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Enjoying Continuously Wet Weather
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Miles Barger
(milesbarger) - F - M

Locale: West Virginia
Foot balm on 04/09/2013 17:26:13 MDT Print View

I like the salve that Andrew Skurka sells. Works very well.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Foot balm on 04/09/2013 17:37:47 MDT Print View

I take some baby talc and 8 by 8 piece of pack towel along with some gurney goo for my feet.

Rick M
(rmjapan) - F

Locale: London, UK
Re: Re: Enjoying the wet on 04/09/2013 17:39:27 MDT Print View

So far all the post seems to be about how to deal with continuous rain with gear and techniques.

When will we see posts on how to ENJOY hiking in the rain for days on end? My experience in these conditions has been pretty much all Type 2/3 fun, e.g., poor/limited visibility, increased danger from slipping/rock fall, scrambling out of valleys to avoid flooding rivers and mud slides, being blown off boardwalks into alpine swamps, praying I can get down off the ridgeline before lighting/hail knocks me off, uphill trails that have become flowing streams, mud, mud, and more mud, etc.

I curious to learn because we have a 2mos rainy season here in Japan from mid-May followed by a typhoon season thru the end of October. I don't mind getting out for day hikes around the coastal woodlands during periods of sustained rains, but the alpine mountains are a different story, especially given the effort/cost needed to get there.

Edited by rmjapan on 04/09/2013 17:49:42 MDT.

Ian B.
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Re: Enjoying the wet on 04/09/2013 17:54:07 MDT Print View

Hey Rick,

Apples to oranges but in Panama, dry season only lasted for 1-4 months. Other than that, I was guaranteed some rain every day and I just learned to work around it. For example, we'd go to the beach and hang out in a cabana until the storm passed through and then run out into the surf. I normally spent 2-5 days every week in the Jungle so I just learned to embrace being wet all the time.

I can handle being wet or cold but being wet and cold at the same time is just plain misery for me so I try to keep those two separated. I mentioned it earlier but that happens easily here in Washington. If it does, I adjust my trip accordingly.

I've never been to Japan but BLUF I'd suggest keeping a flexible and less ambitious schedule when the weather is like that. Reading a book under a tarp while waiting for a storm to pass through is a fine way for me to spend my time but to each their own.

Edited by IDBLOOM on 04/09/2013 18:08:15 MDT.

Rick M
(rmjapan) - F

Locale: London, UK
Re: Re: Re: Re: Enjoying the wet on 04/09/2013 18:56:27 MDT Print View

Hey Ian,

Being fortunate to having the luxury of being flexible and less ambitious are the primary reasons I stay home when the extended forecast looks to be foul! Most years, I make it a point to be out of country during the 2mos rainy season, but this year looks to be different.

Living in the heart of a coastal megalopolis of 30mil people, my primary goal for a hike is to see the alpine vistas, breathe some fresh air, get some much needed exercise and hopefully see an Asian black bear, Serow, flying squirrel, copper pheasant and rock ptarmigan. The pesky monkey's I can do without as they are the devils spawn!

When the alpine weather is foul, none of that seems possible, except for the evil monkeys. The journey then turns into one of endurance and survival Type 2/3 fun.

Edited by rmjapan on 04/09/2013 19:30:40 MDT.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Enjoying the wet on 04/09/2013 19:11:18 MDT Print View

I can't say I've honestly ever enjoyed wet weather hiking. Like Rick, in these parts it generally turns into type 2/3 fun pretty quickly. Problem is, the weather here can barely be predicted even a day in advance, so to me it IS more of learning to *cope* with the conditions rather than enjoying them. And, like Rick, much of my hiking is alpine where a) I wish to enjoy the views, and b) there is no escape from wind, rain, snow and lightning, and the ever present risk of running into a swollen river is always on my mind. Navigating is also a big problem in many storm conditions, especially since much of my hiking is not on tracks. The best map in the world is not much use if visibility is poor and you have no track.

Dry clothes and sleeping bag to change into are my best friends, and of course a good shelter. I don't worry about putting wet clothes and shoes on each morning, but make an effort to make sure they don't freeze overnight!

