Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Never fear! We've got UMBRELLAS!

Jan and I had a lot of fears going into our hike of the Arizona Trail.  We worried about border problems and drug runners, angry bulls, mountain lions, spiny vegetation, and ranches who didn’t want us on their land.  We started out feeling scared and vulnerable.

However, during our hike, we discovered we had powerful defense of our own.  There was no need to fear, because we wielded CHROME DOME UMBRELLAS!
I am a powerful warrior, with my trusty umbrella at my side. Photo by Jan.
In all circumstances, our umbrellas provided us the protection we needed to safely traverse the Arizona Trail unharmed.  When deployed, the shiny, silver reflective properties of the umbrella and it’s unique-deflecting dome shape shielded us from harm.
No mountain lions would dare attack us when we had giant chrome dome sized heads.
I can safely take a rest break under the protection of my umbrella.  Plus my knees won't get sunburned.
When rolled up, the chrome dome umbrella turns into a magical sword that can slay any foe, animal or vegetable.
Fighting the fierce jumping cholla cactus. Photo by Jan.
Slashing my way through thick vegetation that fought back with vicious spines.
Water tanks would sometimes spray us with water when we ventured too close.  But we survived the attacks with our umbrellas.
I slept soundly knowing my trusty umbrella was within easy reach under my hammock.
If any situation got out of control, we knew we could always use the umbrella’s capacities for flight to escape just like Mary Poppins.
Just about ready to take off. Photo by Jan.
Our umbrellas were by far our most important gear items on the Arizona Trail.  We never would have made it through alive if it weren't for our chrome domes.

***Several alert readers have written to me and suggested that our success on the Arizona Trail was because the trail is actually quite safe, and our fears were overblown.  While this is a viable hypothesis, I still wouldn't recommend hiking the Arizona Trail without an umbrella.***

For more information

Umbrella rigging- how to rig your umbrella hands-free to your pack

Golite no longer sells umbrellas, but Gossamer Gear does here.

(Disclaimer- I am a Gossamer Gear Trail Ambassador.  But I bought this umbrella from Golite).


  1. Checked out your rigging tips from last year, aside from wearing a purple bra, gotta try it.
    Thanks :D

    1. Hope the rigging works for you! I used that method quite a bit on the PCT last year, but for the Arizona Trail we were hiking southbound with the sun in our faces, so the angle of the umbrella was all wrong the way it was rigged.

      Purple bra optional haha!

  2. Love it! :^) As you may know my umbrella was christened the M.P.M.L.D.S.* an acronym that sounds a lot like gargling with a mouth full of marbles and therefore I just called it "my umbrella", for short. Nonetheless, with your worthy contribution, the body of evidence is now growing as to the effectiveness of umbrellas as a major defensive device on the trail. Thanks for doing this vital research. -SlowBro
    *(Mary Poppins Mountain Lion Deterrent System)

    1. Awesome, SlowBro! I remember you describing the effectiveness of the umbrella as a Mountain Lion Deterrent on the PCT, and that served as important background research and inspired the present study. Clearly, more replication is needed, and we are hoping to secure more funding to examine the effectiveness of the umbrella on more trails and against more dangers in the near future.

  3. Umbrella LOVE! It not only provided us with shelter from the sun and rain, it provided shadows for photographing teeny tiny flowers, it was the best ever prop for photo sessions (just look at Joan as Mary Poppins), and most of all was how it got our creative juices flowing. We devised all kinds of multi-purpose uses for the umbrella; I especially liked our button activated poison dart solution to ward off any predator bold enough to challenge the umbrella!

  4. It will be good to use the reflective tape to make the fashion products.