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  1. #1
    Registered User tawa's Avatar
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    Default Rain---Rain---Rain

    Here in the Midwest we are socked into a daily rain pattern lasting for the next two weeks!! Looks like it is moving into the SE and Mid Atlantic States.
    Those starting their thru hikes on Valentines Day or during the next two weeks are going to be baptized daily!!
    Hope they are prepared to embrace the suck right out of the gate!
    Takes me back several yrs ago when fellow hiker George and I signed in at Amacolola Park on January 1st and hiked up the stairs in a downpour which lasted most of the way to Springer before it turned to a drizzle with pea soup fog!!

    Giving up negative thoughts and words for lent! Sooooo Im so glad we are getting all this rain so that the Spring plants will be so beautiful and that there will be an abundance of water in the springs and streams!!
    Easy for me to say as I don't leave for my return to the trail in PA on March 28th.
    Please share strategies you use or have used when you have gotten rained on for a week or more.
    Last edited by tawa; 02-14-2018 at 14:56.

  2. #2
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    I was yakking once to some hikers that in 2006 I got rained on 41 days on my AT thru.

    Then one of the other guys said he thru'ed in 2003 and got rained on over 60 days. So much for my story.

    Now in AZ we have not had 60 days of rain over the last 5 years total. Ahhh!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wyoming View Post
    I was yakking once to some hikers that in 2006 I got rained on 41 days on my AT thru.

    Then one of the other guys said he thru'ed in 2003 and got rained on over 60 days. So much for my story.

    Now in AZ we have not had 60 days of rain over the last 5 years total. Ahhh!
    I've heard stories about 2003 for years now. Apparently it was the year that the spring NoBo's dubbed the A.T. "A footbath through the wilderness."
    Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

  4. #4
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    On a 500+ mile AT/BMT Figure 8 I got rained on 19 out of 23 days. I have to admit I slept under some bridges and in vacant barns. These were drenching all day rains lasting days. There was a stretch where it rained 9 consecutive days. Even on those non rain days the overgrown trail soaked me pushing through it and while disengaging from the briars. I got filthy, muddy, sometimes smelly, and drenched. Can't say I didn't have to concentrate on positively dealing with it mentally! Sometimes I can reach my "embrace the suck" limit as I suppose anyone else.


    Temps were moderate not below freezing and not yet those stifling humid warm weather east coast/southeast days. I got wet. In hindsight wished I had chosen a poncho w/ rain chaps, w/ something like a Outdoor Research Helium II Rain Jacket layered underneath but over a merino 150 wt tee. I hiked warm and wet. I chose to stay dry as long as possible. I had brought low cut non WP trail runners, HANZ WP crew socks, shoeller fabric shortie gaiters, Marmot Mica Rain Jacket, GoLite Tumalo rain pants(no longer available), Outdoor Research Versaliner Pertex Shield over gloves, and two merino tops - a 150 wt Smartwool tee and 250 wt LD 1/4 zip. In these wet coolish conditions I like a shell with hand pockets.


    In heavy day after day rain similarly experienced on a long PNWT section hike I always bring a Hydropel like product to proactively address skin maceration and potential blistering from wetness.


    On both these hikes hiking continually soaked without rain gear was not an option. That's a dangerous approach most of the time IMO anyhow.


    I sprayed my entire pack pre start, a ULA CDT, with a Granger WPing product. Still, I carried both a cuben pack cover and basting bag pack liner. I only had immediate access to a WM 850 FP Down Highlite mummy bag, cuben tarp, and MLD Superlight water resistant bivy. Despite my best attempts including eVent WP stuff sack for the WM Highlite it inadvertently got soaked twice resulting in unplanned for town stops to a laundromat.


    I used to bitch about these long rains but Flying Tortoise interrupted it on an AT NOBO by saying, " Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass It’s about learning to dance in the rain." I take that in context. It has helped control my thoughts.


