Gear & Equipment

Cool Find: Handmade Fleece Ponchos for Chilly Desert Camping

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Down in the ol' grungy southwest U.S., you'd think we'd be more tuned into the upsides of the poncho for our winter kit. Especially for the kids. Ponchos are the warm garment of choice for native Andean folk and other pre-Hispanic cultures of Central and South America. But the poor things get misrepresented and misconstrued from the bad guys with straps of bullets around their chests in old Clint Eastwood flicks, to the late night infomercials extolling the virtues of the blanket with sleeves called the snuggie. Add to that, outdoors folk tend to hear the word poncho and think, "That's a plastic thing inside the pocket of my emergency kit I got for 99 cents in case it rains." It's no wonder we just don't see classier version of ponchos at all. That's about to change.

Last winter, we all took a trip out to the Sonoran Desert with our friends Craig and Victoria and their two little ones. Victoria surprised us by having crafted these bright and beautiful fleece ponchos for all the kids on the trip. I'm not sure I can relay how stoked I was to see this. First, because ponchos have no sleeves, they're easy to get onto your offspring's squirming little body. Second, they're cozy warm, if a little drafty, and still offer all kinds of mobility. Third (do I have to say it?), they sure do ramp up the cute factor. Victoria's creative mind has always impressed me, but she knocked a home run with her ponchos.

The question remains, where do you get one? Well, that's where things get sticky. The "Victoria Special" isn't available on demand unless you're interested in making your own. Which is obviously not difficult for those of us who grew up in the era of 7th grade 4th Period Home Economics.

But should you prefer to buy and support someone using their hands to make a buck and spread smiles:

Check out her selection:


Lia Keller
+4 / 0
# Lia Keller 2011-12-09 22:47
They look cozy!
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+3 / 0
# Jen 2011-12-13 10:59
Cozy and looks easier to put on a kid than a jacket!
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