First Golite product I bought the year they started business....99 or 2000 ish....was their umbrella. At the time it was not the reflective chrome version, they had not come out with that one yet. I used it off and on for a few years and liked it reasonably well. Still have it but it's been a while since I have taken it hiking. The article was very well written, good find.
AT 2011: We were dropped off in the rain and it was cold out - forecast called for heavy rain all day. As we bundled up and put our packs on for the long haul, we were protected from the rain since we were under the lifted rear hatch of my fathers Explorer. He sat in the drivers seat and must have thought on some level "what kind of idiot did I raise." Looking at me through the rear view mirror, he simply said "why don't you take that umbrella right there". Something made me say OK. I can only guess I agreed to take it to keep him from going insane. We'd be picked up three days later and I knew he'd be expecting it back. So I used it that entire day and carried it the rest of the way. I still got soaked, but I was not as bad as my buddy. We were doing short stretches and sleeping at just about every shelter we came to. The extra weight wasn't too bad, and the look on other hikers faces was priceless. The article is correct -they politely ask about the umbrella but are secretly thinking ... what an idiot. Though the pic below may not look like it. It did help and made life a little better. Especially after we got dried and changed at the shelter, but then went out for water, to the 'privy', etc... That's when I appreciated it the most.
Here we stopped to eat lunch. This is the only photo I could find and had to take a picture of the picture with my phone.
Was it worth the weight the other two days, maybe not, but we still talk about it and that's worth it right there. Good times, good stories, and good friends.
Happily use my little umbrella. Others may laugh and sneer...but if I get wet it's from rain, not more sticky stinky sweat. I use only one hiking stick when deploying umbrella, haven't regretted the decision yet.
Real Freedom lies in wildness, not in civilization. ~ Charles Lindbergh
Well I grew up in Western Oregon, it was frowned upon to use an umbrella. So I just never owned one. Then I moved to the south, it rained it was hot and humid, I bought my first umbrella.
So now I have been all over North America, back in Oregon, I really hate the rain and the gray days. I bought one of the Golite Chrome umbrella's I love it. I use it to keep the sun off, the rain. I figure I could use it as a signal device if I get in trouble on the trail.
I was reading one or Ray Jardine's books, he went into great detail about umbrella's and how great they are. He gave all sorts of info about getting rid of all excess weight. Interesting reading, he really was ahead of his time. I get sort of sick when I remember how beautiful he was in motion while climbing. Too bad we all get older, I tend to forget how experienced in life I am getting until I look at current images of old friends.
Let's face it. In some cases an umbrella can be a pain. try going up or down a hill that requires you to use your hands. Think of the picture of someone using an umbrella and a hiking pole at the same time. It might work, but it depends on the situation. I use my rain jacket for many other purposes, such as wind breaker, shell in cold weather and for keeping the bugs off when I'm in the hammock.
Great article! Thank you Dos. I'd like to try one with the little shock cord/cord lock DIY thing the author linked to: http://packandpaddle.blogspot.com/20...your-pack.html
I like the idea of windblock for cooking, closing off an end of your tarp, and a screen for peeing ! woo hoo!
I love having an umbrella on the trail. I would love to upgrade my little $6 Wal-mart umbrella for a Go Lite Chrome Dome, but until then...I'll keep on trucking. In the shade, and out of the rain.
I decided to give umbrellas a try this year. I just picked up one made by Frogg Toggs. Cost was $10 and weight is 8 1/2 ounces. It is listed as a travel umbrella and does look reasonably durable.