A while ago my friend Rachel introduced me to her family's company, Poler, and I have been a fan ever since. Poler makes what they call "camping stuff" as well as shirts, hoodies and hats. Of particular interest to me was a product called the "Magic Tarp-It" (great name!).
|The Magic Tarp-It|
Basically, the Magic Tarp-It it is a tarp lined with Mylar (the same material as those shiny silver emergency blankets) that also had a hood and a place to put your hands. Since we are now into cold water swimming season, I had to order one to try out!
|"The World's Highest Standard of Stuff"|
|All folded up.|
I took my Magic Tarp-It out to Bountiful Lake for our weekly Wasatch Front Polar Bear Club swim. The water was 48.5 degrees and, with the incoming storm, it was windy outside. I tucked the Tarp-It under my towel at the exit point and headed to the dock where we jumped in. After 200 yards of chilling swimming, I got our and wrapped myself in my towel and then the Magic Tarp-It.
|Warming up with the Magic Tarp-It after a 48.5 degree swim.|
I was thankful for the hood and the hand "pouches". The hood kept my head protected from the wind and the hand "pouches" made it easy to keep it wrapped around my body. One thing that I was really impressed with was the Tarp-It's ability to block the wind. We all know about the "wind chill factor" and just being able to block the wind kept me warmer. The Tarp-It does not provide insulation from the cold like a blanket does, but the Mylar lining reflects nearly all heat back to the body. After a while, I was feeling pretty good and didn't start shaking until after I took the Tarp-It off and put my hoodie on.