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  1. #1
    Registered User srestrepo's Avatar
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    Default things to know about hiking in the rain

    there are a few obvious things about this, i'm loking for any help beyond that. so to clarify my knowledge base the following things are known to be true:
    1. expect to get wet
    2. line backpack with trash compactor bag - pack covers are not so effective on their own.
    3. site selection is important.

    i have a few questions though. i use lightweight trail runners and i anticipate my feet being wet - how do people handle this? what kind of sock choices are you guys using?

  2. #2

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    Don't worry about your feet getting wet. It's not that big of a deal. I hiked in Smartwool Expedition Trekking Socks but there are many other good choices. You are right on about the compactor bag inside the pack for your sensitive items. And always remember

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    Wet feet isn't really that big of deal, at least for me. As far as socks, that's very personal, but I go with extremely lightweight socks that dry fast (along with trail runners). A couple of other "facts" I found around rain
    1) breathable rain jackets are a myth.
    2) chafing become more of an issue.
    3) on trails without shelters...... Daily mileage will often go up, nothing else to do, shorter breaks, no views.

  4. #4

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    Oops!!!! Always remember that when it starts to rain, if you stop, remove your pack, and don your rain jacket, the rain will stop. Works every time. It is not about things staying dry, it's all about how quickly do they dry. IMO, trail runners are the only way to go. Good luck!!!

  5. #5
    Registered User srestrepo's Avatar
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    thanks all great info, particularly, the stop the rain dance involving donning my rain coat!

    i'm taking my good friend in the woods on the AT for the first time. my thought process is, you never remember the great peaceful days, just the perceived crappy ones with terrible weather. hopefully my logic works.

  6. #6
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    Wet and clean feet, no problem. Wet and dirty feet, be careful. I learned to keep my feet clean, meaning stopping to wash mud off of them, even in rain. Smartwool socks worked fine for me all the way on the AT. I only carried one extra pair, and had to replace one pair along the way.

    When staying dry is going to be difficult, I look for a virgin site and don't even eat there, just sleep.
    "Throw a loaf of bread and a pound of tea in an old sack and jump over the back fence." John Muir on expedition planning

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by litefoot2000 View Post
    Oops!!!! Always remember that when it starts to rain, if you stop, remove your pack, and don your rain jacket, the rain will stop. Works every time.
    I find that using my pack cover does the same trick

    Light wool socks inside mesh trail runners work best for me in wet weather. Yeah, my feet get wet, but they stay warm and everything dries pretty quickly when it stops raining.
    Ken B
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  8. #8
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    Rain advice is somewhat dependent on temperatures.

    What everyone has said thus far has been spot on. I'll emphasize that you have to get over the wet feet thing, though it's not easy to do at first. Don't waste time trying to keep your feet from getting soaked in that puddle or where the trail has become the stream. Instead, make sure you have quick-dry socks in a breatheable shoe. If it's going to be cold out, make sure you are wearing a wool or otherwise synthetic insulating sock that keeps your toes warm when wet. This is important when temps are getting low and/or close to freezing (or below freezing).

    Also, ponchos only cover your upper arms. If it's cold out, you're going to want to wear something on your whole arm but remember it will get soaked. Keep moving to stay warm and only stop briefly for snacks, meals, bathroom breaks, etc. You'll get the chills pretty quickly once you stop due to calorie depletion and cold extremities. If you're wearing a full rain suit with long sleeves this is less of a problem. However, expect to get wet inside from sweat.
    2,000 miler. Still keepin' on keepin' on.

  9. #9

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    Have a dry set of clothes in your pack and put them on when you're in your tent to keep them dry as possible. This is especially important if it's a cold rain with temps below 45.

  10. #10
    Registered User srestrepo's Avatar
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    hadn't realized the caloric depletion when you stop hiking and immediately being cold. i'll plan a quicker meal or something high in carbs. we're expecting the weather to be at about 45 -60 tomorrow up here in massachusetts. namely, we're just hiking to uppergoose pond in massachusetts. should be nice and close to the road if my friend gets too worried. or if there are no thru hikers, i'll ask if we can stay in the cabin and leave my obligatory box of pancake mix for the caretaker.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by srestrepo View Post
    hadn't realized the caloric depletion when you stop hiking and immediately being cold. i'll plan a quicker meal or something high in carbs. we're expecting the weather to be at about 45 -60 tomorrow up here in massachusetts. namely, we're just hiking to uppergoose pond in massachusetts. should be nice and close to the road if my friend gets too worried. or if there are no thru hikers, i'll ask if we can stay in the cabin and leave my obligatory box of pancake mix for the caretaker.
    Upper goose pond cabin is a great place to introduce someone to backpacking, especially if the weather is bad. Just make sure to double bag your dry cloths and sleeping bag. That way you and your friend will just have to worry about being wet while hiking during the day with a dry warm overnight in the cabin to look forward to.
    Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

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    When it's warm out like during summer and I'm doing shorter mileage days I use Keen sandals with no sock. Eliminates the wet feet concern. In camp don the socks or if you are getting cold wet feet don socks with the sandals and have a warn dry pr of socks ready for camp.

