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#95544 - 05/02/08 01:40 PM Hiking in the RAIN
taylorcleblanc Offline
newbie

Registered: 04/21/08
Posts: 8
Do you do it or do you throw up a rain fly and wait a bit? Maybe only long enough to get to a good spot?

Seems as though even with high speed rain gear that "breathes" you would get much warmer if hiking with it and a pack on. [color:"green"] [/color]

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#95545 - 05/02/08 01:54 PM Re: Hiking in the RAIN [Re: taylorcleblanc]
Heintooga Offline
member

Registered: 04/15/02
Posts: 470
Loc: GSMNP
Waterproof / breathable is an oxymoron. When one goes should be determined where one wants to go and the time needed to get there, not the weather.
_________________________
...ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein... (Jeremiah)

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#95546 - 05/02/08 02:33 PM Re: Hiking in the RAIN [Re: taylorcleblanc]
ndsol Offline
member

Registered: 04/16/02
Posts: 678
Loc: Houston, Texas
I remember a few years ago in Glacier we were in camp and it was raining, so we decided to wait it out. It was still coming down at 1:00, so we decided to hit the trail because we had over 11 miles to cover. It wasn't the most pleasant, but with a poncho as rain gear and cool enough temps., I never did overheat.

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#95547 - 05/02/08 04:55 PM Re: Hiking in the RAIN [Re: ndsol]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
I've hiked in the rain wearing shorts, gaiters and a Goretex parka or light rain jacket. I've also worn a wool pullover instead of a jacket in light rain. This used to be common in New Zealand before the advent of the newer fabrics. I'm sure some people still wear wool.

We were usually going from hut to hut, so there was plenty of space to dry out wet clothes and the huts were fairly warm-some of them have wood stoves in them.

I don't remember getting too warm, but the weather there is cool or cold most of the time, so not really an issue.
_________________________
Don't get me started, you know how I get.

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#95548 - 05/02/08 08:14 PM Re: Hiking in the RAIN [Re: taylorcleblanc]
aimless Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 3141
Loc: Portland, OR
Rain isn't just one thing. Rain comes in a multitude of guises. Gentle or hard. Brief or long. Cold or warm. Consequently there are a multitude of ways to cope with rain and some types of rain are a whole lot easier to cope with than others.

Long, hard, cold rain might be the worst, but long, hard, warm rain will give it a run for its money. Basically any rain that keeps up for a long time and seeks out every chink in your armor will wet you out eventually. There are no good answers for it and you may as well learn to settle for mediocre solutions now and save yourself a lot of heartache and wasted effort in looking for what doesn't exist. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" />

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#95549 - 05/03/08 01:30 AM Re: Hiking in the RAIN [Re: aimless]
OregonMouse Online   content
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6738
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
If it rains, I just put on my rain gear and get on with it. If it's warm enough, I leave the rain gear off and just get wet. My hiking pants and shirt are lightweight nylon which dries very rapidly, even in high humidity. And I have a dry base layer and wraps in my pack. The main thing is to be sure that everything in the pack stays dry and that you don't pitch your tent in a depression that will become a pond when it rains.

The one time I will stop and seek shelter along the trail is if a hailstorm comes along. Fortunately, they usually last only a very short time.
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#95550 - 05/03/08 08:49 AM Re: Hiking in the RAIN [Re: taylorcleblanc]
Mattress Offline
member

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 109
Loc: Victoria, BC, Canada
Unfortunately I am something of an expert in rain hiking. It's not something I'm proud of, but most of my hiking is done in the coastal rainforests of vancouver island. I've been on 5 day hikes where it rained for 6 days. Now I'm getting a bit older I try to avoid the wettest seasons, but I love the scenery so much I just can't stay away for long.

If you're on a hike where the rain is most likely going to end within a day, I think it makes sense to try to stay dry, put up a tarp or umbrella, wear your "waterproof breathables", etc. If the rain looks like it will continue for several days, I think you're better off to just immerse yourself in it. Trying to hike in anything waterproof will just get you soaked from sweat, no matter how breathable the clothing claims to be. Get wet. Walk through streams. Jump in the puddles. Just keep moving and stay warm. When you get to camp, set up your tent and get into your warm dry clothes. Hopefully you have somewhere dry to cook, make yourself a hot meal and hot drink. As long as you keep warm, you're safe. The next morning you might have to put on some wet clothes, which is awful for the first 10 minutes, but you soon get over it.

