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Customer Project: Mark 5* Cape

by Louis O'Connor

  • Condensation inside a waterproof garment can be reduced by using two thin layers with an air-gap in between. Making a rectangular cape in this way also allows it to be used as a groundsheet, a bivvy bag and a basha (tarp shelter). As a bivvy bag, closing the edges with press studs (snaps) allows sufficient ventilation to minimise condensation inside.
    Dimensionally, this cape was originally based on the British pre-World War One Mark 4 and 5 groundsheets (6'6" x 3'3") that were issued to cyclists, so a cycling cape is another potential use for it. At 6'1", I enlarged this one by about 10% (appr. 2200x1100mm) to fit me better.
    Top tip if using as a cape: tuck the ends dangling down up into your belt or trousers at the front to stop the cape slowly rotating as you walk.