Dec 1, 2013 at 1:15 pm #1310444
@dparkLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
I'm sure most have had to deal with inclement weather at some point in time. I was thinking it would be nice to hear some of the tricks that people have learned to just make it a little more pleasant, ie how to manage a wet rainjacket upon entering a tent. Please share your pearls!Dec 1, 2013 at 1:20 pm #2049658
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
have no floor on tent, then just set wet jacket down and any water will drip onto ground
no floor maybe makes it easier to run stove
have enough headroom in tent so you can sit upright, move around a littleDec 1, 2013 at 2:48 pm #2049690
@anthonyjhuhnLocale: Mid West
I'm not sure how pearls would help ;)
Seriously though, I've had really good luck with the full body frogg toggs. The liner makes them pretty comfortable against the skin, they are super light, and cheap. They are at least worth checking out for ~$25.
Wear as little as possible, you will get wet eventually, but there is less to get wet that ways. I find myself backpacking without a shirt under the froggs.
Don't bother with waterproof shoes, they take forever to dry, and get wet eventually. Just make sure you have a pair of socks that will keep your feet warm enough in cold rain.
For the most part I just remind myself that getting a little wet wont kill me and keep an eye on my temperature. I make a point of jumping in the first puddle I see, it makes me feel like a little kid and is worth a laugh.
AnthonyDec 1, 2013 at 2:53 pm #2049694
1) Beware of chafing.
2) minimize the amount of clothes you get wet, wear lightest possible layers.
3) laugh at the rain, literally, it will make you feel better.Dec 1, 2013 at 3:02 pm #2049696
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
Rain and down insulation do not mix very nicely. You have to constantly keep track of your down and make sure that nothing wet is leaking toward it.
–B.G.–Dec 1, 2013 at 3:12 pm #2049699
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
I use Gore-Tex boots in rain and they stay pretty dry. Wet brush and melting snow are bad. Gotta use gaiters.
They do take longer to dry, but any shoe takes a while to dry so if you can avoid that, it's best.
+1 on wearing as little as possible – just base layer and jacket. Take jacket off when you set up tent. Thin base layer will dry out in an hour.Dec 1, 2013 at 3:16 pm #2049704
@rosyfinchLocale: the mountains
Walk between the rain drops and you will always stay dry… unless you fall in a lake or river…
BillyDec 1, 2013 at 3:23 pm #2049707
@nzbazzaLocale: New Zealand
I agree with Malto in minimising the clothing getting wet and preventing chafing. I normally tramp in one next-to-skin thermal layer (polyester), mid thigh length raincoat, and wear nylon lycra (bike) shorts to prevent chafing.
Take car of your feet, allow them to dry out as much as possible, see Andrew Skurka's website for tips.
Having a dry layer of thermals next to the skin to change into after being wet all day makes a huge difference in warmth, you can then layer over the top with damp fleece/synthetic if need be. Don't wear your down puffy in the rain )although water resistant down may change my viewpoint on this at some point).
A fire can be lifesaving (for morale as well as warmth).
Have a large tent/tarp to separate wet stuff from dry, have a large vestibule or use a two man tent for one person.
Live in New Zealand where a thousand public huts in the wilderness make for a pleasant and dry night's sleep in the worst weather (largely).Dec 1, 2013 at 3:38 pm #2049711
Others have good thoughts.
It is typically said that if the rain is prolonged, you will get wet either from sweat or rain. It is best to be warm if wet.
While hiking, you:
1. Minimize number of layers that get wet
2. Always have dry clothing in pack to change into in camp if you are wet
3. Some sort of towel/bandana to dry body off in camp
4. Don't worry much about wet feet; have dry socks for camp
While hiking, your gear:
http://jwbasecamp.com/Articles/DryGear/index.htmlDec 1, 2013 at 3:39 pm #2049712
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
Let a smile be your umbrella, and you will always have wet teeth.
–B.G.–Dec 1, 2013 at 3:49 pm #2049715
spelt with a tParticipant
@speltLocale: SW/C PA
I'm glad I'm not the only one who jumps in a puddle to get the wet feet over with!Dec 1, 2013 at 5:19 pm #2049743
@rosyfinchLocale: the mountains
Hiking in the rain is the easy part:
If it's getting close to time to camp and there is a break in the weather it is a good time to stop and set up camp. It's MUCH better to set up camp when it's not raining. Ditto for breaking down camp.
