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#95594 - 11/10/08 08:43 AM Re: Hiking in the RAIN [Re: earlylite]
kutenay Offline
member

Registered: 10/12/04
Posts: 102
Loc: B.C. Canada
I live on the BC Coast, the region of North America with the highest annual rainfall, only a small area in SE Alaska and on the Olympic Penninsula receive about as much precip. The absolute highest is at Ocean Falls and Bella Coola plus the north tip of Vancouver Is., all palces where I have lived and worked in the outdoors in forestry.

My regular home is in "dry" Vancouver, but, I usually train-hike in the North Shore Mtns. which receive 1.5 FEET of rain in November alone. I relay on merino baselayer, light synthetic outers such as Cabela's nylon fishing pants and an eVent Thru Hiker parka from Integral Designs, plus coated nylon chaps for brushbusting, Gore-Tex wets out here in less than 15 minutes.

For emergencies, I now often carry my Hilleberg Bivanorak in red as an addition because it WILL keep one dry, no matter what the rain is like. With merino, I will often wear an Icebreaker Tornado over a light merino base layer and this works fine for 4-6 hr. hikes in even fairly heavy rain. I might add, that I have never found a synthetic top that will equal merino in comfort in cold rain...and I have tried a lot of them.

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#95595 - 11/10/08 08:53 AM Re: Hiking in the RAIN [Re: JAK]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
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#95596 - 11/10/08 07:19 PM Re: Hiking in the RAIN [Re: kutenay]
thecook Offline


Registered: 10/03/08
Posts: 541
Loc: Minnesota
What do you do for boots? Trail runners and just hike in wet feet? Leather boots really well sealed? Gortex lined boots? Discriminting minds want to know <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />
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If I wouldn't eat it at home, why would I want to eat it on the trail?

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#95597 - 11/10/08 07:56 PM Re: Hiking in the RAIN [Re: thecook]
Howie Offline
member

Registered: 06/02/03
Posts: 481
Loc: Canora, SK, Canada
My feet have never become wet in my Solomon trailrunners. They have worked flawlessly for about 4 years now. Gortex works for me.

Howie

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#95598 - 11/11/08 06:04 AM Re: Hiking in the RAIN [Re: Howie]
kutenay Offline
member

Registered: 10/12/04
Posts: 102
Loc: B.C. Canada
I tried a couple pairs of GT-lined boots, but, found that they did not last, now, this is daily use and wearing them constantly. I am not a fan of GT in boots, but, was a fan of it for certain other purposes. I probably had the first GT gear imported into BC, in late '77 and early '78, from Early Winters of Seattle and the original Marmot Mtn. of Grand Junction, CO. It was/is GREAT in snow camping.

So, I have simply used the best FGL and Nubuck leather hikers I can find and some of mine that work are Van Gorkums, these are FGL custom boots, now VERY costly, FGL Kastingers, FGL Meindls and Nubuck Scarpa Concordias. The FGL boots are MUCH better than the Nubucks, but, almost impossible to find now, although AJ Brooks still imports a few FGL Meindls.

I treat my boots with Obenauf's and it is the best goop for boots I have ever used and I have tried them all. Obenauf's and FGL boots WILL keep your tootsies dry and I change my socks every 4-6 hrs., always having a spare pair in my pack.

There are a few other more work-oriented boots that will also work, I cannot and will not wear trail runners or light hikers as I need better support.

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#95599 - 11/11/08 06:31 PM Re: Hiking in the RAIN [Re: kutenay]
thecook Offline


Registered: 10/03/08
Posts: 541
Loc: Minnesota
Thanks! I've hiked for many years in GTX boots, Sundowners specifically, but before that used full grain leather boots, split leather boots, and some of the early light sueded leather and fabric boots. Now I have switched to non Gortex trail runners for warm three season use because they breathe so well but am still contemplating what to use between those and mukluk season.
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If I wouldn't eat it at home, why would I want to eat it on the trail?

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#95600 - 12/03/08 05:06 PM Re: Hiking in the RAIN [Re: earlylite]
sabre11004 Offline
member

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 513
Loc: Tennessee
Did I mention that most of us stand in a torential down pour for 20-30 minutes every day in the shower. It's just water and as long as you can stay warm you have no worries...I have hiked for many hours in the rain on the AT and as it may be no fun, only the most serious down pour would be any reason to hunker down under a poncho when it starts to rain. Hell if you did that every time that it rained on the AT you would never get any where....


The first step that you take will be one of those that get you there...
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The first step that you take will be one of those that get you there 1!!!!!

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#95601 - 12/03/08 05:09 PM Re: Hiking in the RAIN [Re: thecook]
sabre11004 Offline
member

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 513
Loc: Tennessee
The best way that I have succeeded in beating the rain getting in my boots is to make sure that I have really good pants and that they are long enough to fully cover my boots and that my boots are water proof..I rarely get my feet wet unless I have to cross water and you often do. and then they still dry pretty fast...


The first step that you take is one of those that will get you there...
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The first step that you take will be one of those that get you there 1!!!!!

