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Rain coat or poncho?

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Wild Bill, Aug 16, 2010.

  1. Wild Bill

    Wild Bill New Member

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    We'll be walking the Camino in Sept. and Oct. Which is better, raincoat and backpack cover or poncho?
     
  2. HuskyNerd

    HuskyNerd Super Moderator

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    Hi Again Wild B ~

    You may have already read my opinion on this, but here goes again. I know there are those who disagree and you'll likely hear from them momentarily . . .

    The problems with rain ponchos are: a) they're only good for keeping off rain, and b) they don't breathe very well, resulting in pools of sweat for poncho wearers that are almost as bad as the rain itself. The values of a breathable jacket and pack cover are: a) the jacket is there for you as a windbreaker/additional warm layer when/if needed, and b) a breathable, water resistant jacket does a pretty good job of keeping you dry, too. Along with a pack cover it provides good relief from the wet.

    In either case you're likely to get wet from the thighs down in a Camino downpour. I just feel that a breathable (read "Gore-Tex") jacket is more useful in the dry days and more comfortable in the wet ones. I chose the lightest weight Marmot jacket available at REI for my Via de la Plata this year and never used it for rain, but boy was it handy on cold mornings.

    Have a great Camino!
     
  3. Covey

    Covey Active Member

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    Being an ex-soldier, I pack all my clothes in plastic bags inside my pack, so I have no need to carry a waterproof pack cover. I tried one on my first Camino, and it was not very effective, and in a strong breeze, kept blowing off.

    If you want some amusement, just watch the poncho wearers trying to get their ponchos on in a breeze. It is a definite two man job to get it on and over the pack. I did see one poncho which had pockets sewn into the bottom hem so you could fill them up with stones to stop the poncho billowing up all the time. In my opinion a good Gortex rain jacket is the best thing to carry.

    That said, if it starts to rain, I just keep walking and get wet anyway. The clothing I wear is all high-wick quick dry stuff and when it stops raining, I am dry in 30-40 minutes. Most of the time, it is not worth the performance of getting the rain kit on and off.
     
  4. janets

    janets New Member

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    Do people have a point of view on the need for rain pants? Thanks for all the great info as I prepare - really love this forum!
     
  5. Devon Mike

    Devon Mike Well-Known Member

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    Hi janets

    It depends what time of year you are walking. In the warmer parts of the year many don't use rain pants, just shorts. In colder times rain pants are a must.
     
  6. freddyt

    freddyt New Member

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    I prefer rain jacket though the first one I used was hopeless so used Ferrino poncho and rain pants
    which kept me very dry.
    This time I will bring better quality raincoat and rain pants and as HN says use it as an extra layer in the April cold.
    Guess I may have it worked out by the third time around.

    I like rain pants for the same reason (cold) and they are usually cheap and light.
     
  7. Orava

    Orava Active Member

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    I think that unless you go in the colder seasons you will get wet from the inside using any kind of rain gear. Rain gear is designed to keep you alive and not dry (unless you are just popping out to the park to walk the dog). I must be really sweaty or others must walk at a snail's pace and manage to avoid sweating, because I have never managed to stay dry inside goretex gear when hiking, ever. (Edit - outside of winter I should have added)

    I am going early May time. I am taking both a poncho ( for warm and wet conditions and for use as as a flysheet for camping) and a cheap, very light non Goretex jacket and trousers ( waterproof non breathable, to use when cold or very windy).

    I expect to get wet when it is wet. Wet from the inside good. Wet from the outside bad.

    Both items combined weight is 725g.
     
  8. kmdavis

    kmdavis New Member

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    Now I am unsure what to do, I have just bought a Gore Tex Poncho from Japan, made by mont.bell. I am walking the complete way from May to June. Now I am thinking of taking my RAB Gore Tex Jacket as well? But this was not my intentions as I read that the Poncho was the way forward. So many conflicting views. Keith
     
  9. Orava

    Orava Active Member

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    kmdavis - I am only taking the jacket because it is very light (and cheap/disposable), I am not taking my normal North Face jacket n trousers because they weigh twice as much. The jacket n pants is a cheap and nasty set from Clas Ohlsson (20€). I also want to camp 100% so need the poncho.
     
