I love hiking and if you knew me well enough, I absolutely love doing so during the rain. Sure, people say that the view isn’t great and it’s messy, but I love the adventure of it. Plus, the view is actually fantastic right after, especially without the blaring sun.
But of course, it’s different when hiking in the rain compared to typical sunny days, you need to focus on staying safe. With that being said, how can you begin doing so while still having fun? Read on as I show you the top 8 tips for hiking in the rain to help you get started.
Why Hike In the Rain?
You’re probably wondering: Who in the right mind would try to hike in the rain? Surprisingly, hiking in the rain is quite beneficial, having benefits such as:
- The smell of rain (known as petrichor) has a soothing effect on people, adding to the relaxing properties of hiking.
- You can actually burn more calories when doing outdoor activities in the rain!
- Humidity from the rain is known to help with your skin health, keeping it clean and fresh.
- Air during a rainy day is less contaminated compared to dry, sunny days.
- The temperature drops a bit while you’re hiking, which is great if you live in a hot climate!
- The hiking trails are most likely empty during this time because people are avoiding the rain!
- There’s more greenery as the plants outdoors are teeming with life, all thanks to the water from above!
- The ambience is just amazing, from insects and birds popping up down to the sound
of raindrops and beautiful grey skies.
Plus, you have a stronger immune system compared to children now! Unless you’ll be hiking with your children, you should try to hike in the rain at least once in your life and
see if it’s for you. And no, you won’t have to worry about catching a cold unless you’re unprotected or hike during intense storms.
8 Tips For Hiking In the Rain
You’re planning to hike during gloomy weather but with a sunny attitude? Here are the 8 tips to follow:
1. Prepare Your Backpack
While there are many weatherproof backpacks to invest in today, some may have issues that cause water to seep inside, such as flaps, zips, or pull-cords. To prevent water from getting inside, make sure that you waterproof it as well.
You can add a waterproof bag cover to place on your pack. Rain covers can help protect your bag from the weather AND from tears. Besides this, make sure that you waterproof everything internally, using heavy-duty bin liners to keep your equipment dry. You might want to consider dry bags, which are well-known to keep things dry inside.
As for food, waterproof and protect it from spilling with the zip-lock bag. The same goes for other smaller accessories and equipment.
2. Prepare Your Clothes
Your clothes are what keeps you warm while hiking. While I want to say dry, you’ll inevitably get wet (though I suggest that you do your best NOT to). Here are some
clothing tips to follow:
- Do NOT wear cotton or denim, which turns heavy and cold when it gets wet.
- Have a good base layer, typically made of wool so you’re warm even if it gets wet. Plus, they’re quick drying and regulate temperature.
- Pack in or wear a jacket that’s waterproof and windproof. This can keep your body dry and maintain warmth.
- Your pants should also be waterproof, in case you’ll be treading waters.
3. Prepare Your Gear
It takes trial and error to set up your gear well. In general, I recommend that:
- You always keep your map dry with a waterproof case, or to invest in waterproof maps
- Consider getting a hiking pole, especially if you’ll be hiking in slippery grounds or will tread water. I recommend choosing the water shoes for hiking for
- I suggest that you pack other important gear like hand warmers, a first aid kit, a headlamp, as well as a multi-towel.
- Bring your phone and an extra battery with you as well!
- Make a list of all the necessary things you need according to what you need and prefer, depending on the nature of your hike.
Protect all of the necessary gear you bring with waterproof cases, plastic bags, and trash bags. These can be used as double protection to keep everything inside your bag dry.
4. What’s Your Food?
One of the best parts when hiking is the food you get to munch on without guilt! But when hiking in the rain, it can get difficult preparing fancy and delicious meals. This is because no one wants to sit and eat in the rain or take too long of a break to do so.
Instead, make sure that you bring quick snacks to munch on the entire hike. Have nuts, dried fruit, sweets, or even energy bars to fill you up.
Now isn’t the time to try having a full-course meal, or to even prepare sandwiches which may end up getting soggy right after. I recommend that you pack light and with the accessible food you won’t have to stop and sit down for.
5. The Right Attitude
Your attitude before and during the hike will play a huge part in how fun the hike would be! So hype yourself up for the hike and don’t feel gloomy as the weather. I recommend that you take on a positive and happy attitude, excited about what to expect once you reach the peak.
After all, if you end up whining the entire hike, no one’s going to enjoy the trip (or you) at all!
6. What’s the Weather Like?
Continue to check the weather forecasts before and during the trail to prevent walking into storms. While hiking in the rain is fun, go for light and moderate drizzling rather than full-on storms which can cause trouble. Remember your limits and to postpone the hike if the rain is too much.
Keep an eye out for lightning and monitor the heaviness of the clouds or sky colors. This can indicate the intensity of the rain!
Also, make sure that you choose the right trails. Avoid going for complicated trails when you know you’re hiking in the rain. Find routes and trails that aren’t too steep and have not as much wetland. This helps make the hike safer for everyone.
7. Manage Your Body and Its Limits
People think you won’t need to drink as much as usual when mining in the rain. But that’s actually not the case, as we require the same amount of water os we’re able to function and move properly.
Make sure that you continue to hydrate yourself with at least two liters of water during the hike, taking sips along the way. Snack throughout the way rather than big meals infrequently.
8. While You’re Hiking
While you’re hiking, you have to make sure that you’re safe as you tread the trails.
Watch out for the following:
- Walk carefully when on muddy slopes, rain-slickened logs, and slimy rocks. Be slow as you go to prevent slipping.
- When you come across swollen creeks, unbuckle your hip belt and tread slowly. This helps you free your pack quickly in case you fall from the current.
- If there are flash floods, find higher ground quickly. Prepare for such times if you hike on canyon countries.
- Hypothermia may happen if the rainy weather gets too intense and cold. Watch out for tumbling, stumbling, mumbling, and grumbling. This may be signs of hypothermia and indicate that you need to take a break, hydrate, and eat more.
Learn more about hiking in the rain with more of these helpful tips in this video:
Wrapping It Up
Whether you’re planning to hike on a rainy day or want to prepare for any weather, you need to be prepared with the right clothing and equipment. As long as you be wary of the trail and do your best to stay dry, you can enjoy the trails. Remember, it all boils down to safety first!
I hope this article on the different tips for hiking in the rain helped you out! So don’t wait any longer and begin preparing for that rainy day hike now.
If you have any questions or want to share your experiences and tips for hiking in the rain, then comment below. Your thoughts are much appreciated.
For more articles like this check out Outside Buzz
You may also like
- How to cross a river like a boss
- Common hiking injuries and how to prevent them
- What to pack in your hiking first aid kit
- Map and compass reading 101
Pin for Later