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brian H
(B14) - M

Locale: Siskiyou Mtns
remember the guy that wrote the book that started this revolution? on 01/31/2014 00:01:04 MST Print View

...he espoused hiking with that rather obvious rain gear item, an Umbrella
[i just read thru this thread and didnt see mention of it]. and did so for many 1000s of miles.

last week i had a couple beers w/ a new friend who is a double Triple Crowner
and he too has carried one for 1000s of miles. Also works as a storm door of sorts on a simple tarp, as part of a bug net support, and of course for shade from brutal sun.

if it keeps the rain from hitting head-neck-shoulders and more, thats gotta be worth a try.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: remember the guy that wrote the book that started this revolution? on 01/31/2014 00:33:30 MST Print View

The guy who wrote the July 1982 Backpacker Magazine article was Rob Schultheis. That is what popularized ultralightweight backpacking. There was no mention of an umbrella.

--B.G.--

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: remember the guy that wrote the book that started this revolution? on 01/31/2014 01:19:46 MST Print View

So Mr. Schultheis was all wet? :)

Umbrellas are handy, certainly "ventilated" And good for sun, but weak for a real blow, so do you carry both rain shell and umbrella or just get a little wet if the weather gets stinky?

Edited by dwambaugh on 01/31/2014 01:28:28 MST.

Larry De La Briandais
(Hitech) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Umbrellas on 01/31/2014 10:21:11 MST Print View

"but weak for a real blow..."

I have never had a problem with umbrellas in high wind. You have to pay attention and keep it angled into the wind. But, there is LOTS of feedback to help keep it properly aligned. I've never understood why so many people have problems. I use to think it odd as I passed lots of people in downtown SF with their umbrellas turned inside out when I didn't think it was that windy.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Umbrellas on 01/31/2014 10:36:56 MST Print View

The weak part being the lack of full coverage. Horizontal rain challenges the best rain shells. Granted, that is rare in my experience, but should be considered for more exposed terrain.

So, do you carry both bumbershoot and shell?

Larry De La Briandais
(Hitech) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Re: Re: Umbrellas on 01/31/2014 11:22:53 MST Print View

I have never carried an umbrella hiking. Generally speaking, I'm a fair weather hiker, at the moment. I did just get back from Yosemite (Yosemite Falls Trail for two nights), but that is my first winter trip. I have spend many trips in the rain, but they were short hikes. I was far more worried about rain getting in my tent when I opened the "door".

I am interested in more less than perfect weather hiking. An umbrella seems like a great way to keep the rain off your face. I would still have a shell, but it could possible just be a wind shirt. Not really sure as I haven't tried it yet. This is all a new set of stills I am currently learning. The skill of using an umbrella in the wind is one I already have though. ;^)

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Re: Umbrellas on 01/31/2014 12:02:56 MST Print View

I think an umbrella comes into it's own on drizzly days and easier trails---- those where one or no trekking poles are manageable. Walking in light rain often leaves you with the choice of getting wet from precip or sweat and the umbrella is certainly the ultimate ventilated rain gear. A windshirt is the perfect marriage.

Of course the choice concerns hauling yet more weight. I tend to use a poncho or cape which can be as light as the more Spartan rain shells. A sub 10oz umbrella plus a 7oz poncho come to a fraction of an ounce more than my heavy weather rain shell. That combination gives all the multiple uses of emergency shelter, pack cover, cook shelter, latrine roof, tarp shelter "door" and sunshade.

I often hike in cool drizzly rain with high humidity. "Perfect" weather is a myth, spoken of in whispers in order to avoid offending the sun god and causing him to veil his face in gray wool floating in the sky :)

Sunny weather does happen, but the idea of planning on it would be cause for involuntary commitment in a psychiatric facility. Local meteorologists are held in the same regard as politicians, used car salesmen, bankers and the like.

Edited by dwambaugh on 01/31/2014 12:04:59 MST.

Larry De La Briandais
(Hitech) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Re: Re: Re: Re: Umbrellas on 01/31/2014 13:04:13 MST Print View

"I often hike in cool drizzly rain with high humidity. "Perfect" weather is a myth..."

I thought that summer was pretty rain free up that way. It always seemed to be in Auburn, WA when I was there.

And since I never use trekking poles I have my hands free for an umbrella. The weight of an umbrella is certainly extra, but if it give better performance over lighter options then it is worth it IMO (I'm never humble ;^) ). But, I'm were it never rains anymore it seems, so I'll probably never need one. ;^)

William F
(wkf) - F

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Umbrellas on 01/31/2014 17:03:36 MST Print View

PNW weather is highly variable. However, when it rains and gets wet it can be difficult to get things dried out. Summer comes late very often (late June) and cooler weather starts up in mid/late August (though September is consistently the most beautiful month IME). Personally, I do most of my hiking in the Olympic National Park, which at least on the westside get's a lot more rain than the Auburn area. With that said, just going from say the Hoh River on the westside of the peninsula to the NW rain shadow in Sequim and I think they only get like 30" of rain per year versus 200" plus around the Hoh. Short torrential downpours aren't that common, but rather a sustained system that will last several days if not a week. This is why I try not to get too wet in the first place.
I don't use an umbrella in the wetter areas of the PNW because it would be a PITA to get through the underbrush on a lot of the "trails" I encounter. If you are into cross-country travel the umbrella would be even more of a hindrance I think. This is speculation though so take it with a grain of salt; never used an umbrella for hiking.
I hate getting wet (unless I'm swimming), but particularly I don't like getting wet in the torso area because I can get cold really quickly. An umbrella wouldn't cut it here with horizontal rain and changing winds. My feet just get wet and I deal with it; my shoes dry pretty quick or at least don't get squishy/waterlogged. It's nice to have a larger tarp/tent here in the PNW. Guard your dry clothes wisely or be kind of miserable.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Umbrellas on 01/31/2014 17:29:35 MST Print View

Summer starts... July 5

After everyone gets rained out the July 4 weekend

Half humor and half statistical

Usually Septemeber is good, maybe the best, but some years like 2013 it rained a lot

William F
(wkf) - F

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Umbrellas on 01/31/2014 17:34:50 MST Print View

Yeah, this past September was pretty abnormal. Wasn't it the aftermath of typhoons in East Asia? We got some serious torrential rains.

William F
(wkf) - F

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Umbrellas on 01/31/2014 17:48:16 MST Print View

Off topic, sorry to hijack but here's a link to coverage of the 2007 Pacific Coast storm with hurricane-force winds if you're interested, http://www.climate.washington.edu/stormking/December2007.html. Really nasty storm that caused a lot of damage in some very poor areas along the coast. OK, back to "pearls for backpacking in the rain".

Steven Paris
(saparisor) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Pearls for backpacking in the rain on 01/31/2014 21:07:44 MST Print View

"Summer starts... July 5. After everyone gets rained out the July 4 weekend. Half humor and half statistical"

This is, unfortunately, a true statement.