Choosing to hike in the rain
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Andrew Richardson
(arichardson6) - F

Locale: North East
Choosing to hike in the rain on 04/15/2010 08:06:12 MDT Print View

Looks like Massachusetts is set to have rain all through this weekend.

I was planning on taking my first trip this weekend and I think I may go despite the forecast. I don't particularly care for hiking in the rain and the the expected temps will be the lowest I have faced while it is raining, but I really don't want to cancel my plans.

This thread isn't about gear, I have that covered. It is about seeing if other people like taking trips even when rain is in the forecast. Anyone out there like hiking in the rain?

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Choosing to hike in the rain on 04/15/2010 08:28:32 MDT Print View

I'm a huge fan of umbrellas- you can keep your hood off and jacket open. Psychologically, I think they make long stretches of rain easier. The umbrella is the most breathable rain wear you can find.

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Re: Choosing to hike in the rain on 04/15/2010 08:38:28 MDT Print View

Do I like to hike in the rain...no, but I do hike in it. My feeling is if you wait for nice weather to hike you might never get to do a trip. I did an AT section hike last year where it rained a whopping 7 inches of rain in 48 hours. The AT might has well have been the Mississippi River.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Choosing to hike in the rain on 04/15/2010 09:20:06 MDT Print View

If I plan a trip, I go. But rain in California is not as heavy as other places. I do have to be careful in deserts due to the possibilty of flash floods. But it is unlikely that I will see 7 days of non-stop rain. I like hiking in the rain.

Rakesh Malik
(Tamerlin)

Locale: Cascadia
I do... on 04/15/2010 09:34:07 MDT Print View

Because bad weather makes for good photography :)

Also, since I work in a Dilbert box to pay the bills, my window of opportunity is what it is. Unless it's weather that I'm not equipped for, I try to avoid missing opportunities for outings.

Misfit Mystic
(cooldrip)

Locale: "Grand Canyon of the East"
RE: choosing to hike in the rain on 04/15/2010 09:56:48 MDT Print View

Often I prefer that it rain. Alot of the possible backpackers, and most of the potential dayhikers, will forgo their plans if it's raining. That means more backcountry for me to be alone. Not to mention, I sleep easiest with the pitter-patter of raindrops on silnylon ;)

John Brochu
(JohnnyBgood4) - F

Locale: New Hampshire
Re: Choosing to hike in the rain on 04/15/2010 09:56:54 MDT Print View

I live in NH. I've learned to enjoy hiking in the rain.

Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
Choosing to hike in the rain on 04/15/2010 10:17:13 MDT Print View

Try living in Oregon or Washington.....you'll love it. Grows webs between your toes (the sign of a native Oregonian).

Edited by wandering_bob on 04/15/2010 10:18:02 MDT.

Tom Clark
(TomClark) - MLife

Locale: East Coast
Re: Choosing to hike in the rain on 04/15/2010 10:26:56 MDT Print View

A few comments...

- There are fewer people out.
- Things take on a softer look, and the views become close in while it's raining.
- If you have the right gear and (more importantly) mindset, hiking in the rain is your opportunity to experience another side of nature...see Nature's other faces. Isn't that why you are getting out of the house?
- It's just a weekend, so you know you'll survive. It's a chance to dial in your gear and techniques for when you are surprised by a thunderstorm.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Choosing to hike in the rain on 04/15/2010 10:31:16 MDT Print View

"Hiking in the rain is your opportunity to experience another side of nature...see Nature's other faces."

+1

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: Choosing to hike in the rain on 04/15/2010 10:48:00 MDT Print View

Rain ... it's a different kind of good weather.

A wet day of hiking is still better than a dry day at work.

There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing.

Of course the above statements have their limits ... like rain intense enough to cause severe flash flooding or mud slides or hurricanes or tornadoes or white out blizzards.

Rakesh Malik
(Tamerlin)

Locale: Cascadia
Re: Re: Choosing to hike in the rain on 04/15/2010 10:54:38 MDT Print View

"A wet day of hiking is still better than a dry day at work."

That's similar to the one I use:

The worst day in the field is better than the best day in a cubicle.

Elliott Wolin
(ewolin) - MLife

Locale: Hampton Roads, Virginia
RE: Choosing to hike in the rain on 04/15/2010 10:58:08 MDT Print View

I'll second the comment on using umbrellas.

