View Full Version : Umbrella First Use!
OK bottom line is that I want one that I can wear on my head! I used a Golite Umbrella for the first time this past weekend on the Smokies hike, on a three day hike 2 days were essentially water walks. The umbrella concept played out well-complete ventilation, no overheating on the up's, and felt like I was constantly walking in a shelter. The problem as all hiking pole users know is that one must sacrifice at least one pole to hold the umbrella. This makes me wish for a third arm dedicated to the umbrella because ultimately I relegated myself to wetness over the loss of the second hiking pole thinking better to be wet(ter) than have bone sticking through skin-thus the desire (and yes I am laughing at even the thought) of an umbrella that you can wear on your head (or course not possible with a pack) or one that can mount on the top of your pack...which leads to the idea of a 'rain-shield' that projects from the pack itself up and over the head and with side flanges wide enough to cover the shoulder area....your thoughts please! I have seen canopies for sea kayaks that mount behind the paddler and are very useful in calm seas where the sun beats down and doesnt inhibit the paddle motion so the concept has some validity.
For external frame users, it should be straightforward enough just to lash an umbrella to part of the frame. Did you take the umbrella along any of the ridges in wind? That is, how did it fair in windy, exposed conditions? Or, were you lower down in the Smokys?
hmm, interesting idea, a combination pack cover rain hood, cause it dosnt have to look like a conventional umbrella right? so get creative. maybe you can find a way to attatch a hinge to your pack which would be able to arch over your head and be wide enough to cover your shoulders over which some type of pack cover material would drape and run down over your pack. maybe even a poncho would work. although this would still leave the frotn of you open to rain. i guess it would have to be combined with wearing a poncho or some other rain gear. but then youd probably have to even with an umbrella anyway.
In 1998, I had the opportunity to test a piece of gear called the "Packshade". It had two fiberglass stays that secure the shade to your internal frame pack along the side compression straps. It did offer shade and would offer minimal rain protection. It was impossible to walk head on into the wind and real spooky standing on the edge at an overlook when a gust of wind came up. It was used for 150 miles in southern California along the PCT. Here is the url for the company:
so someone has run with the concept! yeah, but went to the site and really couldnt get to the meat of it--said experimental....but will try back again....rarely am I on an exposed ridge for extended periods of time....and to answer a question above...in the Smokies this past weekend it was from Clingmans to Fontana which was mostly ridge walking but again no perilous edges for the wind to pick me up via the umbrella.