The Humble Poncho

Never wore it as a poncho, just as a device for keeping the (rare, coveted and eventually stolen) long '58 maggot dry.
I believe that I wore my Velcro (Tm) crisp packet garments twice before deciding that the trade-off between perspiration running down my arrse cheeks plus the feckin' noise versus getting a bit wet wet (ok, wringing), was not worth it.
Kept my smocks water repellant-ish with Scotchgard and used tropical trousers which dried swiftish (also Scotchgarded).
I can see the use of the poncho as intended but...
 

CharleyBourne

Old-Salt
The 72 pattern was an improvement on 58 that never got adopted
58 was also produced in limited numbers in nylon by MOD (not civvy copy). It replicated the general issue 58 but the pouches were larger. The kidney pouches were huge and unless you'd seriously been on the pies you'd would have difficulty wearing the stuff. I picked up a set at a surplus fair over 30 years ago without the large pack and remember Silvermans used to sell it. (Having Googled "nylon 1958 pattern", Silvermans were one of the first things to appear and they still sell limited numbers of individual items, calling it a 1980s trial webbing).
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The wb pouch I had had the twist type fastening of the early cotton 58 wb pouches not the buckle type shown in the photo and easily accommodated a bottle and mug and would not shrink (unless on fire I suppose). The ammo pouches again were bigger than the late issue cotton ones and SLR mags would have rattled around a fair bit. It was made of a thinner material than 72 and was similar to that the SUIT pouch was made from IIRC.

Come to think of it, it still had the INERGA rifle grenade adapter pouch on the right ammo pouch although INERGA had been binned years before if I understand correctly.

Flogged it years ago. Probably worth a fair bit now.
 
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You lay out in the piss1ng rain in a 58 doss bag?
A bag renowned for being poor at the best of times and genuinely dangerous when wet.
That's just bone idleness or incompetence

No it’s a situation that can occur for many reasons including operational reasons.

In one instance, on a patrol one day, we discovered a command wire in the middle of a field. It was traced to a derelict farm and a large milk churn bomb was discovered in one of the outhouses.

The bomb was detonated and it was decided that we would stake out the farm until the following day to see if any visitors popped by to see what we had done. Sleeping bags were sent in for us to use during the night with helicopters who dropped them off and then lifted out everybody else.

We covertly settled down on the edge of the farm to observe and the sleeping bags were used in turn by those who weren’t on stag.

It poured with rain all night. Go figure. Not bone idleness or incompetence. Just the hand that we were dealt at the time. You just get on with the task in hand.

In other instances, a basher is a luxury that isn’t convenient because you aren’t hanging around for more than a few hours.

However, because the weather is so freezing cold, you hunker down on your feet with all your equipment still on and your weapon in your hands in your sleeping bag to try and keep some warmth while you sleep until it’s your turn to stag. It’s easier if there is something you can lean against while you try to catch a kip.

Of course there are times when you don’t have your doss bag with you and you just get cold and have to suffer it until you move on but that’s soldiering for you.
 
Anyone ever use a poncho as something crazy like a raft, stretcher etc...?
Shooting mat. I have a 58 roll with an issue poncho and a civvy poncho in it. When raining, there is a green blob on the ground with a muzzle protruding, discharging well meaning but random projectiles.
 
Anyone ever use a poncho as something crazy like a raft, stretcher etc...?
I've used my plash palatkas as floatation bags, hammocks, deck chairs and bivvy bags.
 
58 was also produced in limited numbers in nylon by MOD (not civvy copy). It replicated the general issue 58 but the pouches were larger. The kidney pouches were huge and unless you'd seriously been on the pies you'd would have difficulty wearing the stuff. I picked up a set at a surplus fair over 30 years ago without the large pack and remember Silvermans used to sell it. (Having Googled "nylon 1958 pattern", Silvermans were one of the first things to appear and they still sell limited numbers of individual items, calling it a 1980s trial webbing).
View attachment 592553


The wb pouch I had had the twist type fastening of the early cotton 58 wb pouches not the buckle type shown in the photo and easily accommodated a bottle and mug and would not shrink (unless on fire I suppose). The ammo pouches again were bigger than the late issue cotton ones and SLR mags would have rattled around a fair bit. It was made of a thinner material than 72 and was similar to that the SUIT pouch was made from IIRC.

