• Hiking in the rain. Anthony Da Cruz/Unsplash
    Hiking in the rain. Anthony Da Cruz/Unsplash

Here are our top clothing tips for wet-weather bushwalking

  • Avoid cotton if you can. This is key for next-to-skin layers because cotton holds water, including your sweat, and chills you. In a worst-case scenario, which can lead to hypothermia.
  • Go with wicking materials that move moisture away from your skin. Wool, nylon and polyester are all preferable to cotton in outdoor clothing.
  • Go with synthetic insulation in your jacket. Standard down loses much of its insulating ability if you get it wet. Water-resistant down and hybrids that combine synthetic insulation and water-resistant down are your next best bet.
  • If you’re hiking in milder weather, you can pack a lightweight fleece or soft-shell jacket instead.
  • Evaluate your rainwear. Going with bright colours can help brighten your mood on a relentlessly grey day. In an emergency, bright colours also help search teams locate you.
  • Renew your rainwear’s durable water repellent (DWR). If you love your current rain gear, see if drops bead up and roll off. If not, renew its DWR coating to restore performance.
  • It’s a good idea to renew your DWR coating at the beginning of every hiking season.
  • Pack a rain cap. Even if your rain jacket has a brimmed hood, it does a poor job of keeping rain off your face or glasses.
  • Evaluate your footwear. Waterproof boots and shoes keep feet drier initially, making them a good option for colder conditions.
  • Renew the waterproofing at the beginning of each season, or if you notice large dark spots forming when you splosh across wet terrain. Mesh footwear works well in milder conditions, as mesh drains and dries more quickly if you land in a puddle or creek. With either option you need deep lug soles to deal with mud and superior traction to deal with slippery rocks and logs.
  • Pack gaiters. They’ll shield your socks and the tops of your footwear.
comments powered by Disqus