Forum Index » Philosophy & Technique » Silnylon Poncho vs. Precip, etc.


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Alex Orgren
(big_load) - F
Silnylon Poncho vs. Precip, etc. on 09/22/2005 23:29:15 MDT Print View

This week I picked up a Campmor Silnylon poncho to see whether I can convert from a traditional hard shell.

Under what (if any) conditions do you poncho users go back to something with sleeves and a zipper? Winter? Bushwhacking?

I've seen discussion elsewhere about silnylon not being sufficiently waterproof, even after sealing seams. Any comments based on actual use vs. hydrostatic tests?

Richard Matthews
(food) - F

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Silnylon Poncho vs. Precip, etc. on 09/23/2005 05:55:16 MDT Print View

Yes, I switch to enclosed rain gear for winter and bushwacking.

I use the Campmor Ultralite Extension Poncho/Tarp.

Add a cord lock on the hood.

To keep the poncho from blowing around a belt salvaged from a pair of REI Sahara pants is inserted in both rear tie outs. After putting the poncho on I reach around, unbuckle the belt and buckle it over the poncho in front. I think that this solves most of the traditional poncho problems. You can adjust the amount of air circulation by adjusting the location of the tie outs.

You still have access to shirt and pants pockets. Walk with your hands on the shoulder straps and they stay warm and dry.

Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
poncho on 09/23/2005 10:41:10 MDT Print View

Seconding Richard's remarks. Also, try a Tyvek poncho... after softening it with a few runs through the washer. The advantage? A Tyvek poncho **breathes** and it has enough body that it doesn't cling. Imagine actually staying dry under a poncho. Pure comfort. Tyvek doesn't sew well. I glue mine with Barge's or any other household contact cement. All you really need to make is a simple hood and pull-outs. Consider using your poncho (of any material) as a groundsheet instead of tarp. That way, you can set up a dry shelter and still get in and out. Tyvek weighs 2 oz per square yard, and is so loud that you need to wear ear protection until it is softened. Softening completely takes care of the noise problem. Tyvek is good and bad for a groundsheet. It's good because it breathes so you won't have as much condensation under your bag and mat. It's bad because if you set up on saturated ground some water will migrate through. This is rarely a problem unless the ground is very wet.

Alex Orgren
(big_load) - F
Re: Silnylon Poncho vs. Precip, etc. on 10/08/2005 17:04:40 MDT Print View

Richard and Vick,

Thanks for the responses. I have the ultralight extension poncho, too, and might eventually attempt to construct one of my own.

We had heavy rain for the first time in months today. It was 52F and pouring, so I went for a walk to test my seam sealing. No leaks, but I definitely will leave my hands inside at these temperatures.

If you use the poncho as shelter, what's the setup procedure in heavy rain? My hypothesis is to start by stringing the ridgeline and having stakes ready, but hiker and gear going to be exposed for a few minutes when removing and tying out the poncho. Maybe cover them with Tyvek groundsheet until the poncho is rigged, but then the groundsheet is wet, unless you put it bottom side up for those few minutes?

Am I getting close?

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: Re: Silnylon Poncho vs. Precip, etc. on 10/08/2005 23:00:27 MDT Print View

Check out the Dancing Light Gear site. Brawny gives her, very workable, procedure for pitching your poncho-tarp in heavy rain while still wearing it. post back, if you can't find it on her site & i'll provide a link. sorry, in a rush now - don't want to miss the start of the F1 race from Suzuka, Japan. i'll check back in 90minutes or so after the race to see if you need a link to her procedure.

Alex Orgren
(big_load) - F
Re: Re: Re: Silnylon Poncho vs. Precip, etc. on 10/09/2005 00:50:17 MDT Print View

Thanks, Paul, I found her page. It's quite informative and answers my question really well. It rained 8" here today, and I certainly want to be practiced and prepared before having to set up under such conditions.