Other tips when hiking in potentially heavy rain areas:
-bring a small ultralight tarp or tyvek sheet and string, having a dry place to cook and relax is wonderful.
-bring extra hot chocolate, tea, coffee, whatever your vice
-package each item in your pack in a waterproof bag. No matter how dry you keep your backpack, you'll need to put wet items inside which will transfer to your sleeping bag.
-It is possible to keep a down bag dry, you just have to be careful.
-Bring a book or something to do if you're forced to spend a lot of time in your tent.
-Hike longer miles, do some side trips, keep moving and stay warm
-Burn your goretex, it'll keep you warm for a while that way.
_________________________
http://lighterload.blogspot.com/

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#95551 - 05/03/08 08:16 PM Re: Hiking in the RAIN [Re: taylorcleblanc]
Wolfeye Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/07
Posts: 413
Loc: Seattle, WA
This comes up once in a while. I grew up in Southeast Alaska, where it rains so much you almost need gills. Most people with a background like that don't seem to care one way or the other about a little wetness; I've never had a trip get "ruined" by rain. I think it boils to personality, what a person wants/expects from a trip, and their gear. I'd prefer showers to perpetually hot weather.

As far as what to do when it rains, I try to read the people I'm with. Some people are obviously unhappy when it happens, and for them it seems worth it to cut the miles short that day so they can sit in the tent. I don't want to force any hiking on people when they won't enjoy it. They might misinterpret my lack of change in behavior when it rains as a way of trying to make things miserable for them.

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#95552 - 05/03/08 08:28 PM Re: Hiking in the RAIN [Re: Mattress]
Wolfeye Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/07
Posts: 413
Loc: Seattle, WA
Pretty good tips, Mattress. I actually do like goretex, though. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

A couple tips I'd like to add:
- Be sure your fire starting/stove lighting device works well when wet. (learned the hard way)
- If it's not raining but you're about to hike through wet brush, take off most of your clothes and wear the raingear next to your skin. When you emerge from the brush and change back, your clothes will be dryer than if you'd worn them.

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#95553 - 05/04/08 05:41 PM Re: Hiking in the RAIN [Re: taylorcleblanc]
MattnID Offline
member

Registered: 06/02/07
Posts: 317
Loc: Idaho
It depends for me. If the rain is light I just put on the rain top and walk. I never the whole sky fall down on me while I've been out yet but I think I might have to find a bit of cover at that point. If it is morning I might delay packing up camp just to see if it'll subside but not too terribly long.

There are some places where you just have to deal with it though otherwise you'll never get anywhere. I remember last September here in Alaska, I went out into Denali NP for four days and it rained off and on as the clouds moved through the entire time. It would rain for 4 minutes or something like that and then be done for an hour or more and then do it again.

I hate hiking though wearing run gear. Doesn't matter how breathable it is it always makes me warmer and sweaty.
_________________________
In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.-Aristotle

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#95554 - 05/05/08 09:14 AM Re: Hiking in the RAIN [Re: taylorcleblanc]
Berserker Offline
member

Registered: 05/10/04
Posts: 493
Loc: Lynchburg, VA
I hike in the rain if I am caught in it. If I have a trip planned, and it looks like it is going to be a washout I will try to reschedule it for another weekend. I still probably get rained on roughly 50% of the time though. The last year or two with the droughts in the SE have been a little drier.

Some other posters gave some good tips on clothing so I won't go into detail on that. I typically use Marmot precip stuff if it is cold (<50 deg), and a sil-nylon poncho when it is warm (>50 deg). If it is really warm then I just get wet and dry out in camp.

One thing not mentioned in any of the other posts is stream crossings. Depending on where you are hiking and if you have stream crossings, then you should take that into consideration. I had to turn back once when I was hiking in Slickrock Creek (NC) due to Slickrock creek being so high from an all day rain. I also had a real interesting hike out on the Forney Creek trail in the Smokys (NC) after a long hard rain. On that trip it started raining during the night, and never stopped the whole next day. I decided to hang out under the tarp in the morning to see if it would let up. That lead to leaving camp late and having to ford Forney Creek several times when it was much higher than normal. Had I left earlier the crossings would have been easier as I was watching the creek rise while sitting under the tarp. By the time I got to the crossings the "creek" looked more like class 4 rapids in the Colorado River.

