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#196324 - 08/11/16 06:46 AM Isle of Sky Help
Viking Offline

Registered: 08/11/16
Posts: 2
Loc: Czech republic
Hi all,
I have few questions regarding hiking in almost constant rain. I will visit Isle of Sky in early March and stay for about a month. I will camp out in the nature and on occasion I will stay at a camp site for the warm shower and laundry.
Do you have any recommendations, suggestions, or tips I can utilize? 83% chances of rain with average 82mm rain fall within March.
Is anyone here who has hiked this area before that could also give me some tips on where to go and what to see?
Thank you,

#196325 - 08/11/16 01:25 PM Re: Isle of Sky Help [Re: Viking]
OregonMouse Online   content

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6799
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
The writings of Chris Townsend, who lives and backpacks in the Scottish Highlands, should be of considerable help. once published a truly excellent article on "Backpacking in Sustained Cold Rain" by Alan Dixon. It was published in 2006 (unfortunately BPL doesn't have articles of that quality any more), but now you have to pay $25 for a year's membership to be able to read it (you used only to have to pay $5 to read a single article). IMHO, the article is worth it.

A few suggestions from my own experience in the Pacific Northwest: Synthetic clothing (no cotton!). Go to whatever lengths are necessary to keep your insulation dry! Reserve a dry base layer and sleeping socks (synthetic) to wear only inside your sleeping bag, and keep them dry. Have a tent that you can pitch and take down without getting the inner layer wet. (That means one in which the fly pitches first). If your hiking clothing is wet (it probably will be), have a plastic bag to seal it in at night (it won't dry in your tent), and put the bag inside your sleeping bag. It won't dry, but at least it will be warm when you put it back on in the morning (and will dry faster from your body heat), and if the plastic bag is properly sealed, it won't wet out your sleeping bag insulation.

Edited by OregonMouse (08/11/16 01:28 PM)
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

#196327 - 08/11/16 10:05 PM Re: Isle of Sky Help [Re: OregonMouse]
Glenn Roberts Online   content

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 2206
Loc: Southwest Ohio
Hi, Mouse:
I don't have nearly the prolonged-rain experience you do, but I've had some here in the Ohio River valley. I second everything you said, especially about having a tent that you can pitch fly-first. I also carry my tent fly in a separate stuff sack from my tent body. That way, when I have a reasonably dry inner tent, I don't have the wet fly in there with it, ensuring that the inner will also be wet. I don't know how long you'll really be able to keep the inner dry in prolonged rain, but in the two-day bouts we sometimes have, it really helps.

Another advantage of a fly-first pitch is that you can use it, without the inner, to create a reasonably dry spot to eat lunch.

One thing I wonder: if walking in prolonged rain, would a two person tent offer any advantages over a one-person tent? For example, would having extra room to store gear inside the tent instead of in a muddy vestibule be an advantage? Or would it simply give you enough room that you aren't jostling the rain fly when you move around, causing condensation or other drips into the tent? Around here, I've never had any problems using a one-person Hubba - but again, about two days and nights is the worst I'm ever exposed to.

#196331 - 08/12/16 12:35 PM Re: Isle of Sky Help [Re: Glenn Roberts]
OregonMouse Online   content

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6799
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Actually, I've gotten along fine in wet weather with a single-wall tent, although I might want to switch if I were regularly backpacking in prolonged rain. Our prolonged rains usually start in November, and by that time, the days are too short for backpacking anyway, since I don't want to be cooped up for long hours of darkness.

Since, until the last few years, I've had to accomodate a 75-lb. dog, my tents are 2 person anyway.
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

#196340 - 08/13/16 11:09 AM Re: Isle of Sky Help [Re: OregonMouse]
Snappypepper Offline

Registered: 08/02/16
Posts: 18
if you'll have occasional laundry access, use that time to thoroughly dry any wet gear. Other than that, I echo what others have said. Keep insulation dry, try to keep the inner tent as dry as you can. Use a sunny afternoon to hang stuff out to dry. Dry bags, pack covers, and even trash bags are your friend!

#196403 - 08/22/16 11:11 PM Re: Isle of Sky Help [Re: Viking]
JustWalking Offline

Registered: 01/12/16
Posts: 293
Loc: PNW
In addition to my shelter, I like to carry a cuben 8.5x11 tarp (which many folks use as a shelter) if I know I'm going out in sustained rain. I can use the tarp during the day set up in a modified lean-to for a nice lunch break without having to break out my main shelter, and it'll accomodate 2-3 people easily for such a use. It's incredibly light, so I'm not adding that much weight. Also makes a nice dinner area for 2-3 so we can eat together instead of each retreating to our shelters for dinner.

#196436 - 08/25/16 02:11 PM Re: Isle of Sky Help [Re: Viking]
OregonMouse Online   content

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6799
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Found another article (and it's free!) about backpacking when it's cold and wet:
Cold and Wet--The Hardest Hiking
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey


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