The Humble Poncho

To describe today's weather as 'slightly moist' would be something of an understatement. Myself and my trusty hound have just returned from our apres-lunch sortie around the locale and we got soaked. Thankfully I was sporting a poncho I purchased from Lidl a couple of weeks back for a tenner or thereabouts. Of consequence I was quite dry. I've got Goretex kit, but I just wanted something that packed up small and that I could throw on if the weather caught me short.

I'd forgotten what a handy bit of kit a poncho is and it got me thinking to the last time I wore one. It was at RAF North Luffenham in 1983. I was on stag and it was absolutely bucketing down. That 58 pattern poncho saved me and my trusty pickaxe handle from a right old drenching, but I can't remember ever using a poncho for its intended role since... until today.

The crisp packets, foul weather suits and Gary Goretex have their uses, but is there still a place for the humble poncho in one's kit list? I think there is.
 
To describe today's weather as 'slightly moist' would be something of an understatement. Myself and my trusty hound have just returned from our apres-lunch sortie around the locale and we got soaked. Thankfully I was sporting a poncho I purchased from Lidl a couple of weeks back for a tenner or thereabouts. Of consequence I was quite dry. I've got Goretex kit, but I just wanted something that packed up small and that I could throw on if the weather caught me short.

I'd forgotten what a handy bit of kit a poncho is and it got me thinking to the last time I wore one. It was at RAF North Luffenham in 1983. I was on stag and it was absolutely bucketing down. That 58 pattern poncho saved me and my trusty pickaxe handle from a right old drenching, but I can't remember ever using a poncho for its intended role since... until today.

The crisp packets, foul weather suits and Gary Goretex have their uses, but is there still a place for the humble poncho in one's kit list? I think there is.
Yes

firstly if worn on the hills if you jump up in high winds you can propel yourself a considerable distance. When I did this cameras on mobile phones did not exist (nor did mobile phones) but others corrected this deficiency since.

Due to their construction it is possible to have a furtive bit of self abuse as long as you are reasonably careful.

Apart from that - no. Seriously, get yourself a cag in a bag or a decent ultralight waterproof (Mine, on sale, Jack Wolfskin - tiny and brilliant).

However, the bastard offspring of the poncho is the Dryrobe - this is very useful. I have a version from Decathlon that is fairly decent and usable.
 
Best and cheapest bit of kit ever, my trusted Decathlon poncho.

XL.jpg
 
Outside of training, never used a poncho.

We had them handy with our kit at base but we brought waterproofs for use when on tour. This was in the days pre gore tex so you often had to leave the neck opening undone to let the moisture out but they were well made pieces and stood the test of patrolling around South Armagh including diving through the hedgerows.
 
To describe today's weather as 'slightly moist' would be something of an understatement. Myself and my trusty hound have just returned from our apres-lunch sortie around the locale and we got soaked. Thankfully I was sporting a poncho I purchased from Lidl a couple of weeks back for a tenner or thereabouts. Of consequence I was quite dry. I've got Goretex kit, but I just wanted something that packed up small and that I could throw on if the weather caught me short.

I'd forgotten what a handy bit of kit a poncho is and it got me thinking to the last time I wore one. It was at RAF North Luffenham in 1983. I was on stag and it was absolutely bucketing down. That 58 pattern poncho saved me and my trusty pickaxe handle from a right old drenching, but I can't remember ever using a poncho for its intended role since... until today.

The crisp packets, foul weather suits and Gary Goretex have their uses, but is there still a place for the humble poncho in one's kit list? I think there is.

101st AB walt
 
Very handy on Granby when the weather turned grim months after most of us had ditched our crisp packets to make room for more NBC kit.
Warm, waterproof and you didn't care if you looked like a bit of a dick.
 
Arrgghh! The Horror!!!

1627477948970.jpeg


Trying to get a poncho AND a (useless because it had been opened and worn too many times) NBC suit in that fvcking thing is a memory I’d rather forget.

