Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
The worst kind of rain
Display Avatars Sort By:
Joel Benford
(Morte66) - F - M

Locale: Surrey flatlands, England
The worst kind of rain on 05/26/2013 05:16:00 MDT Print View

Inspired by a thread about using windshirts for drizzle...

I find persistent drizzle is the worst kind of rain. It forces me to put a waterproof breathable (WPB) jacket on, and then I get hot from walking. The hood is especially bad.

If it actually rains (what the UK Meteorological Office would call a "shower"), the rain on the WPB jacket provides effective water cooling by conduction. It cools things inside the jacket, I don't sweat so much, it's less steamy.

So in drizzle I'm walking along with the zip half open, letting my sternum get a bit wet to cool off, wearing a ball cap to or Tilley hat to keep rain off my glasses. In actual rain I close up the jacket as intended and I'm comfy.

This effect is more pronounced in my Polartec Neoshell jacket, but it happens in basic Goretex and eVent too.

Do other people get this, or am I weird?

What is the worst kind of rain?

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Re The worst kind of rain on 05/26/2013 06:22:32 MDT Print View

I agree a drizzle can be pretty annoying. Some days on the Colorado Trail I was wearing my rainsuit most of the day for the on and off drizzle.

I could see an umbrella being nice for drizzle. The advantage would be breathability and the ability to deploy it without having to stop and take your pack off. However I still prefer a complete rain suit for serious rain.

Bogs and Bergs
(Islandized) - F

Locale: Newfoundland
Re The worst kind of rain on 05/26/2013 08:18:47 MDT Print View

Scotch mist. When the air is full of droplets so small and fine that they don't fall at all, just hang there. So it doesn't appear to be raining, but you will be soaked to the skin in ten minutes. An umbrella can't help you, nothing is falling. Only full top and bottom rain gear will keep you dry. But your face will still gather the water you walk through, blinding you, and then it runs down your neck. At camp, the tarp is just as effective as the umbrella, i.e. not at all, no matter how low it's pitched. Because the air is full of water, and where there's air, there's wet. You can see your breath at 20 Celsius.

This is why I own nothing made of down.

Ryan Smith
(ViolentGreen) - F

Locale: Southeast
Re: Re The worst kind of rain on 05/26/2013 08:31:00 MDT Print View

Scotch mist sounds a lot like when we camp up high in the mountains and the clouds come down low. Nothing like walking, eating, and sleeping inside a cloud. 90% of what you're breathing is water vapor. Things do tend to get a tad moist. Blah.

Ryan

Edited by ViolentGreen on 05/26/2013 12:06:27 MDT.

steven franchuk
(Surf) - M
Re: The worst kind of rain on 05/26/2013 11:16:40 MDT Print View

"This effect is more pronounced in my Polartec Neoshell jacket, but it happens in basic Goretex and eVent too."

What effect are you refering to?

"It forces me to put a waterproof breathable (WPB) jacket on, and then I get hot from walking. The hood is especially bad."

Anything that reduces or restricts air flow can act as insulation. So putting a rain jacket on will slow the loss of heat from your body and you will fill warmer.

"the rain on the WPB jacket provides effective water cooling by conduction. It cools things inside the jacket, I don't sweat so much, it's less steamy."

any good breathable material will not allow steam to build up in the jacket because of the flow of moisture through the fabric. and as a result will feel cooler. If you have a jacket that always gets steamy, it doesn't have good breathability.

Edited by Surf on 05/26/2013 14:35:28 MDT.

Joel Benford
(Morte66) - F - M

Locale: Surrey flatlands, England
Re: Re: The worst kind of rain on 05/26/2013 13:05:00 MDT Print View

"What effect are you refering to?"

The benficial effect of rain increasing from "minimal" to "light". The Neoshell gains more cooling than the other fabrics. If I wear it when it's not raining (just threatening) it's as hot as eVent, but when it actually rains a bit it's cooler.

steven franchuk
(Surf) - M
Re: Re: Re: The worst kind of rain on 05/26/2013 14:31:42 MDT Print View

"The benficial effect of rain increasing from "minimal" to "light". The Neoshell gains more cooling than the other fabrics. If I wear it when it's not raining (just threatening) it's as hot as eVent, but when it actually rains a bit it's cooler."

It's called evaporative cooling. When sweat accumulates in the clothing under the jacket it builds up. But when it does evaporate and move through the fabric it cares away a lot of heat.

In threatening conditions the air is not saturated with moisture so the sweat you generate travels through the fabric of the jacket before your clothes get wet. So the amount of evaporative cooling your get is minimal.

however in rain (very light to heavy) air humidity of often close to 100%. In that case some of the sweat you generate gets the cloths wet. When the water in the cloths does evaporate it carries heat from your body out through the fabric.

the strength of the effect is dependent on how breathable the jacket fabric is. Neoshell is current the most breathable WPB fabric on the market. Event is second. then you have the various iterations of Gortex and then everything else. So Event and Neoshell will show the effect more so than most other fabrics.

