Jun 22, 2012 at 10:19 am #1291281
@erikdtzLocale: Los Angeles
I do all of my hiking in southern California (Gorgonio, San Gabriels, Jacinto, Sespe, etc) and during the summer in the Sierras. I recently went up to the Emigrant Wilderness and because it was colder and snowing/raining I wore a rain jacket. Other than that one time I've never put on my rain jacket, even when it was raining. I don't mind getting wet and as long as I keep moving I don't get cold. Is a rain jacket and/or pants something you always take, no matter the destination or weather forecast?Jun 22, 2012 at 10:30 am #1889233
@amrowincLocale: Southern California
I'm in So. Cal. also. I always carry a minimal poncho in the Sierras. In our local mountains I'll look at the weather forecast and plan accordingly. I don't always pack rain gear in other words and when I do it's minimal. Even in the Sierras the last time I wore rain gear (driducks top at that time) was in 2009 on a JMT thru. It was an all day steady, but light, rain and I was soaked by the time I got into camp from sweating under the top. I went to a poncho after that.Jun 22, 2012 at 11:50 am #1889252
@acrosomeLocale: Back in the Front Range
I live in Colorado. It really doesn't rain much, here. In the mountains a lot of peaks get mid-day showers in some seasons so I almost always take one if I'm in the mountains, but if I'm on the flats and the forecast says no rain I usually just take a wind shirt- it is water resistant enough to get me through a quick sprinkle.Jun 22, 2012 at 12:21 pm #1889263
@hikinggrannyLocale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Here in the Pacific NW, it's colder and wetter. Even though we normally have a 2-3 month dry spell in the summer, the weather is definitely not always normal. Nor can weather forecasts out here on the edge of thousands of miles of ocean be relied upon. I always take rain gear. If I don't need it for rain, I may need it for warmth!Jun 22, 2012 at 12:24 pm #1889264
@ewolinLocale: Hampton Roads, Virginia
We mostly hike in the Adirondacks, White Mountains, Virginia or other eastern areas where it seems it can rain any time, day or night, independent of the weather report. We always bring rain jackets and umbrellas. And we've never regretted doing this!Jun 22, 2012 at 12:35 pm #1889267
@eugeneiusLocale: Nuevo Mexico
I usually do bring a rain shell, but find that it stays in my pack more often than not- I'm a NM resident. Last trip out I left my rain shell behind and used the Chrome Dome/ windshirt combination and was very happy with the setup, so much so that I will likely use that technique for most of my trips now on where I'm on trail and the weather doesn't justify a full shell.Jun 22, 2012 at 12:38 pm #1889270
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
Yes. Usually a poncho. Even if no rain is forecast I can use it for emergencies or even a sun awning, for trips where I don't bring a shelter.
At a minimum I bring a wind shirt (Houdini) and a poncho of some sort.Jun 22, 2012 at 12:46 pm #1889274
It rains a lot in Oregon and Washington
In the summer you can have thunderstorms
Also provides warmth and wind protectionJun 22, 2012 at 1:59 pm #1889307
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
I always, always carry my rain parka, either a GTX PacLite parka or an eVent parka. This applies to both day hikes and backpacking trips.
I depend on my polyester or nylon long sleeved shirts for some wind protection but think it's excessive to carry both a "wind shirt" and a WPB rain parka. If it's so windy and chilly that you need a "wind shirt" then you probably are better off wearing a WPB parka (IMHO and in my experience).
**Then too you can zip up your parka, cinch down the hood and put it over the foot of your sleeping bag to keep off tent wall condensation and give you at least another 5 F. of warmth at the foot of your bag.
P.S.> The other question is "Do you always carry your rain pants?".
My answer is "sometimes", depending on location (Always in the Rockies) and the forecast.Jun 22, 2012 at 2:26 pm #1889313
Eric, it depends on where you are really. I've hiked in the desert mountains in spring where the sun was brutally warm but the wind was so much that I was freezing. A wind shirt cut the wind without providing much insulation…a WPB would have been way too hot to comfortably hike.
As for always bringing a rain jacket, I don't and it almost always bites me in the rear (despite hiking in a region that "supposedly" only get a handful of rain days a year). Now if I'm hiking minimally I'll throw in one of those cheapy plastic rain ponchos for just in case moments (only weighs 2-3 oz) so that should the need arise I have some water protection. That's usually only on short overnights. Anything longer and I'll throw in a full jacket.Jun 22, 2012 at 3:56 pm #1889341
@ouzelLocale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
"I always take rain gear. If I don't need it for rain, I may need it for warmth!"
