Tips on hiking through extended wet weather

By Stef Zisovska
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Tips on hiking through extended wet weather

Stef Zisovska
 
 
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You finally have a weekend off, and you can’t wait to pack your things and head off for an exciting trip out of the city. Whether you’re planning a beach hiking excursion or an overnight mountain adventure, don’t let the wet ground get you down. If you’re good at keeping your things and yourself dry, hiking through constant rain can be quite fun. Don’t let the rain spoil your plans for an active outdoor weekend and trap you inside the house. All you need to do is to prepare according to the weather conditions. If you never try it, you won’t know if you like it or not. Maybe a wet trail hike will turn out to be your new favorite activity.

Layer with your rain gear in mind

Long-sleeve shirts and base tights are the best thing to have underneath a hardshell jacket. You want to separate your skin from the rain jacket and allow it to breathe. If you’re going on a shorter hike, then skip the hiking pants and wear only tights and hardshell.

Look for a hardshell jacket and vent pants

 

A waterproof breathable (hardshell) jacket
A waterproof breathable (hardshell) jacket

If you’re planning a long trip where you expect a lot of rain, then you need good protection. A hardshell jacket will protect your upper body from getting wet, and the vent pants will make sure your skin stays dry and can breathe. When the clothes are wet the ventilation is less, so good quality clothing for wet weather is crucial.

Wear synthetic, not cotton

Cotton clothes are perfect for hot weather, they let the body breathe and absorb the sweat. For extreme wet weather, you need to have synthetic layers of clothing that will keep the warmth inside, even when the humidity sets in. A mid-layer fleece is recommendable for those who are planning to stay a little bit longer on the trail.

Waterproof your backpack 

It’s obviously a good thing to keep sensitive items in plastic bags of some type. You can use ziplock or garbage bags. Even when you think everything is safe inside, it’s a good idea to protect the backpack. A waterproof one is the best option if you can afford it. If not, buy a waterproof pack over. The results will be the same, and all your belongings will stay safe and dry until the next stop.

Without a waterproof backpack or cover your kit will soon get soaked through in a rainstorm
Without a waterproof backpack or cover your kit will soon get soaked through in a rainstorm

Don’t open your pack too often

Avoid taking off the cover while you’re in the open. Opening your backpack even for few second will let the rain get in and it’ll stay there for the rest of the trip. Keep all the necessary snacks and tools in the outside pockets of the backpack.

Keep your map in a transparent plastic bag

Paper map + water means disaster! There are lots of waterproof maps on the market, but if yours is a paper one, make sure you keep it in a plastic bag. It will help you stay on the trail and not get lost, especially if you’re hiking in a new area.

The world is beautiful even in the rain
The world is beautiful even in the rain

 Waterproof trekking boots

A number one must for any wet weather hiking is, of course, waterproof trekking boots. Wet feet won’t take you too far on the trail. Plus, you’ll be cold and annoyed throughout the whole trip.

Prevent blisters

Wet socks are a perfect home for blisters and fungal infections. Sounds fun, right? Of course not! Put a protecting balm on your feet and that will keep the natural oils active. Use balms from brands such as Bonnie’s Balm, Joshua Tree or Hike Goo. Don’t wear boots that are too hard and do your best to buy waterproof ones to avoid all these problems.

Stay dry and good luck on your next rainy, fall hiking trip!

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