An Ode to Hiking in the Rain

It’s another rainy day here in Western Washington. The sky is gray and the air has a certain heaviness to it. It’s a perfect day for a hike.

A forest trail with ferns and tall trees against a gray sky.

Some of our favorite days on the trail are rainy days. The grey skies make space for an awareness of the more immediate details. Do you smell the ferns? The damp sod is gentle underfoot. The leaves are glistening. And, best of all, the trails are quiet. These are perfect days for solo hikes and quiet contemplation.

We’d like to share a few tips for safe, happy, and comfortable hiking in the rain.

  1. Waterproof Jacket: Rely on a solid and reliable waterproof jacket. We prefer 2 or 3 layer waterproof jackets with the inner membrane bonded to the outer layer. This is in contrast to the non-bonded 2.5 layer jacket with the lighter loose inner membrane. The 2 or 3 layer jackets are more durable by far in the long-term and worth the investment. Our current favorite the Outdoor Research Interstellar Jacket.

  2. Liner Gloves: We recommend having a pair of good fleece gloves on-board. This can be the difference between cold wet dripping hands and the ability to comfortably grip your trekking poles. You’ll always find us with the Outdoor Research Backstop Gloves on-board. (and an extra in the backpack)

  3. Baseball Cap: A baseball cap under your jacket hood can help prevent water from dripping off the end of your hood and on to your face. (no one likes that) And did we mention that we have our own? Check ‘em out over here.

We encourage you to take advantage of the next rainy afternoon to hit the trail. Remember that there is no such thing as bad weather - just bad gear. Enjoy your time out there!

A rain soaked and glistening trillium flower.

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