El Mac wrote:
I'm curious. Why?
The GI poncho is a very versatile piece of gear. Besides being used as rain gear, it can be used as a tarp, as a bivy sack, as an improvised litter, as a water collection device, etc. It's almost as versatile as 550 cord... almost.
As a piece of rain gear, there are some conditions where ponchos are favorable to jackets and pants IMHO:
1. Hot forest environments. Jackets and pants get really hot when it's 80+ and humid. A poncho, on the other hand, can be left open on the sides to allow for ventalation.
2. When you're wearing a lot of kit and/or dealing with intermittant rain. Ponchos can be thrown on quickly over the other gear you may be wearing, such as a chest rig and/or backpack. This is particular advantageous for intermitent rains that come on quicly and then disappear just as fast. It also means that your other kit stays protected from the elements by the poncho.
Where a poncho falls short is in cold windy environments, and when you're doing something that involves more body movement like climbing. If you're venturing into alpine country, you may want to leave the poncho at home and carry a modern shell jacket and pants.