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To stay as dry as possible, should you walk or run through the rain?
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Tim Cheek
(hikerfan4sure) - MLife
To stay as dry as possible, should you walk or run through the rain? on 07/23/2012 15:34:46 MDT Print View

"Basically, the best strategy for staying dry (or at least somewhat dry) is to run as fast as possible. Unless you’re really thin, in which case there may be a more optimal speed. And if you’ve got a tailwind behind you, then you should run exactly as fast as the wind at your back."



http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/07/20/physicists-tackle-a-pressing-problem-how-to-stay-dry-in-the-rain/

Randy Martin
(randalmartin) - F

Locale: Colorado
Re: To stay as dry as possible, should you walk or run through the rain? on 07/23/2012 15:54:30 MDT Print View

For the non scientist types,

if you are wearing no rain gear and just crossing the street then absolutely running makes sense, if you have no rain gear and have to travel a mile it doesn't matter, if you are hiking and have limited rain gear (just a top or just an umbrella) then walking will almost always be the best option because running would cause you to outrun your rain shield that your protection provides (i.e., rain coming in under the umbrella or under your hood visor).

Edited by randalmartin on 07/23/2012 15:56:39 MDT.

Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: Re: To stay as dry as possible, should you walk or run through the rain? on 07/23/2012 16:09:10 MDT Print View

Mythbusters tackled this one.

IIRC the runner gor more wet. (probly don't remember correctly, though)

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: Melbourne
To stay as dry as possible, should you walk or run through the rain? on 07/23/2012 19:20:58 MDT Print View

Yes, better to walk ...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtbJbi6Sswg

Ryan Smith
(ViolentGreen) - F

Locale: Southeast
Re: Re: Re: To stay as dry as possible, should you walk or run through the rain? on 07/24/2012 10:36:32 MDT Print View

You are remembering correctly Barry. Mythbusters found that running got a person more wet than walking. Seems like they weighed all clothing before/after the rain and found the runner's clothes to have gained more water weight.

I don't care. I'm still running.

Ryan

Andy F
(AndyF) - M

Locale: Midwest/Midatlantic
Re: To stay as dry as possible, should you walk or run through the rain? on 07/26/2012 11:58:47 MDT Print View

It's a trick question! To stay as dry as possible, you should stay out of the rain entirely. ;)

joseph peterson
(sparky) - F

Locale: Southern California
To stay as dry as possible, should you walk or run through the rain? on 07/26/2012 18:51:48 MDT Print View

I vote for get in my tent and wait it out.

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: To stay as dry as possible, should you walk or run through the rain? on 07/26/2012 19:57:07 MDT Print View

It rain gear is not an option, then body temperature may be a much more significant factor. When cold and wet, walking may not produce enough heat to stay warm. Running would be warmer, but then you have the problem of keeping upright on a wet trail.

peter vacco
(fluff@inreach.com) - M

Locale: no. california
to run or not ? on 07/27/2012 10:31:43 MDT Print View

in any BPL theoritical ideal perfect situation the rain will be falling directly straight down. and of course the wind will be neutral direction or zero. so now that we have established conditions that can not actually exist, it's time for a BPL discussion ! that this discussion may eventually invoke religion, name calling, satire, and economics .. it's a foregone conclusion.

here we go :

let us assume that a pair of un-gendered folks named Runner and Walker are going travel from A to B over distance x~y, and it will be raining that nice statistically perfect precipitation so common on the internet.
Runner and Walker, being a species of "folks" are conveniently shaped as upright rectangular boxes, not unlike small phone booths.
because of their shape, and the ideal rain conditions, during their travels from X to Y in the rain, R and W will get wet only on their top and front surfaces.
it gets good here ..
the volume of area swept by the identical sized R and W in their travel will be the same.
at any given moment, the amount of rain in this volume remains constant.
both R and W will both sweep this volume and in doing so absorb the amount of water it contains on their front surfaces. R will sweep it faster than W, but the water amount will still be the same.
HOWEVER, W takes longer than R, so it (no gender.. remember), because of the longer duration of exposure, will be exposed to a greater amount of rain impacting it's upper surface.
we can all know from this astute analysis of the situation, that R will stay dryer than W.

thusly, the correct answer to the question is "all other things being equal .. Run."

you're welcome ..

v.

Larry De La Briandais
(Hitech) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Depends on how fast the rain droplets fall... on 07/27/2012 18:08:38 MDT Print View

You need to more forward at the same speed the rain is falling at.

But, it really won't make much difference either way...

Jay Wilkerson
(Creachen) - MLife

Locale: East Bay
Should you walk or run through the rain? on 07/27/2012 18:50:34 MDT Print View

I really enjoy a afternoon thunder shower! If it is really bad/windy or sideways rain I will stop and set up my tarp and that has happened to me once. All the other times I walk and take out the umbrella and enjoy the refreshing rain. Always check the forecast.

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: Should you walk or run through the rain? on 07/27/2012 19:06:24 MDT Print View

Walk!

I'm 58 years old and I gave up running long ago unless my life is one the line.

That being said lightening is life threatening.

However my weather forecast for tomorrow morning is a 30% chance of thunderstorms all day long. When I left work today my goal was to go out and take a nice long walk early in the morning. I am a fat boy. I'm 5' 9" and @228 lbs. When I walk I perspire. If it rains I find it cooling and somewhat enjoyable. If the weather gets really rough I will have my poncho tarp with me and I will be able to hunker down somewhere until it calms down enough for me to continue my walk / hike.

