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Observations using an umbrella rain gear system
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Brett Peugh
(bpeugh) - F - M

Locale: Midwest
Observations using an umbrella rain gear system on 07/03/2013 08:12:37 MDT Print View

Lately I have been trying out my alternative rain gear system and I would like to share a few observations. I have only used this system down to about 45F but I am sure it can enter into that are that gets close to freezing.

I still like my trash bag rain skirt. I can use it with long pants when it is cooler out and roll up the ends. I can pair this with my Chaco sandals and either wool, poly or no socks depending on the temperature outside. It does become a bit much when the temp is above 75F but by then I should be wearing shorts and can just let them get wet. I can also use it as a rain covering for the lower 2/3rds of my legs and still have it be somewhat breathable through the cut end.

I have swung over to using an umbrella for both rain and sun. The rain where I live rarely goes sideways and I can deal with the spray through the use of a windshirt or if it is really bad, by taking the trash bag liner of my pack and ripping two arm and a head hole into it.

I am currently trying out ways on how to use my umbrella with my rain skirt, a heetsheets and a sheet of bug netting for a summer shelter system but haven't got it down to the point yet where I feel comfortable with it all.

The nice thing about the rain system, it has cost me $45 so far and I stay dry as long as the umbrella and trash bag remain in good repair. No cleaning, no reapplying coatings and very breathable.

Kevin Babione
(KBabione) - MLife

Locale: Pennsylvania
Using an Umbrella Hiking on 07/03/2013 08:33:06 MDT Print View

I overheat quickly if I have to put the hood of my rain coat on so I too like using an umbrella. In PA it's usually not so windy that it won't work.

I use trekking poles so, with John Abela's help and a link to this YouTube video, I've converted my umbrella to "hands free" use. I have a sliding attachment point that goes from the umbrella shaft (near the crown) to the haul loop on my pack. I then attach, using an elastic cord, the strap on the handle to my belt. The shaft of the umbrella sort of crosses my body.

It works really well and keeps your hands free for your trekking poles or taking pictures.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Umbrella on 07/03/2013 08:37:14 MDT Print View

I've been using a frame pack for casual hikes, so I probably have a moral obligation to duct tape an umbrella to it...

Brett Peugh
(bpeugh) - F - M

Locale: Midwest
hands free system on 07/03/2013 08:40:27 MDT Print View

I really need to try to work on that strap system for my umbrella to my pack. I don't use trekking poles but I would still like to have my hands free. Are there better pictures or instructions on how to do it?

Kevin Babione
(KBabione) - MLife

Locale: Pennsylvania
Hands Free Umbrella on 07/03/2013 11:33:17 MDT Print View

I don't have any decent photos of how I set it up, but I'll try to explain...I'm doing this from work so I don't have it in front of me so the lengths are estimates.

I have one cord (not elastic) about 8 inches long with a carabiner on the end. The non-carabiner end is looped around the umbrella shaft near the top of the open umbrella (near the "lock"). The carabiner is clipped to the haul loop of my pack. This cord keeps the umbrella shaft next to my neck (and thus centered) while hiking.

The other cord is attached to the strap on the handle of the umbrella and also ends in a mini-carabiner. I use elastic for this cord and basically it's long enough to allow the mini-carabiner to clip to either my belt or my beltloop.

I let the shaft go across my body - if the umbrella shaft is on my right shoulder (and thus touching the right side of my neck) I'll clip the belt strap on the left side of my body.

I'll try to get a photo of it to upload.