Even in the Summer, rain happens; but, don't let that stop you from going on a hike. With some careful planning and the proper gear, you'll be set to enjoy a hike in the rain wherever you may be. Always check the weather before heading out, and if rain seems imminent, follow these simple hiking tips to keep you safe and dry.
- Wear waterproof and moisture-wicking clothing — Having a top layer of waterproof clothing is essential when hiking in the rain. A good waterproof jacket and pair of pants are what will keep you from being a cold, weighted down, soggy mess. To keep warm, wear a layer of moisture-wicking clothing under your waterproof gear. I'm a fan of a wool; in the off chance that your bottom layer gets wet, wool dries fast, and even when wet, it will keep you warm. To keep your head and face dry, pick a jacket with a hood or wear a wide-brimmed hat. When buying hiking gear, make sure the label reads waterproof — you'll end up soaked if you hike in gear that is merely water-resistant.
- Wear waterproof shoes that have sticky rubber soles — Given that you'll be splashing around on wet trails and walking through puddles and small creeks, you want to wear shoes that will keep your feet dry. Look for hiking, approach, or trail running shoes that are waterproof and have sticky rubber soles. A specialized sticky rubber sole helps add extra grip to the bottom of your shoe, which proves especially helpful in uneven terrain.
See more tips on hiking in the rain after the break!
- Wear high socks or gaiters — Even the best pair of shoes won't be able to keep out all of the debris and water in your path — this is especially true if you step into a puddle that goes above your ankle. Wear high socks to keep legs protected, or, even better, wear a pair of gaiters. If you are unfamiliar with gaiters, think of them like waterproof leg warmers. On hot days, many hikers swap out pants, and, instead, wear waterproof shorts and a pair of gaiters.
- Use trekking poles — Trekking poles offer a multitude of benefits like providing better balance and footing while you walk, which is especially handy when conditions are wet, muddy, and slippery. Here's a great guide on how to use trekking poles correctly and choosing the best ones for your needs.
- Store essentials in waterproof baggies — Keep anything important (maps, money, identification, etc.) protected from water in sealed plastic baggies, which you can store in your backpack or pockets. Also pack food in the same way — no one wants a soggy sandwich for lunch.