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Our recent wet walk out of Boquillas Canyon has called into question my approach to backpacking and rain.I have always thought that the extra weight of wet weather gear wasn't worth it. I thought that getting wet was just part of the deal and that no rain gear was going to keep you dry.But now...Question: what are ya'll's thought on necessary rain gear? What should be added to the load?
At a minimum, a lightweight poncho. I always try to carry one of the $1 "disposable" ponchos on all hikes. Not sure how well it'd fit over a backpack.
For keeping gear dry I've historically lined my pack with a kitchen garbage bag
I never hike in the Chisos without an umbrella. When I want a new one I go to the golfing section of a sporting goods store and purchase the sturdiest one I can find.
Quote from: Imre on November 13, 2013, 06:34:14 PMI never hike in the Chisos without an umbrella. When I want a new one I go to the golfing section of a sporting goods store and purchase the sturdiest one I can find. I hope you're kidding. An umbrella is a lightning magnet.
4. You’ll Be Struck by Lightning If You Carry an Umbrella (or a BlackBerry) in a StormNews flash: Metal doesn’t attract lightning. Even a lightning rod doesn’t—it can only conduct lightning, should a bolt happen to strike nearby. People who are zapped while holding a golf club or listening to an iPod are just in the wrong place at the wrong time—and that’s anywhere outside during a thunderstorm. Carrying an open umbrella may slow you down if you’re running for cover, but the fact that the umbrella is part metal doesn’t factor into it.John Jensenius is a meteorologist and a lightning safety specialist at the National Weather Service in Gray, Maine.
Q: Does carrying an open umbrella during a thunderstorm increase your odds of being hit by lightning?A: As a flash travels toward the ground from a nearby cloud, it looks for the tallest object. But it is very blind as it travels, and only searches within about a 50-yard radius at the lower end of the channel, both outward and downward. It has no preconceived idea of what it will strike when it starts out in the cloud. So lightning does not look several miles away to the side during its downward travel to find a hill, a tower, building, or umbrella that is just a little taller than what is at its lower end within 50 yards.The flash that is already going to hit nearby is the one to worry about. Within that range, you don't want to be the tallest object or attached to it. If you're holding an umbrella in an area surrounded by taller buildings, it's not so bad. But if you are already the only tall object within 50 yards, then it doesn't matter much what you are holding.(Answered by: Ron Holle, research meteorologist, NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory, Norman, Okla., Aug. 24, 1999)
So is it safe to be outside and wave an umbrella or golf club in the air during a storm? Absolutely not! Not because of the umbrella or golf club, but simply because you're outside where the lightning is occurring!
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