Winter has been a blast for those of us who love to snowshoe, ski and hike in the snow and cold temperatures-but I get it-lots of us are looking eagerly forward to spring.
With spring comes rain and that can be downright uncomfortable at the very least- and dangerous at worst.
Without further ado, let me present a few tips for staying just a bit more comfortable hiking in the rain.
Dress in layers
- Never has that age old nugget of advice been more important than when hiking in inclement weather. Layers are essential for keeping warm when you stop for a break and for cooling off when hiking makes you too toasty.
- Here’s an idea of what to plan for you hikes in fall, winter, and spring: long-sleeve top as a base layer Hiking pants, a good rain jacket, rain pants, and a hat. In colder temperatures, plan on a warm hat, extra pullover, Depending on how wet/cold the forecast is, we also often bring a warm hat, a pullover, and gloves.
- Wool is a great choice as it wicks moisture away from your body to help keep you warm. Avoid cotton as it does the opposite – keeping the damp in and leading to possible blisters, chafing and worse of all-hypothermia
Don’t Skimp on Your Feet
- Waterproof shoes are great for keeping your feet warm and dry-the downside to this if you are planning on along hike is your feet may sweat and once again- chafing blisters are so not fun.
- Bring extra socks- wool socks or synthetic are great choices for hiking. Don’t forget to throw some blister band aids in your pack
Other things to consider when hiking in the rain
- Line your backpack on the inside with a small trash bag to keep your extra clothing and gear dry. Extra trash bags can be useful
- Stow your rain gear on the top of your pack for easy access.
- Make sure you have small zip lock bags to protect your phone and other electronics
- When planning on hiking in the rain Check the weather forecast before leaving and watch out for rainy day hazards, especially lighting, but also slippery rocks, roots and moss. be extra aware of the possibility of flash floods and swollen creeks and be on the alert for signs of hypothermia sometimes it’s best to postpone your hike rather than be at risk.
- Keep high energy food close at hand (your pocket) to snack on -chocolate, nuts , trail mix. Calories are important as well as staying well hydrated.PS here’s a head’s up on what not to wear on your summer hike