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KBob
2006-03-13, 08:16
I believe that I have spent more nights under a poncho liner than in a sleeping bag. I own a North Face 20 bag but the only time I have used it is in the mountains of New Mexico and winter in Korea, "Kunsan by the sea". I may carry it as a down bed along with my 25" wide Thermarest foam pad and put the poncho liner over me. One of the best pieces of gear from the military along with canteen covers.

Take-a-knee
2006-03-13, 10:32
If you like a poncho liner you should try one of those thinsulate versions from Brigade QM. They are lighter and about twice as thick. I plan to sew a zipper in the center of mine so I can drape it poncho-style as a camp garment. I also plan to put a drawstring in one end and sew some buttons up one edge for 18in in order to make a footsack so it can be used as a top quilt. Rock has figured out how to use one of these as a bottom quilt. It could also be placed between a quilt and the hammock as extra insulation. The brigade version is the only one I have access to anyway since I'm retired. You can't go buy any TA50 items with a retired ID card.

Mutinousdoug
2006-03-13, 10:47
I plan to sew a zipper in the center of mine so I can drape it poncho-style as a camp garment. I also plan to put a drawstring in one end and sew some buttons up one edge for 18in in order to make a footsack so it can be used as a top quilt. Rock has figured out how to use one of these as a bottom quilt. It could also be placed between a quilt and the hammock as extra insulation.
I bought one of the conversion kits from Brigade QM with a zipper for a head hole and a long zipper for around the outside. Although both zippers are all plastic, the perimiter one is kind of heavy. Had I to do it over, I'd just use the headhole one, and maybe a short one for a footsack.

Take-a-knee
2006-03-13, 22:33
That was my thought, just the head zipper. I'd read of concerns with the zipper abrading the HH trying to use a sleeping bag as a quilt. I figure I'll use a drawstring to close the bottom of the poncho liner (with a fix lock) and use para cord loops and big GI buttons for about 18in up one side to make a footsack for quilt use in the hammock. I've gotten cold on even "hot" summer nights after midnight in a GI hammock without a poncho liner. This thing will truly be multipurpose without gaining a lot of weight. Zippers, especially long ones, can start to weigh a lot.

Mutinousdoug
2006-03-13, 23:46
I'd read of concerns with the zipper abrading the HH trying to use a sleeping bag as a quilt. I figure I'll use a drawstring to close the bottom of the poncho liner (with a fix lock) and use para cord loops and big GI buttons for about 18in up one side to make a footsack for quilt use in the hammock. I've gotten cold on even "hot" summer nights after midnight in a GI hammock without a poncho liner. This thing will truly be multipurpose without gaining a lot of weight. Zippers, especially long ones, can start to weigh a lot.
I don't understand why GI ponche liners have held their value for so long. Seems like they cost $19 in 1971 when I got out and their only $29 now. They are heavy (even unmodified) for the insulative value, they are only about .25" thick.
5 yds of DWR and 2.5 yds of liteloft cost about $45-50. Add about 10-16 hours of $0/hr labor and I plan on having a much better quilt for the weight. I used my GI liner to pattern my underquilt by clipping it to my HH, pinning it up and sewing seams for drawstrings, and could still add it to my mix, but about October, the time snow starts to fly, I pack my gear into the basement.
I don't think a plastic zipper is going to hurt the std wt HH fabric before it wakes me up in the middle of the night, but the zipper pull might have some metal parts. How about button holes and para cord to lace up the bottom 18" to work as well as GI buttons. Ya think?

fieldcraftsman
2006-03-29, 07:04
Poncho liners are genius. I even use them in the house a quilt, much to my wife's concern. :) The only problem here in the UK is that they are all imported, so they are about twice the price they are in the states.

I've used the ol' poncho and poncho liner combo "sleeping bag" combo with a thermarest expedition a number of times in Western Canada in summer and have been snug as the proverbial bug in the rug. What surprised me is that I was prepared for buckets of condensation each morning, yet somehow that never happened. I've not yet tried the poncho liner/poncho combo as a kind of snug bivy sack in cooler weather, but will do so (probably in the back yard first, just in case it doesn't quite work out so well!).

Seeker
2006-03-29, 14:02
that's funny... my experience was exactly the opposite... the first and last time i relied on a poncho liner/poncho combo was on a warmish summer night at fort campbell, ky... fairly humid, etc, but no rain until a couple days later.... i woke up soaking wet and never used the poncho around the liner again... the liner itself was great, and i used one for years while i was in the army. even used one to line a rainjacket (graf jacket) that i used for about 15 years... can't explain the contradiction... but maybe it was that the air was already pretty humid, and probably a lot wetter than western canada... no matter...

i've slept under a poncho, hootch style, wrapped in a liner, and it worked great when it was warmish out. once i started paying more attention to my gear's weight, i realized that the liner weighed a whole pound and was only good down to about 60* with me (i'm a COLD sleeper)... a good down bag gave more warmth per ounce, so i eventually got one... (hopefully soon to own another one too!)

Just Jeff
2006-03-29, 14:06
A military poncho is one of the most versatile pieces of gear around, but I'd rather pitch it as a loose A-frame or lean-to (spent many nights this way) than wrap myself in it (done it twice, didn't like it).

Mutinousdoug
2006-03-29, 18:49
I spent many a day hiding from the sun under one or more liners. This is a picture of one of our fire control centers, June or August 1970:


That's about 3/4 of my mortar platoon under there.

Seeker
2006-03-29, 22:30
wow... in june 1970, i had just finished kindergarten. in august, i was getting ready to start 1st grade... thanks, man... i didn't understand til much later that guerrillas weren't gorillas...

btw, 15 years later, in august 1985, i had my own mortar platoon and was doing some NG training at fort campbell, ky (including learning that a poncho and liner together didn't work for me.)