How to enjoy hiking in the rain. Tips from the (bad) weather experts

If you won’t read beyond this paragraph, there are two main rules of hiking in the rain: One — it’s better not to get wet than trying to dry your clothes, and two — study the weather before and during the hike.

For those, who have five minutes for reading, I have collected a dozen other rules, tips, and advice on how to enjoy hiking in bad rainy weather. Well, at least try.

Ivan Kuznetsov
Outdoor writer from the Dolomites, Italy, and Karelia, Finland

— Yes, at first glance, it is better to wait for good weather. But it doesn’t always work out that way. For example, there was no rain in the weather forecast for the weekend on Wednesday, but forecasts may be wrong. You’ve already planned a hike and got caught in the rain.

It’s also easy to get caught in the rain while backpacking — multi-day hikes lasting several days or more. On such hikes, you need to move forward every day so you don’t stay in the mountains or forest for the rest of your life waiting for good weather and complete your trip. Your friends may be waiting for you at the finish or there may be the last bus back to civilization.

Sometimes you go on a small one-day hike on purpose in spite of bad weather because the next sunny day is only after a week.

In other words, getting caught in the rain is easy and sometimes you do it on purpose. So you can try to learn to enjoy hiking in the rain. After all, these hikes have some pros, not only cons. Remember them and repeat them when it rains:

  1. You may have spent another day at home or in the office, but you spent it outdoors — even in the rain. If you’re already on a long, multi-day hike — you’ll save a day of travel.
  2. There are likely to be fewer people on the trails when it rains. This is especially important for the most popular national parks like Zion in the US, for example.
  3. The air is much fresher and tastier during and after the rain. There’s more moisture in it. Breathing such air is more pleasant and easier than the heavy warm and dry air. Humid air is also better for your skin than dry air — well, that’s obvious.

Read next in my article “How to enjoy hiking in the rain if you never did it before” in the blog of — leading professional weather forecast app for wind and water sports, and outdoor activities.

Cover photo: hiking in the Dolomites in the rainy weather in May 2019 © Ivan Kuznetsov

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