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mattydt20
02-05-2006, 18:17
I just finished Ray Jardine's book Beyond Backpacking. He full heartedly promotes the use of an umbrella while hiking. At first it seemed silly, but as I read more an umbrella seemed to be a really great idea. It keeps you dry and cool because you are free to hike in a t-shirt or any desired layer. I was wondering how many people hike with umbrellas and wanted to know how their experiences with them were.

Roland
02-05-2006, 18:28
Jardine is awful convincing about using an umbrella, isn't he?

I tried it. Here's what I learned.

1. Holding-up an umbrella all day long is tiring
2. If it's warm rain, I don't mind getting wet. It can be refreshing.
3. If it's cold rain, I would likely be wearing FroggToggs, or the like.
4. When rocks and roots are wet and slippery, I prefer the security of hiking poles over an umbrella.

Marta
02-05-2006, 18:30
I tried it for a while. In NC, there were enough trees and bushes snagging at the umbrella that it was more trouble than it was worth to me.

Topcat
02-05-2006, 18:44
i was out just south of Boiling springs 2 years ago and a guy hiking northbound had a small umbrella lashed to his pack. I think he liked hiking in the shade. With an external frame pack, this seemed like a good setup

Wolf - 23000
02-05-2006, 21:43
I convince Jardine just wanted to find out how many hikers would be gullible to actually do it.

Wolf

brian
02-05-2006, 22:01
I'm the only one out of 13 to say yes? Man, hiking with my $5 grocery store umbrella keeps me dry and happy day after day...sure beats being under a raincoat, which is only used if its really windy or my umbrella is broken.

Brian
OES

Footslogger
02-05-2006, 22:58
I don't use an ubrella but if I decided to try one this is what I might consider:

http://www.epinions.com/content_186229755524

'Slogger

wyclif
02-05-2006, 23:03
I'm not sure whether the umbrella recommendation by Jardine was a joke, or just a stab at being passive-aggressive.

I've carried an umbrella on rainy day hikes, but I would never pack one for a trip of more than a day because:


Weight and bulk; one more thing to carry and pack that I don't need
I have rainproof gear
Open umbrella gets snagged on branches
Prevents you from using trekking poles
Dislike holding the umbrella for long periods of timeOff-trail, I'm a fan of umbrellas. On the trail, they seem more trouble than they are worth.

Bassline
02-05-2006, 23:50
I own a one, but I dont use it. I am addicted to my leki poles. On top of that, in the winter, it is nice to have the rain gear to keep me warm, and in the summer, I dont mind getting wet at all. It might be a little better on the west coast where there is less rain, and less trees to snag your umbrella on. Or maybe it is just not the right option for me.

Sly
02-06-2006, 00:14
I use Lekis too, so using an umbrella while I hike is out. However, on the AT in a wet year, I'd consider carrying one for camp and towns.

max patch
02-06-2006, 01:16
i ain't mary poppins.

Heater
02-06-2006, 01:23
I own a one, but I dont use it. I am addicted to my leki poles. On top of that, in the winter, it is nice to have the rain gear to keep me warm, and in the summer, I dont mind getting wet at all. It might be a little better on the west coast where there is less rain, and less trees to snag your umbrella on. Or maybe it is just not the right option for me.

They would be useful in the desert.

peter_pan
02-06-2006, 09:54
Smee and I hiked for two years wearing those umbrella hats ... They work real well...great head and face coverage, fair shoulder coverage... not as confining as a hood... great ventilation ... left hands free for poles...weight was 3 oz.

Drawbacks were sometimes strong wind could be a challenge... you can't use them with a tall pack (no problem for us but an issue for others)... the head band can get a lttle old...You get a few stares (who cares when someting works)

Currently we are using Tilley hats with near the same success ... bit more conventional.

