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Hiking in the Rain: 10 Beginner Tips to Keep You Safe & Dry

Hiking tips

There’s no doubt that hiking in the rain is a challenge that nobody ever really anticipates.
We’re sure you’re not waking up and telling yourself: “I hope the rain comes and destroys the hike I’ve been planning for the last month.”
Of course not!

That’s never the case.
Despite that fact, we must be adequately prepared for the conditions that are presented to us during our hiking or backpacking trip.

Today we will cover a few beginner tips when it comes to hiking in the rain. This will ensure you are adequately prepared to stay dry, safe, and still keep a positive mindset without having to sacrifice your date with nature.

Are you ready to begin?
Let’s get going!

 

Prior to Departure

 

Preparing adequately for your trip by planning ahead is one key to success we’ll cover in detail. Follow these next few tips to make the most of your trip prior to departure.

Hiking Tip #1: Live in the Present

Regardless of the conditions of the weather, terrain, and how much time you have to make the summit and/or navigate the trail, you must remain positive at all times.

One way to do this is to not worry about beating the clock and making it to the end of the trail or to the top of the summit. It’s important to stay in the present moment.

To do this, let go of whether or not you’ll make it, what time it is, or anything else that distracts from just being one with nature and enjoying your surroundings.

That’s right!

 

Just let it all go and take it all in. Staying present is one beginner hiking tip that is easy to implement but will take some conscious effort, so don’t forget it.

Hiking Tip #2: Protect Your Sensitive Items

Obviously nobody ever plans to go hiking in the rain.

 

However:

You should always expect the worst and prepare for the best case-scenario. This includes weather conditions.

You may be expecting sunshine and rainbows, but if it does happen to rain, protecting your sensitive items will allow for you to be prepared regardless of the conditions.

Grab some plastic or waterproof bags and ensure to protect anything that is sensitive to water damage.

This includes:

  • GPS devices
  • Maps
  • Food
  • Books
  • Toilet Paper
  • Cash
  • Any other sensitive or electronic devices

Hiking Tip #3: Notify Your Friends

If we’ve learned anything from Aaron Ralston’s story as portrayed by James Franco in 127 Hours, it’s that you shouldn’t go on an adventure trip without notifying your friends and family.

It could literally cost you your life (or possibly a limb). This is the most rudimentary of beginner’s hiking tips, but it’s easily overlooked.

In order to stay safe, ensure someone knows about your whereabouts during your trip. More than likely, you’ll have nothing to worry about, but as the old adage goes “better safe than sorry.”

 

We also recommend periodic check-in calls with friends or family. No need to go overboard, but phoning a friend before you hit the trail or prior to bed is a good habit to form.

Long story short:

Make sure someone knows where you are.

Hiking Tip #4: Prepare An Adequate Supply of Snacks & Drinks

When it comes to hiking for beginner’s (or anybody for that matter), a common mistake is not bringing along adequate food, drinks, and snacks.

 

When you’re burning up calories by exerting your body’s energy while on the trail, there is nothing more important than proper nutrition and hydration.

 

They are important aspects of any hiking trip. Here are a few suggestions that may make sense to bring along:

 

  • Beef Jerky
  • Trail Mix
  • Fruit and Nuts
  • Bottled Water (plenty of it)
  • A Camel Back

 

Many people think this is only necessary for a long hiking or backpacking trip, but food and water are essential to any trip.

We recommend scheduling proper breaks to consume food and hydrate by setting an alarm every 60-90 minutes. You’ll be glad you did.

Pack the Essentials

Want to be truly prepared for your hiking trip?

Be sure to adhere to the following tips and bring the necessities.

Hiking Tip #5: Bring Waterproof Gear

If you really want to be properly prepared for any trip, rain or shine, then you need waterproof gear.

When you’re hiking in the rain, you need to have the right type of moisture-wicking fabric so that you can get dry, and fast!

There are plenty of companies out there that provide the right material for the following items:

  • Backpack
  • Waterproof rain jacket
  • Moisture-wicking pants
  • A Backpack liner

 

You may want to bring along an umbrella as well.

 

Also, Investing in the right footwear for any terrain is essential.

Which brings us to our next point...

Hiking Tip# 6: Choose the Appropriate Footwear

When it’s comes to investing in the proper footwear, you have a variety of options from which to pick and choose.

A common mistake when it comes to investing in the right hiking footwear is sacrificing quality in lieu of price. This is just not savvy for a few reasons, but mainly you don’t want to put your safety in jeopardy for the sake of a few dollars.

