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  1. #1
    Registered User Frogdown's Avatar
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    Default Pros and Cons of Umbrellas

    I did a search and really found little to nothing on the pros and cons of umbrellas. Have you used one? Do you recommend them? Do you hate them? What is the best brand? Anything would help.

  2. #2
    Registered User tolkien's Avatar
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    If you got a sturdy umbrella and used it as a walking staff it would be a very pragmatic piece of equiptment, but I'm a bit skeptical to how well it would function: it would be heavy, wind would be an issue, if it tears then you've got to lug it to the next town or bring something to repair it, and most importantly it would have to be wide enough to prevent water from running off the sides and dripping onto your pack.

    Take one a week-long hike, hope it rains, and test it.
    Made it down the coast in seventeen hours/ Pickin' me a bouquet of dogwood flowers

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    Registered User tolkien's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tolkien View Post
    Take one a week-long hike, hope it rains, and test it.
    *take a one week-long hike
    Made it down the coast in seventeen hours/ Pickin' me a bouquet of dogwood flowers

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    I tried an umbrella on a couple of hikes. A compact umbrella can be useful for, say, running to the privy in a downpour. However, an umbrella isn't all that useful as your only rain gear in a major thunderstorm with heavy rain blowing sideways at 40 or 50 mph. (Ask me how I know this....)
    Ken B
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    Registered User russb's Avatar
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    Big Cranky is right on. The compact ones are great to whip out if there is a quick down pour, or for a quick jaunt to the privy. They also work well to shield from the rain the tinder and kindling for a fire you are building before you light it. But for your main rain gear... meh not so much.

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    you can always sit on a tarp or a poncho, but.....

  7. #7

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    I have done a few shorter hikes with umbrellas. I've climber Mt. LeConte three times using a double canopy golf umbrella as a hiking staff. As long as there's not a heavy side-blow, they're cooler than rain gear and you can put them up and take them down a lot more quickly than donning rain gear. OTOH, I don't think I'd take one on a longer hike...

  8. #8
    Registered User Lord Helment's Avatar
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    have used one many times...don't judge it unless you've tried it.....walk in the rain without a rain jacket...pretty awesome...@ 9 oz mine goes on every trip...folds up and isn't a factor until you need it.....rain or sun protection....
    ATC Life Member
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  9. #9
    Hash House Harrier
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    I was just pondering this a few days ago... been on the fence for a while about it, considering the Golite Dome among a few others, and while I was searching for info about it I came across the Dome on Francis Tapon's CDT list. I figure someone like that wouldn't bring it if there were a lighter option of acceptable quality.

    http://www.golite.com/Product/ProdDe...10&mc=&t=&lat=
    http://francistapon.com/Travels/Cont.../CDT-Gear-List
    Though much is taken, much abides, and though
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  10. #10
    Registered User tolkien's Avatar
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    It would be a decent piece of equpitment to have, but if you can replace a hiking pole with it, then it turns into a very good piece of equiptment to have.
    Made it down the coast in seventeen hours/ Pickin' me a bouquet of dogwood flowers

  11. #11
    Some days, it's not worth chewing through the restraints.
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    I've carried an umbrella for years, and wouldn't hike without one in the pack. It's not perfect for all conditions, but neither is any other peice of rain gear. For milder temps when you'll sweat yourself wet in any rain wear, a 'brolly is so much cooler. Works great for drizzzly days, or for days when you have 5 minute showers every 20 minutes.

    The trick is to carry it very loosely in the hand, so that it rolls around things... don't fight it! I have a Golite and some cheap compactible umbrellas, both work just fine, and there are plenty of options for 12 oz. or less. One of mine quickly packs down to beer-can size, and I can stick it in a pack pocket (or retrieve it from said pocket) in a flash.

    Obviously, if you insist on hiking with a trekking pole in each hand at all times, you won't be happy with an umbrella. I'm usually a one-stick guy, so it works for me.

    YMMV

  12. #12
    Super Moderator Marta's Avatar
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    In North Carolina I know a number of people who've tried it but not any have stuck with it, myself included. As other people have mentioned, umbrellas have problems when there's wind, and also when there are low overhead branches and leaves.

    In a heavy downpour if you hit an overhead branch one time, you get as wet as if you hadn't been carrying the umbrella at all. In other words, all that carrying was completely wasted. So I gave it up.

    Another thing is that most of the time when it's raining, I want warmth more than protection from the water. That's the real use of rain gear for me.

    A broad-brimmed hat will keep a lot of the water off your face and from running down your neck.
    If not NOW, then WHEN?

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    This topic comes up once, maybe twice a year. When is someone gonna post that dorky picture of the guy wearing the umbrella hat?

  14. #14
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    seen leaving the picnic area near Mt. Laguna on the PCT.

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    I would rather wear an umbrella hat than a use an umbrella anyday. I don't see any benefit to using an umbrella except that it may be a 'cooler' option than having a rainjacket. Besides that they just seem like one huge PITA with many factors that could come into play to make your umbrella experience go terribly wrong.

    1) It could rip, probably pretty easily.
    2) Wind
    3) Flimsy
    4) Heavy
    5) Pain to pack
    6) Have to hold it
    7) Overhead trees
    8) Tight trails, umbrella? prob not.
    9) Use trekking poles? not any more.

    This is just off the top of my head in 15 seconds, I'm sure there are many other cons. And the pro's are what? There really are none IMO because if its raining any harder than a drizzle its pointless.

    Anyway, if you guys like them, awesome, HYOH. I would much rather wear a breathable LW rainjacket w/ big pit zips. Just my .02
    Smile, Smile, Smile.... Mile after Mile

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    Default rain?

    Quote Originally Posted by Frogdown View Post
    I did a search and really found little to nothing on the pros and cons of umbrellas. Have you used one? Do you recommend them? Do you hate them? What is the best brand? Anything would help.

    NO UMBRELLAS!

    USE Lite-weight RAIN GEAR!

    check your local outfitters!



    see ya'll out there!
    DWG...NoBo to Kent,CT
    May 28-June 12
    see ya'll UP the trail!

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  17. #17
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    I am not for or against umbrellas. But one of our own, Iceaxe, is on the trail, and he is hiking with an umbrella. He is going very light, and carries a monster umbrella. In fact, he uses it as the front door for his shelter, if I read his gear check stuff right. Here is his journal entry where he discusses his umbrella as gear.

    http://postholer.com/journal/viewJou...entry_id=19707



    He is making good time. He left March 16 and PA 325 yesterday, a distance of 1156, for an average of over 22.5/day. Not a record pace, but speedy by most standards.
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  18. #18
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    I barely want to carry an umbrella walking into work if its raining let alone walking through the woods The only reason I could see an umbrella being useful is

    1) in town if you don't want to wear your rain gear
    2) going to the bathroom in the middle of the night. But for that I just put my pot on top of my head and off I go problem solved.
    Smile, Smile, Smile.... Mile after Mile

  19. #19

    Default

    RE: wind and brollies, I'd throw in that the modern double canopy ones can stand any amount of wind without turning wrong side out. Of course that doesn't help with the problem of getting wet from horizontal rain...

  20. #20
    Rain Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 88BlueGT View Post
    I don't see any benefit to using an umbrella ....
    Quote Originally Posted by 88BlueGT View Post
    .The only reason I could see an umbrella being useful is...
    I take a lot of photos. In rain the camera gets wet just holding it up to my eye. An umbrella would solve that particular problem, I suspect, and thus have at least one useful benefit.

    RainMan

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