Hiking with an umbrella, research on a sunny day

Looking at the benefits of hiking with an umbrella

Walking with an umbrella in rain and sun

Text and drawing by Frits Ahlefeldt, Hiking.org

Few consider hiking with an umbrella and that is a shame, the umbrella works in multiple ways that can make the hiking experience much better. I am researching these today, looking at how experienced hikers have turned to using umbrellas not only against rain but also against the sun, against wild dogs and as support when crossing across streams on slippery stones, among other things

The world famous hiker Francis Tapon uses an umbrella

One of the best sources I’ve found about the benefits of the umbrella when hiking are from the very experienced long distance hiker Francis Tapon ( Link to his site FrancisTapon.com ) Francis Tapon has used an umbrella on many of his long distance hikes and find the umbrella is better than rain clothes, and usable in many and unique ways: Read more on Francis Tapon’s site in his article Link: 10 Reasons to go hiking and backpacking with an umbrella

Many ways to use the umbrella – “shadow” is one of them and in its name

I’ve started to use umbrella’s for hiking myself around 20 years ago. On some trails they make a lot of sense, but especially on coastal trails and dense forest trails, they can be more of a challenge, and I have wrecked a few in strong wind and passing by thick undergrowth.

But I still remember the day way back on the sun-blasted, burning hot path to Camino de Santiago, on the stretch called “The Meseta” , where I realized how well umbrellas work, not only to shelter from rain, but even more so to shelter hikers from the sun… Actually the word “umbra”, from where the umbrella got its name. Umbra means shadow in Latin, and umbrellas works very well, both giving shade and letting even a light wind pass under and help cool the hiker, in ways a hat or other protective garment would block.

Rough ink sketch for the umbrella page ( to be colored up and made ready ) :

Girl with an umbrella, hiking and smiling, ink drawing by Frits Ahlefeldt
Hiking with an umbrella works both in rain and sun, it can even help when attacked by wild dogs

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