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  1. #1
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Ground Cloths or poncho tarps as rain gear

    The thread "talk me into hanging" reminded me of something I used to consider doing but never got around to. Mainly because I couldn't see a way around certain problems.

    Some folks ( Food? ) use their ponchos as tarps, others their ground cloths as rain gear. The weight savings of this approach is obvious. But how safe and practical is it, at least in areas of heavy rain and/or cold temps?

    I am trying to picture a situation where you are well into a multi-day/week hike, and it has settled into a good all day and all night rain, maybe blowing rain with some cool temps. You set up camp after hiking all day in this blowing rain ( or snow).

    You are laying under your tarp or floorless tent, and your GC is your rain gear, with your light down bag laid out on the GC, and you are snuggled in as the storm rages. Now you realize that you are about to suffer Montezuma's revenge. Or you just have to pee real bad. Or some emergency arises with one of your camp mates.

    What do you do with your bag when you take the GC up from the soaking ground to put on as rain gear? When you get back from the call of nature, with your GC/rain gear soaked, how do you work out retrieving your bag and putting it on the wet GC, with out getting your bag soaked.

    Or, in the case of the poncho---- if your poncho is now your tarp, whether over your hammock or over your GC, you are obviously not going to take it down unless all of your gear is packed up and protected from the rain. So, what do you do in the middle of the night in the storm, if you have to go or there is some emergency? Do you just strip down and go out in the cold rain completely unprotected? Then how do you handle getting back in your down bag once you are soaked?

    I never looked into this approach, because it all sounded like a bit of a PITA, or worse:dangerous.

    But there must be a way, since folks do it. How do folks handle these situations?
    For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us....that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
    Romans 8:18,21-22

  2. #2
    tight-wad's Avatar
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    They don't, or more precisely, they can't just as you described.

    I considered doing some of these things myself, but after a few minutes thinking, punted.

    A miserable hike this past spring only drove the point home. Rain for 3+ days, everything except my quilt and hammock fabric wet, cold, thank goodness for my separate rain suit, or I would have been in trouble. Somebody asked me later: What did I learn from that experience? Answer: dry clothes are worth their weight in gold. If your "rain suit" is also your tarp, you are screwed.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Nest's Avatar
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    Yep. If your rain gear is being used as a tarp or GC, you just get wet. I don't think it is worth it. Of course I consider rain gear as safety equipment in colder weather. So I don't try to cut weight in that area if it sacrifices safety.
    "Oh, like an Afghan Warlord"

  4. #4
    Senior Member cavediver2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob58 View Post
    The thread "talk me into hanging" reminded me of something I used to consider doing but never got around to. Mainly because I couldn't see a way around certain problems.

    Some folks ( Food? ) use their ponchos as tarps, others their ground cloths as rain gear. The weight savings of this approach is obvious. But how safe and practical is it, at least in areas of heavy rain and/or cold temps?

    I am trying to picture a situation where you are well into a multi-day/week hike, and it has settled into a good all day and all night rain, maybe blowing rain with some cool temps. You set up camp after hiking all day in this blowing rain ( or snow).

    You are laying under your tarp or floorless tent, and your GC is your rain gear, with your light down bag laid out on the GC, and you are snuggled in as the storm rages. Now you realize that you are about to suffer Montezuma's revenge. Or you just have to pee real bad. Or some emergency arises with one of your camp mates.

    What do you do with your bag when you take the GC up from the soaking ground to put on as rain gear? When you get back from the call of nature, with your GC/rain gear soaked, how do you work out retrieving your bag and putting it on the wet GC, with out getting your bag soaked.

    Or, in the case of the poncho---- if your poncho is now your tarp, whether over your hammock or over your GC, you are obviously not going to take it down unless all of your gear is packed up and protected from the rain. So, what do you do in the middle of the night in the storm, if you have to go or there is some emergency? Do you just strip down and go out in the cold rain completely unprotected? Then how do you handle getting back in your down bag once you are soaked?

    I never looked into this approach, because it all sounded like a bit of a PITA, or worse:dangerous.

    But there must be a way, since folks do it. How do folks handle these situations?
    I have often wondered this my self. The military makes there guys do this but never had a chance to ask so I will be watching this post closely.

    Great question BillyBob58

  5. #5
    Member jay590's Avatar
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    hm good question. ill be interested to hear what people do
    Cheers, Jay

  6. #6
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Well, for one thing, I guess I can see it if you were fairly sure of dry weather. I would say like in the desert, but Phoenix got 2" of rain yesterday, I just heard on the news!

    And/or, if you could easily bail out. Otherwise, it just seems very difficult.
    Last edited by BillyBob58; 07-11-2008 at 13:03.
    For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us....that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
    Romans 8:18,21-22

  7. #7
    Senior Member cavediver2's Avatar
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    still waiting!!!!!!

  8. #8
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    I am very interested to see what kind of responses you get cause I have been wondering this for awhile too!

  9. #9
    HappyCamper's Avatar
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    Same here. I couldn't do it with all the rain we get in WV.

  10. #10
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Well, I was hoping to hear from 1Tripod on this, as he uses a GC as rain gear and pack cover in his 54 oz system. As for who it is that uses a poncho as tarp, I can't remember who that was.
    For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us....that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
    Romans 8:18,21-22

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