I live 20 years on the pacific northwest and am well aware of the weather conditions you describe. I currently live in California and recently got an event jacket and wanted to see how breathable it was. So on a windy day at home I put on a warm shirt (it was about 45F at about 50% humidity, no rain) and did an exercise hike with the Event jacket on fully zipped up with the hood on and tightly adjusted to minimize air leakage and put on a 20 lb pack and hiked as hard as I could for about 2 hours. Evaporative cooling was noticeable where my sweat was accumulating Mainly around my neck and back. When I took of the pack My back started to get cold and the backpack was wet.

Edited by Surf on 05/26/2013 18:34:00 MDT.

M B
(livingontheroad) - M
drizzle on 05/26/2013 14:38:26 MDT Print View

I dont mind drizzle. I dont wear raingear in it, even at 50F, because I will be wet anyway and just hiking keeps me warm enough.

But it doesnt chill you, or waterlog you like a downpour does.

I can hike in a drizzle. In a downpour I want to find shelter and wait till it slacks up.

Susan Papuga
(veganaloha) - M

Locale: USA
worst kind of rain = a cold rain on 05/26/2013 19:03:01 MDT Print View

I don't like a sustained rain when the temperature is hovering just above freezing. As the temp dips, you get hail and snow in addition to the rain.

I don't mind being wet, but wet and cold is a bummer. Personally, this is the potential hypotherma-inducing condition that gets my attention. It's hard to stay warm or keep clothes and gear dry.

Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Worst kind of rain on 05/26/2013 22:03:30 MDT Print View

Rain accompanied by wind. Worse yet if the wind keeps changing direction.

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: Worst kind of rain on 05/26/2013 22:11:09 MDT Print View

Small droplets with high wind. Nice stinging effect. Even better if it is just around freezing.


Or the six inches in five hours kind of rain. You know when you can't see across the street kind of rain. And only 2 miles from the car.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
Re: The worst kind of rain on 05/26/2013 23:18:01 MDT Print View

...is always better than NO rain.

Don't like the rain, send it our way, we need it! People are starting to throw dollar bills at my feet every night mistaking my rain dances as entertainment.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
drizzle on 05/27/2013 01:42:56 MDT Print View

1. unzip yr pit zips all the way ... if you have full length to torso zips even better

2. unzip yr zipper most of the way ... yr chest strap on yr pack will be enough to keep yr jacket closed enough

3. some drizzle will get n yr base layer ... but thats OK ... because you are wearing the thinnest SYNTHETIC layer you can for quick drying ... body heat will dry it out as you move anyways ... and you are wearing as little as possible under the jacket

4. vary yr pace to prevent excessive sweating ...

5. youll still get damp no matter what in continuous rain/drizzle/etc ... deal with it

;)

Buck Nelson
(Colter) - MLife

Locale: Alaska
Heavy, cold, wind-blown rain in the face on 05/27/2013 07:10:21 MDT Print View

Just above freezing, a hard wind blowing the rain into my hood. That's pretty brutal!

Hamish McHamish
(El_Canyon) - M

Locale: USA
_ on 05/27/2013 07:44:17 MDT Print View

To me the worst kind of rain is rain that keeps on for days, with no opportunities to dry out. No matter how bad the rain if it stops and I can get some drier air or hopefully sunshine, and can dry out some, its OK. When the rain conditions last for the entire trip, that sucks.

Because the thing I hate most about the wet is not my body being wet, its my feet. At some point even HydroPel won't stop the maceration.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: drizzle on 05/27/2013 08:00:33 MDT Print View

Sometimes it's better if it's near freezing because I can close up WPB jacket and not overheat, I'll stay fairly dry.

If it's warmer and windy then it's tough to open anything for ventilation and I'll get sweaty.

Ross Bleakney
(rossbleakney) - MLife

Locale: Cascades
Re: Re: drizzle on 05/27/2013 12:37:38 MDT Print View

I find fleece to be the best thing for drizzle. Both a fleece sweater and fleece hat are great. Unfortunately, a fleece sweater is pretty heavy for the amount of warmth it gives, so I typically don't use it in for backpacking. But for day hiking and winter trips (where the temperature is often close to freezing) it is essential.

For walking around town (in Seattle) I find a Gore-Tex jacket and fleece hat to be just right. I get enough fresh air on my face and neck to keep me warm, but the fleece hat keeps the rain from bothering me. Likewise, I use a fleece hat with my O2 jacket when backpacking. If the rain picks up, I throw on my hood. Either way, my puffy synthetic jacket stays in the pack unless it gets a lot colder (or I stop hiking).

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
drizzle and blowing fog on 05/27/2013 16:49:56 MDT Print View

Both these nasty conditions have the same problem, constant wet. Aaarrrggghhh!
Time to make camp if you can.

But if you must travel good a WPB rain suit is a must - and rain mitts if it's cold.
And try to hike with others B/C "Misery loves company".