Improve your inexpensive rain gear

You really don’t want a floppy rain poncho on our camping trips. Rain gets blown in and the water drips down the poncho, soaking your legs.

two people wearing Yosemite logo rain ponchos

If you are on a budget you could buy a set of construction workers hooded rain jacket and pants at a hardware store for one of our trips for $29 to $46. They have the advantage of being made of heavy duty material that can last for years.

Yes, they might be be bright yellow, but then we can find you in a whiteout on a winter trip more easily.

three people at a railing in bright yellow rain jackets and pants

You should buy them a bit big so you can wear them on snow camp trips with all your layers of fleece, jackets, sweaters, etc. underneath. This means that the pants will probably be a bit long. If you can sew, you can hem the pants legs and use the material you cut off to greatly improve your gear and make it function more like the expensive sets.

Better rain jackets and pants have adjustable Velcro closures at the cuffs.
cuff tightener tab (open):

When the cuff is opened up to its widest, the tabs look like this:

partially closed:

When you pull the tabs in to tighten up the cuff opening, they look like this:

cuff tightener tab (closed):

Use the cut-off strips you removed when you hemmed the pants to sew four rectangular closure tabs. Make the tabs a bit wider and longer than the Velcro you intend to use.

Sew a strip of the ‘pile’ (soft side of the Velcro) to the jacket and pants cuffs. Sew the corresponding ‘hook’ Velcro to the underside of the tab. Why do it this way? The pile side does not catch on things, but the hook side does. If it is exposed constantly on the cuffs everything will catch on it. By putting the hook piece on the underside of the tab it is always caught to the soft piece, either partially when the cuffs are wide open, or completely when you pull on the tab and place it on the cuff to fully tighten it.

When you sew one end of the tab onto the cuff, put it in a position so that the end of its hook Velcro attaches to the pile Velcro on the cuff by at least an inch. Be sure to sew it on in a position with the cuff fully open. Baste it at first and experiment opening and closing.

Snow or rain camp must-haves has more ideas for camping gear.



(Links to all De Anza Outdoor Club Coming Attractions are here.)