
<larry.swearingen at frontier.com> wrote:
> I like my Tilley Airflo.  I've had it for about 4 years now and used mostly
> while
> summer paddling rivers in Indiana and Michigan.  The mesh panel provides
> good
> ventilation and it keeps the skeeters off the top of my very follically
> challenged
> head.  If there are a lot of mosquitoes about a head net works well with it
> too.
> I spent 43 years out west and developed a lot of sun damage from being out
> on the Pacific Ocean on the beach and sailing, high altitude mountaineering
> and
> backpacking etc.  So I need to keep the sun off as much as possible.  I'll
> even
> wear lightweight sun gloves.  If you could see the backs of my hands you'd
> know why.
> If I can use the umbrella (Chrome Dome) when it's hot I will skip the hat
> for better cooling.
> I've used a baseball cap and big handkerchief but that still leaves my
> temples
> exposed and I had surgeries to remove basal cell carcinomas there so I
> definitely
> need protection for the sides.
> I haven't actually used it on trail yet but I made a longer Sternum Strap
> for my pack
> so I can wrap a Clove Hitch around the umbrella shaft to hold it in place
> hands free.
> I've got a little biner to hold the bottom down to my waist belt.  It seems
> pretty solid
> but like I said it isn't trail tested yet.
> Larry  HooDad
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Charlie Thorpe
> Sent: Friday, February 21, 2014 1:39 PM
> To: cdt-l at backcountry.net MailingList
> Subject: [Cdt-l] Umbrellas and hats
> Hello All -
> Full hat disclosure disclaimer:  I don't have any of that pesky hair up on
> top of my head that gets all tangled up and gunky for other hikers <g>.  I
> do sweat a lot when I hike in warm weather and find it very uncomfortable
> when my head gets too hot.  I also tend to get sunburned VERY easily on top
> of my head if I am not careful.  Finding the right head cover while distance
> hiking has been a big deal for me over the years.
> I used a baseball cap (really liked the eye protection) with a bandanna for
> neck and ears on the AT.  Worked well for me when temps were cool and I
> really liked how well it stayed on my head in a wind .  I got caught in a
> fierce hail storm between the summit of Mt. Washington and Lake of the
> Crowds hut - flipping my rain parka hood up over my baseball cap easily kept
> everything in place and the cap's bill helped greatly to keep rain/hail out
> of my eyes as I peered through the gloom trying to find the cairns.
> Unfortunately, the cotton baseball cap I used tended to get ripe between
> town stops (rinsing in creeks didn't help much), but I just threw it into
> the wash with the rest of my hiking clothes when I hit town and life was
> good again.
> I had read Ray Jardine's first book before my PCT hike, so my son and I
> built hiking umbrellas during our 3-day bus ride from Alabama to San Diego.
> I removed the plastic handle from an old briefcase umbrella and used narrow
> strips of duct tape to tape a space blanket to the outside (top) of the
> umbrella's black nylon fabric.  I taped an old Mini-Mag flashlight holster
> to the upright side of my external frame pack - the metal shaft of the
> umbrella (without handle) fit snugly into it and held the umbrella nicely
> over my head.  My son also did the space blanket thing, but he left the
> handle on his umbrella and preferred to just carry it in one hand or the
> other as he hiked.
> We were both surprised by the strength of the sun in southern California and
> really liked the way our reflective umbrellas kept our heads cool without a
> hat.  t didn't take me long to realize that my simple umbrella holder didn't
> let me adjust the umbrella for changing wind direction and sun angle.  I
> found I could take some of the spare #18 braided nylon cord I always carry
> to make an "umbrella angle adjuster" on each side of my umbrella.
> I tied one end of a piece of the cord to the end of the umbrella rib over my
> right shoulder, ran the other end around my right shoulder strap, and tied
> the running end back around the cord with a taut line hitch (I like to use a
> three-wrap taut line hitch on the more slippery man-made cord).  I now could
> easily loosen one cord and tighten the other to pull down the umbrella on
> either side dictated by wind/sun (the cords also nailed the umbrella to my
> pack when wind gusts tried to pull it off).  The icing on the cake was that
> I could leave the whole rig in place when I dropped my pack.
> I used this rig up through the Mojave (we did the "traditional" route on top
> of the aqueduct), but I sent mine home because I found I didn't need it in
> the big snow in the Sierras.  My son liked his for rain and used it all the
> way through Oregon.  I tried a variety of hats for the rest of the PCT (ball
> cap, boonie hat, doo-rag, etc.) and kept defaulting back to the baseball
> cap/bandanna rig I was used to.
> Section hiking the CDT has given me a lot more opportunities to easily try
> out different gear choices on the different sections.  I experimented with
> mesh ball caps and a Columbia broad brim hat with a mesh panel around the
> top, but it was way too easy to get sunburned through the mesh on all of
> them.  I finally bit the bullet and bought the nylon Tilley Airflo with the
> wide mesh panel around the top.  I have used this hat for the last couple
> thousand miles of the CDT, including all of NM and the Divide Basin.  I
> would have loved to have had the Tilley above treeline in Colorado, but I
> had already done those sections before I got it (it did do great above
> treeline in the Winds and in MT).
> I can still pull the hood of my rain parka up over the Tilley in heavy
> wind/rain and the brim sticks out in front just like a sailor's ball cap to
> shield my face.  Great ventilation and radiant heat protection (closed cell
> foam panel inside the top of the hat) with NO SUNBURN through the mesh.  The
> gunk easily rinses out of the headband in the creeks (I try to do at least a
> bandanna bath in the middle of each day), but I always still throw it into
> the town-stop wash on general principles <g>.
> The double strap arrangement (one under the chin, the other behind my head)
> is very comfortable (I hate tight chin straps) and has worked perfectly in
> the April 70+ mph winds on the Plains of St. Augustine in NM, during a nice
> little blizzard south of Silver City (did the segment from Crazy Cook to
> Silver City in January), and in a brutal fall sleetstorm up top just south
> of Rogers Pass in MT..
> I just pulled my Tilley out of the closet and looked it over.  It looks
> absolutely brand new after thousands of miles of hiking and paddling...the
> only signs of wear at all are the way that the little label sewn into the
> inside of the crown seam has frayed and how the marker I used to write my
> phone number onto the inside of the crown has faded over time.  It has
> looked absolutely ratty with fingerprints, stains, and crumpling after a
> good hike, but it always comes back to life after a washing or two at home.
> I have found the hat for me.  My (master gardener, paddler, and sometime
> hiker) wife even dropped enough hints for me to finally wake up and get her
> one for her birthday <g>.
> - Charlie
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