Hiking in the rain
There is a saying, “April showers, bring may flowers.” We are more thankful that the rain has decided to grace us before our summer months begin. Rain is essential to our state. We hope that with the coming of this rain it will help minimize forest fires, fire restrictions on the trail and keep the creeks flowing with fresh water.
We understand hiking in the rain is not the most ideal situation but it is doable. We hope that these tips help hikers make the best out of their trip when having to hike out in the rain.
NO COTTON!! Ever….
Proper preparation is key. The right clothing can be thin line between miserable and enjoyable. Make sure every clothing packed is light weight. Anything heavy will just end up getting wet and weigh you down.
Make sure all of your clothing is weatherproof or made of fast drying material, this is where our no cotton, ever, comes in. Cotton will not dry out.
Making a mental note that even though weatherproof attire may have been bought if the rain is pouring nonstop, clothes will eventually get wet.
Keep extra clothes wrapped in plastic bag inside in a hiking pack for when you set up camp that way you can change into something dry and warm.
Having plenty of extra socks on the list will help keep those feet as dry as possible. It’s always good to check the waterproof lining in hiking boots as well.
Waterproof your waterproof supplies.
There is no such thing as being over prepared. There are ways to waterproof your entire backpack. It is a good idea to put each individual item into ziplock bags inside a plastic bag itself. Taking these measures can insure everything is dry when up get to camp.
There’s many waterproofing sprays out there as well, like Scotchgard heavy duty water shield, that can be used to reinforce your pack, shelter and even clothing.
Keep the Tension High
We aren’t talking about the energy around you. Setting up shelter correctly is important! When putting up a tent you want to make sure it is tight with enough tension that it will not sag. A loose tent will start collecting water.
Having a 3 season tent will help with the conditions. These tents are lightweight and can protect from rain and wind while providing as much ventilation as possible.
Other helpful tips for shelter are having a ground tarp or footprint to form an extra barrier between the tent and the ground. Trenching around the shelter for drainage also helps so that no water pools outside.
Get that Fire Going
If no fire restrictions are in place, getting a fire going after the shelter has been put in place should be your next step. Dry off, keep the body warm, attempt to dry the wet clothes.
Guide secret hack: Heat up water to put in a water bottle and put into sleeping bag to provide extra warmth.
Other helpful tips to consider
- Keep hand warmers on you, especially if you are prone to getting cold easily. They can be put in hand pockets, boots or even under the armpit.
- If you have balance issues, the rain keeps the terrain changing and slick, it may be a good idea to pack hiking poles.
- Never give your back to the ocean, watch the waves.
- Creeks overflow when it rains, be extremely careful while crossing. The last thing anyone wants is to slip, fall or be swept into the ocean.
- Lastly, trust your natural instincts. If something seems unsafe listen to your gut. If you are not confident in your hiking abilities during a storm don’t go out there. It is better to wait for another time than be completely unprepared.
Lost Coast Adventure Tours values the safety of the people we transport above everything. If you have further questions about the actual trail and its conditions always feel free to call the Rangers at our local BLM office. (707) 986-5400
For those who book shuttles with us, if you have questions about tides, camping locations, or just need a little further assistance we do have lead guides that can help. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disclosure: Our guides will be out on the trail quite a bit. Some responses may take longer than others depending on their hike schedule.