SUBSCRIBE | NEWSLETTERS | MAPS | VIDEOS | BLOGS | MARKETPLACE | CONTESTS
TRY BACKPACKER FREE!
SUBSCRIBE NOW and get
2 Free Issues and 3 Free Gifts!
Full Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
City:
State:
Zip Code:
Email: (required)
If I like it and decide to continue, I'll pay just $12.00, and receive a full one-year subscription (9 issues in all), a 73% savings off the newsstand price! If for any reason I decide not to continue, I'll write "cancel" on the invoice and owe nothing.
Your subscription includes 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Or click here to pay now and get 2 extra issues
Offer valid in US only.

Also on Backpacker.com


Enter Zip Code

Backpacker Magazine – January 2012

Backpacker Bible: Stay Dry

Learn how to cope with relentless rain, and you can experience some of the Earth's holiest places–Alaska! Patagonia!–in comfort.

by: The Backpacker Editors

PAGE 1 2
MontBell U.L. Trekking Umbrella (Courtesy Photo)
MontBell U.L. Trekking Umbrella (Courtesy Photo)

Backpacker Bible
See all 10 skills every backpacker should know
On the Trail
[  ] Rest when the rain stops. Forget your schedule; in extended bad weather, take advantage of dry spells to eat.

[  ] Hike wet, camp dry. During days and days of constant rain, you’re going to get wet, but your body heat will keep you warm while you’re moving (if not, you need to stop and make camp). Divide your clothes into “sacrifice” layers and “sacred” layers, advises Judd Rogers, a NOLS instructor who once experienced 60 days of rain on a 75-day semester course in Chilean Patagonia. Hike in your sacrifice layers and store them wet, in your vestibule. Keep your sacred layers dry. Always.

[  ] Avoid raising your arms. In a downpour, water will enter at your cuffs and seep up your sleeves. Use trekking poles? Shorten the length to minimize wrist exposure. In the worst conditions, consider hiking in a paddle jacket. The neoprene cuffs and secure wrist enclosures help keep water out.

[  ] Use waterproof stuffsacks or line your pack with trash compactor bags. Pack covers reduce water weight absorbed by your pack, but tend to flap in the wind and snag if you’re bushwhacking.

[  ] Wear neoprene socks and gloves. Rogers uses plastic boots—which absorb no water—to avoid chronically soggy feet.

In Camp

[  ] Choose a double-wall tent (best at reducing condensation) with at least one large vestibule.

[  ] Make sure seams are taped, and seam-seal any that show wear. Check for UV damage to your tent fly, says Rogers, by trying to suck air through it. If you can, replace it.

[  ] Avoid pitching your tent in a depression or where water might collect. Even if your tent floor doesn’t leak, the floorless vestibule will be over a puddle. Also: Keep the inner tent dry by pitching it in a sheltered area without staking it, then drape the fly over and move the tent as needed to level ground.

[  ] Tighten sagging rainflies; you want a taut pitch that separates fly and tent, which increases air circulation and reduces condensation. Use an adjustable trucker’s hitch so you can easily retighten guylines (page 46). And pack gear you leave in the tent in waterproof stuffsacks, if you won’t be there to protect it.

[  ] If you must cook in your vestibule, ventilate it well.

[  ] Rogers warms up with Super Cocoa: 4 tablespoons cocoa; 2 tablespoons each of powdered milk, brown sugar, and peanut butter; and 1 ounce of cheese. Add hot water to taste.

PAGE 1 2

Subscribe to Backpacker magazine
Sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter
Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
City:
State:
Zip:
Email (req):
Reader Rating: -

READERS COMMENTS

Star Star Star Star Star
Grady
Jul 03, 2013

Don't waste your time with dry bags Ziplock bags work great.

Shelley
Sep 07, 2012

Or For at camp emergency blankets over the tent when caught in a rain/thunder storm!! Haha forgot the rain fly oops!! Good times though and made it out dry!!

ADD A COMMENT

Your rating:
Your Name:

Comment:

My Profile Join Now

Most recent threads

Trailhead Register
Trekking the Huayhuash
Posted On: Aug 29, 2014
Submitted By: RebeccaD
Trailhead Register
bicycling question
Posted On: Aug 29, 2014
Submitted By: hikerjer

Go
View all Gear
Find a retailer

Special sections - Expert handbooks for key trails, techniques and gear

Check out Montana in Warren Miller's Ticket to Ride
Warren Miller athletes charge hard and reflect on Big Sky country, their love for this space and the immense energy allotted to the people who reside in Montana.

Boost Your Apps
Add powerful tools and exclusive maps to your BACKPACKER apps through our partnership with Trimble Outdoors.

Carry the Best Maps
With BACKPACKER PRO Maps, get life-list destinations and local trips on adventure-ready waterproof myTopo paper.

FREE Rocky Mountain Trip Planner
Sign up for a free Rocky Mountain National Park trip planning kit from our sister site MyRockyMountainPark.com.

Follow BackpackerMag on Twitter Follow Backpacker on Facebook
Get 2 FREE Trial Issues and 3 FREE GIFTS
Survival Skills 101 • Eat Better
The Best Trails in America
YES! Please send me my FREE trial issues of Backpacker
and my 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Full Name:
City:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
State:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions