Hola hikers! Warm greetings!
A quick question for you. Do you love rain or not, especially when you’re hiking?
Well, let me tell you, whether you are a pluviophile or not, rain definitely doesn’t need to keep you off your hiking trail.
Most hikers prefer a clear sunny day for going on a hiking trip.
But, believe me when I say:
A rainy day can be just as perfect as a clear sunny day for a hike – of course, a little damp and muddier, but who cares right?
Look at the bright side:
- You can have the trail all to yourself because most people don’t like to hike in the rain
- The vegetation is greener than on a normal day
- It is proven that Petrichor, i.e the smell of the rain, have a soothing effect on people’s state of mind
- Humidity keeps you fresh and clean
- And you burn more calories while hiking in the rain
So don’t postpone your hike just because of the rain, just be prepared for it and say BRING IT ON!
We have gathered 11 proven tips and tricks to make your hiking in the rain a successful one.
Here you go:
1. Choose the Right Trail
It is important to choose your hiking trail carefully. This is the first step to make your hike in the rain successful.
Pick the trail that isn’t too steep and doesn’t include much wetland. Make sure the trail falls well under your fitness level. If the trail is under the canopy of trees, it will considerably prevent you from getting soaked.
And finally, choose a trail with well-established checkpoints and the one which has possible a waterfall, river or other attraction along the way. These sights do not need clear weather and sky to be enjoyed.
2. Check the Weather
You might wonder how worse can it get than the rain while hiking. Right?
But what if I say a storm, hailstorm or a blizzard?
Now you’re thinking!
Light or moderate drizzle is okay, but heavy rainfall is definitely a hurdle for hiking. So it is always best to check the weather forecast before you start your hiking to make sure you are not walking into a storm or a downpour.
3. Carry a Backpack Cover
Needless to say, your backpack is your most valuable belonging while hiking. It contains all your essential assets like food, mobile phones, dry clothes, and other important documents. A fully waterproof backpack is a gem while hiking in the rain. But they are quite expensive and also eventually let some water seep inside.
Your best shot can be purchasing a waterproof cover for your backpack. They are cheap, handy, easy to carry and also safe against rain and wind. You don’t want your valuables to get wet, do you? And a wet backpack is even heavier than a dry one.
4. Waterproof Internally
Double precaution is always the best precaution. Even if you purchase an expensive waterproof bag or a waterproof backpack cover, there is always a small possibility of your bag’s internals getting wet.
I suggest that you first wrap your backpack stuff in a waterproof sheet or a plastic. Dry bags or Ziplock bags will be the best. And then keep it inside your backpack.
5. Carry a Water Bottle
Always carry a water bottle with you. Many misjudge the importance of drinking water while hiking in the rain. It may sound weird but drinking water in a rain hike is as important as it is on a clear sunny day.
There is a high humidity level in the environment during rainfall. This causes a significant urge to drink water but we tend to ignore it. It is very necessary to keep the body hydrated to keep it active. Take a sip of water every once in a while.
More importantly, it can be difficult to find pure water to drink in the rain. Better carry a flask with you before starting the hike.
6. Choose the Right Clothes
Choosing the right clothes is another important point for hiking in the rain. Regular clothes won’t help you in the trail when its raining. Check out the clothing tips to help you on your hike in the rain:
- DO NOT wear cotton
Cotton clothes are absolutely ineffective when it comes to hiking. This goes for your inner wears as well. The fabric absorbs the water and becomes heavy. Clothes of wool, nylon or polyester are the best suit for the rainy weather.
- Go with synthetic insulation in your jacket
The standard down jacket loses its insulation feature if it gets wet. Down jackets combined with synthetic insulation are your next best shot. They maintain the warmth and puffiness even when they get damp.
- Good waterproof jacket and pants
Choose high-quality wind and water resistant hiking jacket and pants. They should be comfortable and allow air flow. They help you keep warm and keep your underneath layers dry.
7. Hiking Boots
Rain makes the trail slippery and muddy. So your boots must have a sturdy sole to stand firmly on the terrain. Your rain hiking-boots must be waterproof and comfortable. I would recommend trying the shoes on the wet terrain before your actual hike. You will have an idea about how comfortable and steady your shoes are.
8. Hiking Socks and Gaiters
It is always best to carry an extra pair of socks whenever you go hiking. Wearing the same pair of socks for a long time will cause blisters and rashes on your feet. Plus the sweat from continuous walking will make your socks damp and your feet swell.
Always carry an extra pair of socks and change them every few miles or when it gets damp. For the rainy season, it is best to wear woolen socks to keep your feet warm.
Another best hiking companion is a gaiter. Don’t ignore them because they will come very handy and protect your socks and top of your footwear. They seal the gap between the boot and your pants keeping the rain out.
9. Carry Hiking Poles
No matter how grippy your shoes are, the trails are slippery and you risk tumbling on pits and muddy terrain. So it is better to be extra-cautious. Take trekking poles with you when hiking in the rain. They provide support in the slippery trail as well as help keep balance throughout.
10. Pack Some Snack
Hiking definitely burns up calories. Pack some snacks that you can eat on the go such as nuts, fruits, and chocolate bars. Don’t bring sandwiches or other food that can get soggy.
You wouldn’t want to take a break for your snack because let’s be real – Nobody really likes to stop in the rain. It will make you cold and finding a dry place can be a challenge. It is better you snack while you are moving. You are continuously in energy shortage with every step in hiking and snacking frequently helps to replenish your energy.
11. Medicines and Hot Drinks
Hiking in the rain can get you ill. Headache and cold are the most likely. It is best to carry some antipyretics such as ibuprofen and aspirin. You never know when you might need them.
Drink some hot water, tea or coffee at the end of the day. This will prevent sore throat, detoxify your body and soothe you in the cold rainy weather.
Hiking in the rain can be a great experience. Whether or not you are a rain lover, this adventure is sure to excite you. This can even be the best way to spend the weekend.
Follow the tips and tricks mentioned above and get ready to hit the trail in the rain.