BillyDec 1, 2013 at 6:24 pm #2049767
* Wear your rain pants with a silk weight base layer, or heavier as needed.
* +1 on gaiters to keep your cuffs out of the mud
* Rig a tarp for a cooking and camp shelter, as well as your sleeping shelter
* Shelters with vestibule space simplify dealing with wet gear.
* Hammocks are great, providing large overhead coverage, hanging space for gear, and you sleep high and dry.
* Fleece and other synthetics rule
* Use rain gear with good vents or a poncho (keeps your pack dry.
* Have spare base layer and socks
* Carry a sit pad and a square of Tyvek to stand on to dress and use for a doormat.Dec 1, 2013 at 6:40 pm #2049776
Mike In SocalParticipant
I push all my stuff to the back of the tent so it's nowhere near the entry. I then sit just in side the tent with my feet out under the vestibule and take off my shoes. Before I take off my rain jacket, I wipe it down with a bandana. Same with rain pants if I wore them. Then dry the area you were sitting in. Works for me in light rain.Dec 1, 2013 at 6:50 pm #2049783
W I S N E R !Participant
Be grateful for your waterproof epidermis.
As long as you're warm, wet doesn't matter.Dec 1, 2013 at 6:55 pm #2049785
@justin_bakerLocale: Santa Rosa, CA
I like wearing shorts in the rain, unless it's real cold. I find saggy wet nylon pants to be less comfortable.
Carry a warm, non-puffy layer so you can put it on over wet clothing for a rest stop without worrying about the moisture. This layer should also help you dry out your base layer.
Thick wool socks keep your feet warm and prevent blisters when your feet get pruned up.Dec 2, 2013 at 8:41 am #2049933
@brianleLocale: Pacific NW
It's great to get various ideas from others on this, but it would be easy to make the mistake of assuming that all of the ideas will be equally valid for you personally, in the specific conditions you find yourself in. Your overall backpacking "style" and expectations factor in, as does the type of rain conditions and overall climate.
For an example of that latter, a brief but intense rain shower is different from endless days of drizzle. Of course temperature makes a difference too; sometimes it's warm enough that I might want a pack cover but no rain jacket. Sometimes (and in some places) after rain stops it can be days with no rain but the vegetation never dries out, continually re-wetting you. That happens a lot in the Pacific NW. OTOH, we don't typically get gully washer type of rain, or an almost predictable daily afternoon thundershower. Hiking in the PNW, I would never consider washing my wool socks on the trail; they might never dry. Hiking in SoCal or New Mexico, I would happily wash them along the way.
Your metabolism is a factor; I think that some people can hike at a modest pace and generate minimal perspiration; not an option for me, so some approaches to clothing/layering are different depending on that.
Your physical condition and experience can factor in, as well as the related hiking "style" of those you're hiking with. For example, if you want or need to take extensive breaks, maybe you want to carry an overhead tarp to put up for such breaks. If you're strong, then you "just keep hiking", making even the mid-day meal limited so that you don't chill out while eating it.
Footwear too. For me, it's based somewhat on the type of trip. If it's a weekend trip, I think that goretex light hiking boots are a fine option. If it's much longer than that, I agree that non-waterproof (quick drying) trail runners are best (for me anyway) — better to accept getting wet and then having a chance to dry out again. Specific locale can be a factor there too.
So, IMO a lot of "how to deal with rain" wisdom is situational, as well as (of course) based on a variety of personal preferences.Dec 2, 2013 at 9:21 am #2049952
just Justin WhitsonMember
I can't recommend it yet, as i've haven't tried it at all, but recently i was thinking about how to keep one's pack dry if one isn't using a full on poncho. Pack covers don't seem to work well (least not the ones i've tried), and besides even with a lot of WPB jackets and systems, the shoulder strap areas is a common place for water egress into a garment because of the extra pressure (especially for paramo type systems, probably not applicable to goretex type stuff?–don't know, don't use goretex).