+1 You don't have to be very high up before it gets cold when it rains up here. For me it falls under the heading of emergency gear during the summer, and a frequently used part of my wardrobe the rest of the year. It is always wise to plan for worst case scenarios in the Cascades; getting injured 8-10 miles from TH and then getting hit by a soaking rain at perhaps 5,000' or so is not pleasant to contemplate. For me, the extra 10 oz is a small price to pay for peace of mind.Jun 22, 2012 at 7:05 pm #1889390
mine rarely comes out of the pack, fortunately it's light (7 oz) and rolls up small
for day trips w/ little chance of rain I think I'm going to try one of the $1 ponchos, they are packed tiny and can't weigh much more than an ounce
I ALWAYS have my windshirt though, it's gotten me by on numerous rain events, even on the rare occasion it gets wetted through- it still provides wind protection and dries in a snapJun 22, 2012 at 7:12 pm #1889392
what is the good light weight moderately priced raingear suitable for PNW. Right now I have synthetic base layers from target. Patagonia R1 fleece, Eddie Bauer Sirocco wind shirt and planning to get Patagonia nano puff. Still undecided on a rain jacket and pants.Jun 22, 2012 at 7:42 pm #1889398
I carry one on every trip that is over night. Can't remember using it for rain though. I use it for trapping heat and it works really great for that. Since I carry DriDucks, I only carry about 9 oz. for both pants and jacket. Been thinking of leaving the pants at home. Never take them out of my pack.Jun 22, 2012 at 8:22 pm #1889406
@erikdtzLocale: Los Angeles
I'm curious what $1 poncho you're referring to? I've thought about just bringing a heavy duty trash bag and cut some arm holes…anyone have some thoughts on that?Jun 22, 2012 at 9:26 pm #1889419
Yes as it is used as a rain jacket, wind jacket, and even for additional warmth if my sleep system isn't sufficient.Jun 22, 2012 at 9:54 pm #1889423
Its raining cats and dogs right here now in late june … If u didnt have rain cover in the hills right now youd go hypothermic if you didnt keep moving …
I own and use an or helium for the just in case jacket … 6 oz that packs to the size of an orange … You never know when youll get stuck …Jun 22, 2012 at 10:09 pm #1889425
Always.Jun 23, 2012 at 2:04 am #1889437
No, not exactly. While I always have some sort of protection for rain or inclement weather, what form it is depends on where I'm going and the forecast. ie, if it's in the mountains or rain forest areas, I will usually take an actual rain jacket. However, if it's low lands or dry areas, then I may only take a driducks top, wind shirt, or dime store tarp.Jun 23, 2012 at 6:04 am #1889457
mama mia – I've always used Gore-Tex or eVent rain jacket. I make my own so I can't recommmend a brand, but they're sort of generic. Longer is better. Fewer pockets and stuff is better because there's less weight. EVent is supposed to be a little better.
Dri-Ducks are supposed to be good – cheap – light – not very durable but you can afford to replace occasionallyJun 23, 2012 at 7:41 am #1889465
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
Always. I live in the Pacific Northwest, so the possibility of rain is high and the possibility of drying out is low. I carry a poncho for fair weather day hikes, so I have emergency shelter and rain gear in one. For that matter, I always have a spare layer like a fleece, light cap and gloves, spare socks, and space blanket bivy.
As I sit here at home in Seattle on June 23rd, it is 54F at 7:30AM, with a predicted high of 63F and 60% chance of precip (it is raining now). That is at or near sea level. Moving into the lower Cascade foothills, the forecast high is 55F with 80% chance of precip and 37F(!!!) overnight. That is classic hypothermia weather— I don't want to get caught out for a night without rain gear and some sort of basic shelter.
We've been calling the recent cold wet weather "Junuary" :)
I agree that DriDucks are a good CYA light-n-cheap rain gear.Jun 23, 2012 at 7:46 am #1889466
I don't understand what it means when they say there's a 60% chance of precip and it's raining : )Jun 23, 2012 at 7:59 am #1889469
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
jerry pondered, "I don't understand what it means when they say there's a 60% chance of precip and it's raining : )"
Hehehe– yeah. I figure anything over 40% means it *will* rain. Higher percentages just describe how *long* it will rain :)
I'm not trusting my comfort and life on a weatherman in the Pacific NW. Shift the jet stream a few degrees and you go from summer to winter in a day, or less.
Along with 260+ days of overcast and high, COLD humidity, what most people don't realize about PNW weather is that it rarely really pours: it DRIZZLES for hours, days, WEEKS, and everything around you is a dewy, soggy, mass of green (unless it is mud). Three days of rain might not come to 1/2", which might be a quick thunder shower in other parts of the world.Jun 23, 2012 at 8:00 am #1889470
Jerry you are just getting the 60% up front. Like an advance. Non negotiable.
Living in SoCal I did not own a rain jacket.
Up here, you bet I take one.Jun 23, 2012 at 10:09 am #1889498
Erik- something along these lines http://www.amazon.com/Emergency-Poncho-Orange-Color-0-02mm-Size/dp/B005NRTZZ6
close to a disposable poncho, but in a pinch would work- I'm guessing about 1 ounce
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