How To: Hike In The Rain

// by: MWO

Living in the Fraser Valley, we are extremely fortunate to be located within the Pacific temperate rainforest. The rich biodiversity, lush green vegetation, and mild climate make our region ideal for outdoor activities. However, as summer comes to an end and the leaves begin to change color, the rain makes its return and discourages most from hiking.

With wet weather approaching, its helpful to remember the saying: “there is no bad weather, just bad gear.” Hiking in the rain with the right preparation is a very enjoyable experience, especially since you often have the trails to yourself. Your best defence will not be the most expensive gear, but instead educating yourself on how to stay healthy and safe when you get wet. Follow these simple suggestions for hiking in the rain, and get more days out on the trails:

  1. Waterproof and breathable outer layers are key to protection from the elements. If the rain is hard enough, some fabrics will eventually get saturated. In this case, your shell will still protect you from the wind and help trap your body heat.
  2. Fast drying fabrics, either synthetic or merino wool, are great as mid-layers and base layers. They will still provide warmth when wet unlike cotton.
  3. Layer, layers, layers! While you’re moving, a base layer and shell may suffice as you‘re generating body heat. But when you slow down or stop, a mid-layer like fleece is good to have in your pack as your body temperature starts to drop.
  4. Fast drying footwear, such as mesh hiking boots that drain easily, is a great option. Your feet will get soaked regardless!
  5. A light, synthetic liner sock will help reduce friction and the possibility of blisters with wet feet. Moleskin and duct tape are also good to have in your pack.
  6. Longer briefs, or boy short style underwear for women, are helpful to prevent chaffing. Carry with you a zinc oxide cream to soothe irritated skin.
  7. A billed cap will prevent water from dripping into your eyes and onto your glasses.