Come to think of it, it still had the INERGA rifle grenade adapter pouch on the right ammo pouch although INERGA had been binned years before if I understand correctly.

Flogged it years ago. Probably worth a fair bit now.

tbj, I preferred wearing my 58 pattern CEFO in comparison to what replaced it - once you had set it up to your own spec and made sure it was all bungeed/tied together with pouches that did not fall off (water bottle!) I found it far easier to run and patrol with. I found that it was the perfect height for my elbows to rest on the pouches whilst carrying an SLR or when running you could lean down on the pouches and keep everything secure.

The large pack was obviously crap and flipping it over your head with a shovel attached was always good for a laugh! but the single biggest problem was all the useless crap that you had to carry on a kit list that had no relation to what you actually needed! - that and the fact you had to binbag everything inside it to try to keep it dry

strangely enough, i preferred wearing the tin lid as well because you got more ventilation up past the spider onto your swede but the elastic chin strap was useless because it just bounced on your head and the rear rim of the lid used to stop me being able to look up when I was lying on my front with a large pack on, I quite liked the ally look of having all the scrim on the helmet but one day made the mistake of accidentally setting the scrim on fire when lighting a fag - it went up like a top and I threw it on the ground and then stamped on it to put the flames out, forgetting it was steel and nearly broke my bloody foot ! :)
 

Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer
It was another example of the designer never having to use it. A bit like not putting slightly more thought into the water bottle by putting the cup at the bottom so you could get the bottle out on the move.
Er, like anyone with some common dog, you simply inverted the water bottle?
 
58 patt ponchos covered both the wearer and his pack/ webbing/ weapon when used as a poncho, and he'd still be able to use the weapon.
It doubled as a basha for one, or could be attached to others to make a bigger shelter.
Something a waterproof suit can't do.
Slept in a shelter made from a sections worth of Ponchos once.
 

itchy300

Old-Salt
Shooting mat. I have a 58 roll with an issue poncho and a civvy poncho in it. When raining, there is a green blob on the ground with a muzzle protruding, discharging well meaning but random projectiles.
If it looks daft but works it isn't daft!

What rifle you shooting?
 
How well did it float? Is it workable or just something daft from an old pam
If you pack it carefully enough, it works pretty well. I swam around 350m of open water and my kit was still dry inside.
 
No it’s a situation that can occur for many reasons including operational reasons.

In one instance, on a patrol one day, we discovered a command wire in the middle of a field. It was traced to a derelict farm and a large milk churn bomb was discovered in one of the outhouses.

The bomb was detonated and it was decided that we would stake out the farm until the following day to see if any visitors popped by to see what we had done. Sleeping bags were sent in for us to use during the night with helicopters who dropped them off and then lifted out everybody else.

We covertly settled down on the edge of the farm to observe and the sleeping bags were used in turn by those who weren’t on stag.

It poured with rain all night. Go figure. Not bone idleness or incompetence. Just the hand that we were dealt at the time. You just get on with the task in hand.

In other instances, a basher is a luxury that isn’t convenient because you aren’t hanging around for more than a few hours.

However, because the weather is so freezing cold, you hunker down on your feet with all your equipment still on and your weapon in your hands in your sleeping bag to try and keep some warmth while you sleep until it’s your turn to stag. It’s easier if there is something you can lean against while you try to catch a kip.

Of course there are times when you don’t have your doss bag with you and you just get cold and have to suffer it until you move on but that’s soldiering for you.
When we were in S. Armagh, bashas were forbidden.
 
Some dodgy memories on this thread. The 58 poncho had many uses - KIP, stretcher, basha, tarpaulin to name but a few - but it was useless as a waterproof garment. No sleeves. You stuck your combat jacket-clad arms through the gaps between eyelet/press-stud and instantly were soaked from shoulder to finger tip. The poncho repelled water beautifully - usually repelling it beautifully onto your trousers just above the knee from whence it trickled down your shin, behind your puttees and into your boots.

Excellent bit of kit - just useless for the purpose for which it was primarily intended.
 

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