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Travelling cloak - bivvy
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Steve Smith
(bardsandwarriors) - F

Locale: Wales
Travelling cloak - bivvy on 12/05/2005 02:40:57 MST Print View

In a similar vein to the poncho-tarp combo...

I recently came across a web page showing how to make an old-style travelling cloak -

It struck me that this would be much easier to put on or remove as often as you like, to walk through a light shower, as a wind barrier, or to regulate your temperature, etc. Pulling on waterproof trousers and unpacking a hat and a rain shell can be awkward and takes a few minutes.

But with a hooded cloak, whip it out and sling it over, fasten it at the neck and you're done. You could do all of that without stopping.

For windy places it would flap, and you'd need a few buttons up the front (effectively, to turn it into a poncho). On hot, still days it would be cooler than a poncho because you could leave it open at the front.

So I experimented with a bed sheet, and it really is very easy. I thought, why not double it up as a bivvy. The scots have the patent on this idea of course - they slept in their 'great kilts', and wore them by day.

So how about it? The modern version of the old travelling cloak? At night, simply wrap yourself up in it; and maybe add a few buttons to close it, and a head-tent/headnet.

Edited by bardsandwarriors on 12/05/2005 02:43:37 MST.

Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Re: Travelling cloak - bivvy on 12/05/2005 09:17:35 MST Print View

Go for it! Try it with some waterproof-breathable fabric. Add an insulated liner like the army surplus poncho liners. Or maybe just use a poncho liner. Publish the plans here.

(RavenUL) - F
travelling cloak - bivy on 12/05/2005 12:54:35 MST Print View

The soviets nailed it with their plasch-pilatka.

Im slowly, ever so slowly, working on a modernized production variant for ultra light backpackers. A brutal lack of sewing skills, and a multipronged attack on my finances is keeping things from happening, but the result will be great.

Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Re: travelling cloak - bivy on 12/05/2005 14:22:12 MST Print View

Show us. What's a plasch-pilatka ('butterfly'? or is my Russian wrong?)

(RavenUL) - F
Re: Re: travelling cloak - bivy on 12/05/2005 14:59:10 MST Print View

Heres some pictures of the old soviet style.

My version has a similar idea, but different cut and the lighter material lends it self to more uses. But youll have to wait until I get something made before you see what Im talking about.

edit - I do not know what plasch pilatka means. My Russian is just about good enough to get me in trouble, and thats about it.

Edited by RavenUL on 12/05/2005 15:00:37 MST.

Where Peter Jackson got those surplus cloaks from on 12/05/2005 15:16:46 MST Print View

plasch-pilatka is Russian for " Elvish travelling cloak for socialistic hobbits". The Soviet military was way into Tolkien. :)

I must say it will be a backcountry fashion statement.
Seriously, if you can make it do all the things you say you want it to, at a decent weight and with less wind-flapping than the typical poncho variant---kudos. Epic might be an interesting fabric to execute it in.

kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
Middle Earth UL fashion on 12/05/2005 15:18:17 MST Print View

sorry--that last post was not meant to be "anonymous".

Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Re: travelling cloak - bivy on 12/05/2005 15:19:15 MST Print View

Show us. What's a plasch-pilatka ('butterfly'? or is my Russian wrong?)

(RavenUL) - F
Re: Re: travelling cloak - bivy on 12/05/2005 16:51:01 MST Print View

Vick, did you somehow refresh your browser an hour after posting, or did I not answer your question appropriatly?

Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Re: Re: Re: travelling cloak - bivy on 12/05/2005 17:21:58 MST Print View

re-posted. have no idea hhhooowwww how how that happened happened.

james w glenn
(bark-eater) - F
Im interested in how modern materials can be applied to these traditional designs on 01/07/2006 19:08:14 MST Print View

I am a big fan of wool for survival and comfort in the outdoors, but my filson cruiser jacket is not light weight gear. the soft shell jacket i got for xmas seems to function comparably to a wool shirt, though i havent gotten soaked and then steemed it dry with body heat yet.. the cloak and kilt which are traditionaly made of wool, seem like they would dry slower from body heat because of the open construction. Im not sure wich modern fabrics would be better (lighter? dryer?warmer?) than wool for these applications.

Edited by bark-eater on 01/07/2006 19:10:01 MST.

(RavenUL) - F
Re: Im interested in how modern materials can be applied to these traditional designs on 01/09/2006 12:37:41 MST Print View

Im not entirely sure what your asking here...

Wool is still viable in the backcountry. Ask Smartwool or Ibex.

Heavy wool garments are great for their role, but they dont fit for ultralight backpacking. However, things like cloaks dont NEED to be made of heavy wool. Depending on the cut of the material, a functional cloak can be made with 1.1oz silnylon, like many of the ponchos available on the market now.