Why on earth did it take decades for the MOD to issue waterproofs and webbing that was actually worth a shit? Cotton webbing? In a climate where it’s well known to piss down for days on end? Poncho roll, “large” pack, straps futility, crisp packet waterproofs, all completely fvcking useless.

The poncho itself was OK though.
 
Still got two.
Only needed rarely, but was a lifesaver during an outside classical concert at Glamis Castle, where the heavens really opened up.

Mind you, I couldn't hear the bloody music for the noise of the rain spattering off the plastic.

1627478838141.png
 
Still got two.
Only needed rarely, but was a lifesaver during an outside classical concert at Glamis Castle, where the heavens really opened up.

Mind you, I couldn't hear the bloody music for the noise of the rain spattering off the plastic.

View attachment 592234
Worst halloween outfit ever! :p
 
Other than whilst at AAC H'gate I can't remember wearing mine and it was only ever used for making basha's with thereafter. However, there is photographic evidence of one being used during our 1990/91 beach tour in the sandpit...
9874B64A-248B-42ED-BCD3-FF70F938D36B.jpeg

Not my photo obviously but good evidence of use - is this an ARRSE'r I wonder?
You can feel the morale oozing out of the photo can't you...
 
TBF, the Mk1 crisp packets weren't too bad - taped seams and press studs. It was the Mk2 rubberised velcro horror that made you sweat like a rapist. They were hard wearing. For their time the OG RAF foul weather suits were the best. Goretex changed all that. I still carried a poncho, pegs and bungees in a bum roll tho, with the NBC suit in the other. But yeah, 58 in the 80s? When the yanks had been using butyl Alice packs and webbing since Vietnam?
 

Blogg

LE
Still got two.
Only needed rarely, but was a lifesaver during an outside classical concert at Glamis Castle, where the heavens really opened up.

Mind you, I couldn't hear the bloody music for the noise of the rain spattering off the plastic.

View attachment 592234
Came across an outfit which sold mainly high quality kilts but did a line in heavyweight woollen "waterproof" Great Cloaks. Great thinks I and in moment of youthful drunken enthusiam paid far too much for it

Fine for swaddling up against the damp winds but if you got caught in downpour ended up wearing a hugely heavy and stinking wet blanket that needed days to dry

I thought it looked rather fetching. My Dad however told me I looked like a medieval nonce, soon after which it lived in the back of his wagon as a dog blanket
 
TBF, the Mk1 crisp packets weren't too bad - taped seams and press studs. It was the Mk2 rubberised velcro horror that made you sweat like a rapist. They were hard wearing. For their time the OG RAF foul weather suits were the best. Goretex changed all that. I still carried a poncho, pegs and bungees in a bum roll tho, with the NBC suit in the other. But yeah, 58 in the 80s? When the yanks had been using butyl Alice packs and webbing since Vietnam?

The 72 pattern was an improvement on 58 that never got adopted
 
Other than whilst at AAC H'gate I can't remember wearing mine and it was only ever used for making basha's with thereafter. However, there is photographic evidence of one being used during our 1990/91 beach tour in the sandpit... View attachment 592238
Not my photo obviously but good evidence of use - is this an ARRSE'r I wonder?
You can feel the morale oozing out of the photo can't you...
I genuinely had a little flashback on seeing that. It was so cold and wet and none of us who arrived back in October had any real warm kit beyond perhaps a wolly jumper and Norweigen shirt (if you were lucky).
 
I genuinely had a little flashback on seeing that. It was so cold and wet and none of us who arrived back in October had any real warm kit beyond perhaps a wolly jumper and Norweigen shirt (if you were lucky).
0AA9015D-A314-4B7B-BDF3-61C3473F96B5.jpeg

Crap photo but we ended up sharing the one parka we had between us - I'd managed to blag the liner for the night shift on this occasion. Just stripping the wagon down prior to running back up to 14 Sigs just before the ground war commenced from memory, for a last minute re-sup of Compo, collect mail etc (I was attached to the US Army for the duration)
 

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