[pct-l] Hiking in Rain Gear

frankgilliland at comcast.net frankgilliland at comcast.net
Mon Feb 12 12:14:52 CST 2007

Howdy all, I have spent most of my hiking life up here in Washington.  Twice
I have gotten so wet that only Devine intervention or boy scouts could help.
One time I was helped with a ride by soaked boy scouts heading out to the
trail head and then to a town.  Thank you scouts......This was in the goat
rocks.  It was raining INSIDE my tent after 4 straight days of constant
rain.  The other time, it actually stopped raining and the sun came out just
in time for me to dry ALL of my gear that got soaked (sleeping bag

One of the prior posts stated that he was a "Hot Hiker".  I am also.  I
sweat after my first steps on trail.  So if I sweat with rain gear on, then
I am wet and all my clothes get wet.

I put my sleeping bag and extra clothes into an OR dry bag inside my pack
inside a garbage bag with a pack cover.  I then put on my nylon biking style
shorts, a poly shirt, a fleece hat and just keep moving.  The deal breaker
for me is if I get cold for even one second - I must stop and put on rain
gear.  If conditions worsen such as wind, I make a shelter and then climb
into my sleeping bag with my protected dry clothes.  For me, keeping my
limited number of clothes/gear dry is very important.  The bottom line plan
is to always have a dry camp and sleeping bag to get out of the weather.

A hiking partner and I wearing minimal clothes got hit hard by a sudden
storm on an exposed ridge.  I was fine, however he pushed on with me and
very quickly became hypothermic.  He took days to recover.  The lesson here
is to know when to just stop and make a shelter, stay warm, dry and just
wait the weather out.  

Layers for most is a great idea, I just don't like getting ALL of my clothes
wet and leave my self with no back ups.

I also carry an umbrella.  This alone can make a sudden rain storm into
something more manageable.  A lot of day hikers here in Washington get into
trouble on 40+ degree days because they get wet and have no back up gear.  I
always take my umbrella.  The funny looks stop after a while and the
comments of "that's a great idea" are stated by most.

I use Frogg Toggs as rain gear when not walking.  They are also a great "in
town" outfit when in the laundry.  They also help at breaks in skeeter
country with a head net.

Stay dry, stay warm, have a back-up plan.....


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