By: Steven Schantz

Everyone remembers Linus Van Pelt from the Charles Schultz comic-strip Charlie Brown.  We all remember that Linus is Lucy’s little brother, but what we remember most about Linus is his attachment to his security blanket.  Linus loved his blanket and utilized it for almost everything imaginable.  Moving outside the context of a comic-strip, we now focus on the United States Marine Corps and all the rough and tough “devil-dog” warriors that make up our beloved Corps. The Marines make some of the toughest and hardest SOB’s the U.S. Military has to offer. However, just as Linus from Charlie Brown, even the Marines need a security blanket and that security blanket has and will continue to be the U.S. Military issued poncho liner, affectionately dubbed by most Marines, the “woobie”.

Poncho Liners were originally designed for use under ponchos and were to serve as a lightweight sleeping system for use in mild temperatures.  The poncho liner is constructed using 100% polyester insulation with a 100% nylon outer shell and is made from non-allergenic materials.  The poncho liner measures 68” x 82” and weighs in at a slender 1.3 lbs.  The liner features a woodland camouflage or plain green pattern and includes ties on the outer edge of the liner.  Most modern-day war fighters in today’s military have utilized or own poncho liners and the liner is often the first thing that a soldier packs when going into the field or deploying almost anywhere.  The poncho liner is lightweight, easily packed  and moderately warm.

Even after my separation from active duty in the Marines, I sought out and purchased several poncho liners for my personal use.  I have three liners at my cabin for use by me and my guests.  One of the traditions I started in our family was giving my seven-year-old a “woobie” as her security blanker from the time she was an infant.  I find the poncho liner provides warmth for those cold nights, but can actually be used to keep cool on hotter nights.

The “woobie” does not have any real drawbacks except that some of the stitching can come undone and sometimes gets snagged. Also, since poncho liners have a nylon outer shell, they can often slide off a bed at night if you do not utilize the provided ties.

A poncho liner can provide a versatile, lightweight, and warm sleeping system for use on chilly nights.  I would recommend that every household have a least one, if not more.  I will guarantee that once you have a poncho liner in your house, you and the rest of your family members will fight over who gets to use it.  Every Marine I have ever known loves their “woobie”. You will too.