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  1. #1

    Default Umbrella or not on CT

    I've never used an umbrella while hiking but would like to hear from those who have use them hiking the the CT. It looks like it is something I may want to take along next year when I attempt a thru hike.

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    Get one. Play around with it until you are comfortable with how and where it works for you.

    I like my umbrella, but actually end up rarely using it because I can get by fine without it and that makes one less thing to carry and deal with.

    The umbrella reduces my need for a sun hat and/or rain gear, but doesn't really replace it. I also hike with trekking poles most of the time, and although one can mount their umbrella on their pack/shoulder strap, there are times when it works better for me to be holding it (like in gusty winds or brushy trail) and then it becomes one more thing to fiddle with that interferes with my hiking pole use and general mindless bliss. Umbrellas don't do well in the wind or on brushy trails compared to alternatives. I'd probably take one for desert hiking.

    HYOH. Have fun.

    No CT specific comments since, although I've hiked part of the CT, I haven't hiked enough or any of it with an umbrella to offer much help.
    I'm not lost. I'm exploring.

  3. #3
    In the shadows AfterParty's Avatar
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    I'm doing either the loop or ct next summer too. The ct if things fall into place.

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    Garlic
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    Quote Originally Posted by nsherry61 View Post
    Get one. Play around with it until you are comfortable with how and where it works for you.

    I like my umbrella, but actually end up rarely using it because I can get by fine without it and that makes one less thing to carry and deal with.

    The umbrella reduces my need for a sun hat and/or rain gear, but doesn't really replace it. I also hike with trekking poles most of the time, and although one can mount their umbrella on their pack/shoulder strap, there are times when it works better for me to be holding it (like in gusty winds or brushy trail) and then it becomes one more thing to fiddle with that interferes with my hiking pole use and general mindless bliss. Umbrellas don't do well in the wind or on brushy trails compared to alternatives....
    This sums it up nicely for me, too. "One more thing to fiddle with" (nice choice of "F" word there) indeed.

    Many portions on the CT are above treeline, and wind is so often a factor. It's a semi-arid climate and we seldom get heavy, all-day rain. Brush is not an issue. I'm sure hikers use them up there, and enjoy them, but I have yet to see one.
    "Throw a loaf of bread and a pound of tea in an old sack and jump over the back fence." John Muir on expedition planning

  5. #5

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    It had though about using an umbrella, but my pack is heavy enough as it is. I'll just wear a hat.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    It had though about using an umbrella, but my pack is heavy enough as it is. I'll just wear a hat.
    Have you tried the OR sun runner hat? Lil funny looking but works great for sun as long as you don't mind looking like a sheik.....I didn't use a drop of sun screen on Jmt and my face or neck didn't get burnt.


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    Quote Originally Posted by saltysack View Post
    Have you tried the OR sun runner hat?
    The beauty of an umbrella is you still get airflow around your head, which I find very helpful in hot weather.

    I can't stand the added heat of draped hats. If the sun is out enough to need a drape over my neck, it's to darn hot for a drape. I use a Tilly hat or similar broad brimmed hat to protect my face and neck. It is still hotter than an umbrella, but has a lower fiddle factor.

    Also, billed hats with drapes don't block the sun coming in at my temple as well as a brimmed hat does, or if the drape comes forward enough to shade my temple it messes up my peripheral vision.

    I actually think the draped hats look cool, but haven't been able to make them work for me as well as a broad brim. Go figure. HYOH I guess.
    I'm not lost. I'm exploring.

  8. #8
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    I've tried and tried, never been able to make the sheik thing work for me. Might try again when we attempt 700 mile PCT section next spring. But like nsherry, I like airflow around my head and hate any vision blockage. I just wear a ball cap (sometimes a wide brimmed floppy hat) and use a dab of sunscreen.

    Anyway, in all my years (37 now) in CO, I've seen an umbrella on a trail out here perhaps twice. That being said, on a recent Scotland trip (100 mile hike), we "discovered" the joy of using a trail umbrella, and we really like them. the ones we bought are like 10 ounces, and specifically made for trail conditions (wind). THAT being said, I'm heading out for a 3-4 day CT jaunt myself and even though we're deep into monsoon season, I'll probably not carry my umbrella. If the forecast was for drenching rains, I might.

    So basically, though I see a use of an umbrella for sun blockage, the main benefit I see is simply rain protection. And here in Colorado, rains are very intermittent, though sometimes heavy, and it sure would be nice to pop an umbrella up for a half hour drencher now and then.

    Basically this post of mine is a non-answer, sorry, because I'm on the fence with umbrellas in Colorado.

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    Honestly the cape is so light it seems wind passes through as I've never been hot wearing it...I get hot easily...hence why I always wear shorts...


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    Haven't done anything on the CT.
    We carried umbrellas through the Whites in early July. We had no rain except for some drizzle the last day. We anticipated using them above treeline for shade. Due to dangerous wind levels, we detoured off the AT on the section where the umbrellas would have been most beneficial. We did use them crossing Lafayette and in a few others areas, and they were very effective at providing cool shade. They are strong enough for some moderate wind. Can't use them where the brush intrudes into the trail.

  11. #11

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    Thank you all for your input and helping me decide not to use an umbrella while hiking. The fiddle factor being one good reason, along with I use trekking poles, especially when wet out. I never did consider using an umbrella while hiking at home in Pa, but thought maybe it was something that would work well out West.

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