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#95602 - 12/03/08 05:12 PM Re: Hiking in the RAIN [Re: Howie]
sabre11004 Offline
member

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 513
Loc: Tennessee
Every experience that I have had with Gortex is that the more that it is subjected to the rain the better chance that you have of your feet getting wet. That also goes for pants or a jacket too. It's only good for a short time when you are talking of total water proofness...I use silicone impregnated nylon and it will never let you down if it is properly maintained...



The first step that you take will be one of those that get you there....
_________________________
The first step that you take will be one of those that get you there 1!!!!!

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#95603 - 12/03/08 06:52 PM Re: Hiking in the RAIN [Re: sabre11004]
Paddy_Crow Offline
member

Registered: 11/08/04
Posts: 2285
Loc: Michigan
If I spent 20-30 minutes in the shower, I'd be late for work. I think I take about 5 minutes. From the time that my alarm goes off until I'm sitting at my desk is about 45 minutes...

For what it's worth, my house is around 70 degrees F and the temperature of my shower water is about 105 degrees F. And as soon as I get out I have to dry myself off to keep from getting a chill.

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#95604 - 12/04/08 02:10 AM Re: Hiking in the RAIN [Re: Paddy_Crow]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
I had this pair of wool gloves with suede or leather palms. The wool was pretty good but the suede or leather palms made them worthless. Some trail runners are the same way. Its ok if they are not waterproof. What's not ok is when they make your wool socks even wetter and colder than if you were hiking in just the wool socks. In warm weather it doesn't matter too much, and there might even be some benefit to cold wet sneakers as opposed to warm wet sneakers, but in cold rain and wet snow, like say 10F to 50F, I think you want trail runners that absorb and hold as little water as possible, but the type of material matters also, as in wool-like vs cotton-like. It might be harder to find a good fit if there is less of that padding, but I don't think the padding is neccessarry with a good fit, especially once its cold enough for medium or thick socks.

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#95605 - 12/04/08 08:11 AM Re: Hiking in the RAIN [Re: sabre11004]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2865
Loc: California
I like to shower but do not like hiking in the rain! However, I have ended up using the naked strategy - pack away most clothes and hike in wind siut (or rainsuit if it is cold). You get wet from the outside and inside both so may as well think of clothing as a wet-suit. I keep walking and take very short breaks. Once in camp I quickly change into insulating clothes and jump in the tent.

I also have a funny quirk - I hate to get my face and head wet. I find that if I have a good rain hat I do much better. I cannot stand hoods.

I also agree that in warmer temperatures, rain is primarily a comfort issue, but in cold rain, it becomes a safety issue.

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#95606 - 12/06/08 12:43 PM Re: Hiking in the RAIN [Re: wandering_daisy]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Quote:
I like to shower but do not like hiking in the rain! However, I have ended up using the naked strategy - pack away most clothes and hike in wind siut (or rainsuit if it is cold). You get wet from the outside and inside both so may as well think of clothing as a wet-suit. I keep walking and take very short breaks. Once in camp I quickly change into insulating clothes and jump in the tent.

I also have a funny quirk - I hate to get my face and head wet. I find that if I have a good rain hat I do much better. I cannot stand hoods.

I also agree that in warmer temperatures, rain is primarily a comfort issue, but in cold rain, it becomes a safety issue.


That's not a funny quirk. I'm the same way, which is why you almost always see me in pictures with a brim hat. your strategy sounds very similar to mine. I still maintain my favorite rainger outside of a downpour is a 100 wt fleece and a windshirt - and then it's not about not being wet - it's about staying warm - and like you when I stop I change and get out of it.
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Any fool can be uncomfortable...
My 3 season gear list
Winter list.
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#95607 - 12/06/08 12:58 PM Re: Hiking in the RAIN [Re: phat]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
I like the feeling of rain on my head and face, but only once I'm wet already. I think it is because I grew up sailing in small boats. I would rather run and hike in the rain than fair weather. I find it very soothing.

But I can't stand stuff like suede palms on wool gloves, or trail runners that make my wool socks colder and wetter than they should be. I remember even as a kid they used to try and sell these leather sailing gloves. Absolute crap that only made your hands colder. There is a bit of a science to being warm when wet that isn't entirely understood. There are some proven things for some applications, like neoprene wetsuits, but for stuff like trail runners and hiking boots and gloves that need to do somethings sometimes and other things other times there is good stuff out there and there is bad. There is alot of bad fleece out there. When that stuff first came out, in the early 80s I think, it was all good, but since then most of it is not so good when it gets wet.

Even the stuff marked polartec or polartherm, you can't trust it all. You almost have to take a bucket and stopwatch with you when you shop. You can get a bit of a feel for it after being burned once or twice though. I've figured out fleece I think, and wool. Wool varies also. Trail runners I haven't figured out yet.

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#95608 - 12/07/08 07:41 PM Re: Hiking in the RAIN [Re: Berserker]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
best thing is that it will stop raining eventually
This can be assumed in most places, but not in the Pacific Northwest, where it can literally rain for weeks nonstop. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" />


...and hence why the PNW has never been at the top of my list of places I want to live. I don't like cold, long periods of rain, or long periods of snow. Hmmm...that kinda rules out just about anywhere here in the US...seems like maybe I need to move to SoCal. Oh yeah, I forgot that I also don't like big freakin urban sprawls.


Why do people think it doesn't rain in California? SoCal has mudslides that lead to houses sliding down hills. It's been overcast (high fog that descends to ground level) for weeks here in the Central Valley. Today when I went on my four mile neighborhood walk I could feel moisture on my cheeks and it was about 45F. (Fresno's that place where summer days can hit 115F - I drove for a couple of weeks with oven mitts when my A/C went out.)
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http://hikeandbackpack.com

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#95609 - 12/07/08 10:58 PM Re: Hiking in the RAIN [Re: lori]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
Quote:
Why do people think it doesn't rain in California?


Do you really have to ask? lol

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-pyC7WnvLT4

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#95610 - 12/07/08 11:07 PM Re: Hiking in the RAIN [Re: JAK]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Quote:
Quote:
Why do people think it doesn't rain in California?


Do you really have to ask? lol

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-pyC7WnvLT4


Yeah, well, did you listen to the song? "It never rains in southern California - it pours, man, it pours!"
_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

http://hikeandbackpack.com

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#95611 - 12/07/08 11:40 PM Re: Hiking in the RAIN [Re: lori]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
Why do people think it doesn't rain in California?


Do you really have to ask? lol

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-pyC7WnvLT4


Yeah, well, did you listen to the song? "It never rains in southern California - it pours, man, it pours!"
I never remember that part. lol

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#95612 - 12/08/08 12:33 PM Re: Hiking in the RAIN [Re: TomD]
Franco Offline
member

Registered: 04/05/04
Posts: 1008
Loc: Australia
I think that a fundamental mistake that people make hiking in the rain is that when it starts raining they just put their rain gear on top of the existing layers. Since most of the time the temperature remains about the same that causes unnecessary sweating (IE if you were warm enough before you will get much warmer with a more or less vapour barrier layer on top) , it also means that when taking a break the wet layer underneath will cause the body to chill very quickly. IMHO it is better to take one layer off, put the rain gear on, and add that extra layer back on during breaks.
Tom, usually a light wool top is my only layer under the rain jacket, but growing up in Northern Italy those 5 kg really thick woolen jumpers (all white in NZ) were the ones we wore when it started to rain.
Franco

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#95613 - 12/08/08 08:43 PM Re: Hiking in the RAIN [Re: Franco]
OregonMouse Online   content
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6738
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Franco, you are right--if you are wearing a jacket or sweater and it starts raining, you'll sweat like a pig and have a wet jacket if you just put the rain jacket on over the insulating layer while you're hiking. I found it better to remove the insulating layer and stick it in a dry bag when I put on the rain gear. The dry jacket can then be put on under the rain gear to keep you warm at rest stops.

Last summer, during a 5-day backpack in Colorado, it rained almost constantly the first 3 days, with the addition of a series of thunderstorms starting about 5 pm. It was warm enough that I just wore a Capilene 2 top and my Campmor nylon covertible pants and got wet--I was less wet and a lot more comfortable than if I'd been steaming inside my rain gear. I put the rain jacket on for extra warmth at rest stops. Putting the wet clothing on in the morning was a bit challenging! I didn't do it until I was ready to start hiking, so my body warmed it up right away. At night, I changed into my base layer and wore the rain gear over it when I was outside. The 3rd day, fortunately, the sun came out at noon for several hours, so I stopped and dried everything out. About 6 pm, though, the daily thunderstorms showed up. The 4th day was clear and it froze that night. I certainly was glad to have everything dry before the frosty night!

I recently read a BPL article (another members-only article, unfortunately) about backpacking in long, cold rain. While this article had some useful ideas, there was nothing I hadn't already experienced. The article kept referencing New Zealand, even though it had a US author. The problem is that NZ has no bears. In bear country, you do NOT cook in your tent's vestibule and eat in your tent, as the article recommended! You'd think that, with BPL based in Montana, they'd mention this little problem. The article also omitted carrying a dry base layer. Evidently they wanted you to put a jacket on your torso and otherwise be naked inside the sleeping bag. Personally, I'd rather carry the extra weight of a base layer and keep the inside of my bag a bit cleaner. At least in the high Cascades and Rockies, after several days of rain, it will turn cold and often snow before it clears. When it does clear it will be well below freezing at night. In those conditions, a base layer is needed!
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#95614 - 12/17/08 10:49 PM Re: Hiking in the RAIN [Re: taylorcleblanc]
judach Offline
member

Registered: 04/01/07
Posts: 63
Loc: California, USA
I for one LOVE hiking in the rain. I think it is very calming, unless of course it's an all out thunderstorm, that can be a little much, but for light rain or even a moderate shower, I love it. I just use a backpacking poncho I bought a long time ago from REI. Probably not the lightest thing on the market these days, but it works just fine for me. It compresses into it's own little bag and the whole thing is made out of ripstop nylon. It's big enough to wear with a large backpack and it still drapes down a little below my knees. I wouldn't trade it for anything...

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