Hiking in the rain
A serious suggestion
Drizzly weather? Cloudy sky? Great, let’s go hiking in the rain! Seriously – you will have the mountains all to yourself, the snuggest place in the hut is free and the hot shower at home feels like pure bliss. Why don’t you give it a try?
Mountains are not only impressive when the sun is shining. Especially when the fog hangs between the trees or the rain makes a small trickle swell up into an imposing waterfall, you will feel far away from everyday life. Exciting discoveries are waiting for you along the way: Raindrops turn spider webs into small pieces of art, the ringing of the cowbells suddenly sounds very mystical through the veil of rain.
Besides all these impressions, hiking in the rain also has practical advantages: It’s not too hot, and it doesn’t matter if you forgot your sunscreen at home. You won’t meet any tourists wearing sandals and most important of all, you’ll have a good story to tell.
The right equipment for hiking in the rain
First, it’s all about the right attitude. And of course, it helps a lot if you choose your equipment carefully. Rainwear is obligatory, of course. In addition, your hiking boots must be waterproof and above all, have a good grip on slippery ground. Gaiters prevent water from penetrating in the shoes.
Walking sticks are very practical, especially on slippery ground. With them, you can go downhill quickly while protecting your knees. If you use walking sticks, think of gloves in cool temperatures – wet hands freeze quickly and you could slip off the handles.
If cold rain has ever unexpectedly run down your collar, you know how unpleasant that is. Therefore, when you buy a rain jacket, try out how well you can adjust the hood. You should be able to pull the brim into your forehead and there shouldn’t be much space between your neck and the collar. Does the hood its job and protect you against the wind? Do you hear well wearing the hood?
To avoid wet sleeves, pull the fleece jacket or shirt up to the elbow. This way the sleeves can’t absorb the moisture. The same applies to the trouser legs – you stick them either into the bootleg or roll them up.
Because it’s easy to forget – close your jacket pockets when it’s raining. This is where the water often find its way in. By the way, backpacks are usually not waterproof. Therefore, a good rain cover is mandatory to make sure your stuff doesn’t get soaked.
Adjust the tour to the conditions
Rain can make simple tours suddenly much more difficult. Rocks are as slippery as soap and a simple climbing passage can become a real challenge. Therefore, when hiking in the rain, it is sensible to go on familiar tours or easy hikes to minimize the risk. Don’t miss out on a stop at a nice hut to dry your things and enjoy a refreshment.
Observe the weather
Always keep an eye on the weather and do not start in case thunderstorms are likely. If the rain turns into snow or thick fog prevents any orientation, it is time to turn back. At some point, the risk of injury is too great and there‘s no fun left. Rely on your common sense and your gut.
For more safety tips when hiking in the rain, check out our article First aid in the mountains – Basic knowledge for the initial treatment of wounds and injuries. There, we have summarized the most important information about the correct behavior in the event of minor injuries.