Pocket Blanket Review:
Why Carry One?
by Diane Spicer
This Pike Trail pocket blanket review gives you all the details you need to size up whether or not you should carry one in your backpack.
- Size being one of its most important benefits!
Let's start with the disclosures.
Disclosures in this
Pike Trail pocket blanket review
Disclosure of Material Connection: Hiking For Her received a Pike Trail pocket blanket for free
from Pike Trail in consideration for a gear review.
Hiking For Her provided the photos and opinions in this Pike Trail pocket blanket review, but is not an affiliate for the company.
If you purchase a blanket through this link, HFH will receive a small amount of your purchase price without costing you anything extra.
Every review on the HFH website is written with you, the end user of the hiking gear, in mind.
- Good stuff, bad stuff and trail tips are shared with you with no regard for how the item landed in the Hiking For Her gear locker.
- Because HFH's mission is to put only the gear that works in your backpack!
Let's start off this Pike Trail pocket blanket review with a few words about this company.
The name and the mission
Hiking For Her is a big fan of innovative outdoor gear that springs organically from a genuine need.
And keeping your gear (and backside) dry and clean when surrounded by trail debris is right up there on your to-do list as a hiker.
Josh Hendershott decided to launch his Pike Trail company with a blanket:
- small enough to be carried easily,
- light enough to go unnoticed among other gear,
- yet sturdy enough to get multiple jobs done on a hiking trip.
The name Pike Trail grew organically out of his efforts to build a trail to access the Missouri River from the land he lives on with his family.
- One of the best things I get to mention in this Pike Trail pocket blanket review is that If you purchase this blanket, you're supporting a small USA business.
So what exactly is a Pike Trail
Are you pulling my leg?
The name should let the cat out of the bag (or backpack):
- It's an outdoor blanket compact enough to fit into your rain jacket's pocket.
Well, sort of.
There's more to it than that, as these specifications will show.
Pike Trail pocket blanket specs
- Reinforced waterproof featherlight ripstop nylon
- Expands to 56”x 60”, yet folds down to fit into its small carrying case (see photo above)
- Handy carabiner on case, to clip onto your backpack, water bottle, or a handy tree limb
- Four corner sand (or rock) pockets as anchorage points
- Stake loops for campsite hanging or windy conditions
The blanket is available in two colors:
- Trail appropriate gray, seen in this Pike Trail pocket blanket review
- A pretty shade of blue perfect for bluebird hiking weather or beach trips
Important user note:
Folding this blanket up again and getting it back into the carrying case was much easier than expected.
How big is it, really?
Hiking For Her unfolded it and doubled it back on itself (use the leaves on the ground in this photo for size comparison).
- Use it this way when you're solo hiking and taking a lunch break on wet ground.
- Or unfold the blanket completely to accommodate your trail buddy and both of your packs.
Then the blanket was opened up to its full dimensions.
A 24 liter day pack was tossed onto
it, to give you an idea of how you can use this blanket as a rain fly
for gear you want to shield from moisture while you huddle under a nearby cedar tree.
Cold weather hiking tip
Use this set up, and then sit on your pack, to give yourself lots of insulation during trail breaks.
- Why lose precious body heat when you don't need to?
How durable will this blanket be?
That depends on how hard you push it.
Ripstop nylon has a reputation for being tough.
But because this blanket is thin on purpose to save weight and bulk, you can't expect miracles.
- As with any hiking gear, there are limitations on how much abuse a blanket like this one can take without being pushed into failure mode.
- It's not marketed as a tarp (which IMHO would be thicker, less pliable, and certainly would not fit into a pocket.
A few handling tips in this
Pike Trail pocket blanket review
- Keep it away from your camp fire or stove. Sparks and warm surfaces melt nylon faster than an eye blink.
- Don't toss sharp rocks, an open multi tool, or knife blade onto the blanket.
- Month after month of exposure to direct sunlight (damaging UV rays) will shorten the lifespan of the blanket, so store it in its case.
you fold up the blanket when it's wet and gritty, don't expect it to be
odor free and un-mildewed (is that even a word?) the next time you use
- Hiking with a dog and it's been awhile since you clipped her nails? In my opinion, this blanket can withstand a few sharp claws.
- Follow up qualifying statement: Don't use this blanket as a bear repellent device.
Consider the versatility
of this blanket
This "pocket" size blanket would not fit into a woman's hiking jacket pocket, unless the jacket had some pretty huge pockets.
So I'd consider this a backpack pocket blanket.
- Keep it in an outside pocket and grab it during wet weather.
- The case included with the blanket is all the weatherproofing you need. One less plastic bag in the world, hurrah!
For its modest price point (around $20 U.S. at the time of this writing), you can get a lot of mileage out of this blanket.
- Doubles as a ground cover if you're cowboy camping or using a bivy sack.
- Use it as a tent footprint if you leave yours behind.
- Hang it over your backcountry kitchen when you're blessed with the right tree limbs overhead.
- Wrap up your backpack overnight when you're using your one person ultralight backpacking tent.
- Provide a dry, comfortable surface for beginner hikers just getting used to the reality of wet butts on a rainy hike.
- Use it as a baby changing or toddler napping surface.
- Protect a windy camp kitchen with the windproof material.
- Drape it over a boulder and spread out your hiking socks to dry on a zero day.
And don't overlook off trail uses for all the times you need to stay warm and dry, like sports events and music festivals.
Hiking For Her's weatherproofing strategies make good use of space blankets, either the thin mylar ones as part of an emergency/survival kit, or thicker versions for all of the uses listed above.
But this little blanket has earned a place in an outer pocket in the day pack, starting today.
- Waterproof and a generous size for its modest folded footprint
- Multiple uses
- And it's much quieter than a space blanket, if that matters to you.
If there are any durability issues that arise after using it a few seasons, they will be reported here.
Do you have questions
after reading this Pike Trail
pocket blanket review?
Or have I done such a stellar job of explaining how many ways you can use this blanket on the trail that you're all set?
There's always something I overlook or forget to mention in my gear reviews, so send your questions my way.
Or hop over here for some hiking gear repair tips.
- You know, just in case you ignore my bear advice ;)
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Pike Trail Pocket Blanket Review
About the author
Diane is the founder of Hiking For Her.
She's been on a hiking trail somewhere in the world for 5+ decades & loves to share her best hiking tips right here.
Hiking For Her: Hiking tips you can trust!
This article was printed from Hiking-For-Her.com