ponchos... a consolidated thread.

Items to keep you alive in the event you must evacuate: discussions of basic Survival Kits commonly called "Bug Out Bags" or "Go Bags"

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ponchos... a consolidated thread.

Post by jehicks87 » Wed Apr 11, 2012 3:58 pm

I have noticed a lot of poncho threads popping up lately. Everyone knows a poncho is a hugely valuable and versatile piece of kit. Wet weather garment, ultralight shelter, tarp, even a river-crossing floaty. They can do it all. Truly a jack of all trades, though a master of none. So, in the interest of less clutter, I am proposing a consolidated thread.

For instance, there are many types of ponchos but I have yet to find a silnylon poncho the same size as a usgi poncho. Does anyone have any information on something like that?

Feel free to post here, share your tips and tricks, or just plug your favorite brands or uses for the good ol' simple poncho.
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Re: ponchos... a consolidated thread.

Post by jehicks87 » Wed Apr 11, 2012 4:09 pm

I'll start with a bit of basic information. You'll have to excuse me for lack of pictures; I am on a smartphone exclusively until the 16th or so.

First, let's look at the usgi poncho. A large piece of polyurethane coated nylon. Heavy for what it is, but ueber cheap. You can pick them up for around $30. They are adequate at keeping the rain off of you, but do not breath very well in my experience. They make a very nice lean-to, and if you had to ditch all but a few select pieces of gear, a usgi poncho is tough to beat for this reason alone.

The usgi poncho is not only heavy for what it is, it is also bulky. They are more difficult to pack down as opposed to some civilian models, but still many times more packable than wet weather gear plus a tent, or even a hammock for that matter. The comfort you will be sacrificing when weighed against those other options is definitely something you will want to consider, although I have slept in a bivvy'd lean-to in freezing temperatures and light snow. Not ideal, but certainly better than nothing.

A quick tip... I've only used this on the issued poncho, but a field-expedient repair for a rip or tear is duct tape. Works well when you tape both sides of the tear and make the perforation large enough so the two pieces of tape can contact each other on the sticky side, sandwiching the area and minimizing the chance of water leaking through.
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Re: ponchos... a consolidated thread.

Post by azrael99 » Wed Apr 11, 2012 4:34 pm

they only poncho i would use is a ranger blanket. you can use it as a blanket, poncho and rainsuit.
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Re: ponchos... a consolidated thread.

Post by jehicks87 » Wed Apr 11, 2012 5:23 pm

Are you talking about a poncho liner? I don't think a woobie would make a very good rain shedding device at all... Or is there something else that people call a ranger blanket?
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Re: ponchos... a consolidated thread.

Post by Niblick » Wed Apr 11, 2012 5:36 pm

I've once or twice heard people refer to a poncho liner tied into a poncho as a ranger blanket but just assumed they meant ranger roll. But yea, it usually refers to just the liner. And they do suck at keeping you dry.
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Re: ponchos... a consolidated thread.

Post by azrael99 » Wed Apr 11, 2012 5:46 pm

it is a sleeping bag liner, i even saw some made of fleece
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Re: ponchos... a consolidated thread.

Post by ninja-elbow » Wed Apr 11, 2012 6:15 pm

Water goes right through a woobie (poncho liner, ranger blanket, et al.).
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Re: ponchos... a consolidated thread.

Post by jehicks87 » Wed Apr 11, 2012 7:39 pm

ninja-elbow wrote:Water goes right through a woobie (poncho liner, ranger blanket, et al.).
Indeed it does. I just didn't want to off-handedly dismiss someone's contribution in case there was something else called a ranger blanket I wasn't aware of. ;)
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Re: ponchos... a consolidated thread.

Post by Crimson Phoenix » Wed Apr 11, 2012 9:15 pm

Has anybody greatly improved either the USGI poncho or poncho liner for under $100? If so, show me now!

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Re: ponchos... a consolidated thread.

