The chances are that you don’t often hear hardcore hiking articles and backpacking bloggers telling you to take a travel umbrella out with you on mountain adventures, but the truth is that these accessories are much more beneficial than you think. To most, an umbrella seems out of place in the wilderness – they’re tools designed for city-dwelling people rushing to work in a downpour – not macho backpackers surviving in nature.
However, there are actually a number of reasons why you should consider taking a travel umbrella with you when hiking or backpacking, and we’re going to cover just a few of them here.
1. Protection from Rainstorms
This one might seem obvious, but it’s an essential reason to take a travel umbrella with you on your next journey. Windproof, stormproof travel umbrellas fight off the rain to keep you dry and comfortable in the times that you need it most. There’s a reason why one in ten Americans purchases an umbrella every year, and it’s because these versatile tools are one of the best ways to avoid getting drenched in a sudden rainstorm.
2. Better Ventilation than Jackets
An alternative to packing a travel umbrella in your hiking kit is to wear a rain jacket. However, the truth is that rain jackets rarely offer as much ventilation and rain protection as a good old fashioned umbrella. While ventilation may not seem important during a storm, it’s crucial when the weather clears up if you want to avoid overheating.
3. Umbrellas Weigh Less
Need another reason why you should take a travel umbrella on your next adventure instead of a rain jacket? Umbrellas generally weigh less than most good-quality jackets. Portable, compact umbrellas will barely add any extra strain to your backpack, while storing an extra jacket in case of rain, or carrying that jacket when the weather gets too hot is bound to weigh you down.
4. Umbrellas Aren’t Just for Rain
If you’re heading on a mountain hike, then it’s worth remembering that umbrellas don’t just ward off rain – they keep you safe from the freezing temperatures of snow too. Though you’re going to need a few other essentials with you on a more extreme backpacking trip, a travel umbrella should be a helpful way to stay prepared.
5. Travel Umbrellas Work as Micro-Shelters
Finally, your umbrella, if it can stand up to storms, wind, and rain, can also act as a micro-shelter when you need it most. For example, if you need a place to go to the bathroom, the umbrella can act as a privacy screen. If you need to light a fire and wind keeps dashing all of your efforts, then your umbrella can give you the environment you need. You can even use your umbrella to stop the elements from rustling your map when you’re trying to figure out which way you’re going, or blowing over ingredients when you’re trying to cook a meal.