Jun 25, 2012

Rain Gear and Hiking with an Umbrella

Backpacking in the rain is always a drudgery.  Hiking up a hill while a whitewater rush flows down the trail and over your boots. Yuck. So you try to carry enough gear to make rain bearable, but not weight you down on a sunny day.  A tough balancing act.  The combo I've come to is:

1. Put all my dry stuff in a trash compactor bag inside my pack.  I close it with a velcro tie-wrap.  Pack covers never seem to keep my pack dry, so now I just keep my dry gear dry (including sleeping bag).

2. I carry a Frogg Toggs ProAction jacket, as the "Tyvek" doesn't feel clammy and is lightweight (11oz) and $25.  Unfortunately, it doesn't  pack very small.  I may replace it with a DryDucks jacket when it wears out (only 6 oz)

3. I carry an Eagle Creek Nimbus SL umbrella.  This was a  tough call since it weighs 5.5 oz.  However, I find that it is perfect for off and on showers, and around camp.  Great for getting in an out of the tent in the rain.

4. Red Ledge Thunderlight Rain Pants.  Only carry these if its going to be cold AND a possibility of rain.  I hate to be cold.  8.9oz and $30

5. Nitrile Gloves.  Rain gloves for less than $1 per pair.  Free from your local medical provider!

Hiking with an Umbrella

I got interested in hiking with an umbrella after reading an article on BackpackingLight on the subject.  Seemed like a good idea, but I didn't like the price.  However, I found a recommendation for the Eagle Creek Nimbus SL.  The product description lies, however.  It's 5.5oz not 3.5, but otherwise a good umbrella.  Some reviewers complained about the clip that holds it open, and I can see why.  Not very secure.  But if you are careful and don't force anything it works fine.  Is cost $15 and can be found here:

A forum thread on umbrella use from BackpackingLight can be found here: http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=9799

Also, a good umbrella article from same source: https://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/backpacking_and_hiking_with_an_umbrella

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