So anyway, I now have a "cutoff" time. If it doesn't stop raining by 10:00 in the morning I am packing up and heading out.

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#95555 - 05/05/08 04:17 PM Re: Hiking in the RAIN [Re: Berserker]
lv2fsh Offline
member

Registered: 04/27/08
Posts: 111
Loc: socal
Out here in Ca. (Sierra and Socal) we have thunderstorms with lightening. I have found and think it prudent to wait it out in as nonconducting location as possible. That is not under a large tree on a barren ridge top. It doesn't take to many big trees being struck near you to figure that out. We also have to be aware of flashflooding. Something to think about when pitching camp. Fortunately the rain usually passes and is mostly later in the day. Start early and you miss most of it.

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#95556 - 05/05/08 05:12 PM Re: Hiking in the RAIN [Re: lv2fsh]
aimless Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 3141
Loc: Portland, OR
Here in the wetter parts of the Pacific Northwest, it pays to bring rain gear on every hike, plus a bit of Gene Kelly's attitude in his big dancing scene in Singing in the Rain. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

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#95557 - 05/05/08 08:52 PM Re: Hiking in the RAIN [Re: aimless]
Amphib Offline
member

Registered: 09/19/03
Posts: 65
Loc: Sonora Desert

Here in the desert, in spring/summer/fall anyway, I love to get soaked!!! Bring it on!

All the stuff I need dry stays dry! I love downpours as long as I am clear of the flash flood death traps.

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#95558 - 05/05/08 09:08 PM Re: Hiking in the RAIN [Re: aimless]
lv2fsh Offline
member

Registered: 04/27/08
Posts: 111
Loc: socal
You obviously haven't heard me sing? <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

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#95559 - 05/06/08 05:41 AM Throw my pack cover on and go. [Re: taylorcleblanc]
PhilBiker Offline
member

Registered: 09/07/04
Posts: 172
Loc: Washington DC area
I only do weekends a few times a year, we usually set up a "rain date" and don't go out if we know it's going to rain. However, if there will just be rain one day or we get caught in the rain, we generally put the pack cover on, throw on a shell, and keep hiking. Yeah, you get wet, so what. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
PhilBIker

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#95560 - 05/06/08 09:29 AM Re: Hiking in the RAIN [Re: lv2fsh]
Berserker Offline
member

Registered: 05/10/04
Posts: 493
Loc: Lynchburg, VA
I hiked in the Sierras last year, and the rain there was interesting. Got hit by a T-storm one afternoon. It was the darndest thing, about an hour after it blew over everything was bone dry. I also couldn't help but notice how everytime I took my boots off when taking a break that they actually dried out. In my experience here in the SE, once they get wet they stay wet.

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#95561 - 05/06/08 11:25 AM Re: Hiking in the RAIN [Re: Heintooga]
lurch149 Offline
newbie

Registered: 05/06/08
Posts: 2
Loc: athens ohio
I did a weekend trip this past weekend and it rained nearly the entire time. The piece of equipment which will help you out the most in the rain is a positive attitude. Try to enjoy it if possible, but dont get in a bad mood or it will spread to the rest of the group and ruin the trip. Also make sure that your ground cloth does not stick out beyond your tent or it will funnel water in and turn your shelter into a bathtub.
_________________________
"cant cheat the mountain pilgrim, mountain got it's own ways"

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#95562 - 05/06/08 04:30 PM Re: Hiking in the RAIN [Re: lurch149]
johndavid Offline
member

Registered: 04/23/08
Posts: 260
Loc: jersey city NJ
Memorable hike: Summer, SW Massachussettes, warm temps. A violent thunderstorm. I hiked on a paved roadway along a mountain brook. The hillsides sloped steeply above, so lightening strikes were likely deflected. The storm lasted an hour.

When reaching camp was largely soaked. By morning was mainly dry.

Summer is good that way.

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#95563 - 05/07/08 04:35 PM Re: Hiking in the RAIN [Re: taylorcleblanc]
trailblazer Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/02
Posts: 788
Loc: Menlo Park, CA/Sierra Nevada
Where I mainly hike in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, there is frequently afternoon (and sometimes before noon <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" /> ) thunderstorms. The rain doesn't bother me too much and if I'm at a lower elevation I'll just hike through it, usually packing my clothes, sleeping bag, and other stuff in plastic garbage bags and putting on a poncho and the rain clothes. But I usually find myself above tree-line when the clouds move in, and the flashes of lightening around usually convince me to shelter up. Many times I've been sitting in my shelter to have a flash of lightening go off way too close, and there I find myself, in harms way, but very glad I'm not out there walking through it like a human lightening rod.
_________________________
Greg
www.naturefocused.com

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#95564 - 05/07/08 11:52 PM Re: Hiking in the RAIN [Re: trailblazer]
OregonMouse Online   content
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6738
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
OK, I have a couple of confessions to make. It is true that if I'm already out there and it starts to pour, I don my rain gear (or, if it's warm, just get wet) and carry on. However, I do find that it takes a great deal of willpower--more than I generally have--to begin a trip in pouring rain. I have been known to wait a day or two until it clears. Second, I do stop and seek shelter well below high points if a thunderstorm hits.

I'm well aware of the dangers of lightning at high altitudes. For those who are familiar with the CDT in the Long Lake/Fishhook Lake areas just east of Steamboat Springs, CO, where the Divide is a broad forested ridge of about 10,000' elevation, here's a cautionary tale from my horsepacking days in the 1950's. One morning we didn't get the pack balanced correctly on one of our horses. Just north of Fishhook Lake, the horse's pack went right over and under her belly. Since the horse was very gentle, she just stopped and, with a reproachful look, waited patiently for us to fix it. While we were fixing the pack, there was a really close lightning strike. When we got about a mile down the trail, we came upon a giant Engelmann spruce tree, right alongside the trail, in enormous splinters, with some six-foot long sections rammed several feetinto the ground as much as 50 feet from the tree. It was obvious that the lightning strike (perhaps ground to air) just exploded the tree. If the horse's pack hadn't been unbalanced and turned over, we would have been right there just when the lightning hit.
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#95565 - 05/08/08 07:34 AM Re: Hiking in the RAIN [Re: OregonMouse]
Mattress Offline
member

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 109
Loc: Victoria, BC, Canada
So the lesson is, always make sure your packs are unbalanced.
_________________________
http://lighterload.blogspot.com/

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#95566 - 05/08/08 09:46 AM Re: Hiking in the RAIN [Re: taylorcleblanc]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2865
Loc: California
I do not like the rain. So I would never plan a trip where I knew I was to be in rain day after day. In most cases I build contingency into my travel plans to be able to sit out the rain. Since I do a lot of off-trail travel and at higher altitudes, rain is not only miserable, but dangerous, such as hopping slick rocks and lightening.

It was rainy on the Lost Coast, but warm rain. I finally settled on the "naked under raingear" theory - and wool for inside the tent. I was warm but really did not like that continual "prune" feeling. Also in coastal vegetation, I got just as wet from head-high wet vegetation on the overgrown trails.

In cold rain, particularly rain that turns to snow, I avoid hiking. Once I was caught on a pass and simply had to get down. I realized I was getting hypothermic, so stopped, made hot soup and that did the trick. I dropped down to below timber and built a fire as soon as I could find a place with sufficient wood. At some point, for me, I simply must have external warmth added. Rain near freezing point plus a wind is really dangerous. Simply keeping moving is not enough for me. I particuarly have trouble keeping my feet warm. Once hiking in a pouring rain with my head down, I missed a critical trail sign and went the wrong way for 5 miles. The "miles" I made that day were essentially wasted.

I personally think snow is a lot easier to hike in than rain. This may also be that most rain I have been in has also been windy - horizontal rain is different than a light vertically falling rain.

When I worked at NOLS, we used rainy days for classes and in-camp activities. This worked quite well. Since you are at camp you can duck into your tent or tarp when things get too much. I have also observed that being in a group is different than being solo in the rain. In a group you have a bit of backup.

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#95567 - 05/08/08 01:41 PM Re: Hiking in the RAIN [Re: trailblazer]
Earthling Offline
member

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 3228
Loc: USA
Quote:
Where I mainly hike in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, there is frequently afternoon (and sometimes before noon <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" /> ) thunderstorms. The rain doesn't bother me too much and if I'm at a lower elevation I'll just hike through it, usually packing my clothes, sleeping bag, and other stuff in plastic garbage bags and putting on a poncho and the rain clothes. But I usually find myself above tree-line when the clouds move in, and the flashes of lightening around usually convince me to shelter up. Many times I've been sitting in my shelter to have a flash of lightening go off way too close, and there I find myself, in harms way, but very glad I'm not out there walking through it like a human lightening rod.


Instead you are sitting inside of an aluminum poled shelter <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" /> : <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
PEPPER SPRAY AIN'T BRAINS IN A CAN!

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#95568 - 05/13/08 06:48 AM Re: Hiking in the RAIN [Re: taylorcleblanc]
strongone Offline
member

Registered: 06/24/05
Posts: 166
Loc: North Carolina
Most of my trips are scheduled and are on regardless of weather. I haven't met anyone who relishes wet walks in the rain. But I hike to learn how to exist in all conditions.

Lessons learned

1. When I hear thunder, I stop and get rain gear and put pack cover on.
2. Silyon is cold, clingy like an old ex.
3. Light rain all day is harder to cope with and know that lunch will be hot soup and coffee.
4. If it summer, skip and go naked
5. If it winter, hunker down and cover .
6. It will stop raining, so smile and enjoy the solitude, cuz all the fair weather hikers are home.

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#95569 - 05/13/08 08:43 AM Re: Hiking in the RAIN [Re: Earthling]
trailblazer Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/02
Posts: 788
Loc: Menlo Park, CA/Sierra Nevada
Quote:
Instead you are sitting inside of an aluminum poled shelter <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" /> : <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />


<img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
Greg
www.naturefocused.com

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#95570 - 05/13/08 09:34 AM Re: Hiking in the RAIN [Re: strongone]
Berserker Offline
member

Registered: 05/10/04
Posts: 493
Loc: Lynchburg, VA
I like your lessons learned, especially 3, 5 & 6. Light all day rain does stink, I find it challenging to stay motivated in those conditions. Rain in the winter really stinks. I remember more that once being cold and wet whilst cursing mother nature as it keeps on raining. And as you said the best thing is that it will stop raining eventually, and most likely the woods will be devoid of the "less weathered" hikers.

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#95571 - 05/13/08 12:37 PM Re: Hiking in the RAIN [Re: Berserker]
mockturtle Offline
member

Registered: 06/06/07
Posts: 251
Loc: WA
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="" />

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#95572 - 05/13/08 02:15 PM Re: Hiking in the RAIN [Re: mockturtle]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2865
Loc: California
So many years ago, I spent one year in college at UW - it rained for 90 days straight!

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#95573 - 05/13/08 02:33 PM Re: Hiking in the RAIN [Re: wandering_daisy]
mockturtle Offline
member

Registered: 06/06/07
Posts: 251
Loc: WA
Having lived in the NW all my life [and the UW is my alma mater], I can attest to the fact that it can--and does--sometimes rain for months without stopping. I said 'weeks' in my post because I was afraid it would strain credulity to say 'months'. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" /> You really have to see it to believe it.

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#95574 - 05/13/08 03:56 PM Re: Hiking in the RAIN [Re: Wolfeye]
kevonionia Offline
member

Registered: 04/17/06
Posts: 1322
Loc: Dallas, TX
Mattress & Wolfeye:

Man, thanks for the tips. You both live in spectacular parts of the planet, but it wouldn't be that incredible if it didn't rain alot.

Mattress, are you the one who had something in a blog about a hands-free umbrella you did a Vancouver Island hike with? I tried looking all over for it but couldn't find it. Forgive me if it wasn't you.

Keep up the posts & advice, cause I'm wanting to do some hiking up there (Vancouver Island west coast trails & Alaska) but dealing with rain -- lots of it -- has always got me second-guessing. We did a week in Strathcona Provincial Park on Vancouver Island a few years ago (in August) and had clear skies for the whole time. But those coast trails and further north have me concerned if I'm really prepared for them.
_________________________
- kevon

(avatar: raptor, Lake Dillon)


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#95575 - 05/13/08 07:02 PM Re: Hiking in the RAIN [Re: mockturtle]
Heber Offline
member

Registered: 12/31/07
Posts: 245
Loc: St. Louis, Missouri
I was at UW for 5 years and months is not an exaggeration. One winter the sun came out for a day and it made the paper. However Seattle rain has two redeeming features:

1. It doesn't rain very hard. It just sort of mists. An umbrella almost seems like overkill. (I think it may rain hard on the Olympic peninsula however, I never got out that far.) I don't think I ever saw a rain storm in Seattle.

