Making a Lightweight Army Poncho Liner Under Quilt for Hammock

I an not a “gear head.” You won’t hear me at a shelter singing my own praises of how I purchased, or made the best gear. Nor will you hear me bragging about building an alcohol stove from a beer can for $1.48. But when I do come up with an idea that works for me, why not share it, if it can help someone else on the trail.

On a recent section hike in PA, I realized that 55 degrees in a hammock can be quite chilly. Your underside, when the sleeping bag is compressed gets quite cold, while my Kelty Cosmic Down 40 had me sweating on top. Not a comfortable sleep.

I do own the ENO Blaze Down Under Quilt, but it’s too warm once you get into the fifties. So I decided to rig a military poncho liner as a lightweight underquilt.

A military poncho liner is a lightweight synthetic-fill blanket, and can be found online, or at any surplus store for about $30.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………….Poncho liner

The only other supplies needed are 20+ ft. of 1/8 shock cord (.20 a foot at REI),  and two light carabiners.

It measures 86” x 64”, and the laces around the border are for tying the liner to the poncho holes.

The border is folded over nylon, so by cutting a small slit, it’s easy to slide the shock cord through the length of the poncho liner.

poncho liner 011

Halfway across the length there is a lace, which slits on each side must be cut to run the shock cord past.

ponch liner 001

Once the cord, still in one piece, has been slid through both sides of the liner, just tie a knot at one end, and attach a carabiner to each end.

To prevent the liner from sliding down the shock cord, simply tie the laces tight to the shock cord.

liner tie

Here’s the liner in action in Shenandoah National Park, Pass Mountain Hut area:

Poncho lier on


One comment

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