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Necessary Rain Gear?

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Offline dprather

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Necessary Rain Gear?
« on: November 11, 2013, 05:09:10 PM »
Our recent wet walk out of Boquillas Canyon has called into question my approach to backpacking and rain.

I have always thought that the extra weight of wet weather gear wasn't worth it.  I thought that getting wet was just part of the deal and that no rain gear was going to keep you dry.

But now...

Question: what are ya'll's thought on necessary rain gear?  What should be added to the load?
Leave "quit" at the car.  Embrace the trail as your friend.  Expect to enjoy yourself, and to be amazed.

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Offline RichardM

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Re: Necessary Rain Gear?
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2013, 05:11:13 PM »
Our recent wet walk out of Boquillas Canyon has called into question my approach to backpacking and rain.

I have always thought that the extra weight of wet weather gear wasn't worth it.  I thought that getting wet was just part of the deal and that no rain gear was going to keep you dry.

But now...

Question: what are ya'll's thought on necessary rain gear?  What should be added to the load?
At a minimum, a lightweight poncho. I always try to carry one of the $1 "disposable" ponchos on all hikes. Not sure how well it'd fit over a backpack.

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Offline Flash

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Re: Necessary Rain Gear?
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2013, 05:20:41 PM »
When my son and I day hiked to the South Rim in July '11, we got showered on for 30-45 minutes going up the last part of the Boot Canyon trail. We were glad we had decided to bring our Frogg Toggs rain jackets, which fit over our day packs. Otherwise, we would have been soaked and chilled to the bone by that thunder shower. The Quemada sure was purty after the rain stopped and the clouds broke up.

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Offline CubScoutMom

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Re: Necessary Rain Gear?
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2013, 06:31:00 PM »
At a minimum, a lightweight poncho. I always try to carry one of the $1 "disposable" ponchos on all hikes. Not sure how well it'd fit over a backpack.

I always have those along too.  As a nice bonus, if you have to quickly pack up a tent and wet sleeping bags, etc. in the rain, you can just shove everything in your ponchos and it keeps your car from becoming a mess. 
« Last Edit: November 11, 2013, 07:23:00 PM by RichardM »

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Offline Lissa

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Re: Necessary Rain Gear?
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2013, 07:58:57 PM »
My philosophy is that hypothermia kills, so you need to stay warm, not necessarily dry.  So rain gear to block wind / keep a warm interior layer (you might get wet from sweat, but you'll stay warm inside the shell.) And nothing cotton - wet cotton doesn't keep you warm.  An Adirondacks Ranger once commented that 'All our best dressed cadavers wear cotton." I have a cotton bandana and underwear (that can come off as necessary) but that's it.  I do have a down jacket & sleeping bag, but take great pains to keep those dry.

For me I pack my Patagonia rain shell - doubles as my wind / warm layer, and is basically my outer 'keep the core warm' layer. Have carried Frog Toggs in the past, but now that I have a nice rain shell I find it worth it.  Would still be perfectly happy with a cheaper / lighter rain pants option, again mostly as an extra windproof warm layer, and did fine without on our 24hr wet hike.  So to me those aren't absolutely necessary - more something I bring on colder trips to ensure I've got enough layers to stay warm (I run cold.) 

I also bring a fleece hat and gloves on every trip.  I think you can see both in my trip report pictures, and they made a big difference in keeping me warm and comfortable when hiking in rain.

For keeping gear dry I've historically lined my pack with a kitchen garbage bag, though have recently acquired a couple sea to summit ultra SIL drybags for my sleeping bag & clothes and am a huge fan.  Smaller items in the pack like ID, emergency kit, camera, etc. are generally in a ziploc anyway, so they're good. And I don't worry about the pack itself or things like cooking gear/tent/water bottles.
http://www.seatosummit.com/products/display/7

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Offline The Scorpion

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Re: Necessary Rain Gear?
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2013, 10:34:03 PM »
my pack has a built in rain fly, so all I need to do it take the pack off, pull out the rain fly and cinch it around the pack. There is a little pouch on the bottom of the pack where this is stowed, so it is always there.  then I will put on a cheap poncho and keep moving. I typically have 2 of these in my pack just in case.

My boots are supposedly water proof, but found out that they are not, I always carry an extra pair of socks or 2 on overnight hikes.
everything is better with bacon!!!

http://jamesb.smugmug.com/BigBendNationalPark/

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Offline Al

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Re: Necessary Rain Gear?
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2013, 10:51:57 PM »
I like to bring two or three plastic drum liner bags. Very light but lots of plastic.  When combined with duct tape, the only limits are your imagination. 

