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devoidapop
02-08-2018, 09:48
Can anybody recommend a video on how to pitch a poncho as a shelter? I have a cheap Bluefield poncho that I'd like to be able to put up as an emergency shelter.

jefals
02-08-2018, 10:42
Don't know of a video, and I've never done it, but I think the idea is to tie a line and drape the poncho over it, low enough so each side hits the ground with enough slack to spread out a little. Weigh down the sides with rocks -- or tent stakes if necessary. (the stakes could poke holes in the poncho, so try to go with rocks).
If you have tent poles that you can dig into the ground to use to tie that line to, that's probably best. Next best is probably sticks, if available. I'm thinking trees are likely the least best option, because of the liklihood of "widow makers" -- branches that might fall on you while you're inside. Don't get under those! :)

Hatchet_1697
02-08-2018, 11:29
Google this:

sea to summit poncho tarp setup

Iíve done it once and it works, site selection is key since thereís no floor. The poncho material will stretch over time, but adding a shock cord loop to the tie outs will help.

Good luck!



Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro

swisscross
02-08-2018, 12:12
mytrailco.com has a video on their site.

devoidapop
02-08-2018, 15:55
Thanks. A couple of good options for setup. And thanks for the shock cord tip.

devoidapop
02-08-2018, 16:04
I'm 6'1, so in a pyramid setup my head and feet are going to be touching the walls. Without a bivy am I going to be wicking water onto my sleeping bag?

Maui Rhino
02-09-2018, 03:34
For years in the military, a poncho was my primary shelter. Nowadays I prefer a larger tarp for better coverage. With a poncho, I first tie the hood in a gooseneck to seal out the rain. I usually set up close to some shrubs or trees. I'll be looking to set the windward side close to the ground... Maybe 6" up, and the leeward (downwind) side high enough to sit under. Depending on the site, I may have a ridge line in the middle or closer to the leeward side, tied off to a tree or shrub. Because I'm well over 6 feet tall, my feet will often stick out from under the poncho. If it looks like rain, I'll stick my feet, pad and quilt in the trash compactor bag I use for a pack liner, to keep them dry.

My GI poncho with tie-outs weighs nearly as much as my larger silny tarp with the Z-packs line. I prefer a larger shelter than a poncho for most trips. I usually only use a poncho shelter if I'm on a day hike or overnighter where chances of a severe storm are minimal.

perrymk
02-09-2018, 08:24
http://www.obxiron.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Tarps.jpg (http://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjU95rW6ZjZAhVLrFMKHQHMAHIQjRwIBw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.obxiron.com%2F%3Fp%3D630&psig=AOvVaw06KJt3zBHj4CnBddF6XuT2&ust=1518265434402279)

nsherry61
02-09-2018, 12:35
I love using my poncho as my shelter, and I'm 6'4" tall, so my size is pushing poncho functionality. But, at less than 8 oz for both my rain-gear and my shelter combined, it rocks for going ultralight. Yeah, in hard rain storms, things will get damp, but, so long as the storms are not both hard and prolonged the poncho works quite well for me.

1) If the wind is blowing and it is raining, things get damp and that's okay as long as you can dry stuff out the next day.
2) There are lots of tricks to keeping yourself dry when you are pushing your shelter limits.
- I will often wrap the edge of my ground cloth up around the outside edge of my sleeping bag to keep the rain splatter off my bag. Placing my backpack (and/or other gear or rocks/sticks etc.) along the outside edge of my sleeping bag can help hold the ground cloth in place and keep me from rolling out toward the wet while I sleep.

- Some people will use a bivy with a small tarp like a poncho. I have at times, but then, why not just carry a larger tarp and no bivy for the same weight?
- In windy wet weather, I generally pitch my tarp as a lean-to with the foot end dropped to the ground, then I will pull my trash compactor bag over the foot of my sleeping bag so that if my feet slip out too close to the end, my bag doesn't get wet. In the picture below, in Hell's Canyon, I wasn't expecting too much weather, or I would have pitch a little lower to the ground to give me a little more cover. It did rain that night a bit, but not enough to be an issue. It actually rained all three nights on that trip, but never enough to be a problem.

41815

- As noted above, pitching works best with rubber bands or other shock cords integrated into guy lines to take up slack and reduce wind flapping and wind stress on the poncho and stakes.
- If where I am pitching the poncho is a fairly sheltered area, where wind blown rain isn't so much an issue, I generally pitch an A-frame so I have a little more space underneath. Unlike noted above in another post, you cannot realistically pitch a poncho as an A-frame all the way to the ground because there isn't enough room to sleep under such a low pitch.

