I didn’t bring a rain jacket on the AT because I find that there is no rain jacket that offers as much rain protection and ventilation as an umbrella. The ventilation is important because it postpones overheating.
For example, Lisa wore a rain jacket but by the time she would get to the top of a mountain, she would be soaked—in sweat, not rain. Either one would help take her down the path of hypothermia because of the cold winds at the summit.
An umbrella helps regulate your temperature because it lets the heat that your body generates while hiking evaporate quickly. Even “breathable” rain jackets trap a significant amount of heat. Near the top of a mountain, you can add a layer of clothing before your body starts to cool during the descent.
At eight ounces, a GoLite umbrella weighs about nearly half as much as a “breathable” rain jacket. Thru-hikers are fanatical about minimizing their pack weight, so this is yet another good reason to use an umbrella for rain protection. Moreover, since I wear glasses, I like how an umbrella does a much better job at protecting my lenses from getting wet than a simple hood.
Finally, when you’re exposed to a scorching sun, umbrellas provide excellent protection and don’t trap heat like a sunhat.
Lisa discovered that I was staying drier than she was, so after New Hampshire she sent her rain jacket home and used a GoLite umbrella for the 12 remaining states.
On the other hand, most hikers think I’m nuts. Although I encourage you try using an umbrella, what’s more important is that you hike your own hike and use whatever rain protection makes you happiest.
Chip wrote:...which brand of umbrella you used on your PCT hike. It appears (from the pictures) to have a reflective surface. Is this a new golite version? Am I seeing things? Thanks.
SymBlanchard wrote:You had mentioned that you did not use the umbrella in the snow very much. Was this because the reflection upwards from the snow was about as intense as from the sun, so the protection is not that good? Or is it because the temperature was so cold that ventilation is not a problem? Or were there other reasons?
Do you find that your arms get tired holding the umbrella. Also, how do you deal w/ wind driven rain? Sorry to be a bother but you ARE a great resource, I'd be foolish not to ask. Thanks again, Mark
Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests