Tips And Tricks On How To Go Backpacking In The Rain

Tips And Tricks On How To Go Backpacking In The Rain

Key Takeaways
● Prepare the right gear and equipment to keep yourself dry and warm while backpacking in the rain.
● Find ways to stay dry, such as using waterproof gear and shelter.
● Make the most of the wet weather by exploring new places and activities.

Are you a camper who loves backpacking but finds yourself avoiding wild places when it rains? Hiking in the rain can be less than ideal, but don’t let that keep you home.

The best way to make the most of a rainy camping trip is to come prepared. Have the right gear and know how to use it. Most importantly, always check the weather forecast before you set out.

Read on for tips about backpacking in the rain so you never miss out on an opportunity for adventure.

Choosing The Right Equipment For Rainy Weather

Choosing The Right Equipment For Rainy Weather

When backpacking in the rain, it’s essential to have the right gear. A few key pieces of equipment can be the DIFFERENCE between an enjoyable and miserable trip.

Having reliable rainproof clothing, a waterproof shelter and warm sleeping gear are all essential for keeping you comfortable and happy throughout your journey.

Here are a few items to consider when packing for a rainy trip:

Lightweight Rain Gear

Rain gear is the essential equipment needed when backpacking in the rain. Invest in good-quality waterproof rain jackets and rain pants to ensure you STAY dry and warm [1].

Make sure the material is BREATHABLE so your body can vent moisture and not become unbearably hot while hiking. Also, look for items with drawstrings or elastic waistbands to keep them in place while you move.


A waterproof and windproof shelter offers essential protection from the elements. Look for tents, tarps or bivy sacks with SEALED seams and waterproof materials to keep you dry during a downpour.

When camping in the rain, choosing an EASY shelter to set up and take down quickly in case of unexpected weather changes is essential. Consider bringing a lightweight tarp and stakes or poles to set it up quickly.

Sleeping Bag And Pad

Choose a sleeping bag and pad made of water-resistant MATERIALS like polyester or nylon. Look for a bag rated to keep you warm even in wet conditions so you can stay snug and dry at night.

Also, look for pads with WATERPROOF covers to protect your sleeping gear from moisture. The extra cushioning will help you get a good night’s sleep no matter what the weather is like outside.

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The right footwear type is essential when backpacking in the rain [2]. Waterproof footwear or boots with good TREAD will help keep your feet dry and provide better traction on wet surfaces.

Look for lightweight, durable, and breathable rubber-soled hiking boots to keep your feet comfortable during long hikes. Also, consider bringing an extra pair of WOOL socks if you need to change out of soggy ones during your trip.

Pro Tip: Wet feet can be extremely uncomfortable and can lead to blistering.


When backpacking in the rain, layering is key. Wearing MULTIPLE thin layers of clothing helps lock in your body heat and keep you warm while allowing moisture to escape.

Look for LIGHTWEIGHT fabrics like wool or synthetic materials that will wick away sweat while keeping you dry. Bring several fleeces, long-sleeve shirts, and insulated jackets to your layering system for maximum warmth.

Pro Tip: Bring backpack covers to keep your gear dry and protect it from the rain.

Staying Dry And Warm While Backpacking In The Rain

Staying Dry And Warm While Backpacking In The Rain

Backpacking in the rain doesn’t have to be a miserable experience. With the right preparations and gear, you can stay dry and warm while taking advantage of all that nature offers.

Here are a few tips for staying dry and warm while backpacking in the rain:

Walk Along High Ground

If possible, stick to high ground while backpacking in the rain. Walking along ridges or elevated areas can help keep you OUT of standing water and deep puddles.

This will ensure your feet stay dry and help you AVOID slipping and falling on wet surfaces. Pay attention to the terrain around you, and plan your route accordingly when backpacking in the rain.

Wear Rain Gear During Breaks

Keeping yourself covered and insulated during breaks from hiking in the rain is essential. Don’t forget to wear your waterproof hiking jacket, pants, and hat for any rest stops or lunch breaks you make during your trip.

This will help keep you dry and warm while you rest, giving your body time to recharge before continuing.

Stay Hydrated

It’s essential to stay hydrated when backpacking in the rain [3]. Even if it’s raining, the sun is still out, so remember to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day and replenish any lost electrolytes with sports drinks or energy bars.

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Staying hydrated will keep you energized while hiking and help reduce the risk of HYPOTHERMIA due to wet weather conditions.

Stay In Cover Where Possible

Look for natural areas that provide COVER from the rain while backpacking. Caves, overhanging cliffs, and tall grasses can provide shelter during a downpour and help keep you dry while you rest.

Prepare Your Firewood Ahead Of Time

Suppose you plan to have a campfire while backpacking in the rain; prepare your firewood ahead of time. Look for dry logs and branches, such as pine, cedar, and maple, that WON’T absorb too much moisture from the rain.

Keep all your firewood under a tarp or plastic sheet so it stays dry until you need it. Also, don’t forget to bring waterproof matches or a lighter, just in case.

Wear A Hat And Gloves When Necessary

Wearing a hat and gloves when backpacking in the rain can help keep your head and hands warm. Look for waterproof materials like GORE-TEX or neoprene, so they won’t get soaked while you’re on the trail.

Also, wear mittens instead of fingerless gloves if temperatures are cold, providing better insulation against the chill. If you plan to take breaks, opt for fleece or wool hats and gloves that can be easily removed and stored away while not in use.