2. The rain stops entirely in Summer. And it's not hot or humid either. I swear that Seattle summers make you think you died and went to heaven.

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#95576 - 05/14/08 09:42 AM Re: Hiking in the RAIN [Re: mockturtle]
Berserker Offline
member

Registered: 05/10/04
Posts: 493
Loc: Lynchburg, VA
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.

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#95577 - 05/14/08 12:54 PM Re: Hiking in the RAIN [Re: Berserker]
OregonMouse Online   content
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Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6738
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Normally in the PNW we have a 3-4 month dry season, which coincides with the mountain hiking season--July 5 through at least the first part of October. It's just November through February that it rains all or most of the time with only an occasional "sunbreak." The breaks generally get longer and longer as spring progresses. By June it generally rains only on weekends, which is great for us retirees....


Edited by OregonMouse (05/14/08 12:56 PM)
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#95578 - 05/14/08 04:02 PM Re: Hiking in the RAIN [Re: OregonMouse]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3967
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Mouse et all

When people speak of the PNW they are refering to the coast area. Here in Central oregon it is high desert, dry. Maybe a foot of precipitation a year and mostly as snow. You never worry about things being dry here. It can be raining and drying out at the same time.
Jim <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
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#95579 - 05/14/08 05:38 PM Re: Hiking in the RAIN [Re: wandering_daisy]
sabre11004 Offline
member

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 513
Loc: Tennessee


Seems to me that would have caused one hell of a "FLOOD". I can remember talk about it raining for 40 nights and even that wasn't good...sabre11004...

The first step that you take will be one of those that get you there...
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#95580 - 05/14/08 08:11 PM Re: Hiking in the RAIN [Re: trailblazer]
johndavid Offline
member

Registered: 04/23/08
Posts: 260
Loc: jersey city NJ
Of course, people on the North West coast know rain. But they rarely or perhaps never see the kind of thunderstorms (rate of precipitation) that happen regularly at times in much of the country influenced by Gulf of Mexico. This includes most of US. population --- much of Midwest and Eastern Seaboard as well as Gulf Coast. It's not news for anybody but a few Northwesterners.

I got my gear soaked a few times, bought a rain cover for pack, lost the thing.... that was years ago....I run the risk...

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#95581 - 05/15/08 07:22 AM Re: Hiking in the RAIN [Re: johndavid]
mockturtle Offline
member

Registered: 06/06/07
Posts: 251
Loc: WA
No question about it, thunderstorms found in the rest of the country produce tremendous rainfall that can lead to dangerous flash flooding. Both types of rain have their special hazards. In the NW hypothermia is a real risk any time of year because, once wet, clothing and gear will probably never get dry and because the temperatures are relatively cool.

My original point about rain in the NW is that, unlike in other places, one cannot assume it will stop any time soon.

I live on the Pend Oreille River in the Selkirk Range in northeast WA, which is a part of the northern Rockies, and our weather reflects that. But I lived most of my life--and had most of my hiking experience--on the wet, west side of WA. I much prefer the drier side.

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#95582 - 05/15/08 09:35 AM Re: Hiking in the RAIN [Re: johndavid]
Berserker Offline
member

Registered: 05/10/04
Posts: 493
Loc: Lynchburg, VA
Yeah, I agree. I haven't been to the NW yet (gonna get there sometime in the next couple of years hopefully) so I can't make specific comments on what type of rain they get there. All I can comment on is what I know. And what I know is that usually when it rains here whether it be a T-storm or not, it is typically moderate to heavy rainfall. It just doesn't drizzle or mist that often. The good thing around here is that it typically does stop. It may not be for long, but usually if it rains for several days there are going to be some breaks where it actually lets up for a while mixed in there.

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#95583 - 05/15/08 10:29 AM Re: Hiking in the RAIN [Re: kevonionia]
Mattress Offline
member

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 109
Loc: Victoria, BC, Canada
It wasn't me, but the idea of a hands-free umbrella has crossed my mind. The problem as I see it is most west coast trails where rain is a problem are in rain forests with dense brush (salal and low cedar branches) that would trash the brolly quite quickly.

