Wet Weather Guide

20th September 2019 by

‘There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing’ – Alfred Wainwright.


Whilst I’m inclined to agree with this, there are certainly a few moments where I’ve looked out the window and thought ‘No thank you’.  Sometimes, the weather is well and truly grim.

Walking in the rain

But most of the time this is not the case.  With a bit of careful planning, some good kit choices and a positive mindset, you can have an incredible day out in the hills when the conditions are less than ideal.

And let’s face it, there are benefits to being outside when others don’t dare to go. 

  • You’ll have wherever you’re going all to yourself.  And when we’re being honest, that’s what we’re all after.  An escape from our busy lives, from being connected all the time and constantly surrounded by people. Time to be alone.
  • You’ll never appreciate a hot shower and warm meal more than after a long, cold, wet day in the hills.  It’s moments like these that really make you appreciate the simple pleasures.
  • It’s type two fun.  Everybody knows that the harder you work for something the more satisfying it is.  Even if that feeling doesn’t come till long after the suffering has ended.
  • Rainy days can be the most beautiful.   Everything looks so green when it’s wet. And you’ll never appreciate those rays of sun poking through the cloud more.
Dry bags

Tips to make it a walk to remember (for the right reasons)

  • Have the right gear.  Be prepared for the worst possible conditions. The weather has the habit of changing suddenly, especially in the mountains.
  • Have the right attitude.  A positive attitude makes everything better.  You’re choosing to go outside into the rain so embrace it.  And take a friend. It’s so much easier to laugh with someone else.
  • Waterproof your backpack.  Line it with a bin bag or dedicated pack liner before putting your gear in and compartmentalise so you don’t have to take everything out when you need that one snack.
  • Make sure you eat and drink enough. It’s easy to forget to drink when it’s cold and wet outside but you’re still working just as hard so need to stay hydrated.  You burn more calories when its colder so make sure you stock up on snacks.
  • Consider taking a stove for hot drinks if you know you’ll have an area to shelter in.
  • Bring extra socks and gloves. 
  • A brimmed hat can be very effective and protecting your face from constantly being pelted with rain.  However, if it’s very cold then you’ll probably want to stick with a warm beanie.
  • Navigation – Consider your route.  If visibility is poor, then a ridge walk may not be the best choice.  Likewise if an area is known to flood or become very boggy in wet weather then its best to avoid it and take a simpler route.
Waterproof cover

So what do you need?

  1. A good plan.  If you know it really is going to rain all day then planning ahead will be your friend.  Where can you stop? Are there any bothys or emergency shelters on route that you can break in, or pubs for a hot meal, what are the bail out points if you start to get too cold?  Being prepared means being safe and happy and that includes choosing a route suitable for the weather and your skill.

 

  1. Clothing is a very important consideration.  You need a layering system that will act as a barrier to external moisture, wick sweat and remain breathable and well as being versatile in keeping you warm but allowing you to release heat as well.
  • The Outer – This is your external barrier to stop water getting onto your clothing and skin.  A good quality set of waterproofs will keep you dry but also allow your body to breathe, vital if you’re working up a sweat.  Look for jackets made up of 3 layers for very wet weather.  This means that the waterproof technology sits between the face fabric and the softer inner meaning that the jacket will be both durable and comfortable against the skin.  A quality hood which is both large enough to cover your head but also has structure to stop it collapsing in on your face is also an important consideration.

 

Men's Arc'teryx Beta SV Jacket

Beta SV Jacket Mens

Beta SV Jacket Mens

A 3L GORE-TEX® Pro jacket that is highly waterproof and breathable. Watertight zips and a storm hood ensure you are kept dry and comfortable all day.

£ 579.00 £ 434.25
Sorry, this product is not currently available.

Women's Patagonia Triolet Jacket

Triolet Jacket Womens

Triolet Jacket Womens

A 3 Layer GORE-TEX® jacket perfect for 4 season use. And it's made of 100% recycled polyester.

£ 324.00 £ 243.00
Sorry, this product is not currently available.

Men's Mountain Equipment Saltoro Pants

Saltoro Pant Mens

Saltoro Pant Mens

2.5-Layer GORE-TEX® PACLITE® fabric with PFC free DWR treatment. 3/4 length water resistant side zips.

£ 149.00

Women's Mountain Equipment Odyssey Pant

Odyssey Pant 18 Womens

Odyssey Pant 18 Womens

3-layer Drilite® 40D fabric with PFC-free DWR and 2 way full length side zips.

£ 149.00 £ 100.00
  • The Mid – This is your insulating layer.  It keeps you warm when the wind is really blowing but can be removed or unzipped to allow venting when you start to warm up.  There are 3 main options here: down, synthetic and fleece.  In heavy rain or high humidity down can be an issue as it loses its insulating properties as it gets wet, leaving you prone to getting cold. Instead, a synthetic or fleece jacket is more appropriate.Synthetic jackets are lightweight, retain their ability to insulate when wet and tend to have some weatherproofing abilities.They are less breathable than fleece but also warmer and less bulky.If you’re not expecting very cold weather and know you will be working hard then a fleece is a good option but as temperatures dip, a synthetic layer may be the best choice.

