Doe the very idea of hiking in the rain scare you or make you think it’s too dangerous to do?
What if I told you that hiking in the rain could be as safe as hiking in any condition and make for a much better hiking experience?
Hiking in the rain is easy to do without worry, and in this article, I’m going to show you to do it and love every minute of it.
Hiking in the Rain: Clothing and Gear
The first thing you need to do to be able to hike in the rain better is to choose the proper clothing and gear.
Many hikers make the mistake of wearing non-hiking clothing in the rain. This is clothing made out of denim and cotton. These materials hold moisture longer than others. Getting hiking-specific clothing made with polyester, spandex, nylon, and wool materials will help dry you off faster when wet. Polyester and spandex dry the quickest but are thinner and best for warmer weather hiking. Nylon and wool are best for cold-weather hiking as they keep you warmer but may take longer to dry.
In the case of cold, wet weather, I like to layer up for the cold and then put on rain gear to prevent the water from getting into my layers. If I get hot, I can take layers off and still use the rain gear to shield myself from wind and rain.
Don’t make the mistake of being wet or even wet and cold, as that will deter you from hiking in the rain. Get hiking clothing that is specific for outdoors and performance activities.
Hiking in the Rain: Safety and Technique
Hiking in the rain doesn’t have to be dangerous as long as you use common sense and put safety first.
Most accidents occur during wet hiking conditions. These are usually slips, trips, and falls. During wet conditions, natural surfaces are generally slicker than usual. Hard dirt becomes loose mud. Dry rock becomes rock than is slippery as ice. Debris and vegetation on natural surfaces can become incredibly slick when wet.
I hike in the rain routinely. I’ve avoided slipping and falling by avoiding areas where it is most likely to occur, such as on top of waterfalls or steep rocky trail surfaces. You’re better off taking the smoother trail. Try witnessing waterfalls from the base of the falls versus the top. Watch where you step and do so quickly, which will prevent many accidents.
Leave the hiking trail with great memories and not bad injuries.
Hiking in the Rain: Thunderstorm Response
You should try not to hike during thunderstorms, but it is important to know what to essential get caught in them.
Sometimes a forecast of just rain will turn into thunderstorms without warning. It would be best if you always planned around stormy weather for hiking. But just in case a thunderstorm does occur while hiking in the rain, it is vital to have a plan.
I make it a rule to choose trails with natural shelter overhangs and bluffs when hiking in the rain. This way, I can get away from the rain here and there and dry off a little. I can eat my snacks and lunch without getting soaked. If thunderstorms occur, I can seek safety under those shelters. The idea is to get away from trees during storms.
Another thing to always watch out for is the amount of rain, creeks, and streams you’ll be required to cross.
Hiking in the rain isn’t as scary as you might think. It’s quite the adventure, and you’ll see waterfalls at their best when it rains. Follow my advice above, and you’ll do OK but remember to always safety before anything else. Get even more hiking tips and free resources by subscribing to my free monthly newsletter today!
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Thanks again for checking out another one of my articles and until next time, I’ll see you on the trail!
Founder, Hiking with Shawn
Howdy folks! My name is Shawn Gossman and I founded Hiking with Shawn. I’m an avid hiker, cyclist and outdoorsman here in the Shawnee National Forest. I was born and raised in Southern Illinois and never want to leave. Click here to learn more about Shawn Gossman