Ten tips for wet-weather hiking

  1. Plan ahead: Have your pack ready the night before. An item 'forgotten' on a summer day may be inconsequential, but the results of forgetting a hat or a rain jacket in November can range from unpleasant to hypothermic. Make sure your gear is rain-proofed regularly.
  2. Line the backpack with trash-compactor bag or a purpose made 'dry-bag'.
  3. Every item in an outside or side-pocket, must go inside a ziplock bag.
  4. Consider your insulation: Down loses it's warming properties when wet. Consider fleece or other synthetic as an alternative.
  5. Glove strategies: Most gloves are useless when wet.... Three ideas, 1. Take an extra pair. 2. Consider getting Seal-skinz gloves or trucker's gloves (at a gas station/truckshop - ask for the ones truckers use to chain-up - approx $15). 3. Take Gore-tex shell mittens to put over your light or medium-weight gloves. 
  6. Make sure your top and bottom layers over-lap. If you can't tuck in your undershirt into your bottoms, there will be an exposed area just waiting to get cold rain dripping on or in it. Same applies to cuffs, neck and gloves.
  7. Decide whether to use your hood, if you don't, roll it up to prevent snow or rain accumulating in it. Pull the zipper up high to 'close up' the gap between coat and neck. Consider a buff garment to buffer the gap and keep your neck warm.
  8. Synthetic hat. This could be a peaked running hat or one of the famous Seattle Sombrero hats from OR.
  9. Plan to keep moving: five-minute snack breaks will allow for snacking and avoid the heat-loss of colder longer breaks. Consider this when you pack lunch. Smaller packages might work better and you don't want all of your food getting wet. Just take out what you need.
  10. Keep water and snow out of your pack. It's amazing how quickly snow and rain can get in the top opening and soak everything inside. Take a few extra seconds to roll your waterproof liner shut. Also, stand over your pack when it's open, or use a tree for cover.