|Hands-free, so I can use my hiking poles (or goof off).|
Shock Cord loops
Cut the shock cord to 8-12" lengths (I made them longer to start and then cut them down when I figured out how much I used so they wouldn’t flop around). Thread the shock cord into a cordlock, and tie into a loop.
|Shock cord loops with cordlocks.|
|Shock cord loops on the pack and foam pipe insulation on the umbrella shaft.|
In general, distance between the shock cord attachment points affects the stability of the umbrella, so if the points are close together, the umbrella tends to move around more. But if they are too far apart, the umbrella shaft may dig into your shoulder.
Foam Pipe Insulation
The foam pipe insulation goes around the umbrella shaft and slides up and down. The foam keeps the umbrella more stable and provides cushion when the upper shock cord loop is secured around it. When the umbrella is collapsed, the foam pipe insulation slides down the shaft so the umbrella can be closed completely. After many uses, the foam started to come off, so I secured the foam pipe insulation to the shaft by wrapping it with duct tape.
“Rigging” the umbrella
Thread the umbrella shaft through the top and bottom shock cord loops. The upper shock cord loop goes around the foam pipe insulation, and gets cinched down. The lower cord lock rests in the groove of the umbrella handle.
|Upper shock cord around the pipe insulation, lower cord on the umbrella handle groove.|
Hands-free without the pack
I also have a hands-free rigging method for when I'm not wearing the pack. I use my bra strap and shirt bottom (folded over) as the two “attachment” points. It looks funny (especially with a purple bra), but it works when I can't otherwise find a shady spot and want to have both hands free to eat.
|Alternate hands-free “rigging” using bra strap and shirt.|
While I just described how I use the umbrella hands-free, I have found that over the years I use the umbrella more frequently by carrying it with one hand and stowing one hiking pole in my pack. This allows me to adjust the angle of the umbrella to keep more of the sun off me and so I can maneuver in overgrown trails. I use the hands-free rigging mostly on long downhills (where I like to use my poles).
|Umbrella in hand while climbing over logs and ducking under brush.|
|Carrying the umbrella at Canyonlands Nat'l Park.|
More about umbrellas:
Excellent article by Frances Tapon about the benefits of using an umbrella.
I found further uses for the umbrella on the Arizona Trail.
Another handy umbrella tip by SlowBro, for making an umbrella sling.
Update: Rockin also has a hands-free umbrella method if this doesn't work for you.
You can't get the Chrome Dome umbrella from Golite anymore, but Gossamer Gear now carries them here. Note that I am a Gossamer Gear Trail Ambassador, but I got my Chome Dome from Golite.