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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
    Harstad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cavediver2 View Post
    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
    Hi folks. I'm new here and from norway so please be gentle with me

    The military way to solve this problem. is to sh*t in a plastic bag an d pee in a bottle. That way you never have to leave your dry shelter. (or so i'm told.)


    Greetings

    Harstad

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    Senior Member Nest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harstad View Post
    Hi folks. I'm new here and from norway so please be gentle with me

    The military way to solve this problem. is to sh*t in a plastic bag an d pee in a bottle. That way you never have to leave your dry shelter. (or so i'm told.)


    Greetings

    Harstad
    Well, actually kinda makes sense. Not ideal, but it works. I guess a water bottle and ziplock bag weigh less than rain gear. The military also issues Gortex field jackets. So if it is cold enough where getting wet isn't safe then they would usually have the gortex jacket with them.

    Ok, the more I think about it, I don't think the military really even uses ponchos anymore. Gortex pants and jacket are standard now. They also have some really nice tents that they use instead of the old pup tents. So really the standard military unit does have rain gear and a tent.
    "Oh, like an Afghan Warlord"

  7. #7
    Senior Member cavediver2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nest View Post
    Well, actually kinda makes sense. Not ideal, but it works. I guess a water bottle and ziplock bag weigh less than rain gear. The military also issues Gortex field jackets. So if it is cold enough where getting wet isn't safe then they would usually have the gortex jacket with them.

    Ok, the more I think about it, I don't think the military really even uses ponchos anymore. Gortex pants and jacket are standard now. They also have some really nice tents that they use instead of the old pup tents. So really the standard military unit does have rain gear and a tent.
    I have seen people say that when they were in the military they got real friendly with there poncho and had to stay under them all night and it's been posted here but I can not find it in any search's i have done here. ugggggggg

  8. #8
    Senior Member fin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cavediver2 View Post
    I have seen people say that when they were in the military they got real friendly with there poncho and had to stay under them all night and it's been posted here but I can not find it in any search's i have done here. ugggggggg
    That's why people should add tags! Makes searching easier.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Nest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cavediver2 View Post
    I have seen people say that when they were in the military they got real friendly with there poncho and had to stay under them all night and it's been posted here but I can not find it in any search's i have done here. ugggggggg
    Yeah, I think the military just recently started dropping the ponchos. I had one in 2001, but not one in 2003. 2003 I got the gortex setup. They finally started to realize that a poncho kind of makes it hard to fight in. Gets in the way and catches on things. Plus if you have a rifle slung on guard duty and a poncho on, it isn't very easy to quickly unsling the rifle without the barrel catching on the poncho.

    When a tent isn't practical in the military they just use rain gear and suck it up. Of course every branch is different so some may still use ponchos, but they are getting rare.
    "Oh, like an Afghan Warlord"

  10. #10
    Member jay590's Avatar
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    hm good question. ill be interested to hear what people do
    Cheers, Jay

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