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Offline CubScoutMom

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Re: Necessary Rain Gear?
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2013, 09:54:34 AM »
For keeping gear dry I've historically lined my pack with a kitchen garbage bag

My dad lines his shoes with Wal-Mart bags when he suspects cold and rain.  Says it works great.

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Offline Geezer

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Re: Necessary Rain Gear?
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2013, 09:26:02 PM »
So far as I know, the thickest readily available plastic bags are trash compactor bags. Thicker theoretically means less likely to puncture, tear, etc. Cheap at your local grocery.

Geezer


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Offline Imre

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Re: Necessary Rain Gear?
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2013, 06:34:14 PM »
I never hike in the Chisos without an umbrella. When I want a new one I go to the golfing section of a sporting goods store and purchase the sturdiest one I can find. 
For every complex problem there is a solution that is simple, obvious, and wrong.
- H.L. Mencken

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Offline Hoodoo

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Re: Necessary Rain Gear?
« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2013, 09:24:07 PM »
I usually go the cheap poncho route. Can't say that I have ever used them when I had them however.

I do recall one July afternoon many years ago, about half way through Colorado Canyon, an afternoon storm had us all looking at each other wondering what to do.

The relief from the heat was more than welcome. I just pulled my hat down further on my forehead and said, hand me a beer.

Good times.

Don
Don
Fort Worth

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Offline Picacho

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Re: Necessary Rain Gear?
« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2013, 10:19:52 PM »
I never hike in the Chisos without an umbrella. When I want a new one I go to the golfing section of a sporting goods store and purchase the sturdiest one I can find.

I hope you're kidding.  An umbrella is a lightning magnet.   

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Offline RichardM

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Re: Necessary Rain Gear?
« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2013, 09:23:37 AM »
I never hike in the Chisos without an umbrella. When I want a new one I go to the golfing section of a sporting goods store and purchase the sturdiest one I can find.

I hope you're kidding.  An umbrella is a lightning magnet.
Lots of discussion on this subject out on the intertubes. If that umbrella makes you the tallest object around, then the answer is yes. There's also the issue of whether the shaft is conductive or not, but that's much less of a factor than you'd think.

Here's a few opinions:

4. You’ll Be Struck by Lightning If You Carry an Umbrella (or a BlackBerry) in a Storm
News flash: Metal doesn’t attract lightning. Even a lightning rod doesn’t—it can only conduct lightning, should a bolt happen to strike nearby. People who are zapped while holding a golf club or listening to an iPod are just in the wrong place at the wrong time—and that’s anywhere outside during a thunderstorm. Carrying an open umbrella may slow you down if you’re running for cover, but the fact that the umbrella is part metal doesn’t factor into it.

John Jensenius is a meteorologist and a lightning safety specialist at the National Weather Service in Gray, Maine.

Q: Does carrying an open umbrella during a thunderstorm increase your odds of being hit by lightning?

A: As a flash travels toward the ground from a nearby cloud, it looks for the tallest object. But it is very blind as it travels, and only searches within about a 50-yard radius at the lower end of the channel, both outward and downward. It has no preconceived idea of what it will strike when it starts out in the cloud. So lightning does not look several miles away to the side during its downward travel to find a hill, a tower, building, or umbrella that is just a little taller than what is at its lower end within 50 yards.

The flash that is already going to hit nearby is the one to worry about. Within that range, you don't want to be the tallest object or attached to it. If you're holding an umbrella in an area surrounded by taller buildings, it's not so bad. But if you are already the only tall object within 50 yards, then it doesn't matter much what you are holding.

(Answered by: Ron Holle, research meteorologist, NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory, Norman, Okla., Aug. 24, 1999)

This one has lots of interesting stuff, but the kicker is this:
So is it safe to be outside and wave an umbrella or golf club in the air during a storm? Absolutely not! Not because of the umbrella or golf club, but simply because you're outside where the lightning is occurring!

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Offline Picacho

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Re: Necessary Rain Gear?
« Reply #13 on: November 14, 2013, 10:14:31 AM »
My bad, I guess I should have used the internetz to look it up.  I always though that an umbrella or golf club would act as a lightning rod.  Not so. 

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Offline Imre

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Re: Necessary Rain Gear?
« Reply #14 on: November 14, 2013, 05:42:03 PM »
RichardM has already posted several of the links I had checked - thank you. One additional factor to consider - and an important one for me - an umbrella provides some (limited) protection if it starts to hail. And please remember that I'm not advocating that everyone or anyone follow my example!
For every complex problem there is a solution that is simple, obvious, and wrong.
- H.L. Mencken

 


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