FWIW I live in SE Louisiana and tomorrow's forecast is avg. temp of 85 with a relative humidity of 90% and 30% chance of thunder showers. No matter what I do if I go walking I will get wet!;-)

Party On,

Newton

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Should you walk or run through the rain? on 07/27/2012 19:49:27 MDT Print View

I say... Skip!

So what happens if you skip? Drier than walking, or drier than running? Wetter than either? Wetter than both? Inconsequential? Purely rhetorical? Brings you into an altered state, and therefore rain has no measurable effect? Or perhaps the downward shock loosens the rain? Anyone want an ice-cream?

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Re: Re: Should you walk or run through the rain? on 07/27/2012 20:56:37 MDT Print View

How about bees? Should you walk or run through a swarm of bees? How about yellow jackets or those gray ground bees? Personally I run like hell but those yellow jackets still sting me every time.

David Goodyear
(dmgoody) - MLife

Locale: mid-west
singing on 07/27/2012 21:18:34 MDT Print View

If you are "singing in the rain" you won't care that it is raining

Steofan The Apostate
(simaulius) - F

Locale: Bohemian Alps
"To stay as dry as possible, should you walk or run through the rain?" on 07/28/2012 05:27:06 MDT Print View

In town, run out of the rain and in the front door of a coffee shop. it makes for a movie-like moment.
On a trail, I just turn sideways and walk between the raindrops. It helps to be 6'2" and 155 lbs. I think that Ben (in another thread) said that there is an equation for this on Amazon for 99 cents.

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: To stay as dry as possible, should you walk or run through the rain? on 07/28/2012 05:59:04 MDT Print View

Sinatra said,

"When you walk through a storm,
Hold your head up high,
And don't be afraid of the dark.
At the end of the storm,

Is the golden sky,
And the sweet silver song of the lark.
Walk on through the wind,
Walk on through the rain,

Though your dreams be tossed and blown,
Walk on, walk on with hope in your heart,
And you'll never walk alone,
You'll never walk alone".
;-)

Party On,

Newton

Larry De La Briandais
(Hitech) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
walk or run on 07/28/2012 12:40:18 MDT Print View

Walk thru bees, run from wasps. BTW, yellow jackets are wasps not bees.

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
. on 08/02/2012 20:22:54 MDT Print View

More time in the rain more wet, less time less wet. Therefore run.

M B
(livingontheroad) - M
rain on 08/04/2012 18:02:41 MDT Print View

you should run naked thru the rain.


Then everyone will think you are crazy, and lock you up. There you will be dry for a long time.

Jordo _99
(jordo_99) - MLife

Locale: Nebraska
My vote: Run on 09/24/2012 12:13:46 MDT Print View

Basically, he's the way I look at it:

Situation 1 - you have rain gear that will keep you dry
* walking will likely keep rain from getting inside a hood and similar small gaps.

Situation 2 - You only have a poncho that will keep you mostly dry.
* the fastest you can go without getting more wet than walking...if you run your legs will likely move the poncho around enough to get you more wet than if you walked.

Situation 3 - No rain gear
* Absolutely run if the terrain isn't going to be too dangerous for it. You are going to get wet either way and at least if you run you'll be getting your body heat up and have more time to hang your clothes up to dry if/when you find shelter.

AND THE BIGGEST CONCERN IN MY OPINION - Is the weather going to be getting worse?
If yes, then book it because you might be able to get to shelter before it starts pouring.


Needless to say, I'll run in almost any situation that involves rain so long as I'm not going to twist an ankle. If I'm in a group I'll usually let them walk while I go up ahead and find shelter (or set up a tarp).

Everett Vinzant
(wn7ant) - MLife

Locale: CDT
I have a bright idea on 09/26/2012 10:36:16 MDT Print View

Pogo...

Until you slip :)

Rain doesn't worry me unless it effects my temperature or traction. Those would be my only concern. So I'm wet. I have shelter and can get dry when I want to. Or, I won't have shelter for a while, and wearing myself out in a hurry doesn't make much sense. I guess what the article lacks is, what's the point? Is the point to stay dry because being wet will effect temperature or traction? Great, let's discuss it. If it effects temperature but not traction, run. If it effects traction but not temperature, walk. If it effects both, you need to carefully asses your situation so that you don't die of exposure.

Otherwise, walk and point and laugh at the people running.

Larry Schwartz
(larryschwartz) - F
And the answer is......................walk on 10/03/2012 14:41:31 MDT Print View

My wife didn't believe me until I convinced her to try it last weekend. Walking, for the same distance, will get you less wet than running will. I can't prove it with a formula but my actual experience proves it out. It may be because if you run the water is more likely to penetrate and saturate your clothing, or you might be running into more raindrops when you run, I don't know.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: My vote: Run on 10/04/2012 14:10:00 MDT Print View

"Situation 3 - No rain gear
* Absolutely run if the terrain isn't going to be too dangerous for it. You are going to get wet either way and at least if you run you'll be getting your body heat up and have more time to hang your clothes up to dry if/when you find shelter."

This one! at least the time i got caught in a downpour this summer in VT. knew the shelter was 1.5mi away, insane downpour, trail was a 4-6" deep river. Ran like hell. no sense stopping to get out the rain gear. got to the shelter, changed into dry stuff and put rain gear over that while my main clothes dried out on the line.

jason quick
(jase)

Locale: A tent in my backyard - Melbourne
hilarious on 10/04/2012 23:43:33 MDT Print View

"...you should run naked thru the rain. Then everyone will think you are crazy, and lock you up. There you will be dry for a long time."

...classic. Very funny.