41814

In all, I probably use my poncho as my shelter on 80% of my solo trips. I definitely prefer an 8x10 (or so) flat tarp if I am expecting prolonged stormy weather or want room for a friend.
Tents are definitely more comfortable during high bug season, but then, I normally still get by with my poncho when there isn't too much weather in the forecast. In winter, I again normally take a larger (8 x 10 ish) tarp so I can pitch it down to the ground and provide a bit more space and enclosure.

Poncho Tarps are great. Have fun with yours.

Time Zone
02-09-2018, 13:20
I'm 6'1, so in a pyramid setup my head and feet are going to be touching the walls. Without a bivy am I going to be wicking water onto my sleeping bag?

I'm not sure a poncho tarp would be big enough for a pyramid setup. It might not even be possible due to the rectangular shape. Half-pyramid, lean-to, and similar should work, but that does leave you one open side, vulnerable to wind-blown rain. And it doesn't take much wind ... each end of your sleeping bag will probably be within a foot of the edge of your poncho tarp.

I've not had to use my poncho tarp yet, but I've done bivy & regular tarp (9' and 12' square). Nsherry61's question - why not just a larger tarp? My answer is: spiders, snakes, mice, and other unwanted visitors. If I used my poncho tarp as rain shelter, I'd also use my bivy to avoid those creatures, to protect sleeping bag from wind-blown rain and muddy splash, and for extra warmth.

I'd like to try my poncho tarp as a fair-weather hammock tarp. That would save some weight and bulk.

nsherry61
02-09-2018, 13:29
. . . Nsherry61's question - why not just a larger tarp? My answer is: spiders, snakes, mice, and other unwanted visitors. If I used my poncho tarp as rain shelter, I'd also use my bivy to avoid those creatures . . .

I'd like to try my poncho tarp as a fair-weather hammock tarp. That would save some weight and bulk.
In all my years using tarps as shelter, I have NEVER experienced issues with any spiders, snakes, mice, or other unwanted visitors that a bivy would protect me from. . . okay, I have had a slug or two crawl onto my tarp at night once or twice, but that's it. I've dealt with mice trying to get into a tent, but never noticed any with a tarp (I guess with a tarp they can be as quite as a mouse and I don't notice them?).

As for a poncho over a hammock, I don't think the poncho would be long enough to cover the whole hammock in most situations. Heck, my poncho is barely long enough to cover me and my sleeping bag, and my hammock is a couple feet longer than that.

Time Zone
02-09-2018, 13:47
Well, I've almost never awoken in a double wall tent without finding spiders and other creatures on the outside of the inner, under the fly. So I just inferred I'd have them under a tarp. But that said, when I've had a bivy under the tarp, I didn't have spiders on the bivy when I woke, so maybe there's something about a mesh inner, or being between a rainfly and mesh inner, that spiders just love. Anyway, if I ever end up in a trail shelter, there's no question, I'd use a bivy.

Poncho tarp over hammock - well, I think the diagonal on my poncho tarp is right around 120", and with a 30-degree hang angle, I'd have between 8" and 14" clearance per side depending on which hammock I brought. I think the hammock calculator works it out so that your actual length is 0.833 of your total hammock length when hanging at that angle. Plus, on a supposedly fair weather night, I think I'd be OK because even skimpy coverage would suffice. If weather forecast was iffy I'd either bring the short hammock or a bigger tarp.

devoidapop
02-09-2018, 14:31
I love using my poncho as my shelter, and I'm 6'4" tall, so my size is pushing poncho functionality. But, at less than 8 oz for both my rain-gear and my shelter combined, it rocks for going ultralight. Yeah, in hard rain storms, things will get damp, but, so long as the storms are not both hard and prolonged the poncho works quite well for me.

1) If the wind is blowing and it is raining, things get damp and that's okay as long as you can dry stuff out the next day.
2) There are lots of tricks to keeping yourself dry when you are pushing your shelter limits.
- I will often wrap the edge of my ground cloth up around the outside edge of my sleeping bag to keep the rain splatter off my bag. Placing my backpack (and/or other gear or rocks/sticks etc.) along the outside edge of my sleeping bag can help hold the ground cloth in place and keep me from rolling out toward the wet while I sleep.

- Some people will use a bivy with a small tarp like a poncho. I have at times, but then, why not just carry a larger tarp and no bivy for the same weight?
- In windy wet weather, I generally pitch my tarp as a lean-to with the foot end dropped to the ground, then I will pull my trash compactor bag over the foot of my sleeping bag so that if my feet slip out too close to the end, my bag doesn't get wet. In the picture below, in Hell's Canyon, I wasn't expecting too much weather, or I would have pitch a little lower to the ground to give me a little more cover. It did rain that night a bit, but not enough to be an issue. It actually rained all three nights on that trip, but never enough to be a problem.

