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Do you always take a rain jacket?
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Erik Dietz

Locale: Los Angeles
Do you always take a rain jacket? on 06/22/2012 11:19:08 MDT Print View

I do all of my hiking in southern California (Gorgonio, San Gabriels, Jacinto, Sespe, etc) and during the summer in the Sierras. I recently went up to the Emigrant Wilderness and because it was colder and snowing/raining I wore a rain jacket. Other than that one time I've never put on my rain jacket, even when it was raining. I don't mind getting wet and as long as I keep moving I don't get cold. Is a rain jacket and/or pants something you always take, no matter the destination or weather forecast?

Don A.
(amrowinc) - M

Locale: Southern California
"Do you always take a rain jacket?" on 06/22/2012 11:30:51 MDT Print View

I'm in So. Cal. also. I always carry a minimal poncho in the Sierras. In our local mountains I'll look at the weather forecast and plan accordingly. I don't always pack rain gear in other words and when I do it's minimal. Even in the Sierras the last time I wore rain gear (driducks top at that time) was in 2009 on a JMT thru. It was an all day steady, but light, rain and I was soaked by the time I got into camp from sweating under the top. I went to a poncho after that.

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
hells no on 06/22/2012 12:50:20 MDT Print View

I live in Colorado. It really doesn't rain much, here. In the mountains a lot of peaks get mid-day showers in some seasons so I almost always take one if I'm in the mountains, but if I'm on the flats and the forecast says no rain I usually just take a wind shirt- it is water resistant enough to get me through a quick sprinkle.

Edited by acrosome on 06/22/2012 12:51:00 MDT.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
I don't leave home without it on 06/22/2012 13:21:07 MDT Print View

Here in the Pacific NW, it's colder and wetter. Even though we normally have a 2-3 month dry spell in the summer, the weather is definitely not always normal. Nor can weather forecasts out here on the edge of thousands of miles of ocean be relied upon. I always take rain gear. If I don't need it for rain, I may need it for warmth!

Elliott Wolin
(ewolin) - MLife

Locale: Hampton Roads, Virginia
RE: Do you always take a rain jacket? on 06/22/2012 13:24:41 MDT Print View

We mostly hike in the Adirondacks, White Mountains, Virginia or other eastern areas where it seems it can rain any time, day or night, independent of the weather report. We always bring rain jackets and umbrellas. And we've never regretted doing this!

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
Re: Do you always take a rain jacket? on 06/22/2012 13:35:04 MDT Print View


I usually do bring a rain shell, but find that it stays in my pack more often than not- I'm a NM resident. Last trip out I left my rain shell behind and used the Chrome Dome/ windshirt combination and was very happy with the setup, so much so that I will likely use that technique for most of my trips now on where I'm on trail and the weather doesn't justify a full shell.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Do you always take a rain jacket? on 06/22/2012 13:38:40 MDT Print View

Yes. Usually a poncho. Even if no rain is forecast I can use it for emergencies or even a sun awning, for trips where I don't bring a shelter.

At a minimum I bring a wind shirt (Houdini) and a poncho of some sort.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Do you always take a rain jacket? on 06/22/2012 13:46:51 MDT Print View


It rains a lot in Oregon and Washington

In the summer you can have thunderstorms

Also provides warmth and wind protection

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Rain parka & "wind shirts/jackets" on 06/22/2012 14:59:02 MDT Print View

I always, always carry my rain parka, either a GTX PacLite parka or an eVent parka. This applies to both day hikes and backpacking trips.

I depend on my polyester or nylon long sleeved shirts for some wind protection but think it's excessive to carry both a "wind shirt" and a WPB rain parka. If it's so windy and chilly that you need a "wind shirt" then you probably are better off wearing a WPB parka (IMHO and in my experience).

**Then too you can zip up your parka, cinch down the hood and put it over the foot of your sleeping bag to keep off tent wall condensation and give you at least another 5 F. of warmth at the foot of your bag.

P.S.> The other question is "Do you always carry your rain pants?".
My answer is "sometimes", depending on location (Always in the Rockies) and the forecast.

Edited by Danepacker on 06/24/2012 13:36:02 MDT.

