Heading out during a stormy backpacking weekend? Or even a soggy hike through your favorite Canyon? Don't let the dampness ruin your initiative. Hypothermia is the number one killer of hikers. Backpacking or trekking through constant rain can still be fun if you're good at staying dry. Here are some tips for your next backpacking trip in wet rainy weather.
1 - Layers, layers, layers
tart with a nice base or mid layer tights and a long sleeve shirt underneath all of your other rainwear. Definitely use marina wool. The reason is sweat can evaporate quicker and maintain your body temperature. You are looking for a skin coverage and to keep the wet cold jacket off your skin with plenty of stretch and comfort. I often skip traditional hiking pants and rely on trekking pants to dry superquick. Or if I know the rain is going to be bad I will be relying on my tights for warmth under waterproof hard shells.
2 - Seek hard shell jackets and pants with vents.
On the longer adventures your outer layer on your hardshell will definitely wet out. This drastically lowers the fabrics breathability. But pit breathe zippers will never fail you and make that hike much more enjoyable.
3 - Wear synthetic fleece with insulation
For this I usually use some form of merino wool as a base layer with a fleece mid layer. When it is dry I definitely want a down jacket. But when everything is damp or wet, synthetic installations and mid layer fleece are definitely the way to go. They maintain some of their warmth and puffiness even when the wetness sets in. They are also easier to dry.
4 - aterproof your backpack
There are many backpacks on the market. Some which absorb water and some that repel water. When you're carrying sensitive camera gear you definitely want to test your backpack out before you head out into the wilderness. I like to take a garden hose and spray my backpack. Making sure that water will not soak in even with the zipper closed. If it passes my Garden hose test then it is coming with me. If you have a backpack already that is water resistant then definitely try to find a waterproof cover for it. If you don't have one, you might want to just use a traditional garbage bag for this.
5 - Keeping your equipment dry
camera equipment as you know can be very expensive. One of the key things to do when exploring nature is to keep it dry at all times. One thing you can do is definitely open your backpack as little as possible. Every time you open your pack or take the cover off a bit more rain will get in. This wetness can build up in my potentially stay with you for the rest of the trip. To minimize this, store all your regular snacks in your pockets or outside of your pack. There are waterproof bags on the market they can also help with this keeping your camera dry at all time.
6 - Common household item will save you
One of the best ways to combat wetness is utilizing Ziploc bags. To prevent water damage of any items that you are concerned about such as batteries, cables, memory cards etc. definitely put your items in a Ziploc bag to double protect them.
7 - aterproof trekking boots with waterproof gators are a must
You definitely do not want to have any Gore-Tex in your boots when it is wet out. Contrary to what many people believe, Gore-Tex will hold the water and not dry out fast. Do your research and look for Waterproof trekking boots or water boots that will dry out fast.
8 - Footcare
You want to find a good natural oil balm along with an antifungal foot powder. If you want to be super prepared, definitely try to find some dry packets to help your items dry when you can find shelter. When it is overnight you will want dry packets to draw your items out as best you can. Anti-blister kit is a must. Blister prevention will save you. Wet socks will quickly rub the natural oils off your feet which leads to water absorption, prune like skin, and a much higher chance of blistering. Especially if your boots are tight. You want to reapply balms and oil's to prevent foot irritation such as Bonnie's balm to help keep feet from blistering.
9 - Proper socks for trekking
ne of the things a lot of hikers don't realize is your body temperature can drop with what you wear for base layers and socks. The type of socks you will want to find is merino wool hiking socks. They are thick enough to help prevent blisters and also maintain foot temperature. When your feet get wet in cotton socks it can be dangerous. Body temperature can drop from anywhere on the body especially your feet. You do not want cold wet feet while you were out trekking. Maintaining body temperature is key so do not wear regular cotton socks.
10 - Best underwear and beanie
ne of the three main areas of her body temperature lost his head, groin, and feet. You will want to try marina wool underwear for your rainy day trekking. The nice thing about merino wool is it will help maintain and regulate body temperature even when wet. Merino wool or acrylic style beanie will be perfect underneath your waterproof hood.
emember safety first. I know we all want to capture great images… But if you're wet and cold and catching hypothermia will trying to do so then it won't be worth it. You can enjoy taking photos in any type of climate. Preparation and planning is key.
Happy Backpacking - Trekking