So, i thought of making a super simple, and super light, silnylon cape. Nothing more than a rectangular piece of silnylon with a slit cut in towards the top to put ones head through, some loops on the side and some shock cord with cord locks to keep it stabilized. Then it could double as a mini (cook?) tarp/vestibule or the like once camped.
Plan to make one soon, and when i test it, will update if anyone shows any prior interest.Dec 2, 2013 at 9:38 am #2049959
Justin, what cape dimensions would you go with? I guess the old ID Silcoat cape probably was not made flat to have use as a mini tarp.Dec 2, 2013 at 9:56 am #2049970
Check out the Integral Designs Silcoat Cape. It's about as small as you would want to get and have practical rain protection. You might as well get the hood and the coverage. It will excel as a pack cover as the shoulder straps and back panel are covered, which is where pack covers fail. Not only will a pack cover leak via the back panel, you end up with soggy straps and back pad, which aren't very pleasant once you take your rain jacket off.
A full sized poncho gives protection to your knees or more and can be used as an emergency shelter, or a cook shelter in camp. A simple belt made from a peice of light line and a toggle will tame the loose fabric and can be used as part of the shelter guy lines. See http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=83768&startat=20
I carry one for summer day hiking with a space blanket style bivy. That gives me fully effective rain gear and emergency shelter for less weight than most 2.5 layer rain jackets.
I think a poncho needs a bivy to be an effective primary shelter.Dec 2, 2013 at 10:00 am #2049972
@funnymoLocale: Sunshine State
"So, i thought of making a super simple, and super light, silnylon cape. Nothing more than a rectangular piece of silnylon with a slit cut in towards the top to put ones head through"
There is something like this on this site, from years ago. Don't have time to search right now, but it is here! The guy made it from sil. Very light, IIRC.Dec 4, 2013 at 6:50 pm #2050910
@funnymoLocale: Sunshine StateDec 5, 2013 at 1:20 pm #2051171
BPL offered a hoodless poncho with a stand-up collar to keep the drips from running down the neck. I cloned that idea to make a multipurpose under cover for my poncho and an adaptation of the Hennessy SuperShelter insulation system. It is 1.1oz silnlyon and came out to 9oz with the shock cord added to the perimeter for the under cover function. The back panel is much longer to cover my pack and still protect the back of my legs.
The collar works great with a simple drawstring and toggle. That allows some ventilation when it isn't raining hard.Dec 6, 2013 at 11:55 am #2051552
@detroittigerfanLocale: Ann Arbor
Whatever I do, I fiercely guard one set of dry baselayers that are going to be my sleepwear. Sometimes it's really tempting to change into them as soon as I get to camp but I make myself wait until it's bedtime and, again, in the morning, I force myself to change into "outside" clothes even if slightly damp. After a few wet days, I'm always really grateful for those clean dry PJ's!Dec 7, 2013 at 8:22 am #2051775
Attitude makes a big difference. Accept the rain and dwell on the positives, not the negatives. The most challenging weather makes some of the best stories.
Keep your sleeping bag and sleeping clothes dry, including your nice dry, clean pair of sleeping socks. I usually have my sleeping bag in a turkey roasting bag which is inside a water-resistant stuff sack, which is inside my water-resistant pack.
If a hard rain seems to be looming, camp a little early, especially if you run across a nice site. If it's pouring rain, consider delaying setting up or taking down camp. (That said, thru-hikers will likely have to set up or take down many times while it's raining.)
Beware drying boots/shoes and clothing by a fire. You will almost certainly damage or destroy some gear drying it near flames until you learn your lesson. If you must use a fire to dry gear, keep checking it for overheating and don't leave it unattended.
It's easier to keep things dry than to get things dry. As others have said, don't be tempted to wear your nice dry sleeping clothes when you start hiking on a wet morning. Suck it up for a few minutes while you put on the cold, clammy, wet stuff.
Take advantage of good sun to air out your sleeping bag and to at least partially dry wet clothes. Pin wet socks to the back of your pack (in such a way that brush won't drag them off) to dry in the sun while you're hiking.
Again, attitude is key. The wet weather will make that warm sun all the more beautiful.
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