by Christopher Wood
Cover Items are an important part of any outing. Cover is your first line of defense from the elements. The first part of what I call a cover system is the clothing on your back. I always plan on rain and cooler than normal temps. I carry either a jacket or a poncho when ever I go out. If you don't feel like adding them to your pack Just add a large thick garbage bag that you can use for a poncho, ground cloth, tarp, or a sleeping pad when stuffed with leaves. The second part of the cover system would be over head cover. For overhead cover I use the pathfinder tarp/poncho most of the time, but I also carry an orange emergency all weather blanket. When I want to keep a lower key approach I use a green all weather blanket. Other tarps are fine but No matter what you use I would put a roll of gorilla tape in the bag for repairs. The last part of the cover system would be the sleep system. I use an oilskin bed roll and wool blanket most of the time. I find the oilskin keeps the wool blanket nice and dry. Hammocks are a good choice for a great night sleep but you need to know how to use them. If you sleep on the ground you need to use something between it and you. Remember you are working with convection, radiation, and conduction.