The other common terrain out here is beach hiking, which is almost always accompanied by wind. Again, I think the umbrella would be difficult here. You might be able to rig it to use the updraft to lighten your pack though? <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

To me, getting wet isn't the problem with the coastal rain. It's the mud, the slippery boardwalks, and the cold seeping through your clothes. Insulating layers don't work well in a coastal mist, it just goes straight to your bones.
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#95584 - 07/04/08 11:54 AM Re: Hiking in the RAIN [Re: taylorcleblanc]
Samoset Offline
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Registered: 07/04/08
Posts: 429
Loc: Newnan ,GA
in warm weather ive been known to dawn pancho and walk for hours in even the worst of downpours.
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#95585 - 09/20/08 10:42 AM Re: Hiking in the RAIN [Re: taylorcleblanc]
earlylite Offline
member

Registered: 02/27/07
Posts: 31
Loc: New England
I've been section hiking the Long Trail in Vermont this year and one thing it's taught me is that you need to let go of your desire to control everything on a backpacking trip. In fact it's therapeutic. So, even when it's raining dogs and cats, I get up in the morning, put on my rain gear and keep on hiking. As long as you manage your layers properly, it's not such a big deal. Oh, did I mention that it rains on the Long Trail almost constantly?
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#95586 - 11/08/08 12:50 PM Re: Hiking in the RAIN [Re: OregonMouse]
RobA Offline
member

Registered: 05/21/02
Posts: 92
Hike it out. Don't stop, eat lunch on the move and call it a day when I can't walk anymore.

Unless its really cold, i don't bother with any type of rain gear.

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#95587 - 11/08/08 02:05 PM Re: Hiking in the RAIN [Re: RobA]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
With wool you don't have to stop the rain. You only have to slow it down.

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#95588 - 11/08/08 03:05 PM Re: Hiking in the RAIN [Re: taylorcleblanc]
bigfoot2 Offline
member

Registered: 09/17/06
Posts: 1432
Loc: Eugene , Oregon
I find that here in Oregon, an umbrella with a ponch is the best form of "breatable" rain protection. I love my Golite umbrella:

http://www.backcountrygear.com/catalog/accessdetail.cfm/GO9010

BF <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
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#95589 - 11/08/08 07:49 PM Re: Hiking in the RAIN [Re: lurch149]
thecook Offline


Registered: 10/03/08
Posts: 541
Loc: Minnesota
The rule I learned long ago in scouts was that if the weather was nice put your ground sheet under the tent to protect the floor, but if it was raining you put your ground sheet inside the tent to keep you dry.

I second just about everything said here. How I handle rain depends on what part of the country I'm in, the temp, and how long it is likely to rain.
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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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#95590 - 11/09/08 05:44 PM Re: Hiking in the RAIN [Re: bigfoot2]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2865
Loc: California
My daughter want to U Oregon. She said what you really need are gills.

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#95591 - 11/09/08 06:13 PM Re: Hiking in the RAIN [Re: bigfoot2]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
Quote:
I find that here in Oregon, an umbrella with a ponch is the best form of "breatable" rain protection. I love my Golite umbrella:

http://www.backcountrygear.com/catalog/accessdetail.cfm/GO9010

BF <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
I could use an umbrella with a ponch, to match my own. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />

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#95592 - 11/10/08 08:15 AM Re: Hiking in the RAIN [Re: wandering_daisy]
bigfoot2 Offline
member

Registered: 09/17/06
Posts: 1432
Loc: Eugene , Oregon
My daughter is currently going to the U of O, here in Eugene, and i just got her a Golite umbrella and these:

http://www.vibramfivefingers.com/products/products_flow.cfm

She absolutely LOVES them. They dry quick, are super comfortable and attract lots of attention. She says they are perfect in the rain. I am looking at getting a pair to hike in for the summer so i can leave "Bigfoot" prints all over the woods and really mess with people's heads <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

BF <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
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#95593 - 11/10/08 08:25 AM Re: Hiking in the RAIN [Re: bigfoot2]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
Well that's just freaky.
Still I can see how it might be good to spread the toes out now and then where they spend so much time all squished together.

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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
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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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#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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#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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