Pan

minnesotasmith
02-06-2006, 09:55
They are particularly handy IMO for clear days in areas when the leaves are not fully on the trees or there aren't enough trees, but the brush isn't too close. The higher your pack sits, though, the less comfortable it is to hold an umbrella up, as you have to hold your arm higher. Likewise, they are nicer to use than ponchos for going to the privy from the shelter when it is rainy or the trees are recently rained-on and the wind is blowing that water off them. I have found that I can't justify the weight of a brolly, though; I use hat/windbreaker/gloves/bandannas stuck under boonie hat brim to keep the sun off me, so don't really need one in my final judgement.

Tha Wookie
02-06-2006, 10:13
I use umbrellas all the time hiking.

I use it from the rain/hail/snow: caught in many storms, always worked, except two times where the wind turned it out. The golite ones will flex backward up to a point. I have exchanged one after it flexed too far. There were some hail storms that would have been painful without it.

In the desert, I found it essential for shade. I did not see how others got by without one. Of course, most people out there that I saw DID have one. The mylar trick is harder to master. The mylar rips from use, but it is very effective in reflecting heat before it rips.

I use one for photography. I simply need shelter when I need it, and have gotten a lot of pictures other people wouldn't try becuase their camera would get wet.

I have had multiple rainy day lunches and breaks under my umbrella.

At night I often use the umbrella to "seal" the ends of my tarp if there is precipitation. One time, I even used it to make a canopy under my tarp after I pitched the entire thing to the ground on a flat bald with no other options.

I have used it upside down to collect water in a storm, and under a water fall.

I have had hundreds of hikers see me when they needed one, only to say, "man, you're smart!", or "I wish I had one of those!"

I consider it a luxury, but a very useful one.

Big Dawg
02-06-2006, 10:47
Smee and I hiked for two years wearing those umbrella hats ... They work real well...great head and face coverage, fair shoulder coverage... not as confining as a hood... great ventilation ... left hands free for poles...weight was 3 oz.

Drawbacks were sometimes strong wind could be a challenge... you can't use them with a tall pack (no problem for us but an issue for others)... the head band can get a lttle old...You get a few stares (who cares when someting works)

Currently we are using Tilley hats with near the same success ... bit more conventional.

Pan


this is the one I use, camo...... www.theumbrellahat.com

I agree w/ you Pan, on both pro/con. My favorite benefit is eliminating the effect of tunnel vision that a cinched down hooded rain jacket gives.

Footslogger
02-06-2006, 11:13
I carried a "hands free" umbrella for quite a while in 2003. With all the rain we had it came in handy.

'Slogger

Doctari
02-06-2006, 15:25
I voted yes. However, I have yet to actually hike with one, have only decided to do so. I even have an umbrella.

So, I suppose that I should have voted no, but then again.

Doctari.

RITBlake
02-06-2006, 16:59
I started w/ one but got rid of it after a few hundred miles. I wasn't using it and when I did use it I found it really awkard to use. I was so used to hiking w/ poles in hand it felt very weird not pushing off w/ my umbrella hand. Plus it gets caught in the trees and in the bushes.

Having said that, I think it is an idea that could work, esp if you dont hike w/ poles. Not great for the dense forest of maine though

trippclark
02-06-2006, 18:31
I started my section hikes in GA with regular lightweight "so called breathable" raingear and hated hiking in it. Sweaty, clammy, yuck!!

Somewhere in the Smokies after reading Jardine's book I started carrying an umbrella and the difference was night and day. An umbrella, coupled with gaitors kept me far more comfortable and drier (when sweat and lack of it are factored in). Since then, I have never had to HIKE in my rainsuit, although I still usually carry rainpants and a windshirt as backup raingear and for wind/warmth.

There are some vulberabilities with an umbrella, most tied to very high winds, but the umbrella and gaitors is always my hiking raingear of choice. It has turned rainy day hiking from misery to just a minor inconvenience.

DavidNH
02-06-2006, 18:59
I get to wonderin.. suppose some diehard Ray Jardin Protegee tries to thru hike the AT or a similar trail using an umbrella but no rain coat? and you go over those exposed windy summits in a wind driven rain?? Hmm... gotta imagine it would not help much.

And if one needs a rain coat..what good is it to ALSO have an umbrella? seeing as the rain coat keeps you dry no use for the umbrella!

