The rain can be a dangerous thing to be out in, even if you’ve got the right gear. Whether you’re a mountaineer or a mere hiker, you’ll have to make your way through pouring rain at some point in your life. If you find yourself trekking through wet woods, snaking up slippery mud-slicked slopes, or through dense underbrush that leaves you soaked just by brushing against it, it can be all but impossible to avoid getting drenched. Fortunately, there are a few simple ways to stay dry when hiking in the rain.
1. Rain Jackets
Hiking in the rain can be hard enough on your body; wearing the right gear makes it easier on yourself. Investing in durable and high-quality rain jackets can be a great way to ensure you stay dry during a hike. Rain jackets usually feature an outer layer of wind- and waterproof material that keeps the rain out. At the same time, a lining inside lets the water drip off so that you stay comfortable. If you’re more interested in staying warm than cool, go for lightweight models that don’t add much extra layer.
2. Wear Rain Pants
When you wear rain pants, you can provide an extra layer of protection for your lower half, keeping you dry and warm. Just zip or buckle your rain pants over your trousers, and the water will be held at bay. Most rain pants today are also insulated with a layer of fleece or down, which is known for keeping the wearer warm even in wet conditions. These pants also feature elastic in the waist to ensure that you don’t have to worry about them slipping off in the middle of your hike.
3. Waterproof Hiking Shoes
Waterproof hiking shoes are a great way to keep your feet dry, even when walking through ankle-deep puddles or crossing rushing rivers. These shoes are designed with waterproof and sometimes even breathable uppers, which keep the water out while still letting your feet breathe. The soles are also a good investment, as they provide traction that keeps you on your feet when climbing slippery slopes. Hiking in the rain with the right shoes also ensures you have the best grip and balance when you’re out on the trail.
If you are planning to trek through rain-heavy environments, it is highly recommended that you wear gaiters, especially if you’re trying to keep the water out of the bottoms of your shoes. Gaiters are made from a waterproof material that keeps your pants or pants legs from getting wet while still letting your boots have a good grip on the trail. They also help protect against mud and bugs that might be clinging to your ankles and shoes. Gaiters prevent water from seeping in and getting inside your shoes, leading to nasty-smelling odors and blisters. These things aren’t cheap, but they pay off big time if you put them to good use.
5. Waterproof Rain Cover
If you’re planning to bring along your gear, it is a good idea to use a waterproof rain cover that you can easily store in your hiking pack. This will keep many items, including anything that’s delicate like phones and cameras, safe and dry, especially if it looks like it will rain all day. It also protects them from getting ruined, so you won’t have to worry about taking the time to get replacements.
6. Hydration Pack
Although hiking in the rain can be dangerous, especially if you are wet and cold and can’t see too well, it is still very possible if you have the right gear. Hiking in the rain means your body will be exposed to moisture, even though there is no direct access to water around you. It doesn’t mean that you will need to drink gallons of water immediately, but if your body lacks it, you can easily take in some water through a hydration pack. One of these packs has enough space for water bottles and room for food.
7. A Hat
Although it might sound silly and irrational, most of us agree that a hat is one of the best things you can wear when hiking in the rain. But a simple cap or baseball cap will probably not be enough to keep you dry. Instead, invest in a stylish hat with a brim that will cover your entire forehead and head. This brim will be sturdy enough to keep any rain that’s falling at the moment from getting you wet and will also provide some shade. When you have a hat with a brim, you can go into situations that would normally leave anyone else soaking damp and come out completely dry.
Hiking in the rain can be difficult, especially if you are unprepared for it and haven’t invested in the right gear to help you sail through it. Luckily, there are many things that you can do to help yourself stay warm and dry, even when the heavens are crying down on you. Make sure you buy a good-quality rain jacket and get yourself waterproof hiking shoes if you’re spending time outdoors during heavy rains.