Hiking Rain Gear Tips:
How To Make Good Choices

by Diane Spicer

Meet Hiking For Her's Diane

Choose great rain gear with these Hiking For Her tips. #raingear #backpackingclothes #hikingraingear #outerlayers #hikingforher

Hiking rain gear tips.

Ah, yes. You've found one of the most important pages on this website.

  • Because staying warm and dry when the weather is anything but is not a matter of luck.

It takes background research, trial and error, thoughtful experimentation, and lots of experience to put together a rain gear system that works well for you every month of of the year.

But why not short cut all of that arduous work?

  • Just use these hiking rain gear tips and tricks from a veteran hiker who loves rainy day hikes in her home base of Pacific Northwest trails!

Then you can stomp around in wet weather without putting yourself at risk for hypothermia - or a foul "wet hen" mood.


Hiking rain gear tips:
first things first

Female hiker in rain gear on a foggy trail near an alpine lake with small ice floeSometimes the trail fades in and out on a wet foggy day, so be prepared.

Before you start off into a wet, foggy day you need to know exactly where you're going, how to stay on track, and when to turn around before you get into trouble.

So I strongly suggest that you read these Hiking For Her articles first:

If you're comfortable with your ability to use wet, foggy, soggy hiking trails, it's time to tackle what you're wearing to keep yourself warm and dry.


Hiking rain gear tips
to find the best stuff

There are a lot of ways you can save money on hiking gear.

  • Cheap rain gear is not among them.

Seriously!

Don't cut corners with flimsy rain clothing, both hiking rain jackets and rain pants. 

Hiking For Her's top 3 reasons to invest in high quality, durable hiking rain clothing:

  1. Preservation of body heat
  2. Increased comfort level
  3. Bombproof weather proofing

A few words about the importance of each, shall we?


No shivering allowed!

Have you ever noticed how chilled you feel when your skin is wet, even on warm days?

Now magnify that effect when you're literally miles away from shelter, thick fluffy towels, and a change of clothing.

When your head and feet get cold, your entire body experiences a drain of precious body heat.

This leads to uncontrolled bodywide skeletal muscle contractions - a.k.a. shivering.

And if it escalates, you're in trouble.

  • There goes your coordination and balance, for example.

So wearing moisture proof, full coverage clothing as an outer layer is a good investment in your sustained hiking ability, regardless of weather patterns.


Comfort is key

A lot of hiking enjoyment is mental.

If you're bummed out or crabby because you're cold and wet (and shivering), you're not going to want to hike again - ever.

A lot of thought and planning has gone into hiking clothing technology to guarantee your comfort, and that's part of what you're paying for when you purchase higher end rain jackets, rain pants, and waterproof boots.

Pay the price in the store, or on the trail.

Your choice.

Shopping tips here:


With price comes quality

Is it possible to find a rain poncho for a few dollars in the bargain bin at the nearest big box store?

Yes, it is.

But I wouldn't want to trust my comfort and safety to it during a downpour when the trailhead is many miles of mud holes away.

And that's why I urge you to buy the best hiking rain gear that you can afford.

Along with high quality comes durability, meaning pay once and wear it for many seasons.

  • As opposed to replace it again, and again.

Caveat

Anyone who ventures forth where rain hikes are a distinct possibility, I'm talkin' to you!

But feel free to ignore this advice if you're a casual, fair weather day hiker.

  • Toss a cheap poncho in your day pack "just in case", and call it good.


Detailed hiking rain gear tips
for your next rain hike

If you're curious about what I wear on the trail, you can find a list of my favorite hiking rain gear right here.

It will help you sort out the difference between water resistant, water repellent, and water proof materials.

  • I mention brand names and share what I wear on the trail.
  • And I tell you why I spend my hard earned money on these particular items.

Rain hike techniques

Staying dry when everything around you is wet is an art, a science, and a whole lotta know how.

Now that you're on the right track for the best hiking rain gear choices you can make, you'll need some ideas for how to approach wet hiking conditions.

  • Detailed tips for comfortable hiking in the rain can be found here!


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Hiking Rain Gear Tips



About the author

Diane is the founder of Hiking For Her.

She's been on a hiking trail somewhere in the world for 5+ decades & loves to share her best hiking tips right here.


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Photo credits: All photos on this website were taken by David Midkiff or Diane Spicer except where noted.


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