10 Smart Tips For Hiking in The Rain
I know checking the weather is part of the routine when you're planning a hike, but sometimes we just have to face the rain. For instance, areas that are close to large bodies of water have a higher chance of getting rain than sectors that don't. There’s more to it than I can explain, but it's all part of nature and science.
Fortunately, because of this knowledge, we can prepare ourselves better for a hike. Some hiking trails may experience rain, but that doesn’t have to stop us from going to it. Just be sure you have the right stuff to you to keep you safe and dry. Follow these tips on your next rainy day hike.
#1 Choose Your Trail
First off, you need to choose your trail. You can base this on the weather, or you can base it on what you like. If you base it on the weather, ask yourself if it’s worth going to when it’s raining. Some trails, like the ones that offer a view at the summit, might not be worth it in the rain if it will just cover it. On the other hand, riverside, lakeside, rainforest, and waterfall trails may be spectacular in the rain. Of course, run it by the safety regulations of the area, if there are.
If you base your choice on what you like, then you’ll just need to find out if it is an area that gets a lot of rain. It’s important to know where you are going so you can prepare better. Be mindful of the access roads and road conditions during and after rain.
#2 Have The Right Stuff On
Have you heard of the saying “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing?” Well, it’s mostly correct. Once you’ve chosen your trail or the weather, then you can plan on what you’ll need. First off, you should have the right stuff to you.
Are hiking boots necessary? Will hiking sandals do? Will you need to wear extra layers? If you know that area is likely to have rain, then you should obviously have at least a rain jacket with you. If you’re carrying a backpack, make sure it has a rain cover, so your things are protected. Here are other considerations:
- For shoes, keep in mind that mesh drains and dries the quickest, waterproof liners take long to dry when they get wet, and leather dries slowly.
- Some choose to collect a lot of mud in their soles.
- Billed caps to help keep water out your face and eyes.
#3 Waterproof Your Stuff
Sure, a rain cover helps, but you might want to waterproof what’s inside as well. Wet sensitive stuff should be in dry sacks or zip locks. If you can or want to, you can get a fully waterproof backpack. They won't be cheap, but it's less hassle than having to take out a rain cover, which sometimes comes off. They're also efficient. Keep in mind that if your backpack gets wet, it will become heavier.
If you’re camping, you’re going to regret not waterproofing your stuff. Can you imagine yourself sleeping in wet clothes and a wet sleeping bag?
#4 Avoid Frequent Opening Of Backpacks
If you need to get something from your backpack, at least try to find cover so that rain won't get in. Every time you take the cover off and open your bag, you're allowing rain to get in. That's why tip number 3 is important – waterproof your stuff
#5 Bring Extra Plastic Bags.
If for some reason, you’ll need to change into dry clothes, you can keep the dirty stuff in the plastic bag. It just keeps your pack clean and organized.
#6 Bring The Right Snacks
A pack of potato chips might sound good, but imagine eating that in the rain. You’ll be taking your hand (which will most likely be wet), in and out of the bag. That will probably just make the chips soggy and gross. Even a sandwich can seem gross in the rain (if you’re not careful when eating, it’ll get wet). For rainy day hikes, it’s best to bring food that’s easy and on-the-go like granola bars and trail mix.
Hydration is important for whatever weather you’re hiking in. Camelback is ideal so you can drink on-the-go and avoid frequent reaching in or on the side of your bag for a bottle. If you don’t have a camelback, try to have your bottle within reach so you can apply tip number 4. You can hook it onto your backpack, but it might get annoying if it’s just hanging and swinging around.
#8 Bring a Hiking Pole
Hiking poles can help you get a better grip on the ground, during or after rain. If you are not using them, you can attach them to your bag, so your hands are free.
#9 Mind Your Step
This is basic, but it’s even more important to follow especially during rain and after rain. The ground may be too soft, too loose, or too unstable. You should keep an eye out for landslides and floods.
#10 Care For Your Feet.
Hiking in the rain increases your chances of getting blisters. No matter how hard you try, your feet are still going to get wet when you hike in the rain. If the trip is long, trail runners might be better than boots just because they're comfortable. Boots are still going to get, but they're also hard and less comfortable. So, a comfy and breathable pair lowers the risk of blisters.
Hiking in the rain doesn’t have to be a horrible experience. You just have to be wise in your picking your trail, your clothing and footwear, backpack, and food. Follow these tips for better chances of enjoying your hike and for better safety as well. I hope you’ll love your rainy day hike!
Have you hiked in the rain before? We’d love to hear about your experience! Share your personal tips and stories in the comment section below.
Louise is the founder of TheAdventureLand.com, where she and her associate’s blog about Outdoor experiences, tips & tricks that will help you have an exciting adventure. She is also a tour guide of travel company where she learned many things about wilderness. “Let’s pack our bags and explore the world!”. Follow me on Twitter and on Google+