Home > Gear, s24o, ultralight bicycle touring > Sleeping Under a Poncho

Sleeping Under a Poncho

Although not something I care to do anymore, sleeping under a poncho is one of the lightest tent alternatives.  Ultralight poncho/shelters made from silicone impregnated ripstop nylon weigh just eight ounces.  Add three light weight tent stakes and a small length of paracord and it’s still a feather-weight sleeping solution.  Nice accessories to this setup are a small ground cloth and mosquito netting.  Poncho/shelters are available at Campmor for about $45.00.

Drawbacks are a lack of privacy and little protection from heavy windy downpours. Also, from time to time, things will slither in there with you.  Try to avoid screaming or swatting at them till you are sure what they are.   Here are a couple of pictures of my poncho/shelter on a hike in the Smokies a few years ago. Click to enlarge.


  1. February 7, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    Ah! Now I understand better why you have that tarp over your office chair and desk – a little afternoon siesta… 🙂

    – Zeke

  2. The Velo Hobo
    February 7, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    yep, for when I need a little ‘me’ time.

  3. arlen
    February 9, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    poncho`s are for when you were in your teens and twenties….
    did it bought the tee shirt…was there had my picture taken with yogi…

  4. The Velo Hobo
    February 9, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    It’s ‘roughing it’, although many thru-hikers and bike-packers do it. I first began doing it after reading an article about Earl Shaffer (thought to be the first thru-hiker on the AT) hiking the AT in his eighties. He called it a burrito, if it starts to rain you just roll up in it.

    I’m like you though…I’m over it. I want just a little bit more comfort.


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