41815

- As noted above, pitching works best with rubber bands or other shock cords integrated into guy lines to take up slack and reduce wind flapping and wind stress on the poncho and stakes.
- If where I am pitching the poncho is a fairly sheltered area, where wind blown rain isn't so much an issue, I generally pitch an A-frame so I have a little more space underneath. Unlike noted above in another post, you cannot realistically pitch a poncho as an A-frame all the way to the ground because there isn't enough room to sleep under such a low pitch.

41814

In all, I probably use my poncho as my shelter on 80% of my solo trips. I definitely prefer an 8x10 (or so) flat tarp if I am expecting prolonged stormy weather or want room for a friend.
Tents are definitely more comfortable during high bug season, but then, I normally still get by with my poncho when there isn't too much weather in the forecast. In winter, I again normally take a larger (8 x 10 ish) tarp so I can pitch it down to the ground and provide a bit more space and enclosure.

Poncho Tarps are great. Have fun with yours.

Good stuff. Thanks! I have only ever backpacked with my hammock but want to work out a cheap and light solution for trips where that's not possible.

nsherry61
02-09-2018, 15:29
Good stuff. Thanks! I have only ever backpacked with my hammock but want to work out a cheap and light solution for trips where that's not possible.
Cheap and light?

Check out the tarp behind my green poncho in the above post. It's a $9 poly tarp, $5 of paracord, some trekking poles already owned, about $6 worth of window shrink-wrap, and about $7 worth of aluminum gutter spikes for a highly functional shelter that weighs in at less than 2 lbs if I recall.

But then, if you have a tarp for your hammock, you could use it and just pitch is closer to the ground.

devoidapop
02-09-2018, 16:00
Good stuff. Thanks! I have only ever backpacked with my hammock but want to work out a cheap and light solution for trips where that's not possible.
Cheap and light?

Check out the tarp behind my green poncho in the above post. It's a $9 poly tarp, $5 of paracord, some trekking poles already owned, about $6 worth of window shrink-wrap, and about $7 worth of aluminum gutter spikes for a highly functional shelter that weighs in at less than 2 lbs if I recall.

But then, if you have a tarp for your hammock, you could use it and just pitch is closer to the ground.

I do have a hex tarp for the hammock. I like the idea of the dual purpose of the poncho for warm weather. I'll have to test it out and see if it works for me. If we get a nice weekend in March I'm going to try it out on a Black Mountains trip :)

Time Zone
09-09-2018, 11:23
Poncho tarp over hammock - well, I think the diagonal on my poncho tarp is right around 120", and with a 30-degree hang angle, I'd have between 8" and 14" clearance per side depending on which hammock I brought. I think the hammock calculator works it out so that your actual length is 0.833 of your total hammock length when hanging at that angle. Plus, on a supposedly fair weather night, I think I'd be OK because even skimpy coverage would suffice. If weather forecast was iffy I'd either bring the short hammock or a bigger tarp.

Just a follow up:

Poncho tarp (nominal 104" x 56", real 103" x 55") way too small for even a short hammock (Eno Sub7). Going diagonally (so it's asym diamond), the tarp does not widen enough, quickly enough, as you go from the corner to the middle. So even though the corners of the tarp do extend beyond the gathered ends of the hammock, there are areas around head and feet that would get wet from even a perfectly vertically-falling rain.

Still could work as a lean-to, esp. with bivy, but as a hammock tarp? Nope.
43628

43629

MuddyWaters
09-09-2018, 11:39
In all my years using tarps as shelter, I have NEVER experienced issues with any spiders, snakes, mice, or other unwanted visitors that a bivy would protect me from. . . okay, I have had a slug or two crawl onto my tarp at night once or twice, but that's it. I've dealt with mice trying to get into a tent, but never noticed any with a tarp (I guess with a tarp they can be as quite as a mouse and I don't notice them?).

As for a poncho over a hammock, I don't think the poncho would be long enough to cover the whole hammock in most situations. Heck, my poncho is barely long enough to cover me and my sleeping bag, and my hammock is a couple feet longer than that.

After fighting off a persistent porcupine half the night, that successfully ate part of my pack, and rubbed against me and gear, i pretty partial to keeping everything in a net tent for couple oz more. Biggest issue is critters will try to get into food, eat salty gear in open. My trek pole grips have been gnawed and chewed even.

Many many people have had $$$ down bags chewed and used for nest material by mice. Same for wool clothes. Any extra protection against this is a plus imo.