Apr 27, 2011 at 7:32 am #1272932
Ben WortmanBPL Member
I am heading back to Colorado this summer to do a loop in the Holy Cross Wilderness with my wife in Early September. I am thinking about changing up my raingear.
My choices are:
Marmot precip top and bottom
Golite Poncho Tarp.
I really want to try out the the Houdini with the poncho tarp. The benefits will be a weight reduction over the Precip set up (I would bring the Houdini either way) and the fact that I could use the poncho tarp for a quick shelter for lunch if it is raining or for shade. The drawbacks I can see are: Poncho not being very usefull in high winds, and no leg protection. I have not used the Poncho Tarp yet, so maybe I am wrong on it's perfomance in wind. Could I add a simple web belt around the poncho tarp to keep it from blowing around?
In the past, it has been nice to have the protection of a full rain jacket and pants for daily showers, but it might just be as easy to put on the Poncho tarp and call it good. I am sort of worried that if it rains all day, I will be regretting not having a Jacket and pants, but I could be totally wrong on this.
BenApr 27, 2011 at 8:52 am #1730063
John S.BPL Member
Take all of it and experiment.Apr 27, 2011 at 9:06 am #1730075
eric chanBPL Member
poncho tarps are poor performers in high winds IMO … especially when combined with rain … you basically become a sail
it all depends on how windy you expect it to be when its rainingApr 27, 2011 at 9:53 am #1730096
Randy MartinBPL Member
I have spent quite a bit of time above treeline in Colorado. To be honest, I don't care what rain gear you have, being above treeline in a storm is a VERY bad idea due to the exposure to lightning. I would plan your hike so that you are near or below treeline in the afternoon. If you stick with that plan then you should be able to use the Poncho.Apr 27, 2011 at 9:58 am #1730099
Marcus StrohmBPL Member
@afterburner2020Locale: SE Texas
I recently got a golite poncho tarp and was planning on making a shock cord belt to use with it to help keep it in check but I suspect it still won't do very well in much more than a breezeApr 27, 2011 at 12:38 pm #1730165
Brian LindahlBPL Member
@lindahlbLocale: Colorado Rockies
You don't want to be up on a ridge in a storm, but at/above treeline is fine. An alpine basin (presumably heading towards treeline) is plenty safe in a thunderstorm, as is an alpine ridge/pass in rain before ~noon, or after ~5pm. In these situations, coupled with high winds, a poncho won't work well.
If you don't mind being wet, you can just not wear a poncho until you're below treeline. This works well as long as temperatures are expected to be moderate and you're not going in and out of treeline. If you get stuck up high with really cold rain, even an hour or so can be miserable. So you either need to use your poncho in the alpine wind (which sucks), or use a rain jacket.
I tend to not bring any rain gear on shorter trips when the temperatures will stay moderate and limited rain is forecast, relying on my shelter when I stop. When temperatures get colder, heavy rain is forecasted, or on longer trips, I bring a rain jacket. I used to bring rain pants, but after I started hiking in softshell pants last year, I only used them once (near-freezing rain). I'm going to try a rain skirt this year, which is less weight, less fiddle-factor, and, when layed flat, has many other uses.
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