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Create a modified Mexican poncho from a towel

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As every good Douglas Adams fan knows, a towel is a massively useful item. This Instructable is a way to make a towel more useful.

This project came about in thinking about hiking gear. I want to take a towel on extended hiking trips in case I find a place to go swimming but I also want the towel to function in other ways. Multi-purpose items are important when designing a light weight pack. If I can use the towel as a piece of clothing it may enable me to eliminate one item of clothing.

Unlike a regular Mexican poncho, the hole for your head has loops so it may be closed. I did this so the item can still be used like a regular towel.

Another difference from a regular Mexican poncho is I do not have tassels hanging from the bottom. I think the tassels are there to wick water off the bottom of the poncho. They make no sense on a poncho towel. This type of poncho would not be effective for rain since a towel is designed to absorb water.

With the material eyelets I added to the outside of the towel I will be able to attach the towel to my sleeping setup (future Instructable hopefully) and use it as a blanket. The eyelets also enable me to hang the towel on a ridge line or attach it to the back of my pack to dry without using cloths pins. Having the eyelets on the towel enable the sides of the poncho to be closed, effectively making the towel into a short sleeve shirt. This could be worn under a sweatshirt to create an extra layer of warmth. If it's a towel that looks like mine you could wear it outside and run around the woods looking like Robin Hood! 

This project references two previous Instructables.
1: Reinforced fabric hole - http://www.instructables.com/id/Reinforced-fabric-hole-Old-style-button-hole-or-ey/
2: Quick loop from twill tape - http://www.instructables.com/id/Quick-loop-from-twill-tape/
 
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wazzup10510 months ago
Nice. I made a rudimentary version of this using a small and light fleece blanket, but this sure takes it to the next level. I may need to go back to my version and add some eyelets. (basically I just cut the neck-slit and reinforced the edge of the slit a bit to prevent tearing)
Todd Gehris (author)  wazzup10510 months ago
I'd like to see some picture of how you tie up the fleece when you complete it. I am working on a layered sleep system that uses a sheet, fleece and sleeping bag. Haven't quite figured out how I want to set up the fleece though. I also like a pillow when I sleep so I'm modifying some pillow cases. They'll have cinch straps, a way to use them as a back pack, and I want to see if I can use them as sleeves to attach to this poncho. Might be a bit of work to tie together but it would be worth it if the temperature drops.
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