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
wet on 04/09/2013 20:02:42 MDT Print View

everyone should go out at least once or twice a year even if just for a day in the wet and wild rain IMO ...

just to keep in practice ..

because one of these days youll be away and your "weather" will turn nasty and youll need to tough it out ... and be far enough away that you cant just walk back to your car in a few hours

there was this link i posted awhile back about this hiking group in cali that panicked in wet weather, they made bad decisions, put themselves in danger and needed a rescue ...

just Justin Whitson
(ArcturusBear)
Re: wet on 04/09/2013 21:17:02 MDT Print View

Just my personal view, but nothing wrong with dying either--not that i want to, because i have stuff to do here and i wouldn't want to cause any loved ones pain, but really to me it's no big deal either way. I have no fear of it itself, just dying in a very painful and uncomfortable manner i wouldn't want to do. Personally, i would like to exit stage left via hypothermia, fall asleep and don't wake up, not too bad--there are much, much worse ways which i have observed first hand.

Theron Rohr
(theronr) - F

Locale: Los Angeles, California
wet weather on 04/09/2013 21:19:30 MDT Print View

I'm enjoying this post. The one thing I miss here in SoCal is weather (of all kinds not just rain). I like to catch any weather I can on hiking trips. It always seems like more of an adventure.

Recently I took a regular city umbrella on a rainy overnight and it was great. Especially standing around the campfire in the evening it was nice to not be in soggy rain gear. I plan on getting the Golite silver umbrella eventually - though it'll probably get used more for sun than rain!

I also agree that a tarp is better than a tent in wet weather since it doesn't trap the moisture inside like a tent does.

Martin RJ Carpenter
(MartinCarpenter) - F
Cloud on 04/10/2013 04:11:28 MDT Print View

So long as I can stay out of persistent cloud I'm generally happy enough. That can often mean staying off the 'high' tops. Liking waterfalls perhaps helps. Rain by itself not an issue.

It probably helps that in the UK it's actually quite rare for rain to set in for an entire day - some sort of on/off showers is much more common - and it also doesn't really come in the sort of intensity needed for full scale flash flooding. Having a selective memory helps a lot :)

They even hold one of the mountain marathons in late October specifically to try and get 'interesting' weather in terms of navigation. That turned amusingly 'fun' in 2008. Do a search for OMM 2008 for some interestingly wet videos.....

Ike Jutkowitz
(Ike) - M

Locale: Central Michigan
Wet weather enjoyment on 04/10/2013 04:39:01 MDT Print View

"Half of the bounce is 90% mental" - Tigger

Like many working parents on the forum, I don't always have a lot of flexibility as far as when I go on trips. I can hike in the weather I'm given, or stay home and wait longingly for an opportunity to open up again in a month or two. I'll take the weather, thanks.

As far as enjoyment, cultivating the right attitude, as Miles said, is key.
Here are my mantras:

1. The weather is always exactly what is supposed to be. It is I that must adapt.

2. There are many things in life I can choose. The weather is not one of them

3. If I wasn't out here enjoying this, I would be______________
(Pick one: at work, at home listening to whining, mowing the lawn.....)

4. Bad weather is just one more manifestation of the power of the natural world.

5. This is going to make a really good story....

If none of those work, try smiling and pretending you are having fun. Soon the fantasy becomes reality. If that doesn't work, at least you will look like you were having fun in your pictures. Long after you forget how bad the trip really was, you'll still have the evidence to prove that you were having fun.

Knowing you can hike and be safe in all kinds of weather is actually kind of empowering. Trusting that you have assembled the right gear and have experienced all forms of weather is important.

And finally, type 2 fun is still fun. Don't let the weather dictate what you can and can not do.

J J
(jraiderguy) - M

Locale: Puget Sound
Enjoying it on 04/10/2013 08:57:28 MDT Print View

This thread is great. I'm a California native, and grew up where my "rain gear" was the same unopened emergency poncho for 10 years (may be exaggerating a little). Now living in the PNW, it took me a while to figure out that rain could be fun. I also like to do a basecamp + dayhikes type trip when I'm expecting wet weather. I've even pitched an extra tarp above my tent to give me a large dry porch area. Warm drinks and hot food taste all the better when its raining. Whenever I see those tv commercials for coffee/tea (where a woman wearing a cozy sweater is sipping from a hot mug and looking our her window) I always think about how much more satisfying that cup would be sitting outside your tent on a drizzly morning.

