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I've been mulling the purchase of a trekking umbrella, not so much for protection from the rain,* but from the sun. One thing (beside the cost) holding me back is the thought of all the odd looks I'll get. On my bike ride last weekend I wore a wide-brimmed hat instead of a helmet, and a passing rider nearly crashed from the impropriety of it. "'Tain't right," I heard him thinking. Imagine the suffering of passersby unused to seeing a grown man carrying an umbrella in the sun; why, I'd be a proper Hanway. (I'd almost certainly fare better on remoter trails. True trekkers get it - umbrellas are not uncommon on the PCT, for example.)
The second point in an umbrella's favor is its potential utility in unwanted encounters with strays. Not sure where I read it (Lassie, maybe), but there was a scene in a novel where a couple dogs got into a squabble "until the umbrellas came out." So, not a new idea, but in that use-case a handheld (or otherwise easily accessible) umbrella might be better than a hands-free trekker. I mean, a charging dog can run fifty yards in less than three seconds. A quick-release mechanism might be helpful.
So, yeah, I dunno. I mean, sometimes I march to my own drummer - heck, I practically pioneered the wearing of wide-brimmed hats in our neighborhood (more typical around here are ball caps with the brims turned backwards, sigh) - but it can get wearying. On the other hand, I have a powerful motivator in the form of a few dermatologist-disapproved spots. Sometimes getting older makes it easier to stop caring what other people think. Especially when they're wrong.
*When we lived in the Pacific Northwest nobody used umbrellas. Everyone up there had good rain gear instead. Similarly, I have it on good authority that umbrellas are not common in rainy Iceland. Too windy. That's a problem here, too - it doesn't rain often, but when it does, it comes down sideways.