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4 Day Rain Packing in PNW :-)
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Yes 1000
4 Day Rain Packing in PNW :-) on 05/23/2013 20:30:21 MDT Print View

So my next all rain hiking in PNW is coming up, other than day hikes with rain, never done a backpacking trip. Any suggestions on how to ace this?

1. Wearing: Pata Silk cap1
Pata Cap3
Exofficio underwear
Columbia Silver Ridge Convertabile.
Liner Socks
Merino Wool Socks
Goretex Boots
2. Carrying: Costco Long underwear (sleeping)
Pata Silk Cap1 (Sleep)
Primaloft 60gms Jacket
2 pairs of Merino Socks
Costco Poly Gloves (liner gloves)
Pata Torrent Shell Rain jacket
Pata Torrent Shell Rain Pants.

3. Tent: Big Agnes UL FlyCreek2
No Ground Cloth

Rest of the gear is pretty much normal backpacking gear like jetboil, waterfilter, Montbell Bag, CCF pad.

Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: 4 Day Rain Packing in PNW :-) on 05/23/2013 22:47:47 MDT Print View

Hey Yes!!!

First thing I see is it seems like a lot of clothes. Maybe not... its personal, and I don't know capeline. (sp?)

If you're sure its gonna be wet as all hell I'd take a plastic groundcloth. When the ground is already soaked... gotta go WP.

I say wear as little clothes as possible while on the move, like thin shirt and a light shell/ tights and WPB pants. If its not constant rain or its barely pissin' take off the WPB pants and put on hiking pants.

Basically, if you're moving and its raining ALL day... you're gonna be wet for one reason or another. How much material is saturated, like the actual thickness or thinness of the material is what matters. You got a really thin syn shirt on the material isnt really soaked, its just holding water in the weave. Since the material is thin, there can't be much water held= easy to dry= throw an insulation layer (in the PNW for camp chores i prefer fleeces under my shell. Better to have to be wet compared to my puffy that I save till cookin/ hangin)

I bet your thin cap shirt and shell would be sufficient, if not a bit hot. (your pace vs terrain vs packweght vs temp) WP pants dependent on strength of rain.

I guess, in short, wear thin layers; don't overdress; you will get wet- what is the least amount of material you are willing to get wet with you-

I swear that last sentence has GOT to be plagiarism of somebody.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
4 Day Rain Packing in PNW on 05/23/2013 23:19:55 MDT Print View

If it's relatively warm (mid 50's or above), I just wear base layer top and nylon pants and get wet. At night, those wet clothes are in a 2 gal. ziplock bag in my sleeping bag. They don't get dry, but at least they are warm when I put them on in the morning, and the moisture isn't in the sleeping bag insulation. If you have troubles waking up in the morning, leave them out; you'll wake up in a hurry when you put them on!

If it's a bit colder, like now (mid-40's), just rain jacket and pants over base layer top will do. I often end up with the rain jacket open for more ventilation while I'm actively hiking.

If it's really cold (like 20's or below), I wear a lightweight fleece vest under the rain jacket.

The trick is to try to avoid sweating as much as possible. During rest stops, the puffy goes on under the rain jacket, being careful to keep it dry. Keeping stops short helps prevent chilling.

I have a dry baselayer top and bottoms, socks and puffy jacket for in camp and in the sleeping bag. Of course the rain jacket and pants go back on if I'm out in the rain! The only duplicate items are a second baselayer top and a second pair of socks. Actually, if I know up front it's going to be rainy the whole time, I may take a third pair of socks.

This article from the BPL archives (2006) is an excellent guide to staying comfortable in sustained cold, rainy weather:
(remove the space after "rain." when pasting)

Edited by hikinggranny on 05/23/2013 23:26:23 MDT.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: 4 Day Rain Packing in PNW :-) on 05/23/2013 23:39:21 MDT Print View

Same here - base layer top, rain jacket, nylon pants, nothing else because I'll get too warm, and it will all get wet so I'de rather have as few things get wet as possible

I think Gore-Tex boots and gaiters are good

Go East of Cascades and it won't be so wet

Edited by retiredjerry on 05/23/2013 23:42:03 MDT.

Yes 1000
Thanks on 05/24/2013 11:43:46 MDT Print View

Thanks Folks.

I think I will leave some clothes at home and add polycro groundsheet.

Yes 1000
Back from the trip on 05/28/2013 22:46:41 MDT Print View

well..came bck from the trip. Everything worked like expected but the tent. my BA FC was fully saturated with water, any ideas on how to keep tent "working" in rainy trip.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: 4 Day Rain Packing in PNW :-) on 05/29/2013 00:40:25 MDT Print View

> 3. Tent: Big Agnes UL FlyCreek2
> No Ground Cloth
Not clear: did you take the inner tent?
If so, then you need to leave the door open a lot more at the top. If no - mistake with all that wet ground.


Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
Rain and Tents on 05/29/2013 01:20:32 MDT Print View

Tents need to have ventilation, especially when everything is wet. I personally have had a lot more problems with double-wall tents than with single-wall. At least with the latter, you can reach the condensation to wipe it off the walls.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: 4 Day Rain Packing in PNW :-) on 05/29/2013 02:54:31 MDT Print View

If it is looking like constant rain, nix the convertible pants and just wear the light long johns under your rain pants. The base layer top will probably get wet and I would be changing to a dry top in camp and then sleep. I would wear the Cap1 with a rain jacket in motion if it was warm enough and save the Cap3 for camp/sleep. I wouldn't wear both Cap1 and Cap3 together unless at rest/camp. If it colder than that, it's time for the fleece. In camp with all day drizzle I would likely have a base layer, a Power Stretch hoody and rain shell. The next step up would be to add a synthetic fill vest like a Revelcloud.

A light fleece mid-layer like R1 or Power Stretch is great on a trip like this and can be worn as a base layer if your other base layer is wet and they make the best pajamas. Using a vest of the same materials instead can cut bulk and weight. A vest is enough to keep a cold rain shell off your shoulders when at rest and might even be wearable for downhill sections on cold rainy days.

And I wouldn't be standing around for too long in camp anyway: with the shelter up and cooking done, I'll be in a warm dry sleeping bag with radio and/or a book.

This is where hammocks rule. With no wind, you can put the tarp in "porch mode" and have a nice dry place to cook, change clothing or just recline with the pitter-patter on the roof. The ventilation is superior to any ground shelter.

Another trick for wet camping is to have a square of Tyvek or light coated cloth to kneel on, crawl into the shelter, or stand on while changing clothing. That helps to keep things dry and mud free. I have wrapped my tent stakes in the same Tyvek square-- I don't need it until the tent is up and it is ready to wrap the stakes when packing up.

Yes 1000
Tent and water on 05/30/2013 22:27:52 MDT Print View

I had my inner tent dry for almost all three night, however on the third night I forgot to properly maneuver the door once or twice and had some water entering inside the tent but that was taken care with the packtowl.

The rain was intense the third night and the rain fly felt completed saturated with water and so was the bottom of the inner tent. When I broke the camp in the morning, it was still raining steadily and now I don't know how to handle this situation, I can't stuff the tent into the stuff sack or in the outer mesh of the backpack without getting water into the inner tent or the dry side of the rain fly. Fortunately we were hiking out that day so I dumped both the tent and rainfly into a trash bag and stuffed inside my backpack.

Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: Tent and water on 05/30/2013 22:55:45 MDT Print View

Trashbag IS the right answer.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Tent and water on 05/30/2013 22:57:44 MDT Print View

Yup, that's PNW camping. If you get a break in the rain, you might be able to shake the tent out and hang it off a tree or brush and let the breeze work it over.

Everything gets soggy, muddy, fit needles stuck here and there. It's just another glorious part of Creation to experience :)

Where did you go?

Yes 1000
onp on 05/30/2013 23:52:47 MDT Print View

Was in the Olympics coast :/

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: onp on 05/31/2013 01:11:52 MDT Print View

"Was in the Olympics coast :/"

Yeaahhh, that is the definition of wet :) The wet gear probably added a couple pounds--- that and the raccoons that attached themselves to your bear can.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
4 Day Rain Packing in PNW :-) on 05/31/2013 11:13:57 MDT Print View

"When I broke the camp in the morning, it was still raining steadily and now I don't know how to handle this situation, I can't stuff the tent into the stuff sack or in the outer mesh of the backpack without getting water into the inner tent or the dry side of the rain fly"

That's why I prefer a single wall tent or the type of double-wall tent in which the fly goes up first (and comes down last) and the inner tent is set up underneath the fly. (Example--Tarptent's double wall tents.) That way you can (with a little practice) set up and take down the shelter without its getting wet inside. It's possible, but more difficult, to lay the fly over the top of the inner tent while you're putting the latter up and down--something you want to practice at home in the back yard, under a lawn sprinkler if it is't raining. In that case, only the inner tent would go in the stuff sack; keep the soggy fly separate.

My tent rides in one of the outside side pockets of my pack so it goes up first, without my having to open my pack, and comes down last, after everything else is packed and my pack is closed. That way, if it's raining or the tent is wet, my pack contents are not affected. Of course you could be carrying an extra half-pound or more of water and wet pine needles! Been there, done that! It helps to give the fly a good shake, but not much point when the sky is falling!

Your trash bag solution for the soggy tent was a good idea. Fortunately, the last day your only concern is to take everything out with you.

Edited by hikinggranny on 05/31/2013 11:17:10 MDT.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: 4 Day Rain Packing in PNW :-) on 05/31/2013 11:37:51 MDT Print View

My tent is my rain gear, so everything gets packed in the tent and then I wear it if it is raining. It tucks into the outside pocket of my pack to be ready for the next squall.

With a hammock, you have a nice chair under a big tarp and lots of room for packing up on a wet morning. With everything else stashed, the tarp can come down and be loaded on top of my trash compactor bag pack liner, or the outside pocket. The tarp is never close to the ground (if I'm careful), so theres no mud to deal with.

I find mud and dirt to be the challenge on a wet trip. It can get pretty slimy and sloppy. Gaiters help keep the bottom of your pants clean and sit pads help the backside.. A small square of Tyvek can make a good "doormat." I always get home with some wet fit needles stuck to something.

Finding a clean spot to set your pack is difficult sometimes. The stub of a broken tree branch works. Once my hammock is up, I can clip it to a carabiner on the suspension, high and dry and out of the reach of most rodents.