David

Hana_Hanger
02-06-2006, 19:02
a BIG "Yes" to umbrellas
only I use the big golf umbrella one since it is almost always raining...and I hate feeling confined in ponchos or raingear. I use it as a hiking pole when not raining...put a rubber tip on the end...works great.
ONLY I don't think I would trust it with my life like a regular hiking pole, but it is made out of fiberglass...pretty strong.

trippclark
02-06-2006, 23:41
And if one needs a rain coat..what good is it to ALSO have an umbrella? seeing as the rain coat keeps you dry no use for the umbrella!

David

David,

That was the problem that I found, that the raincoat did not keep me DRY. Yes, it kept rain off, but it is first and foremost a COAT and traps in body heat. When hiking hard up and down mountains, I tend to be warm already in shorts and a t-shirt in all but the most cold temps. When I add a coat to this equation the sweat starts to poor. That is why I use the umbrella in all but the absolute worst conditions. I still carry a rainjacket or windshirt, but this is primarily for lightweight warmth with the multipupose use of being able to backup my umbrella as a rain protection system. So far, I have not had to use it for such, but it is there if I need it.

Tripp

dloome
08-20-2006, 23:08
I don't think an umbrella is very practical for a trail like the AT.
I will carry one in So. Cal on the PCT next year though for sun- GoLite chrome dome.

Frolicking Dinosaurs
08-21-2006, 07:08
I have a full size, ultralight folding umbrella (http://www.totes-isotoner.com/ecommerce/control/product/%7Eproduct_id=7341). I made it a sil-nylon case - it weighs 5.1 oz. I love this umbrella for all the reasons tha Wookie mentions above (http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showpost.php?p=167358&postcount=15). The pole slips down in an ice-axe loop on my pack making it a hands free option for me.

I know Jardine says the folding umbrellas are too weak to use for hiking, but I've never had a problem. I use a poncho (and frogg toggs pants in cold weather) in blowing rain.

highway
10-08-2006, 09:33
I never use an umbrella at home, almost never felt the need for one. My hair has been short since I was a teen so rain doesnt mess it up, plus I can move (fairly) fast still, in a pinch, like in a Florida downpour.

But I have been intrigued with the use of one while hiking. It does have some benefits, most of which have been mentioned above, as well as some drawbacks. So I took the moderatge plunge and purchased a:

http://www.luxurylite.com/umbrellaindex.html

that does weigh the 7 ounces as stated and plugs into the top of my hiking staff. I am going to give it a try and see if it is for me or not.

I dont seem to have the 'heavy sweating' problem that so many write about because, I suppose, of the few clothes I wear while hiking. I wear shorts always and take just few layers, (never a heavy one, either), and just regulate core temps with forward motion. It seems to work very well for me, even in temps into the 30's F.

So, I am considering substituting it for the ID poncho or 12 oz precip and save weight. My outer layer is already water resistant- a British Paramo mountain shirt or marmot dri-clime windshirt (a copy of the earlier Paramo, then uniquely designed to move moisture from skin outward).

Just a thought:-?

Johnny Swank
10-09-2006, 17:28
I really want to like using umbrellas. Plenty of good reasons to if the terrain is right. I guess my mojo's not been right the few times I've tried it.

Footslogger
10-09-2006, 17:32
I'm gonna give it a shot. Bought a Golite dome at an outfitter in Gorham after my section hike this past July. Plan to strap it on my Vapor Trail in the ice axe loop and go from there. We just get so much datgawn wind out here in Wyoming though. Got a feeling it's gonna end up like a kite and blow away.

'Slogger

Chip
10-14-2006, 09:19
Naw ! Don't want to be a moving lightning rod !! :D

Gaiter
10-14-2006, 17:59
I pass on the lighting rod as well
I had just a simple rain coat- from wally world
mini-gators- wore them all the time rain or shine
and a sunvisor, would use it for sunny days (i burn and freckle) and wore it when i put my rain coat on, the hood was big enough to go over the lip of it, kept my face and glasses dry so i could still see.
never worried about my legs

Hanna

highway
10-14-2006, 19:18
Naw ! Don't want to be a moving lightning rod !! :D
You have more metal in your backpack than is in this umbrella. Plus the long green tunnel is protecting you. unless you are on one of the balds or peaks

Rocketman
07-11-2007, 17:08
Jardine is awful convincing about using an umbrella, isn't he?