Post by offcamber » Wed Apr 11, 2012 9:53 pm

I've been eyeballing a Survival Solutions OPSEC poncho for a while now.. one of the few available in multicam:

http://www.survival-solutions.com/O_P_S ... tails.html

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Re: ponchos... a consolidated thread.

Post by KnightoftheRoc » Wed Apr 11, 2012 10:29 pm

jehicks87 wrote:I'll start with a bit of basic information. You'll have to excuse me for lack of pictures; I am on a smartphone exclusively until the 16th or so.

First, let's look at the usgi poncho. A large piece of polyurethane coated nylon. Heavy for what it is, but ueber cheap. You can pick them up for around $30. They are adequate at keeping the rain off of you, but do not breath very well in my experience. They make a very nice lean-to, and if you had to ditch all but a few select pieces of gear, a usgi poncho is tough to beat for this reason alone.

The usgi poncho is not only heavy for what it is, it is also bulky. They are more difficult to pack down as opposed to some civilian models, but still many times more packable than wet weather gear plus a tent, or even a hammock for that matter. The comfort you will be sacrificing when weighed against those other options is definitely something you will want to consider, although I have slept in a bivvy'd lean-to in freezing temperatures and light snow. Not ideal, but certainly better than nothing.

A quick tip... I've only used this on the issued poncho, but a field-expedient repair for a rip or tear is duct tape. Works well when you tape both sides of the tear and make the perforation large enough so the two pieces of tape can contact each other on the sticky side, sandwiching the area and minimizing the chance of water leaking through.
I was issued one of those in the 80's. SOME lucky SOB's in my unit got the newer, ripstop nylon version, which is at least half as heavy, and packs down MUCH smaller, all while conforming to the same dimensions as the original. I have sprayed my nylon poncho down repeatedly with Camp Dry silicone spray to increase the waterproofing abilities- so of course, I've had no chance to test it yet, beyond a spray with the hose. The older urethane/nylon (I was told it was vinyl, FWIW) weighed in at 6 POUNDS, but was everything but bullet proof. IF, and only if, my nylon poncho should prove itself as hardy as my 30 year old vinyl poncho, then, and only then, will I set aside the wee beastie for it's lighter cousin. Till then, I pack both for camping- the ripstop nylon to wear, the vinyl for shelter.
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Re: ponchos... a consolidated thread.

Post by Woods Walker » Wed Apr 11, 2012 10:32 pm

jehicks87 wrote:For instance, there are many types of ponchos but I have yet to find a silnylon poncho the same size as a usgi poncho. Does anyone have any information on something like that?
Lots of Sil ponchos are longer to act as a pack cover and make for a better tarp shelter.
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Re: ponchos... a consolidated thread.

Post by Woods Walker » Wed Apr 11, 2012 10:46 pm

I have used ponchos for:

1. Raingear.
2. Blanket.
3. Tarp shelter.
4. Rain catch.
5. Ground cloth.
6. Sunshade.
7. Wind breaker.
8. Gear cover.

Then there is the old modified lean-to poncho side wall trick.

Image

Heck betting I have used a poncho for even more but that's all I can remember right now.
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Re: ponchos... a consolidated thread.

Post by sicsiksix » Thu Apr 12, 2012 12:01 pm

Speaking of ponchos, I was looking a few days ago at the integral designs models. What are others opinions on the long-term durability of the Sil-Nylon vs the Urethane Coated Ripstop Nylon (Using as both a tarp and a poncho, and not running through thorn bushes)? I can get either model for the same price, and will take the extra weight if the durability of the Urethane coated model is better (Plus the the Urethane model comes in different Camo options).

http://www.integraltactical.com/product ... cfm?id=872" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; (Urethane)
http://www.integraltactical.com/product ... cfm?id=728" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; (SilNylon)

What do you guys think?

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Re: ponchos... a consolidated thread.

