||VAWN HIMMELSBACH, Chic Savvy Travels
When people ask me what item I never travel without, that’s easy to answer: a cheap piece of waterproof urethane-coated nylon.
MEC Division 25L Rain Cover
My trusty backpack tarp has accompanied me around the world — and has saved my gear (and my pack) on more occasions than I can count. Once, I was wading through the streets of Kuala Lumpur during monsoon rains in search of a guesthouse. The water came up past my boots and I was soaked to the bone — but all my gear was safe and dry (including my camera and other electronic equipment), thanks to my rain cover.
Deuter Race X (with built-in rain cover)
Another time, my pack was strapped to the top of a mini-van on a trip from Bangkok across the Cambodian border. It was the dry season, and while rain wasn’t an issue, fine red dust filled our lungs, coated our skin and seeped into everyone’s bags. Except for mine, which was, of course, covered in a tarp.
And yet another time, my pack was left to sit in a pool of diesel fuel in the luggage compartment of a ferry in Honduras. Thankfully, I was using my tarp — I just rinsed off the diesel fuel and I was good to go.
MEC Daypack Rain Cover
Aside from protection against the elements, I’ve found even more uses for the backpack rain cover: It protects straps from getting ripped off your pack while in transit (from airport carousels to chicken buses). And while it’s not a security device, it does serve as a deterrent to theft — a dusty tarp covered with duct tape is a lot less enticing than that $400 lime-green Arc’teryx bag hidden underneath it.
It’s small and lightweight, and will only set you back the cost of your weekly caffeine fix. The basic ones cost around $10; the slightly “fancier” ones (with shockcord and webbing attachments) cost around $20, depending on the size (small, medium or large). Deuter packs often come with a built-in, detachable rain cover that tucks away when you don’t need it — a handy feature.
You can find backpack rain covers at most outdoor gear stores; I buy mine at Mountain Equipment Co-op. It’s well worth the $10 investment, since it helps to protect your much more expensive gear. After using one, you won’t be able to imagine what backpacking was like before waterproof urethane-coated nylon.
Copyright @ 2012 Chic Savvy Travels
Date Added: February 29, 2012 | Comments (0)
No comments yet.