I tried it. Here's what I learned.

1. Holding-up an umbrella all day long is tiring
2. If it's warm rain, I don't mind getting wet. It can be refreshing.
3. If it's cold rain, I would likely be wearing FroggToggs, or the like.
4. When rocks and roots are wet and slippery, I prefer the security of hiking poles over an umbrella.

I really can't understand your reactions, unless you have little imagination.

I hook the umbrella into my pack straps, and it is very stable needing absolutely no use of either hand.

1)- Since no hands are used, I am not holding up the umbrella and not getting tired.

4)- Since no hands are used, I can use my hiking poles in the normal way and not slip on the rocks and roots.

2)- Since no hands are used (the umbrella is held in place by my pack straps), I can take photographs in the rain and the results are really nice as well as unusual. The lighting is very soft, and the new raindrops make very nice additions to close-up photos.

3)- I wear, sometimes, a wind shirt with DWR coating to keep warm if it is too cold. The body heat and the decreased rainfall from the umbrella work to keep the DWR coated windshirt dry.

In short, I feel that you have decided beforehand that the umbrella is a bad idea, and then you acted so as to prove it.

My experience is different from yours. I used my umbrella here in Damascus VA today to go shopping in the afternoon rain and pick up my maildrop.

Happy hiking.

Jack Tarlin
07-11-2007, 17:13
I never use one at home, so I can't imagine why I'd want to use one while on the Trail.

Never mind the fact that other than wearing knee-high electric blue gaiters, there is no possible way one could look goofier than by hiking with an umbrella.

Light rain is actually quite pleasant to hike in.

Medium rain is tolerable.

Even heavy rain isn't that much of a big deal.

If it gets worse than that, you probably won't be hiking anyway.

86 the umbrealla.

applejack
07-11-2007, 17:22
f yeah, whole at trip! one of my most indispensible items. when it's warm enough, i forgo it and enjoy the rain. when colder, alls i notice are looks of jealousy. though, i don't use poles. people who are pole-dependent obviously aren't gonna use umbrellas. and also, the only one to use is the golite plastic-framed one. any metal frames/tines will bend er break right away.

oldfivetango
07-11-2007, 18:41
My Luxury Lite pack is equipped with umbrella and receptacle
for same.At first I thought that I wanted to mount it to the stick
but the stick is always moving around if you do that.As for looking
geeky,Jack,I got to be the geekiest looker in the world what with
the LL back and front pack and umbrella plus knee high gaiters.
I am planning on making my own custom wooden walking stick
though to get that rugged outdoorsman look.:D
Oldfivetango

applejack
07-11-2007, 20:31
well, as far as the geeky look, that's jack's opinion only, which he's got plenty of. but really, out in the woods, its 'to each his own' as what works for you shouldn't be affected by what someone else says is geeky, cause out dea, whatever keeps you alive is what counts. and we are all winners in the eyes of the lord. just kidding, i'm not religious. carry an umbrella if it works for ya, or don't if it won't. (or don't if you take jack's word for gospel) anyhow, this post has gotten so long i've lost interest in the topic. ah well.

Lone Wolf
07-11-2007, 21:18
umbrellas are SO gay and not needed. worse than Dr. Bronners and Leki poles. my opinion. don't let it bother your flaming ways.:)

refreeman
07-11-2007, 21:41
Umbrellas are an inefficient water management system for hiking or backpacking. You can become saturated just from walking through the wet vegetation and an umbrella will shake the water laden branches and douse you soggy as you hike.