Post by jehicks87 » Thu Apr 12, 2012 3:02 pm

I was issued one of those in the 80's. SOME lucky SOB's in my unit got the newer, ripstop nylon version, which is at least half as heavy, and packs down MUCH smaller, all while conforming to the same dimensions as the original. I have sprayed my nylon poncho down repeatedly with Camp Dry silicone spray to increase the waterproofing abilities- so of course, I've had no chance to test it yet, beyond a spray with the hose. The older urethane/nylon (I was told it was vinyl, FWIW) weighed in at 6 POUNDS, but was everything but bullet proof. IF, and only if, my nylon poncho should prove itself as hardy as my 30 yea
r old vinyl poncho, then, and only then, will I set aside the wee beastie for it's lighter cousin. Till then, I pack both for camping- the ripstop nylon to wear, the vinyl for shelter.
The poncho I am issued is s lighter nylon, but still polyurethane coated. It has held up exceptionally well to all the field exercises I have participated in... Not 30 years worth, though. :D
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Re: ponchos... a consolidated thread.

Post by bltjr1951 » Fri Apr 13, 2012 12:05 pm

How about posting a link or pic of items posted?
You can tag anything with "ranger".
And not everyone was issued with the same gear.
USMC was issued a "tarp", looked like poncho without head hole/hood.

My old 1970 OD rubber poncho is still going strong.
Got a nylon one that lost all the waterproof layer, makes fair windbreak/shade.
Also picked up a new camo nylon one, looks brand new.
Have yet to get a liner.

Hardscrabble Farm has a 1966 FM21-15 poncho chapter:
http://www.hardscrabblefarm.com/vn/poncho.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Last edited by bltjr1951 on Fri Apr 13, 2012 11:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: ponchos... a consolidated thread.

Post by jehicks87 » Fri Apr 13, 2012 5:59 pm

bltjr1951 wrote:How about posting a link or pic of items posted?
You can tag anything with "ranger".
And not everyone was issued with the same gear.
USMC was issued a "tarp", looked like poncho without head hole/hood.
I'm currently in Colorado for training and most of my gear is back at Campbell... Plus I still haven't figured out this phone yet.
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civvie wrote:By purchasing fewer things you can afford better things.
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Re: ponchos... a consolidated thread.

Post by scurvy » Fri Apr 13, 2012 11:08 pm

Crimson Phoenix wrote:Has anybody greatly improved either the USGI poncho or poncho liner for under $100? If so, show me now!

I got the OPSEC poncho (the link is above a few posts)... waaaay overpriced in my opinion... but, I really like mine and don't regret dropping the $60, I think i could of done much better price wise but, it's treated me well as rain gear and shelter.


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Re: ponchos... a consolidated thread.

Post by KnightoftheRoc » Sat Apr 14, 2012 12:37 am

bltjr1951 wrote:How about posting a link or pic of items posted?
You can tag anything with "ranger".
And not everyone was issued with the same gear.
USMC was issued a "tarp", looked like poncho without head hole/hood.

My old 1970 OD rubber poncho is still going strong.
Got a nylon one that lost all the waterproof layer, makes fair windbreak/shade.
Also picked up a new camo nylon one, looks brand new.
Have yet to get a liner.

Hardscrabble Farm has a 1966 FM21-15 poncho chapter:
http://www.hardscrabblefarm.com/vn/poncho.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
That hardscrabble Farm link has more information in it than I was given in Basic Training! Thanks! Until joining ZS, I had never even heard of the poncho liner, and had no idea how it was used in conjuction with the poncho. Once I was pointed in the direction of the information, thanks to fellow ZS'ers, I went right out and bought a few woobies. While a light blanket can be used in the same way, and be just as effective, and be cheaper, it needs alterations made to it (attaching the laces)- for myself, the camo woobie was a much simpler way to go.

