A friend of mine asked me the other night about alternatives to ponchos. That leads on nicely from yesterday’s blog post since I mentioned my All Weather Blanket.
An All Weather Blanket is a more robust version of the Space Blanket. Appropriately enough I brought mine at the Kennedy Space Centre in 1991-2. Since then it has been a permanent addition to my daysac and has travelled with me from Hong-Kong to L.A and from Iceland to Brazil. One of the reasons that it has lasted so long is I loosely roll and scrunch it up rather than folding it up neatly. Folding it tightly causes wear on the corners and folds I have been told and my experience seems to verify this.
An All Weather Blanket can perform a number of useful functions but today’s post is about how to effectively use it as rainwear.
Firstly, preparation. When you are cold, wet and the light is failing is no time to fiddle around with knots. While you are snug at home tie a length of cordage to each of the grommets on your All Weather Blanket. I have used old nylon shoelace from some trainers for this. Your All Weather Blanket is now ready. Scrunch it up and place it in your daysac.
This method of making an All Weather Blanket into a rain cape is relatively unknown. I discovered it when researching Scottish plaids and even in Scotland this trick seemed to have been only used by women in the Inverness region if I recall correctly.
Take your All Weather Blanket and drape the centre of the top edge over your head like a shawl. Hold the top corners, one in each hand. Bring the two corners together and tie the shoelaces that you fitted earlier together. Use a simple reef knot, nothing complicated.
Holding the corners once again, cross your right forearm over your left. You have created a big loop which you now pass over your head so that the knot is behind your neck. The section of blanket that was draped over your head has now become a hood. Let your arms fall to your side and the cloak you have created will fall closed. Adjust the hood a little and you are now protected from the rain from head to knee. The reflective interior of the cape will warm you while the open front allows you to easily vent humid air or pick things up.
That is it really. Very simple if you know the trick, but it is a trick that is virtually unknown.