  13. #13
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    Things to know about hiking in the rain.

    ENJOY IT! Change your attitude about it.

    Don't have this attitude in general and NEVER about the rain!

    Quote Originally Posted by srestrepo View Post
    .....you never remember the great peaceful days, just the perceived crappy ones with terrible weather. hopefully my logic works.
    In your quote you have the answer on how to change your attitude. PERCEPTION!

    I've changed my once negative pissy(pun intended) outlook on rain to a more positive one where I've conditioned myself to appreciate it and actually be HAPPY about it through happy music specific for when it's raining, happy visions of rain, splashing in puddles, enjoying the sights, smells, and sounds associated with wet weather, noticing how wildlife responds to rain, watching how it gathers from a few drops on plants to a raging river, etc.

    FOR ME, it's about doing this: When I change the way I'm looking at things, the things I'm looking at change!

    C'mon watch this, feel this, experience this for yourself, sing this, bring this to memory, lock this in to your psych, DO THIS!

    http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=...ail&FORM=VIRE3

    NOW, do this in the rain when you are hiking. It might get you noticed but be different in a better way. In the process not only will you be enforcing and conditioning a more empowering attitude in yourself but you will probably be helping others to do the same.

    If you ever experience a tall crazy acting backpacker with headphones on singing and dancing down the trail in the rain like Gene Kelly it's probably me. Let's start a new trend.

  14. #14

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    "Life's not about waiting for the storm to pass, It's about learning to dance in the rain"~ not sure who said this, but I always liked it.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by rocketsocks View Post
    "Life's not about waiting for the storm to pass, It's about learning to dance in the rain"~ not sure who said this, but I always liked it.
    Anonymous.
    "Hiking is as close to God as you can get without going to Church." - BobbyJo Sargent aka milkman Sometimes it's nice to take a long walk in THE FOG.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by srestrepo View Post
    ... what kind of sock choices are you guys using?
    I've recently tried Drymax socks. I ran across them while looking through Zappos. Thought I'd try them out, and I have to say, for as thick as they are, they dry faster than any sock I've worn. I tested these by holding my feet under a faucet for a good minute while wearing socks and my trailrunners.

    It only took about twenty minutes for my feet to feel dry. Also lighter than wool, 2.6 oz/pair vs 3.5.

    The only thing is, they make you buy 4 pair, $50. Nevertheless, they performed well enough, I'm only taking one extra pair on my LT hike next month.

  17. #17

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    I use Gore-tex socks when the weather is cold, I use a sock liner with these. Otherwise, low cut lightweight hiking socks.
    "Sleepy alligator in the noonday sun
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  18. #18

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    Wet feet are not a problem.

    I agree, wet and dirty could be.

    Especially wet sand.

    Beware sandy creek bottoms
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 05-23-2013 at 21:58.

  19. #19
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    :banana

    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    Things to know about hiking in the rain.

    ENJOY IT! Change your attitude about it.

    Don't have this attitude in general and NEVER about the rain!



    In your quote you have the answer on how to change your attitude. PERCEPTION!

    I've changed my once negative pissy(pun intended) outlook on rain to a more positive one where I've conditioned myself to appreciate it and actually be HAPPY about it through happy music specific for when it's raining, happy visions of rain, splashing in puddles, enjoying the sights, smells, and sounds associated with wet weather, noticing how wildlife responds to rain, watching how it gathers from a few drops on plants to a raging river, etc.

    FOR ME, it's about doing this: When I change the way I'm looking at things, the things I'm looking at change!

    C'mon watch this, feel this, experience this for yourself, sing this, bring this to memory, lock this in to your psych, DO THIS!

    http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=...ail&FORM=VIRE3

    NOW, do this in the rain when you are hiking. It might get you noticed but be different in a better way. In the process not only will you be enforcing and conditioning a more empowering attitude in yourself but you will probably be helping others to do the same.

    If you ever experience a tall crazy acting backpacker with headphones on singing and dancing down the trail in the rain like Gene Kelly it's probably me. Let's start a new trend.
    Ditto. Dogwood, if you see someone else in the rain dancing like Gene Kelly and singing . . . not like Gene Kelly, it's me. Nice to see someone else with the same great attitude . My count is up to at least four people!
    Merry 2012 AT blog
    "Not all those who wander are lost."

  20. #20
    Registered User srestrepo's Avatar
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    all very appropriate, helpful and positive responses. after all, its this place we love so much that we look to for enjoyment. i'll be sure to do sing a tune and dance in the rain also. thanks again!

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