Since the request pr pics was put up, I found these, which is pretty informative stuff, especially if you look over the Hardscrabble link. There were two basic poncho versions, both coming out of the Viet Nam era; the heavy poncho, which was the standard, and came out first, weighing 4 pounds, not 6 as I had said earlier (my bad), followed later by the light poncho, a mere 1.8 pounds- not to make it lighter, but to cut down on reflectivity! :shock: Either one, combined with the woobie, could be made into the "Ranger roll" sleeping bag.
The havy poncho: http://vietnamgear.com/kit.aspx?kit=197" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
The light poncho: http://vietnamgear.com/kit.aspx?kit=198" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
and the woobie: http://vietnamgear.com/kit.aspx?kit=194" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
The pics are pretty good, but to really understand the difference between the two, you really need to handle both in person. The lightweight poncho isn't something I'd want to risk ruining by using it as a ground sheet in any way- it MIGHT be up to the task, but I'm not confident of that- but, on some sleeping pads, it doesn't slide around, and it's protected from punctures.
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Re: ponchos... a consolidated thread.

Post by elkhills » Sat Apr 14, 2012 4:38 am

I'm on a poncho kick lately. I now own

1. a USGI ripstop in woodland that stuffs nicely in a smallish Skull Candy headphones pouch.
2. An REI lightweight that is about 5" narrower but 8" longer than the GI poncho.
3. A GoLite UL poncho... In the mail :)
4. Plenty of El Cheapos of all varieties.

Pics if anybody wants a size comparison of any.

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Re: ponchos... a consolidated thread.

Post by oldsoldier » Sat Apr 14, 2012 8:16 am

I have used my poncho, issued, damn near every time I was in the field. As a light infantryman, space and weight are a huge consideration. A ranger roll was the preferred sleep system, especially when out for a few days. Easy to crawl into, easy to store, and kept us relatively warm and dry, when we had sind down time. The poncho itself, without the woobie, has served as a shelter for me for years. Never really wore it as a poncho, but spent many, many nights under it as a tent. And, a woobie is a birthright in the combat arms; when my nephew graduated basic training, that was my gift to him :)

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Re: ponchos... a consolidated thread.

Post by bltjr1951 » Sat Apr 14, 2012 10:09 am

The 1966 FM says to use blanket with poncho for sleeping bag.
The 1977 FM says same thing, but it also has the liner and shows step by step how to attach to poncho.
Nowhere does it mention "ranger roll".

Neat thing about 1977 FM21-15, it shows M1956 gear and the new ALICE gear.
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Re: ponchos... a consolidated thread.

Post by jamoni » Sat Apr 14, 2012 5:47 pm

bltjr1951 wrote:The 1966 FM says to use blanket with poncho for sleeping bag.
The 1977 FM says same thing, but it also has the liner and shows step by step how to attach to poncho.
Nowhere does it mention "ranger roll".
Yeah, cause military guys never use slang terms that aren't in FMs. :)
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Re: ponchos... a consolidated thread.

Post by KnightoftheRoc » Sat Apr 14, 2012 11:09 pm

jamoni wrote:
bltjr1951 wrote:The 1966 FM says to use blanket with poncho for sleeping bag.
The 1977 FM says same thing, but it also has the liner and shows step by step how to attach to poncho.
Nowhere does it mention "ranger roll".
Yeah, cause military guys never use slang terms that aren't in FMs. :)
Exactly- there's a reason the quotation marks are often used around the term. Rangers may have invented it, honestly, I don't know, and am doubtful anyone could offer definitive proof, but it's a pretty safe bet. If there's a way to lighten up and still survive, the SF types are the first ones to suss it out. It's also often referred to as the "Ranger Taco", and I'm guessing that the difference between the two phrases, if there is one, resides entirely on if you've snapped the side shut or not.

btw, do you have a link for those FM's? I'm looking for some of the older versions of the Care and Use of Personal Equipment type manuals, going back as far as they made them, if possible. I'd prefer actual books, but a .pdf would work. Thanks.
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