Don't let a little weather keep you away from outdoors. And deal with unexpected weather during your extended outdoor trips.
Few years ago, my friend and I got the backcountry permit to visit the Glacier National Park. We were luck enough to visit three spots at alpine lakes along the Belly River Trail which should have been amazing few days according to the weather report. The first 2 days were incredible, with great weather. However, the cloud rolled in on day three.
We spent much time fishing in the morning and were caught off cover when the storm hit that afternoon. The weather deteriorated as we hiked toward the next campsite. All our gear got soaked, and our mood dropped as we realized that we were woefully unprepared. We changed our plan and headed back to town and sleep in a house with dry bed. By the time we settled, we got blisters and get soaked inside out. The weather cleared that night, but we were already long gone.
Instead of a joyful night at a spectacular lake in the Crown of the Continent, our trip got cut short and the plan for the last day was ruined by the sudden rain for several hours. Lesson learned. Thankfully that dealing with rain is as simple has having the right stuff with you during your outdoor trips.
1. Multi-functional Geertop Ground Sheet, $35; Heavy duty trash bag as back up, Osprey's Ul Light Bagpack Cover $35
If you are backpacking, and it's going to rain. The first thing is to protect your backpack from rain. Nothing worse than arriving at camp and all of your gears and clothing within the backpacked are drenched with rain. A dedicated cover like
Material: 210T Plaid Polyester, PU5000MM
Product Size: 225 * 185 cm (L*W) / 88.6” * 72.3” (L*W)
Full Package Size: 20 * 20 * 15 cm (L*W*H) / 8” * 8” * 6” (L*W*H)
Product Weight: 420g / 15 oz
Package Weight: 430g / 15.2 oz
• 4 IN 1: Tent groundsheet & Picnic Mat & Raincoat & Shelter
• 100% waterproof, PU5000MM
• 210T tear-resistant Plaid Polyester
• Easy to use
2. Rain Jacket - Highly recommended
A premium rain jacket can keep up with several years of heavy duty, no matter you go thru hiking, section hiking, bike packing trips and more. You can use a good quality rain jacket for everything not only just in case being caught by a rain storm, you can also throw it on when the weather gets a chilly outside, or just put in on to keep your other clothes clean for long and extended hikes. Or just lay it on the ground to sit on and keep your ass clean when you are taking a snap or a rest. Even in the city, it can work as a normal clothes when it a little cold or rainy outside. You can always find a spare space for rain jacket like this, very small and compact to stuff in a backpack.
3. Dryer Lint and Tinder
Have you ever try starting a fire in the rain or after a rain? It will be really annoy when you need to start your fire to get some warmth and prepare your dinner in the wilderness in addition to your gas/alcoholic stove. Dryer lint won't make it fun, but it will make it easier-they burns impressively well and has helped me get a fire going more times than I can remember. Cotton balls soaked in Vaseline are another classic fire starting way, or you can buy pre-made tinder, that's just the same thing. Just bring something to help get the fire going smooth and strong, you will be a lot happier and your stuff will dry much faster.
4. Wool Shirt
Wool insulates even when it's soaked and wet, so it's a great choice if you think you are gonna to run into bad weather. Wool is often more expensive and less durable than synthetic shirts, but in my experience, it's worth the bucks. And It keeps the stink to the minimum-an extra bonus on long treks, thru hikes. I like Smartwool's lightweight merino tees best, which makes great base layer for the colder months, winter, early spring and late autumn.
Synthetic dries quicker and chafes much less. Exofficio GiveNGo Boxer Brief has been a first of mine for a long time: comfortable, quick dry, and easy to clean. Once tries, twice favors.
5. Ziploc Bags
Ziplocs is one of my favorite backpacking and camping essentials, whose uses are limitless. They help keep the stuff organized and (most importantly) dry. Gallon-size ones with the slider zipper is a first pick. You do't need a fancy phone case to keep your phone safe from water or sweats and a bunch of dry bags unless you kayaking, canoeing or rafting.
6. Ready to eat meals
Cooking in the rain will be really bothersome in the wilderness. You can cook your meal with a gas/alcohol stove in the vestibule of your tent, but after a long, soggy day of hike, I prefer something quicker and easier at hand without much time to wait and more favorably, hot food. Salami and cheese(Out of a ziploc) is my first choice. Self heating backpacking meals from Omeals are really pretty handy when you encounter a storm in a tent. You can use any iquid to heat up the meal, which then heats up itself with water compiled without fires or other heat source.
7. Nikwax Waterproofing Treatment
You don't need to take it with you during the trail, but you should keep some Nixwax around the house to add extra water protection to your gears. The company makes all sorts of products so you can use any of them to enhance waterproof of your gears and have better performance in the great outdoors, shoes, tent, pack, any of the equipment you are gonna bring with you to hit the trail.