Rain jackets and umbrellas are the usual go-to for rainy days. But have you considered a waterproof poncho instead? Many find them a hideous piece of plastic without realising how great and useful they can be in many different situations. And the best thing is that they only cost a few bucks.
Natural disasters and extreme weather conditions are a year round threat in Australia. Floods, cyclones and earthquakes are just some of the main hazards which are on the rise, meaning it’s always smart to be prepared for the worst. When faced with such a disaster, a waterproof poncho may seem like a small addition to your emergency gear, but there are variety of ways in which it can help you survive in an emergency situation. Obviously, wearing a poncho can keep you stay dry but also a bit warmer as the material can act as a windbreak (the wind is a natural enemy to heat). Also, believe it or not, with a few stakes, a rope and your poncho opened fully to its rectangular shape, you can build a simple shelter that can keep you dry in a rainstorm. The poncho can also serve as a pouch when folded so you can carry around extra gear or food or it can be used as a rain catcher to collect water if the emergency situation lasts for many days and you aren’t anywhere near a source of drinkable water.
When buying one, an important thing to consider is how the poncho is constructed. If it has seams, it’s best if they are waterproof to ensure that water won’t be able to penetrate. Some come with welded construction which is a good advantage. Also, notice that there is a difference between water-resistant and waterproof. Water-resistant fabric is a fabric that’s just coated with a water repellent material that can degrade over time. A waterproof fabric, on the other hand, is a type that permanently resists water penetration unless torn. The better ones come with a hood and can be reused a couple of times.
There is a popular saying that realistically portrays what usually happens most of the time you go on a hiking trip – if you don’t pack it, you’re certainly going to need it. And that’s true, it is usually quite annoying to realise you’re inadequately prepared when hiking in wet weather. In such case being equipped with rain gear is of essence. A waterproof poncho is very convenient and will allow you to have your hands free to do whatever fun activity you’re doing in the rain unlike holding an umbrella. Also, just as a rain jacket, the poncho will keep you dry when on the trail but it may be a better choice because it allows your body to breathe while you exert energy while hiking. Plus it’s so lightweight, compact and easy to pack and won’t add to the backpack weight – very important since when backpacking every kilo on your back counts. A rain poncho is made of thin but very durable fabric that can be easily folded up and ready to use at a moment’s notice. Moreover, a poncho can also go over your backpack and function as a great pack cover as well.
Camping adventures should always include camping gear that you need in order to make your stay in the wilderness more pleasant. In a scenario where for instance you’d have some extra pieces of gear that can’t be placed inside the tent due to lack of space (and it’s raining outside), you can always use the poncho to keep the gear that’s sitting outside your tent dry while you take refuge inside.
When travelling, the chances that at some point during your trip you might experience a rainy day are huge, no matter whether it’s the persistent drizzle in Berlin, or a downpour in Bangkok. In such a case, waterproof ponchos would work great as they are loose-fitting and can be worn over the top of your daypack or handbag – ideal when you’ve got a bag full of electronics, like phones and cameras that are not completely waterproof.
At a Music Festival
Rain isn’t too big of a deal and definitely won’t spoil your fun at a music festival but it sure doesn’t hurt to be better prepared. Plus, the last thing you want when dancing and enjoying the music is to hold an umbrella. This is when a waterproof poncho can come in very handy, ensure you can have your hands free – perfect for partying and throwing hands in the air.
Fashion Piece? – Why Not…
Finally, there are also designers that are hugely aesthetics-oriented and have managed to achieve something unbelievable – a useful rain-wear that has a lovely design. Well, in that case, I guess waterproof ponchos can also be considered a fashion accessory.