Nothing beats the thrill of the many first time experiences I’ve had when I began hiking. From my first hike down to hilarious minor falls, every hike I prepared for was always fun and has me looking forward to more. When I decided to try hiking in the rain, however, that was a whole different story.
I was a bit hesitant at first, but once I conquered it, there was something about the slightly cold air and the adventure of hiking wet that made me want more! Needless to say, I enjoyed and want to share you my top nine tips for hiking in the rain if you plan to do so, too. So read on for some helpful tips to get you started!
- 1 Nine Awesome Tips For Hiking In the Rain
- 2 Wrapping It Up
Nine Awesome Tips For Hiking In the Rain
There are so many benefits when it comes to hiking in the rain. Not only is it cooler air, but it makes the hike even more intense and fun, perfect to train my body to the max! However, I’m aware that it can be dangerous if not done properly.
So whether you’re a pro-hiker or beginner and plan to hike o a day predicted to have a gray forecast, here are my top nine tips to follow:
1. Waterproofing Your Pack
Before preparing for your gear, you have to make sure that all your items, especially your backpack, is waterproofed. This will ensure that nothing will get wet inside and out. That’s why I highly recommend that you use a weatherproof backpack and place important items like maps and phones inside weatherproof packs.
After that, case all your small packs with a waterproof pack liner and an external pack cover if the rains get heavy. You can use a garbage bag to substitute the pack cover, which is best and cheaper for shorter trips. While this may seem like too much, extra protection is better than dealing with wet stuff!
2. Prepare the Right Rain Gear
I highly recommend that you invest and search for the right rain gear according to your reasonable budget. Avoid scrimping on low-quality items, but you won’t need the most expensive ones as well. Focus on rain gear which comes at reasonable costs with all the complete features, such as sealing systems, high-quality and breathable material, as well as protection from the rain and wet trails.
Remember, rain gear like jackets, pants, bags, and even shoes should be lightweight, waterproof, and breathable to keep you comfortable during your rainy hike. Once you have your rain gear prepared, you’ll know what to wear what else to prepare.
3. Wear the Right Clothes and Shoes
Besides your outer layer rain gear, the clothes you wear underneath jackets and rain pants are just as important. Make sure that your outfit includes:
- A base layer that’s breathable and easy to move around with
- Fleece to insulate your body to protect you from the cold and wet weather
- A waterproof jacket like I mentioned above
You don’t need to completely follow these layers, but to focus on dressing for the temperature too. If it’s a hot and rainy day, I would skip the fleece. If it will be particularly colder, you can add another layer for it.
As for your shoes, make sure that your shoes have the better traction to grip when hiking on wet trails. I highly recommend hiking boots with rubber, solid soles for its strength and waterproof abilities. Furthermore, use socks that keep your feet snug and warm, having anti-blistering technology to prevent soreness from stopping your hike.
4. Choose Your Trail Wisely
I highly recommend that if you choose to hike during the rains, you don’t go for extremely intense hikes that may pose danger. While it’s fun to be adventurous, know your limits and avoid difficult to climb trails which may lead to injuries. If ever some trails have slippery sections, creeks, or is known to be prone to flooding, save that trial for a drier day.
Instead, opt for “easier” hikes that enable you and the entire group to hike safely and without issues. If ever you’re already midway to a hike on a rainy day and see obstacles, plan ahead before going into it immediately.
5. What Food Will You Bring?
When hiking during the rain, especially during the cold weather, can definitely zap your energy out and have you feel so tired! Because of that, you need a lot of high-calorie meals and snacks that can be eaten without having to cook it.
While hot meals seem delicious, they’re a luxury as it’s tougher cooking under the rain than during dry weather. And do NOT try cooking in your tent!
I highly recommend that you have high-calorie snacks as you hike, such chocolates and nuts, to give you a lot of energy. Canned food and other packaged, ready-to-eat meals are best to pack as well. And don’t forget a lot of water!
6. The Shelter You’ll Use
Are you planning on staying for long or need temporary shelter while you’re resting or at the peak? When purchasing a shelter for day hikes or long excursions, make sure that you have one that’s easy to set up during the rainy days. It should be hassle-free to assemble, taking only a few minutes without the risk of wetting the inside of your shelter!
With that being said, I highly recommend that you invest in a lightweight three-season tent that has waterproof floors. If you want assurance of no wet floors, get a footprint and tarp, especially if the rain seems to be exceptionally bad.
However, this is my personal preference! Some may want a hammock, but that’s entirely up to you. Just make sure that you get one with weatherproof material that keeps you dry inside. Also, get a sleeping bag that’s insulated and breathable, enough to keep you comforted without risk of getting wet!
7. Where Will You Pitch Tent?
Even if you invest in the high-quality shelter, you won’t be able to properly take advantage of its weatherproof abilities if you don’t select the right place to pitch a tent! I know many of us would choose the first place we see, but you have to be careful when selecting an area to ensure a safe and dry spot. Follow these tips:
- Pitch your shelter on raised areas away from sketchy trees with hanging branches
- Practice putting your shelter up before the trip itself so you spend less time figuring out how to assemble it.
- Pack your shelter in your pack strategically so it’s easy to get it out
8. Stay Safe While Hiking
When hiking, make sure to watch out for slippery surfaces, swollen creeks, and flash floods. You always have to be careful and slow as you walk, rather than try making it a race and getting to the site as fast as you can.
When walking, tread carefully and ensure that your pack is away from waters and from dropping on muddy areas. Watch out for slimy rocks, rain-slickened surfaces, and muddy slopes. You don’t want an accident!
As you continue to hike, monitor the weather and watch out for harder rains or lightning. Keep cover in safe areas as much as possible and stay as dry as you can.
9. What You Should Pack
Just like normal hikes, you bring what you would usually pack depending on how long you’re going to hike and the expected trails ahead.
Make sure that you bring the following:
- Shelter and comfortable sleeping bag
- Hat and gloves to keep you dry
- Food and water
- Headlamp and other lighting devices
- Trekking pole
- First aid and survival kit
- Extra warm clothes for the weather
- Containers and utensils for food
- Multipurpose tool and firestarter or matches
- Extra waterproof packs, covers, or trash bag
- Your phone and extra battery
- Map and compass
Pack these strategically to make sure you open your pack as little as possible without leaving it open for long.
Wrapping It Up
Though many people say that hiking in the rain isn’t recommended, you’re able to do it safely as long as you prepare. When you do, you’ll have the time of your life and want even more of the adventure. So what’s next? Try hiking in the snow, too!
I hope that this article on my top tips for hiking in the rain helped you out. So don’t wait any longer and look into any of these tips today. If you have any questions or want to share your tips and experiences win hiking in the rain, comment below! Your thoughts are much appreciated.