I once hiked with a parasol. Yes, a parasol! It was in the middle of summer, the temperature was in the high thirties and I was on an urban hike from Templestowe to Melbourne along the Yarra River where so much of the path was exposed to direct sun, the parasol was my only shade. It is also the only time I’ve ever bailed on a hike. There were four of us hiking. We reached South Yarra near Chapel Street and I don’t remember who called it first, but someone suggested grabbing a taxi back to the car in Port Melbourne and we all shouted “Yes!” As it turned out, we were all hot and miserable but no one wanted to be the first to instigate quitting.
So I’ve been seeing a hiking umbrella repeatedly advertised in my Great Walks magazine and it got me thinking about getting past the dagginess of taking an umbrella hiking and seeing the benefits of one:
- Less sun and UV rays and the chance of getting sunburn
- Cooler than being in direct sun
- Stay dry (or drier) in the rain
- Maybe double as a hiking pole if it’s strong enough
- Keeping your hand up, like when holding a drink bottle, helps prevent hiker’s fat fingers
- Gives you somewhere to hide behind if you’re a girl and need to pee but there’s not much shelter.
I’m going to get over the ‘dag factor’ and put something like the Helinox Trekking Umbrella on my wishlist and make hiking with an umbrella something all the cool kids will want to do!