Read on for five precautionary steps to take before heading out in wet weather.
Watch the Weather
Heavy rain and unstable terrain are a dangerous combination that can result in erosion and landslides. Thus, be sure to check the local weather stations in your area for forecasts and weather announcements. The park or trail should also have weather advisories posted on their social media accounts as well as on-site.
Pick the Trail Wisely
If you’ve decided to hike on a rainy day, be sure to choose your trail wisely. Select ones which are on compact, hard soil, and avoid rocky trails and exposed ridge walks.
Check Road Conditions
Apart from paying attention to the trail itself, you also need to take time to check the status of local roads and access routes that you’re going to pass. Heavy rain can topple and uproot trees and shut down streets unexpectedly. Call the ranger station where you plan to hike, check Waze or Google Maps, and search the Internet for local road closures.
Watch Where You Step
Rainy trails are going to be slippery and muddy, so you need to be cautious as to where you step. Pay extra attention when walking on thick mud and debris and avoid hillsides that are showing signs of erosion.
Similarly, you also need to stay away from rocky trails, especially those that are near ridges or cliffs. A single slip can cause severe injuries.
Look for Signs of River Swelling and Landslides
If you plan to hit the trail during rainy weather, stay away from any rivers or creeks. Incessant rains can cause rivers to swell, and you can get swept away if you try to cross them.
Look for signs of landslides. If you see a landslide across a trail, turn around immediately. Chances are more landslides will happen in that area, and you can get stranded if you push through. Make sure to report the landslide to the local ranger station in the area, so they can block it off and prevent other hikers from going near.
Do you have any rainy day hiking tips or wisdom? Share them in the comments below.