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6 Tips to Stay Happy When Its Wet on Trail

Posted by Anna Roth at Mar 17, 2016 09:25 AM |

Check out WTA's tips that will help you stay happy and warm on those days when the sun isn't shining.

A wet day on trail brings out even the smallest of water features, transforming a trail into a waterfall-lined wonderland. But rain can make it a cold day in the Pacific Northwest. If showers are in the forecast, you'll want to pack these extra goodies in your bag to maximize your fun.

Rainy day on PCT Bob Cowdrick
Hikers smile on the way along the PCT for a trail maintenance trip. Photo by Bob Cowdrick

1. Line your pack

Maybe you've got a great pack cover, but if its been a while since you've waterproofed it, or the rain's really coming down, line your pack with a large trash bag. This extra layer of protection keeps water from soaking your dry gloves or lunch.

2. Pack your rain gear

This may seem obvious, but rain doesn't always meet you at the trailhead. Instead, it may show up midway through your day. If it's not raining when you reach the trailhead, stuff your raingear in your pack in case it starts to sprinkle. Just be sure it fits over your other clothes!

rain gear collage mackenzie bloomquist
An umbrella can help keep you dry on a wet hike to a work site, while pack covers (and inner liners) can help you keep the contents of your bag dry. Photos (l to r) by Meagan Mackenzie and Benjamin Bloomquist.

3. Have a sit pad

Sitting on cold or wet ground transfers a lot of body heat away from you, so bring something padded to sit on! Maybe you've got a camp chair, or a special seating pad. If not, a kneeling pad (found at most garden stores) serves the same purpose.

Bonus tip: On volunteer work parties, the pad will save your knees during the day if you are working low to the ground.

4. Bring a warm lunch

There's nothing like having something hot to eat when lunch rolls around on a drizzly day. That steaming thermos of soup or tea can make lunch especially enjoyable.

Refuel with a brothy soup (extra points for a shot of Sriracha as a spicy finish) or with a hearty stew. Just remember you've got to clean that soup out at the end of the day; bring it in a wide-mouth container so it's easier to clean up.

food on a cold day pringle denny T
Popcorn in the afternoon on a work party is a great way to recharge. Hot cocoa does the trick, too -- especially in the snow. Photos (l to r) by Andrew Pringle and Denny T.

5. Stash an extra pair of gloves

Wet hands can get cold in a hurry. When you're hiking having a second set is great, in case the first get wet. On volunteer work parties, Atlas Therm-a-Fit gloves are snug enough to give you good dexterity and have rough rubber grips, but they might soak up water as you work. Bring an extra pair so when you peel off the first set at lunch, you can put on a new, dry pair afterwards.

Bonus tip for volunteers: Snag a box of latex gloves and bring a couple of pairs along. Put these on under your work gloves for an extra layer of water protection.

6. Pack a happy bag

There's nothing better than coming back to a car with a dry set of clothes. Pack comfy shoes for the ride back, cozy pants and a shirt, maybe even another thermos of cocoa to warm you up from the inside out.



Got other tips for successfully hiking in the rain? Share them in the comments below. Stay dry out there!



Is that guy really shown wearing jeans in an article about keeping comfortable in the rain?

Posted by:

kepPNW on Mar 21, 2016 12:33 PM

Anna Roth on 6 Tips to Stay Happy When Its Wet on Trail

We picked the photo more because of the popcorn as a nice idea as something fun to warm up with on trail. It was from a drier day, but you're right, jeans aren't the best choice in wet weather.

Posted by:

Anna Roth on Mar 21, 2016 12:43 PM