We love the videos that come from Dave Collins at www.cleverhiker.com Of course when we see on that strikes at the very heart of being outdoors, we just have to share. The most common question we get when we take newbies out in the backcountry is “what happens if it rains”?. We always answer that with a tiny grin and say “You get wet”. I think Dave got it exactly right.
Backpacking in the rain isn’t everyone’s idea of a fantastic time in the woods. It’s going to be wet, cold, and visibility will be greatly reduced.
If you’re not properly prepared, backpacking in the rain can be all-out miserable. But if you’re ready for it, backpacking in the rain can actually be a lot of fun.
When conditions are wet you’ll be able to avoid the crowds, you’ll probably see more wildlife, and you’ll be able to experience wilderness areas in completely different way.
Being good at backpacking in the rain is a skill that takes years of practice. The more time you spend doing it, the better you’ll get.
It’s a good idea to practice close to home at first, so you can hone your skills before heading out on a more extreme trip.
One of the most important factors to having a good time during a rainy backpacking trip is having a positive attitude.
If you’re mentally prepared to be wet and still have fun, you’ll probably have a great time. You can sing, and dance to keep warm, or bring fun games to play in your tent.
One concept that’s tough for beginners to accept is that, if it rains for an extended period of time on your trip, you’re going to get wet, and there’s really no avoiding it.
Waterproof gear will keep the water out, but it also forms a barrier that holds your body heat in, which leads to condensation and increased perspiration.
Even the most expensive and breathable rain gear won’t keep your body completely dry while you hike in extended rain.
The same is true of waterproof shoes. Waterproof shoes don’t breath well and your feet will sweat while you hike.
When it rains, water from brush along the trail will run down your legs and into your shoes.
Gaiters and rain pants can delay the effect, but eventually, your feet are going to be soaked one way or another.
Rather than trying to prevent getting wet, it’s better to just accept that you’re going to get wet and learn how to best adapt to it.
With the right skills, you can still stay warm, hike comfortably, and have completely dry evenings, even during days of nonstop rain.