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Keeping a sil-nylon poncho/tarp clean
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Michael Fickes
(mikefickes) - M
Keeping a sil-nylon poncho/tarp clean on 03/17/2005 21:13:41 MST Print View

How do you keep a sil-nylon poncho clean when you also use the poncho as a tarp?
I use a sil-nylon tarp and after a few nights the tarp is coated with sand that sticks to the sil-nylon when pitching the tarp. The sand is impossible to clean off in the field. I'd like to try having my poncho pull double duty as a tarp but I think the poncho would be very uncomfortable to wear as a garment if it was coated with sand.
Thanks for any tips/info you can provide.

David Lisak

Locale: Grand Canyon hiker
silnylon and sand on 04/02/2005 05:05:36 MST Print View

I have encountered the very same issue. In addition to the discomfort of wearing a sand-coated silnylon poncho, there is also the weight issue. That sand adds up! Since I do all of my backpacking in the Grand Canyon, sand is a huge issue. My solution has not been the discovery of some ingenious way to clean silnylon. Rather, I bought a Bozeman Spin poncho, which is actually lighter than a silnyon equivalent and made of silicon impregnated fabric that does not have the same sticky quality of silnylon. After one trip in the canyon, the sand accumulation problem was minimal, and it was much easier to brush off sand that did gather. It might be worth looking at, but prepare for sticker shock.

Michael Fickes
(mikefickes) - M
silnylon and sand on 04/08/2005 17:27:06 MDT Print View

Thanks for the info Dave, the spin poncho sounds like an interesting alternative. The sandy conditions I was concerned with are when hiking in the Grand Canyon so it's nice to hear from someone who has experience in the area I wanted to use the silnylon poncho.

John Carter

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Sand & static on 04/08/2005 23:56:51 MDT Print View

Aren't there anti-static sprays out there, or is this a figment of my imagination? I wonder if that would help.

David Lisak

Locale: Grand Canyon hiker
silnylon, sand and anti-static on 04/09/2005 05:50:38 MDT Print View


My sense is that the sand problem with silnylon is not related to static electricity, but rather to the slight, inherent "stickiness" of the fabric. Everywhere you go in the Canyon you encounter very fine silt particles that are small and light enough to cling to this slight stickiness of the silnylon fabric. I once had to use a silnylon poncho as a ground cloth, very briefly, and two years later I still find silt clinging to it. This problem may be restricted to areas where you're likely to encounter this type of ubiquitous and very fine silt.


Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Sand on Silnylon on 04/25/2005 02:49:58 MDT Print View

I think it's a combo of both static electricity and the stickiness of silnylon.

Fresh silnylon can generate quite a bit of static pretty easily. The static in turn attracts dust etc. which reduces static over time. The stickiness factor depends on the type of silnylon. Some brands are just stickier than others, there's actually quite a wide range of stuff out there now with different coating weights.

Because the Spin cloth has lighter sil coatings than silnylon, it tends to be less prone to static and dust/sand pickup.