  10. MichaelSG

    MichaelSG Active Member

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    My vote is for a jacket that also covers the backpack, such as the Altus Atmospreric. I also have a pack cover that works during a light drizzle. I do carry rain pants in April, May and September but I only needed the two days. That said, without them on those two days, I could not have walked because of the wind driving the icy rain sideways.
     
  11. janets

    janets New Member

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    Fabulous advice, Michael, thanks so much! That's it - I'm sold on rain paints. Hoping to start walking the Camino from SJPP on May 13; can't wait
     
  12. Devon Mike

    Devon Mike Well-Known Member

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    Hi janets

    I always carry waterproof overtrousers to use with my poncho. I am also starting in SJPP on 13th May!!

    Buen Camino
    Mike
     
  13. raymond john

    raymond john Well-Known Member

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    Janets
    I took waterproof Sprayway trousers which are very light and are designed for both wet and dry weather walking with my rain jacket. My back pack hand its own built in cover. It worked very well for me when i walked the Camino Frances SJPP to Santiago (Sept -Oct ) last year. FYI, I only had 2 serious day of rain.

    Buen Camino
    Raymond John
     
  14. AustinVicki

    AustinVicki New Member

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    I only walked for 10 days. 5 of them had rain. I had a water resistant shell (from Lands End) that was great in light drizzle but horrible and miserable in rain. We ended up making a poncho out of a trash bag, would have bought one of the rain poncho's if a store had been open in our winter walk. Put I gotta tell you, I saw a guy walking with an umbrella stuck between him and his pack. It was genius. I would take an umbrella if I ever walked again and do the same.
     
  15. Kat from VA

    Kat from VA New Member

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    I went onto Yahoo weather today and while I could not get "San Jean" to come up I got "Pamplona." I see they have T storms and rain for the next three days then some sun (it was just a five day forecast). I'll be checking that more often as I get close to my mid-May departure. I realize San Jean has a whole different weather zone than Pamplona. Just curious about temps and precip. in general. So, based on what I see so far I'd want some protection from rain along the way.
     
  16. SimLin

    SimLin Active Member

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    Here is a link: St Jean Pied de Port weather - you didn't have proper spelling of the area :)
     
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  17. SimLin

    SimLin Active Member

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    or this link: http://www.accuweather.com/en/fr/saint-jean-pied-de-port/161867/weather-forecast/161867
     
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  18. Kat from VA

    Kat from VA New Member

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  19. SimLin

    SimLin Active Member

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    OMG looked at the extended forecast and although it says "History Avg" - from mid May till the end of May...not looking good - rain, thunderstorms - I will not look at it again till I get there - however will get a good poncho! Buen Camino regardless!
     
  20. Kat from VA

    Kat from VA New Member

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    This is interesting about the T storms. Normally they say don't hide under a tree but if you are walking along an open road, I wonder could you get struck by lightning? If you are the tallest thing in the area you might be an easy target. Do people still walk that day and take a risk? I guess so ... here's what I found about if you are caught outdoors and lightning happens:

    Lighting Position
    Take this position when lightning strike is imminent. Signs of imminent strike include a blue haze around objects or individuals (St. Elmo's fire), static electricity over hair or skin, an ozone smell, or a nearby crackling sound.

    The lightning position involves sitting or crouching with knees and feet close together to create only one point of contact with the ground (Figure 3). If standing, have feet touching. If sitting, lift feet off the ground. Attempt to minimize the risk of ground current injury by insulating oneself from the ground; sit on a pack (remove any metal from the pack), a dry coiled rope, or a rolled foam sleeping pad. This is a strategy of last resort, as it is a difficult position to maintain for a long period of time, and should not be relied on as primary prevention but may reduce the risk of injury from an imminent lightning strike.[​IMG]
    Wilderness Medical Society Practice Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Lightning Injuries
    http://www.wemjournal.org/article/S1080-6032(12)00180-9/fulltext
     
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