I used to hate hiking in the rain. Once I started bringing an umbrella (GoLite) it doesn't bother me nearly as much, hardly at all in fact. Unless it's pouring and windy, or if I have to crash through wet brush, I don't bother with any rain gear other than the umbrella, and generally feel warm and comfortable the entire time.

Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
I'd go on 04/15/2010 11:21:46 MDT Print View

I like the rain. I work in it and hike in it. It's different if you are talking about multiple days, when you have to carry around wet gear. That I have not done. Couple of days, then you can dry your stuff at home..no problem.

Andrew Richardson
(arichardson6) - F

Locale: North East
Re: Choosing to hike in the rain on 04/15/2010 11:40:03 MDT Print View

I love the group of people on these forums! :-)

Tom, I think your post really sums up my thoughts perfectly. I decided to go on this trip yesterday, saw it was going to rain, and didn't even think about not going.

I don't have many friends that backpack, whether lightly or more traditionally. Is not being concerned with a little rain something unique to the ultralighter's mindset? I could see more traditional backpackers having the mindset that it would be miserable and that going into the woods should not entail any kind of discomfort.

I dunno, but it's nice that my going hiking knowing full well it will be raining for the entire duration of the trip is not considered weird here. :-)

Misfit Mystic
(cooldrip)

Locale: "Grand Canyon of the East"
RE: Choosing to hike in the rain on 04/15/2010 12:03:29 MDT Print View

Andrew I don't think it's weird at all. Weird is the mindless drudgery we subject ourselves to everyday in what we call the "real world". Like so many have so eloquently stated here, GETTING OUT THERE is perfectly normal and natural, regardless of the weather.

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Choosing to hike in the rain on 04/15/2010 12:08:52 MDT Print View

I don't mind hiking in the rain so much, but I do worry about trying to make camp in the rain. So far I haven't had to do that.

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: Re: Re: Choosing to hike in the rain on 04/15/2010 12:23:14 MDT Print View

+1

"A wet day of hiking is still better than a dry day at work."

I'm a summer hiker. The only cotton in my kit is a pair of blaze orange bandanas. I have given up on raingear. I wear nylon, polyester and merino wool. If it rains, I hike and get wet. When it stops raining, I hike and dry out. I rotate socks to keep my feet as dry as possible.

Last year on a 24 hour hike it began to rain on us 1 hour after we got on the trail around midday. It continued to rain on us for 5 more hours. We collected and treated water in the rain. We set up camp in the rain. The rain stopped and we ate supper. We dried out as we slept. We were greeted by a dry clear morning to finish our 24 hour hike. :-)

"I'd go", I went! ;-)

Party On ! 2010

Newton

Walter Carrington
(Snowleopard) - M

Locale: Mass.
Re: Choosing to hike in the rain on 04/15/2010 12:40:37 MDT Print View

Actually, there may be a bit of wet snow in the higher elevations of Central Mass and the Berkshires. Bring an extra fleece layer just in case your insulation gets wet while hiking.

I really prefer hiking in the dry or in snow. Like some others I've tried umbrellas a bit and liked them when the trail allows them; need to get a better one.

Nate Davis
(Knaight) - F

Locale: Western Massachusetts
Rain on 04/15/2010 12:48:41 MDT Print View

Andrew, I also live in MA. Two weeks ago when we had the storm that caused all that massive flooding, I hiked 28 miles in the rain. I was going to stay overnight until the forecast changed from rain to severe flood warning. That convinced me that my next few stream crossings might become unsafe (especially with my dog) and I bailed.

That said, I had a great time and it's convinced me to never cancel a trip for simple rain (floods and t-storms are another story). I was hiking fast and the rain kept me at a comfortable temperature. I didn't wear a rain jacket, just a midweight merino wool baselayer. If you don't plan on stopping a whole lot before camp, I'd recommend you do the same. No breathability to worry about, no nylon hood rustling in your ears. Plus, if you keep your rain gear in your pack, it'll be dry when you get to camp, which you will LOVE.

Although wide views are nonexistent in "bad" weather, the woods become beautiful and almost otherworldly. Birds and wildlife are out in droves.

Bring an extra baselayer, an extra pair of socks, something small to dry off with, and keep your stuff dry. Other than that, just go. You'll be glad you did.

Edit: Walter, I think the snow is unlikely. I haven't been above 2,000 feet, but all of the snow in the places I HAVE been has been gone for a month.

Edited by Knaight on 04/15/2010 12:49:50 MDT.