Buy a light weight rain suit with some venting. Rain suits can also be used for to stop wind chill, an extra insulating layer, a bug barrier, a pack cover and a pillow.

fiddlehead
07-12-2007, 23:31
Jardine lives out west and has done most of his hiking out there.
Finding shade can be a problem sometimes out there.
I really believe that he recommends it more for sun protection than rain protection. (it rarely rains in CA, AZ, southern UT, NV)
A big straw hat does the same for me. (i always like to see what the native construction workers or landscapers are wearing, they live there, they know how to work in the elements)
An unbrella on the AT would be a hassle i believe. Frogg Toggs weren't around when Jardine started pushing his umbrella as rain protection.
But then, "To each his own", "Up to you", "HYOH" and of course: keep an open mind.

Doctari
07-13-2007, 11:15
I need to change my vote to NO. I carried it for a while, but never used it (well, one time, for about 4 minutes) so I don't carry it anymore. Ray J. Makes it sound so great, but IMHO it's more work than I'm willing to put into using it.
Like they say tho, Your Mileage May Vary.

dgever
07-22-2007, 19:15
I am surprised at how many people think that holding the umbrella was there only option, if you get creative there are many ways to attach an umbrella for hands free use. I like to insert mine between the suspension system and bag on my backpack. It is very secure and not only keeps me dry but it keeps my bag dry as well (especially in that back part where my pack cover doesn’t go). The only problem is that on the east coast you get snagged on bushes and trees.

SteveJ
07-22-2007, 22:32
well, i voted 'yes' cause I did for the 1st time last week. was on a week-long section hike in north georgia, and it was supposed to rain every day. thought, "what the heck - it'll be too hot to hike in rain gear so I'll bring an umbrella." had a small umbrella my wife had bought for my middle son's trip to Germany earlier this summer. actually used it twice. don't know if it really helped, tho, cause I was soaked with sweat before it started raining...but my socks did stay dry, so I guess it was worth it...

aufgahoban
07-24-2007, 10:02
Myself and 3 teenagers went on a hike for 4 days in New Mexico. It not only rains every afternoon there, but it also hails. So we decided to try umbrellas. The kids were able to stick the umbrella between their backs and their packs comfortably. Not only did it keep the rain and hail off their heads, but off their packs as well (none had a pack cover) and they just kept on trucking. They were wet from about thighs down, but in any rain suit or poncho set up I've ever tried you get at least that wet anyway. The cheap dollar store light weight umbrellas held up perfectly to the pea to marble sized hail as well. Luckily we didn't have to fight any wind. I imagine that would be a drawback. But still, I don't think I'll ever pack a wet rain suit back up again.

Madmax
08-04-2007, 18:06
Another advantage of the umbrella:

Have you ever seen the reaction of an agressive bulldog when opening your umrella in ˝ a second when pointing at the dog ? :D Also works with cows and more :sun

emerald
08-04-2007, 18:24
When I met famous A.T. hiker paul bunyan at Eckville, he had just hiked from The Pinnacle in a thunderstorm with an umbrella! He may not want to carry an umbrella on Avery Peak if he finds himself there in an electrical storm as I once did.

veteran
08-16-2007, 22:05
I am surprised at how many people think that holding the umbrella was there only option, if you get creative there are many ways to attach an umbrella for hands free use. I like to insert mine between the suspension system and bag on my backpack. It is very secure and not only keeps me dry but it keeps my bag dry as well (especially in that back part where my pack cover doesn’t go). The only problem is that on the east coast you get snagged on bushes and trees.

If you use a external frame pack, you could attach a umbrella with one of these (http://golfstuffcheaper.com/golumhol.html).

Jim Adams
08-16-2007, 23:15
They would be useful in the desert.


I think that Ray hikes more out west than in the east. very little rain but lots of sun! I saw quite a few people on the desert section of the PCT with umbarellas using them for shade.

geek

Dholmblad
11-04-2007, 23:50
I can not see a single situation that an umbrella would be a good idea(for me). I neeeed hiking poles(at the age of 20), and if I was carring an umbrella I would only be able to use one. I dont mind getting rained on at all, I actually enjoy it. I find that I can put in big mile days when I am wet and looking forward to that nice warm sleeping bag.