However:

If you can find quality hiking boots for a reasonable price that can give you piece of mind when it comes to safety, even better!

There’s a few things you’ll want to keep in mind when looking for the right hiking boots. First, you want something that can protect you in all or most types of terrain and weather conditions.

It also makes sense to find the balance between comfort and protection. (Safety first!)

Aside from having the proper footwear, you should also invest in proper socks that can protect your feet when hiking in the rain and prevent possible injury.

Hiking Tip #7: Don’t forget the Important Stuff

Depending on what type of hiker you are and the difficulty level of the trail, there are a few other essentials you may want to consider packing to assist you on your adventure.

 

First and foremost, always bring a first-aid kit!

Also, It’s always a good idea to bring a change of clothes. This is especially true if you get caught hiking in the rain.

By the same token, you’ll certainly need some extra towels. This is to keep dry and also to protect the seats in your vehicle for the ride home.

Lastly, hiking or trekking poles can be a big help if you have difficulty with balance or you have trouble with your joints (like your knees). They have also been known to improve posture, endurance, and speed.

 

On The Trail Safety

While on the trail it’s imperative to practice safety. This includes observing posted signs and trail markers, being cautious of weather conditions, and water crossings (among other things). The following tips should help you stay safe.

Hiking Tip #8: Choose The Right Trail

When it comes to hiking safety, selecting the right trail for your skill level and current conditions can definitely be tricky.

You’ll want to consider the weather, topography, and physical conditions to ensure you can have a safe journey.

If you’re a beginner, you may want to avoid trails with summits (to prevent slipping in steep terrain).

Instead, it might make sense to choose a landscape with forest or water (waterfall or lake).

In any case, choosing the right trail can either make or break a trip. Particularly, if you’re going to be hiking in the rain.

 

Hiking Tip #9: Lightning & Water Safety

Another important aspect of hiking safety to look out for is lightning and water safety. In terms of hiking for beginners, it’s important not to skip over this.

First off, you’ll want to avoid any slippery terrain, especially if you’re hiking in the rain. When in doubt: just assume that it’s slippery (better safe than sorry!)

 

Once again, you need to make sure you’re using proper shoes that can protect your feet and prevent any potential safety hazards.

 

If there is any thunder or lightening present, you’ll want to get to a lower position on the trail to protect yourself and avoid exposure.

 

Don’t forget: When it comes to safety, always assume the worst and prepare for the best.

As we like to say: “stay alert, stay alive!”

 

Hiking Tip# 10: Keep it Dry

 

One thing to consider when hiking in the rain is to take every opportunity to dry yourself, your clothes, and your equipment whenever an opportunity presents itself.

If there is warmth or sunlight, take advantage because you don’t know when you’ll have this chance again (depending on weather conditions).

 

Use this time to air out your clothes and shoes. Hang your clothes out to dry if possible and inspect your shoes for damage once they’ve dried out.

 

If possible, ensure to keep extra clothes and dry sleeping gear with you. A dry, warm place is the best defense against hiking in the rain.

 

Bonus Tips

Thought we were done?

Think again!

Here’s a few last hiking tips for beginners...

 

Bonus Tip #1: Always Have a Map/GPS

Having some form of navigation is paramount to success on the trail. We highly recommend that you have a map or global positioning system (GPS) in order to find your way.

This is because the terrain can look different in different conditions and it might cause you to get lost.

 

Remember to always be aware of your surroundings and to protect ALL electronic equipment, especially a GPS.

Having both a GPS and a map would be highly responsible and can come in handy.

 

Bonus Tip #2: Consider Hiring a Guide

 


Depending on the difficulty of the hike and the terrain, you may consider hiring a professional guide.

 

Beginner hikers might heed this advice if they don’t have too much experience with long or steep treks

 

Why hire a guide?

 

Professional guides are trained, know the area, and can protect you in the worst conditions (usually).

It’s also a great way for those new to hiking to get their bearings and work their way up to more difficult hikes.

Obviously this option is completely up to you. If you feel confident and adventurous you may go at it alone.

If not, hiring a guide can be a great option.

 

Bonus Tip #3: Have Fun!

 

Hiking and being surrounded by nature is always great fun, so don’t forget to relax and enjoy yourself. This comes back to being present, letting go, and enjoying your surroundings.

 

Mindset and positive attitude make all the difference in the world, both in hiking and in life. Having an enjoyable and interesting trek can be the difference between an amazing adventure and an awful experience.

Don’t forget to stay present, be positive, enjoy the scenery, and don’t take nature for granted.

See you on the trail! :-)