Ian B.
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Enjoying it on 04/10/2013 09:09:25 MDT Print View

I hear you Jim! That was more along the lines of what I was suggesting from a "flexibility" perspective. Not to necessarily cancel the trip but to modify it in a way where you can still log some miles and still enjoy a modicum of comfort at the end of the day. I have a plain ol' (albeit heavy) Noahs Tarp which works well for this. At 9'x9', we set it up in a common area for cooking, lounging, and (ahem) beverage enjoyment.

Elliott Wolin
(ewolin) - MLife

Locale: Hampton Roads, Virginia
RE: Enjoying Continuously Wet Weather on 04/10/2013 11:01:44 MDT Print View

An experience on Kauai, Na Pali coast, where it rains a LOT:

We've carried umbrellas for years, and on the Na Pali coast it really made a difference. When we were there it rained briefly but often. We wore shorts and t-shirts and took out and put away the umbrellas at least once per hour. It was warm, and other than our feet we were dry and comfortable the entire time.

But we came across others who were in a dismal state. They were wearing full WPB rain suits, tops and bottoms, and looked miserable. Since it was too much work to take them off and put them on so often they just kept wearing them. I'm sure it was like a steambath in there for hours on end.

Two styles of dealing with rain, two completely different outcomes. Which one would you choose?

Daniel Fish
(daniel@fishfamilypdx.com)

Locale: PDX
... on 04/10/2013 12:54:43 MDT Print View

...

Edited by daniel@fishfamilypdx.com on 06/08/2013 19:23:05 MDT.

Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: How to enjoy wet weather? Rain is nature's embrace on 04/10/2013 14:06:01 MDT Print View

Damn Hippies ^^^


:)





I like the rain and all but it makes me huddle under a tarp and drink waay too much coffee. Intermittent rain is fine. the whole entire trip is just plain annoying.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Rain on 04/10/2013 14:12:10 MDT Print View

I enjoy the challenge of camping in the rain and the weather can be a very exciting and unique experience.
But if I am going on a long trip, I prefer to have mostly good weather. The rain and wet can get tiresome and annoying. It detracts from the backpacking experience.
I enjoy getting out in the rain for an overnight, but if I can I will usually wait until there is good weather for a long trip.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Rain on 04/10/2013 14:40:39 MDT Print View

Embrace the rain or go mad.

There are a thousand kinds of rain: light cold facials, drizzle, sprinkles, a wall of tiny drops like a garden sprinkler and soaking everything, fat spaced drops falling through the trees, full-on thunder showers, and walking through river valleys with clouds 100 feet overhead with big puffs of gray moisture floating through the trees, the lungs of the earth, your hair is soaked and stuck to your head, your jacket is heavy with wetness inside and out, the wet brush soaking you as you walk the trail, everything is gray and green and wet.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: How to enjoy wet weather? Rain is nature's embrace on 04/10/2013 14:43:46 MDT Print View

"I really love the rain, it doesn't matter if I'm walking the dogs, yard work, or out in the wild."

I enjoy gardening and walking the dogs in the rain. I can keep the exertion level to an amount just enough to keep warm without overheating. I can go inside the same day and dry off by a nice fire in dry clothes. Hiking uphill in heavy rain when I overheat, only to face an open top where hypothermia becomes a real issue is a lot less fun. Umbrellas are great if the wind isn't too strong, but again on the tops in the rain this is hardly ever the case, and I still have to deal with getting through the bush where an umbrella become impractical a lot of the time (my umbrella gets more use in hot still weather). It's not the rain that bothers me, it's trying to regulate my body temperature in a sensible manner that becomes the tedious challenge with long term rain. The occasional shower is no big problem, but when it drags on for days, when rivers become unpassable and routes become a muddy quagmire, when hillsides slip and I have to make unplanned detours through thick bush, when the wind is gale force and drives into my face stinging it, these are the things that make the rain miserable for me. It is not always like this, but too often the rain comes with wind and mud and detours or waits for the rivers to drop. And being wrapped in a cloud makes navigation tricky to say the least!

Paul Magnanti
(PaulMags) - MLife

Locale: People's Republic of Boulder
How to enjoy the rain, sleet and fog... on 04/10/2013 15:17:20 MDT Print View

pasque flower


BMT


Autumn Frost