So it’s raining, and may rain over the weekend. That doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t get outside. Consider:
- Cleansing, cooling rain. For one thing, a storm front often leaves cooler temperatures in its wake. Considering it’s been in the 90s of late, a dip into the upper 70s — as was the case Thursday — can be most refreshing. Simply wait until the rain appears to be easing, check the radar, and head out.
- Check the radar. That second step — check the radar — is essential to making sure you aren’t venturing into a short lull. Be sure to check both the immediate past — the last couple hours or so — to see how the storms are developing and tracking, as well as the projected future to see where the storms are expected to head. Be especially leery of dark greens, yellows, reds and — gasp! — purples, which indicate increasingly sever weather.
- Avoid it, or embrace it. And if you’re seeing just green, especially light green, headed your way, so what? If you’re properly prepared (see below), hiking in a light rain can offer a more intimate level of outdoor escape. Ideally, hike for a trail that’s good tree cover to absorb the bulk of the rain. If you’re a novice at hiking in the rain, plan not to go out for too long the first time; like any new undertaking, there will be small kinks to work out.
- Soggy solitude. Another advantage to hiking in the rain, especially right now? You’ll likely have the trail to yourself. Because not everyone knows how to cope with the rain, not everyone feels comfortable being in the rain. This makes it an especially good time to visit some of the trails that have been so crowded of late, the parks that have had to shut their gates at mid-morning on a weekend because they’ve reached capacity.
- Summer’s the time. Finally, if you’re going to hike in the rain, summer is the time to do it. Though a rain-bearing front often drops the temperature, in summer it usually isn’t enough of a drop to pose a hypothermia concern (unless you’re in the mountains, at higher elevations, where a even a temperature dipping into the 50s can be troublesome). Getting a little wet when the temperature is in the 80s isn’t such a bad thing (unless you get more than “a little” wet and hike a longer distance, inviting the opportunity for chaffing).
This weekend, check the forecast, then get out and enjoy!
GetHiking! Guide to Hiking in the Rain
Don’t let a little rain keep you indoors on a summer weekend, not when our 5-page GetHiking! Guide to Hiking in the Rain can quickly give you the motivation and direction to enjoy one of the best times to be out in the woods. Learn more and purchase the $0.99 guide here.