    The other thing that has helped is that I have amassed perhaps 50 pro rain sings on a music player. I call it my Rainy Day List. C'mon, Gene Kelly dancing around in the rain has to cheer up even the most dour rain bitching sour puss. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1ZYhVpdXbQ


    Rain in the Summertime by The Alarm has always helped me get through those rainy periods(as well as some other encounters). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8D6pPgwafq0

  5. #5
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    One thing I wish everyone understood is that rain occurs in different scenarios, environments, and under different conditions. Making generalized rain statements without detailing the particulars is problematic.

  6. #6

    :banana

    Remember the old hiker saying,

    No Rain
    No pain
    No Maine

  7. #7
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    The sun always shines at noon. Or at least it tries to.

    Even when your stuck in a persistent period of rain, you typically have a break from late morning until last afternoon. The sun warms and lifts the clouds around mid day. An early morning shower often ends by 8-9 AM once the sun has a chance to do it's magic. Then you'll get a late evening shower once the air cools down again and water condenses out.

    You will also typically get at least one nice sunny day every 3 to 4. Make the most of it to dry stuff out. If the sun comes out around noon, stop and dry stuff out. Might be your only chance.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  8. #8
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    On a 06 AT NOBO starting Apr 13 the rain was coming down when leaving the Fontana Hilton and didn't let up until when it snowed and became freezing rain lasting 7 days total. It came down in buckets. Didn't get one far reaching view all through GSMNP even at Newfound Gap. Everyone was cold and soaked through at Standing Bear. We all hiked soaked, some much colder than others. Some had nasty foot blisters from maceration(water logged skin). It was that experience that taught me to protect my skin from long term constantly wet conditions.

  9. #9
    Registered User tawa's Avatar
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    Please share the ways / methods that you used to protect your skin from long term wet conditions,
    Thank you.



    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    On a 06 AT NOBO starting Apr 13 the rain was coming down when leaving the Fontana Hilton and didn't let up until when it snowed and became freezing rain lasting 7 days total. It came down in buckets. Didn't get one far reaching view all through GSMNP even at Newfound Gap. Everyone was cold and soaked through at Standing Bear. We all hiked soaked, some much colder than others. Some had nasty foot blisters from maceration(water logged skin). It was that experience that taught me to protect my skin from long term constantly wet conditions.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by tawa View Post
    Please share the ways / methods that you used to protect your skin from long term wet conditions,
    Thank you.
    Gortex (GTX) lined boots or Gortex socks.

    Gortex boots don't stay waterproof forever but they sure help. Not much you can do about water running down your leg and into the boot, but gaiters help.

    Hiking in wet socks is a good way to get blisters.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by tawa View Post
    Please share the ways / methods that you used to protect your skin from long term wet conditions,
    Thank you.
    https://andrewskurka.com/2012/minimi...h-of-wet-feet/

    https://www.nationalgeographic.com/a...advice-hiking/

    These writers rec Bonnie's Climbers Salve. It works. I use Bert's Bees products: Res Q Ointment and, to a lesser extent, Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream. Andrew Skurka offers the details on how to proceed with any of these products. Just to say, it's important in camp after your feet have dried off, to apply and possibly reapply in the morning. I'm not one to continually allow my feet to always be dry in all rain/wet weather events. In intermittent long wet dry mixed patterns I like to carry different socks with different attributes. I'll carry a Hanz Lightweight WP Crew Height or NRS Sandal Sock and merino socks for example. All can be used to hike or sleep. Both the Hanz and NRS socks can be lightly used for camp shoes as well.

    http://www.hanzusa.com/waterproofsocks/

    https://www.backcountry.com/nrs-sandal-sock?rr=t

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    https://andrewskurka.com/2012/minimi...h-of-wet-feet/

    https://www.nationalgeographic.com/a...advice-hiking/

    These writers rec Bonnie's Climbers Salve. It works. I use Bert's Bees products: Res Q Ointment and, to a lesser extent, Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream. Andrew Skurka offers the details on how to proceed with any of these products. Just to say, it's important in camp after your feet have dried off, to apply and possibly reapply in the morning. I'm not one to continually allow my feet to always be dry in all rain/wet weather events. In intermittent long wet dry mixed patterns I like to carry different socks with different attributes. I'll carry a Hanz Lightweight WP Crew Height or NRS Sandal Sock and merino socks for example. All can be used to hike or sleep. Both the Hanz and NRS socks can be lightly used for camp shoes as well.

    http://www.hanzusa.com/waterproofsocks/

    https://www.backcountry.com/nrs-sandal-sock?rr=t
    +1
    I took Andrew’s advice, bought a jar of Bonnie’s Salve, and coated my feet every morning and night last summer. I just wore a pair of Lone Peaks, walking through the bogs of Maine and much water, and my feet never macerated, never wore a raw spot, never had a blister.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

  13. #13
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    I use Bert's Bees products: Res Q Ointment and, to a lesser extent, Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream.


    That works too!...for, as Deacon specifically stated, not only for maceration but reducing raw spots, blisters,..It's a blister prevention also!


    FWIW, Berts Bees Res Q Ointment ingredients can be used as a moisturizer on elbows, knees, lips, nose, for it's mild anti-microbrial, anti fungal, anti bacterial, and slight insect repellency qualities.

  14. #14
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    tawa - come on out to cali for a while, did a hike in yosemite today, going to the coast tomorrow to point reyes, also doing a lot of bike rides - the weather has been phenomenal

    forget that midwest

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    Gortex (GTX) lined boots or Gortex socks.

    Gortex boots don't stay waterproof forever but they sure help. Not much you can do about water running down your leg and into the boot, but gaiters help.

    Hiking in wet socks is a good way to get blisters.
    Depending on the duration and heaviness of the rain in cool to cold rain temps if you can maintain thermoregulation (not perspiring profusely) while also optimally using mechanical venting features of rainwear, having also highly breathable gear - water isn't coming down inside your pants, it's on the outside - rain pants tucked over your shoe especially mid or high cuts, with WP or highly WR gaiters underneath you're less susceptible to wet feet from water dripping down your leg.

  16. #16
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    I don't buy into the idea that one has to always get wet under all rain scenarios, rain conditions, or environments. We don't need to put up our hands in complete surrender to all rain events expecting we will get wet!

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    The sun always shines at noon. Or at least it tries to.

    Even when your stuck in a persistent period of rain, you typically have a break from late morning until last afternoon. The sun warms and lifts the clouds around mid day. An early morning shower often ends by 8-9 AM once the sun has a chance to do it's magic. Then you'll get a late evening shower once the air cools down again and water condenses out.

    You will also typically get at least one nice sunny day every 3 to 4. Make the most of it to dry stuff out. If the sun comes out around noon, stop and dry stuff out. Might be your only chance.
    You bring a good point, especially considering rainstorms in the Southeast mountains. I call your example "Rain Windows"---whereby I get a window of no rain so I can pack and hike for an hour, two hours, maybe the rest of the day.

    I like to put a countdown number on my rainstorms---how many hours the rain falls and then deduct hours for no-rain windows. My worst rainstorm was in the Big Frog/Cohutta that peaked out at 180 hours. Another long one was 153 hours in January 2014 in the Snowbird backcountry.

    But there's a tendency lately for long periods of drought to be the norm instead of long weeks of rain. (Ergo the terrible wildfires of Oct/Nov 2016).

    And one of my standard techniques for enduring long rainstorms (usually at 35F with high winds) is to pull In-Tent hunker zeros---and sit put until better weather. There's no one with a bayonet at my back demanding I pack and move in such conditions, so I enjoy my camp comforts.

  18. #18
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    What not a surprise.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    What not a surprise.
    We are playing tag. empty your inbox and shoot me a message!

  20. #20

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    i was out hiking in 1999, it was one of the driest years on the trail and in 2003 was one of the wettest. :-)

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