Dustin Short
(upalachango) - MLife
Re: Rain parka & "wind shirts/jackets" on 06/22/2012 15:26:57 MDT Print View

Eric, it depends on where you are really. I've hiked in the desert mountains in spring where the sun was brutally warm but the wind was so much that I was freezing. A wind shirt cut the wind without providing much insulation...a WPB would have been way too hot to comfortably hike.

As for always bringing a rain jacket, I don't and it almost always bites me in the rear (despite hiking in a region that "supposedly" only get a handful of rain days a year). Now if I'm hiking minimally I'll throw in one of those cheapy plastic rain ponchos for just in case moments (only weighs 2-3 oz) so that should the need arise I have some water protection. That's usually only on short overnights. Anything longer and I'll throw in a full jacket.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: I don't leave home without it on 06/22/2012 16:56:32 MDT Print View

"I always take rain gear. If I don't need it for rain, I may need it for warmth!"

+1 You don't have to be very high up before it gets cold when it rains up here. For me it falls under the heading of emergency gear during the summer, and a frequently used part of my wardrobe the rest of the year. It is always wise to plan for worst case scenarios in the Cascades; getting injured 8-10 miles from TH and then getting hit by a soaking rain at perhaps 5,000' or so is not pleasant to contemplate. For me, the extra 10 oz is a small price to pay for peace of mind.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
begrudgingly on 06/22/2012 20:05:09 MDT Print View

mine rarely comes out of the pack, fortunately it's light (7 oz) and rolls up small

for day trips w/ little chance of rain I think I'm going to try one of the $1 ponchos, they are packed tiny and can't weigh much more than an ounce

I ALWAYS have my windshirt though, it's gotten me by on numerous rain events, even on the rare occasion it gets wetted through- it still provides wind protection and dries in a snap

Yes 1000
Appropriate Rain gear for PNW on 06/22/2012 20:12:58 MDT Print View

PNW folks

what is the good light weight moderately priced raingear suitable for PNW. Right now I have synthetic base layers from target. Patagonia R1 fleece, Eddie Bauer Sirocco wind shirt and planning to get Patagonia nano puff. Still undecided on a rain jacket and pants.

Warren Greer
(WarrenGreer) - F

Locale: SoCal
Yes on 06/22/2012 20:42:26 MDT Print View

I carry one on every trip that is over night. Can't remember using it for rain though. I use it for trapping heat and it works really great for that. Since I carry DriDucks, I only carry about 9 oz. for both pants and jacket. Been thinking of leaving the pants at home. Never take them out of my pack.

Erik Dietz

Locale: Los Angeles
re: begrudgingly on 06/22/2012 21:22:12 MDT Print View


I'm curious what $1 poncho you're referring to? I've thought about just bringing a heavy duty trash bag and cut some arm holes...anyone have some thoughts on that?

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Re: Yes on 06/22/2012 22:26:16 MDT Print View

Yes as it is used as a rain jacket, wind jacket, and even for additional warmth if my sleep system isn't sufficient.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
Pnw on 06/22/2012 22:54:19 MDT Print View

Its raining cats and dogs right here now in late june ... If u didnt have rain cover in the hills right now youd go hypothermic if you didnt keep moving ...

I own and use an or helium for the just in case jacket ... 6 oz that packs to the size of an orange ... You never know when youll get stuck ...

Aaron Croft
(aaronufl) - M

Locale: Oregon
Yes. on 06/22/2012 23:09:58 MDT Print View


Susan Papuga
(veganaloha) - M

Locale: USA
Re: Do you always take a rain jacket? on 06/23/2012 03:04:08 MDT Print View

No, not exactly. While I always have some sort of protection for rain or inclement weather, what form it is depends on where I'm going and the forecast. ie, if it's in the mountains or rain forest areas, I will usually take an actual rain jacket. However, if it's low lands or dry areas, then I may only take a driducks top, wind shirt, or dime store tarp.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Appropriate Rain gear for PNW on 06/23/2012 07:04:52 MDT Print View

mama mia - I've always used Gore-Tex or eVent rain jacket. I make my own so I can't recommmend a brand, but they're sort of generic. Longer is better. Fewer pockets and stuff is better because there's less weight. EVent is supposed to be a little better.

Dri-Ducks are supposed to be good - cheap - light - not very durable but you can afford to replace occasionally