As a coastal person (I grew up in Victoria, BC), I am pretty used to being rained on. Truly, I would be crazy to live here if rain bothered me. On the trail, my main concern in the rain is when it’s cold (say 1-5C). In the past, I’ve tried to keep myself dry by wearing increasingly expensive rain jackets. What I’ve discovered is that I am a sweaty man, and if I don’t get wet from the outside, I will definitely get wet from the inside. So given that I’m going to be wet anyways, my main goal is just to stay reasonably warm. For that purpose, a fleece is an ideal garment. Unfortunately, fleeces are usually too bulky to bring along for the occasional rain storm, so my plan is just to be wet and cold.
I actually bring a couple small items to make being rained on a bit less annoying: a windbreaker and gloves. I find the windbreaker keeps a bit of heat in, but doesn’t make me sweat buckets. It can keep out a light drizzle. The gloves are similar, I have some possum down gloves (don’t think about how they got the down off the possum) and then some rain mitt shells made out of eVent. The gloves are due to some bone-head mistakes I made on the Pacific Crest Trail. I was hiking around Mt Hood in Oregon, and I didn’t have anything with me except my hiking t-shirt and shorts. It was about 3C and raining/sleeting. For 2 days straight. I managed to lose feeling in some of my fingers, which still bugs me today when it’s cold out. So normally, I wouldn’t be one to carry gloves, but my hands get very numb, very quickly in cold rain these days, so those two pairs of gloves are my minimalist solution (combined weight of ~2 oz).
PS: Seriously, possums? Yes. For some reason, their fur makes very warm gloves 🙂
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