Staying dry while camping and hiking in rainy regions can be a challenging task. It may seem impossible to remain dry when you’re constantly exposed to wet conditions, such as paddling, hiking, setting up camp, starting a fire, cooking, and sleeping in a tent while it’s raining. The constant presence of water can make it feel like it’s penetrating everything. However, with the right strategies, it is possible to stay sort of dry and comfortable, even in places where the annual rainfall is high.
Here are the 10 Tips for Keeping Dry While Camping and Hiking
1. Maintain sacred socks
These wool socks are specifically designed for sleeping and should only be used inside your sleeping bag. Even if your other socks are wet and dirty, it’s important to refrain from using these sacred socks for anything other than sleeping. Even if it means having to put on wet, smelly socks in the morning, it’s worth it for the comfort of your feet.
2. Use Gold Bond
A lot of it. It’s important to dust the inside of your tent with talcum powder every evening. This will make it look like a snow globe inside. An added benefit is that it will also help mask the smell of moldy gear.
3. Keep your waterproof-breathable gear clean
Carrying a lot of duff cedar to start a fire, climbing over mossy logs, and getting splashed with salt water can be fun but it’s important to remember that it can make your Gore-Tex gear dirty. To ensure that the gear continues to function properly it’s important to clean it with a Tech Wash. It’s important to remember that dirty waterproof-breathable gear doesn’t work as well as clean gear. Additionally, no matter what the manufacturer claims, the effectiveness of waterproof-breathable gear decreases over time. It’s best not to take an old jacket that may look vintage and cool .
4. Know your systems
This is essential in any situation, particularly in wet conditions. You don’t want to be searching through an open bag for your headlamp when it’s pouring rain. It’s best to have a system in place for keeping your gear organized and easily accessible, so you can quickly grab what you need without having to rummage through your bag.
5. Wear a lighter around your neck
If you have a well-organized system in place, you can minimize the risk of getting soaked to the skin. One tip is to duct tape a lighter to some paracord and wear it as a necklace, this way you will always have the one tool you need for emergency warmth on hand and it will be dry all the time.
6. Never leave a dry bag open
Opening and closing dry bags frequently can be a part of outdoor activities, such as camping or hiking, and it is important to use the correct technique to ensure that the contents of the bag stay dry. It is not uncommon for people who participate in these activities to have dreams about opening and closing dry bags, as it is a repetitive task that can become ingrained in their minds.
7. Wear your hood
Wet hair can stay wet for days, which can be a problem when you are spending time in cold weather conditions. When hair is wet, it can lose its insulating properties, making the head and scalp feel colder. Wet hair can also cause heat to be lost through evaporation, which can further lower the body’s core temperature. To prevent this, it’s best to keep your hair dry, by using a hat, hood, or hair dryer, or by keeping your hair covered with a waterproof layer. Additionally, it is important to keep your head and body warm by wearing appropriate clothing and staying active to generate body heat.
8. Compactor trash bags are just as good as dry bags for a short trip
Using compactor trash bags in outdoor activities can be a useful way to keep gear and personal items dry and organized. Compactor bags are thicker and more durable than regular trash bags, making them better suited for the rigors of outdoor use.
Lining your backpack with a compactor bag and cinching it at the top can provide extra waterproofing for your gear. Similarly, using compactor bags inside a dry bag can provide additional waterproofing and help with compartmentalization. Compactor bags can also be used to keep feet dry by placing them inside boots. It is a good idea to test the compactor bags prior to using them in a real outdoor situation to ensure they are waterproof and they don’t tear easily.
10. Learn to set up a very high tarp
Starting a fire and cooking dinner in the rain can be a challenging but rewarding experience. If you are properly prepared with the right equipment and techniques, it can be possible to have a fire and cook a meal even in wet conditions. However, it is important to be aware of local regulations and fire restrictions and to take appropriate precautions to prevent wildfires.
Rain can also be a beautiful and refreshing experience, and many people enjoy getting out and exploring during a rainstorm. In some areas, rainfall can be infrequent, so it’s a good opportunity to appreciate it when it comes. However, in some regions, like Southwest Colorado, where the rain can be scarce, people may prefer to stay inside when it rains.
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