You’ve chosen to go on a hiking trip that will have you away for a few days. Inevitably you will run into that day that is just downright stormy.
It doesn’t have to be so bad if you can stay dry. You can still have a great time if you take some measures to make those gray days fun.
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Hiking in the Rain
Here are eight ideas for hiking in the rain:
Long sleeve shirts with mid-weight pants are a simple and comfortable way to go. They offer the least impairment of movement because they are a single layer underneath hard shells.
You want your skin fully covered with a great deal of comfort, while keeping your jacket off your skin. If you are embarking on a short trip, you could choose tights and hard shells vs. hiking pants.
Hard Shell Jackets
Hard shell jackets are waterproof and usually windproof. Their function is to keep you dry during those rainy hikes. These jackets are connected with the layering system you have underneath.
If hiking in the rain and you are wearing too many warm layers you will probably get wet under the shell due to your own perspiration, in which case you want your jacket to have pit zips for ventilation.
But all in all, hard shell jackets are the most versatile in weather conditions. Pants with vents serve in the same way as jackets with zip pits. This combo will make your day a great deal more comfortable.
Synthetic Vs Down
If you are hiking in dryer climates, down is just fine. If, on the other hand, you are in a damp climate, synthetic insulation like fleece is a better choice. They will keep their warmth and puffiness even when wet sets in.
Obviously you can use garbage bags or zip-locks to protect your gear, but what about your actual pack.
A fully waterproof backpack is without doubt the best option. Unfortunately, they are very expensive, so you might want to settle for a pack cover which is not totally hassle free but will work.
Keep in mind, an extremely soaked backpack is going to weigh a great deal more.
You want to keep various items out of the harm from wet. The top of that list should be your map. Unless you have a waterproof map, grab that Ziploc bag and keep your maps safe.
Open your pack as rarely as needed. Every time you open your pack, your waterproof cover is being removed and the moisture is getting into the backpack.
That moisture is probably going to stay with you for a long time. Snacks and small items should be stowed in your pockets.
Inevitably your feet are going to get wet even with the best boots on the market. Wet feet and wet socks are just miserable!
Go with trail runners, they are more breathable than boots and softer. They will lessen the potential of blistering that will arise with stiff leather boots.
Alternatively, for the more difficult hikes with rough terrain, a pair of hiking boots with waterproof gaiters might be a more practical option.
Without the proper footwear to keep the feet dry and comfortable there is a greater chance of blisters developing.
Try to avoid rubbing natural oils from the skin (usually by wet socks). To help maintain the condition of the skin, use salves or balms to reapply these oils.