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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.
montbell umbrella 445x260MontBell U.L. Trekking Umbrella (Courtesy Photo)

Cover Up
MontBell U.L. Trekking Umbrella

An umbrella affords a few square feet of sanity during ceaseless downpours, whether it’s for eating, map reading, or just snapping a picture. And hiking with an umbrella (when there’s no wind) upgrades your view. Bonus: This one is so light it hardly needs justification ($39; 5.8 oz.;

Rig a Kitchen Tarp
It’s more comfortable than vestibule cooking, and in bear country, you want to keep food away from your tent anyway. An A-frame (left) affords maximum weather protection, while a lean-to  affords more headroom and a better view. No trees? Use trekking poles guyed out in two directions for stability.

Thou Shalt Not: Overheat.
When waterproof/breathable shells get steamy, dial down your pace, or wear the jacket like a vest: Stick your arms through the pit zips and tuck the sleeves into pockets.

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