Pack Smartly

When backpacking in the rain, it’s important to pack smartly. Pack only ESSENTIAL water-resistant or waterproof items to keep dry clothes throughout your hike

Store your gear in dry sacks and double-bag them for extra protection against the elements.

Also, leave some ROOM in your pack for wet clothes to keep them separate from your dry items and minimize the risk of water damage.

Making The Most Of Wet Weather Conditions

Making The Most Of Wet Weather Conditions

Backpacking in the rain doesn’t have to be a disappointing experience. There are several ways to make the most of wet weather conditions while backpacking.

Here are some tips for making the most of your wet weather backpacking trip:

Look For Wildlife

Rainy weather can be an excellent time for spotting wildlife that isn’t usually seen DURING dry conditions. Keep your eyes peeled for birds, amphibians, insects, and other animals that come out during wetter days.

Practice Wild Swimming

When backpacking in the rain, you can enjoy wild swimming without worrying about too much sun exposure or dehydration from heat exhaustion. 

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Make sure to CHECK the water temperature before jumping in and take necessary safety precautions.

Take Advantage Of Water Sources

Rainy days can present the perfect opportunity to take advantage of water sources while backpacking

Streams, creeks, and rivers flow with more water after a rainstorm, making them great for fishing, swimming, or just taking in the view.

Bring a lightweight FILTRATION system to drink from these natural sources safely. Additionally, be mindful of any potential contamination from runoff due to flooding or heavy rains.

Get Creative With Photography

Rainy days can also be an excellent time for photography. Look for unique PERSPECTIVES, such as water droplets on leaves or reflections from puddles. 

Or take photos at night or during sunsets and sunrises to capture the beauty of nature’s wet weather canvas.

Take Time To Relax And Recharge

Backpacking in the rain can be a great chance for some much-needed relaxation and RENEWAL. Reflect on life and all its beauty as you get drenched by the rain.

Pro Tip: Use this time to focus on nourishing your mind and soul by practising meditation or journaling.

Safety Considerations When Backpacking In The Rain

Safety Considerations When Backpacking In The Rain

While backpacking in the rain can be an enjoyable experience, here are several safety considerations to keep in mind:

Stay Alert And Aware

Be aware of your surroundings, especially when it comes to flooding and flash floods. Monitor WEATHER conditions regularly and take necessary precautions if the forecast calls for heavy rains or thunderstorms.

Monitor Your Health

Pay attention to signs of hypothermia or other conditions that can arise from cold and wet weather exposure. Keep an eye on yourself and your fellow backpackers for any SYMPTOMS of sickness or discomfort.

Stay Visible In Low Light Conditions

If you plan on hiking at night, wear bright colours, so you are VISIBLE in low light conditions. Additionally, always bring a headlamp with plenty of extra batteries as backup during dark hours.

Follow The Leave No Trace Principles

When backpacking in the rain, it is important to follow the leave-no-trace PRINCIPLES to minimize your impact on nature. 

This includes packing your trash and waste, using designated campsites or established trails, and not disturbing any wildlife.

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Additional Tips For Enjoyable Rainy Backpacking

Additional Tips For Enjoyable Rainy Backpacking

Now that you know the basics of backpacking in the rain, here are a few more tips to help ensure that your experience is as enjoyable and safe as possible:

Pack The Right Gear

Bring the right gear to make sure you can stay warm, dry and safe while backpacking in the rain. This includes a waterproof jacket and pants, waterproof boots, gloves and a hat, and insulating layers for extra warmth.

Prepare For Extra Time

Rainy days mean more time spent preparing for the hike or finding shelter from bad weather. Be prepared for your trip to take longer than expected, and plan to avoid getting stuck in the rain for too long.

Keep Your Spirits High

No matter what happens, try to keep a positive attitude about your backpacking trip. Being prepared is key to having an enjoyable experience despite inclement weather – don’t forget your raincoat and umbrella.

Pro Tip: If you’re backpacking with a group, plan fun activities so the rain won’t damage your adventure.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Wear Plastic Bags On My Feet?

No, plastic bags are not a good choice for keeping your feet dry while backpacking in the rain. Instead, look for waterproof boots or gaiters to protect you better from wet and muddy conditions.

What Do I Need To Hike Safely In The Rain?

Aside from what has been mentioned above, you will also need a waterproof pack cover to protect your equipment and belongings to keep a dry bag and trekking poles or walking sticks for added stability.

How Do I Protect My Head From The Rain If I Don’t Have A Hat?

If you don’t have a hat, a hood or scarf can be used as an alternative. You can also use a plastic bag as an improvised rain cover for your head.



Backpacking in the rain can be an enjoyable experience as long as you are prepared and take the necessary safety precautions.

By following the tips outlined in this article, you can ensure that your backpacking trip is safe and enjoyable despite wet weather conditions.

Remember to bring waterproof gear, stay alert and aware, and have an upbeat attitude about your experience. That way, even if it rains during your adventure, you’ll be able to make the most of it.

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Lisa Hayden-Matthews

Lisa Hayden-Matthews

A bike rider, triathlon enthusiast, amateurish beach volleyball player and nature lover who has never lost a dare! I manage the overall Editorial section for the magazine here and occasionally chip in with my own nature photographs, when required.

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