We put together 9 secrets that Pro hikers and campers use to stay dry and warm during wet conditions.
Keep Most Used Items on Top of the Pack
Since your packs are covered with layers of covers, it would be a hassle to take off the covers just to get snacks or flashlights out. Keep these items in your pockets or side pouches where you can easily get to them.
Avoid Wearing Cotton
Cotton doesn't wick off sweat and may also cause chills if worn too long. When hypothermia sets in, search and rescue workers will cut off anything made from cotton (even briefs or bras). The best thing you can do is to replace cotton clothing with nylon, wool, or polyester.
Wear Synthetic and Fleece Insulation
Synthetic insulations are best when it's damp and chilly. These will help maintain some of your body heat even when it becomes too wet. Choose bright colored rainwear, not only will it lighten up the mood, but it will make you more noticeable (especially if you get lost).
Gaiters add more protection to your feet and prevent water and mud from getting into your boots.
Use Waterproof Footwear
Waterproof boots and shoes with deep lug soles will keep your feet dry and provide extra traction when you need to walk on slippery or muddy terrain.
Trade Glasses For Contact Lenses and Wear a Cap
If you wear glasses, you already know how difficult it is to see clearly when it's raining. Temperature, humidity, and mud splatters can make it impossible for you to see the path making it all the more treacherous with the possibility of slipping on mud or falling into a crevice. Your best option would be to wear contact lenses and a baseball cap to protect your face from run-offs.
Bring Backpack Covers and Dry Bags
Not all backpacking bags are truly waterproof and water can still sneak into water-resistant zippers so backpack covers are a necessity. Some hiking bags come with a cover, but if yours doesn't, buy one that fits your pack.
It's always good practice to pack your gadgets and batteries inside dry bags and food, sealed inside zipper bags stays fresh for many hours.
If you don't have these items and money is tight, use thick trash bags to line your pack. Once everything is packed, seal it up. Things that you don't mind getting wet can be placed on the sides or on top of the trash bag.
Pack Some Warmers
If your hands and feet start to get cold, hand warmers make a big difference. They not only give you 8 hours of warmth but can be used to dry your wet clothes. Another great thing about them is that they're not battery-operated and can simply be activated by shaking them.
Avoid Raising Your Hands
Don't raise your hands higher than your shoulders. Water dripping from your shell or raincoat will run down and soak your inner clothing making everything wet and uncomfortable.
Keep Your Dry Clothes Dry
You may need to choose at some point to change into dry clothes or stay wet. If you're getting wet, but you're not too cold, you could change your outer layers to help you stay warm allowing your inner layers to stay relatively dry. If you’re soaked through and too cold, it's better to change into dry clothes which will reduce the risk of hypothermia.
The key to enjoying rainy day hikes lies not on how long you stay dry, but on your attitude. If you choose to love the rain, chances are, you'll see another side of the backcountry. Not all will persevere to enjoy the picturesque view of a misty rainforest or magnificent cascading waterfalls. And the best part? You can have it all to yourself.
Do you have any hacks for hiking or camping in rain? Let us know in the comment section below.