As for kilts, theres no rule saying they must be made of 8yards of 14oz worsted. Kilts have been made of everything from heavy wool, to hard canvas, to Poly-Viscose fabric, to Epic Cotton, to thin Nylon Sateen, even leather. Granted, these arnt exactly traditional materials, but properly cut kilts can be made this way, each with their own drawbacks and benefits.

One benefit of NOT wearing heavy wool is that modern outdoor fabrics are often non absorbant and quick drying. Imagine the calories needed to "steam dry" a wool coat. Calories more effectivly put to use in moving forward.

Pierre Dumay
(PEYOfrance) - F
The PAP (Peyo Abri Poncho) on 01/27/2006 06:33:24 MST Print View

Thanks Guys!!!

With yours ideas, i created my new tarp/hiker Cloak with a 9x6 inchs 1.1 silnylon (total 7.5oz)

I'm very quiet with no hood on my tarp in hard rain and my Cloak (poncho) is very efficient and comfortable (with my pertex quantum windshirt) during the hike.

Pictures and explanation

Thanks for ideas!!!


Edited by PEYOfrance on 01/27/2006 11:29:31 MST.

Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Re: The PAP (Peyo Abri Poncho) on 01/27/2006 12:39:45 MST Print View

So you have ties for the hood located what, 15 centimeters from the edge? I gotta try this.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: The PAP (Peyo Abri Poncho) on 01/27/2006 13:16:23 MST Print View

What a great and simple idea, Pierre. I looked at your site and was able to understand about half of the French, but not enough to understand the details well. I tried your method out using my SilTarp and it works really well.

I'm curious, how do you keep the hood cord from sliding up on the slippery silnylon and choking you? When I tried it the cord rode quite tightly at my throat after a while.

And what do you do to close the front of the cape in heavy wind? Do you rely on your Pertex windshirt to keep you dry?

What I like about your idea is that you can control how you wear the cape... even throw it back and leave your front exposed.

Joshua Mitchell
(jdmitch) - F

Locale: Kansas
PAP - Translated on 01/28/2006 09:53:03 MST Print View

Your idea is brilliant!

I'm bookmarking it for future use.

Here's a google-translated link

"So you have ties for the hood located what, 15 centimeters from the edge? I gotta try this."

That's the cool-thing, there are no 'ties for the hood', he loops a little cord over the top to snug it around his neck (kind of how they used to use clasps), which also serves to keep the front of the poncho closed

Edited by jdmitch on 01/28/2006 09:59:29 MST.

Jeff Dell
(skysappr) - F

Locale: South East
Travelling cloak - bivvy on 01/30/2006 20:09:04 MST Print View

What were the dimensions for your cloak. It looked like you said 9 x 6 inches most likely not quite right in translation. Is it actually 9 ft x 6 ft. Looks like a sweet setup definetly worth checking out.

Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Re: Travelling cloak - bivvy on 01/30/2006 21:16:49 MST Print View

Here's the original cloak:
Karen's Homepage

I plan to try this with a cloak/tarp arrangement. But I think the coolest thing would be to make it with W/B fabric.

I'm 6'2" and can wear a 5X8.5 foot tarp, and I think 6X8.5 would work. However, if you experiment, you will find larger tarps dragging the ground in the back, even worn ofer a pack. You could velcro up the corners.

I also suspect that some kind of ties on the inside to tie in front of the 'hood' would be necessary to keep it from slipping around (silnylon being slick stuff).

Bill Fornshell
(bfornshell) - MLife

Locale: Southern Texas
Traveling Cloak-Bivy on 01/30/2006 22:00:58 MST Print View

Try this with couple yards of Cuben fiber, look at my Cuben Poncho/Tarp, and you will have a really light set-up. You could double the material and fold and connect the side some way so you could slide into it and make a bivy of sorts out of it.

A couple of years ago on another site a small group of us played with the idea of making a Great Kilt. It would turn into our sleep system at night. During the day it would fold into a kilt and if it rained the extra back part would pull up and cover our head sort of like your cloak idea. Mine would have sleeves for Down baffles as a down garment or Down sleep system.

There is no end to the different uses these things can take. The problem is keeping the weight low.
The type of material needed was not available easy to us back then. Mine was heavy so was never used.

I am remaking some of my old ideas now using Cuben fiber.

Jeff Dell
(skysappr) - F

Locale: South East
Cuben traveling cloak tarp on 02/02/2006 22:50:31 MST Print View

Bill, understanding that you are the all knowing on the cuben front. I was once again at the cuben fiber website and still don't see anything definitive about product description, price weight etc. A bunch of photos of sails but not much definition.

What am I missing?