Hiking in the Rain? Here’s How to Stay Protected

A man in a hoodie is navigating the woods surrounded by towering redwoods.

There is nothing more romantic and ambient than a rainy night in the woods.

If you’re a hiking enthusiast, you’re also probably a nature lover. Most nature lovers enjoy hiking in the rain, even though it can be dangerous. What this activity does for you psychologically often outweighs its physical dangers. Hiking, in general, has been many Americans’ favorite outdoor activity for decades. It has become even more popular in recent years!

But don’t let the excitement of hiking through the woods when it is pouring make you jeopardize your safety. You can have a fun hike and still come out of it unharmed. So, here are some ways to exercise caution and hiking gear protection when hiking in the rain.

Make All Your Gear Weatherproof

Hiking gear is generally designed to withstand rough conditions, but it is not always weatherproof. You should ensure that all of your best hiking gear is going to remain functional before you head out.

There can be holes, tears, and/or ripped seams in your hiking backpack. If you do not notice them ahead of time, then rainwater will surely make its way inside your backpack. This can be detrimental because not only will all your backpack contents get soaked, but they will also be unusable for a long time. You also cannot predict when the rain will stop and give you the opportunity to dry your gear. So, it is better to prevent this problem in the first place. You can do so by covering your hiking backpack with a waterproof material like a small tarp or raincoat.

The following backpacks offer great hiking gear protection:

A female backpackers standing in a forest

Double-Protect Your Belongings

Your hiking backpack will probably contain items like a topographic map, electronic devices, navigational gadgets, and consumables. It can be highly beneficial for you to get additional protection for such items. For example, you can use waterproof cases for your phone, tablet, or laptop. These waterproof cases can protect your electronic gadgets from any water damage.

Without added protection, you run the risk of losing any functional devices. As a result, you will be unable to access your devices for important tasks like making phone calls and using a digital map for navigation. You can even use Ziploc bags or other plastic sealable bags to store important items. This can be particularly helpful for paper items like a map.

Carry Extras of Everything

If you know that it will be raining on your hike ahead of time, then make sure to pack extra pairs of clothing and other necessary gear. The last thing any hiker wants is to get stuck in the woods with soaking-wet clothes and hiking gear.

Since it most commonly rains during the winter months, you can also become more vulnerable to serious health problems like hypothermia and frostbite if your clothes are wet. So, be proactive and pack extra clothing, gear, and maybe even footwear. Depending on the quality, your hiking shoes might also sustain some damage caused by muddy grounds and rough terrains. It is generally a smart idea to pack an extra pair of soft-shell hiking pants, waterproof hiking boots, and/or hiking raincoats.

Close-up of a man’s grey hiking boots

Wear the Right Hiking Clothes and Footwear

It is not always enough for your hiking clothes and footwear to just be waterproof. Often, readily available hiking gear does not live up to the waterproof quality it promises. This is why it is important for rookie hikers to do their own research and invest in high-quality hiking gear that is recommended by seasoned hikers.

Start by reading online hiking reviews to learn about the top-rated hiking clothes and hiking boots for men and women. Try to cross-reference with multiple reviews to arrive at a consensus. Ensure the hiking boots you look for are weatherproof, sturdy, durable, and breathable. Hiking shoes made from leather and mesh are often the best ones since they have water-resistant and cushioned. Here are the top 3 hiking shoes for men to explore:

Use Trekking Poles

Navigating rough terrains when they are muddy and slippery from the rain is not easy. You can end up putting a lot of strain on your legs and feet if you try to do it without any support. Instead, use some trekking poles for easier mobility.

Trekking poles are designed specifically to help hikers move up and down steep hills and trails. You can use a pair of trekking poles by swinging them forward and planting them into the ground ahead of you. This will provide additional support to you and enable you to move forward more steadily. Not all trekking poles suit every hiker, though. Make sure to find a pair that is the right height and length for your particular needs.

Explore three of the best trekking poles on Amazon below:

A male hiker in a red beanie carrying a backpack with trekking poles

Looking for Expert Hiking Gear Reviews? Check Out Back Country Gear!

If you are looking for reviews and rankings of the Hiking Reviews in the market, Back Country Gear is the place to go!

You can find a wide range of insightful reviews related to backcountry activities on our resource site. Our camping, climbing, and hiking review blogs can take you straight to the top-rated gear on Amazon. We have reviewed products like the best trekking poles on Amazon, the Best Amazon Tents For Campers 2023, and the best budget backpacking sleeping bags so far. Don’t forget to read our reviews of the top backcountry gear brands!

A person hiking with a backpack in the mountains.
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