Men's Mountain Equipment Kore Hooded Jacket

Kore Hooded Jacket Mens

Kore Hooded Jacket Mens

A warm, soft fleece thats quick drying and breathable. Full length front zip and zippered hand pockets.

£ 79.00 £ 59.25

Women's Patagonia Performance Better Sweater Hoody

Performance Better Sweater Hoody Womens

Performance Better Sweater Hoody Womens

A lightweight fleece with handwarmer pockets and long sleeves with dropped shoulders and thumb holes.

£ 119.00 £ 75.00

Men's Patagonia Micro Puff Jacket

Micro Puff Jacket

Micro Puff Jacket

An ultralight synthetic filled jacket thats Fairtrade sewn and Bluesign approved.

£ 219.00 £ 149.00

Women's Arc'teryx Proton LT Hoody

Proton LT Hoody Womens

Proton LT Hoody Womens

Fortius™ Air 20 face fabric allows your body to breathe whilst the Air permeable Coreloft™ Compact keeps you warm.

£ 209.00 £ 156.75
Sorry, this product is not currently available.
  • The Base – This is the layer that’s directly against your skin.  You want it to be soft and comfortable but also able to wick moisture effectively and dry quickly.  The two main options here are merino or synthetic.  Merino wool is naturally odour resistant, regulates your body temperature even when wet, can absorb 30% of it’s weight in water without feeling wet and dries quickly.  Synthetic base layers are lighter and dry faster than merino but don’t manage odour as well as merino and don’t offer much warmth when wet.  Which one you opt for is personal preference but merino would be the base layer of choice when you know the temperatures will be very cold.

Men's Icebreaker Oasis 200 Deluxe LS Crewe

Oasis 200 Deluxe LS Crewe Mens

Oasis 200 Deluxe LS Crewe Mens

100% Merino wool is soft against the skin, regulates temperature and is naturally odour resistant.

£ 79.00 £ 55.00

Women's Icebreaker Oasis 200 Deluxe Crewe

Oasis 200 Deluxe LS Crewe Womens

Oasis 200 Deluxe LS Crewe Womens

100% Merino wool is soft against the skin, regulates temperature and is naturally odour resistant.

£ 79.00 £ 55.00

Men's Patagonia Cap MW Zip Neck

Cap MW Zip Neck Mens

Cap MW Zip Neck Mens

100% recycled polyester with HeiQ® Fresh Tech durable odour control to keep you fresh all day.

£ 64.00 £ 44.00

Women's Patagonia Cap MW Crew

Cap MW Crew Womens

Cap MW Crew Womens

100% recycled polyester with HeiQ® Fresh Tech durable odour control to keep you fresh all day.

£ 59.00 £ 39.00

3. Equipment. There are plenty of equipment options that make your rainy day walks far more enjoyable and keep your belongings dry and protected.

  • The first thing to consider is a waterproof packs covers.  Many come with an integrated pack cover nowadays, but it’s always best to check and get your hands on one if not.

Arc'teryx Pack Shelter

Pack Shelter Small

Pack Shelter Small

A lightweight, packable rain ocver that fits bags up to 50 Litres

£ 30.00 £ 22.50
Sorry, this product is not currently available.
  • Dry Bags keep the contents of you bag dry even if the rain starts to soak through. They’re great for compartmentalising your kit so when your digging around for a snack, you know your spare gloves or insulating layer will be kept safe and dry separately.

Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Dry Sack - 20L

Ultra-Sil Dry Sack - 20L

Ultra-Sil Dry Sack - 20L

Ultra-Sil® 30D siliconised high-tenacity CORDURA® nylon fabric for exceptional strength and taped seams for ultimate waterproofing.

£ 16.00 £ 12.50
  • Waterproof map covers and phone cases are vital to keep you found and safe in the hills.  A soggy map won’t get you very far and if you’re phone is rendered unusable by the rain then you’ll have no back up option.

Sea to Summit Waterproof Map Case

Waterproof Map Case Small

Waterproof Map Case Small

Welded construction with watertight roll top closure to keep your maps dry all day.

£ 14.00 £ 11.20
Sorry, this product is not currently available.
  • A Head torch is always something you should pack for long days out in the hills just in case you end up taking longer than expected.  As the days get shorter this is even more important.  Check your head torches waterproof rating to ensure it meets your needs.

Black Diamond Storm 375 Headlamp

Storm 375 Headlamp

Storm 375 Headlamp

375 lumens to light your way on the darkest of nights with a waterproof rating to IP67.

£ 50.00 £ 40.00
  • When it’s wet outside it’s more likely to be slippery.  A good pair of walking poles will help with balance and stability so you can keep moving all day long.

Black Diamond Trail Pro Trek Poles

Trail Pro Trek Poles Mens

Trail Pro Trek Poles Mens

A sturdy pole with FlickLock Pro adjustability and soft rubber grips.

£ 100.00 £ 80.00

Women's Black Diamond Trail Pro Trek Poles

Trail Pro Trek Poles Womens

Trail Pro Trek Poles Womens

A women's version of these reliable, sturdy poles.

£ 100.00 £ 80.00
  • It’s always best to be safe rather than sorry.  An emergency blanket is a great piece of kit that weighs hardly anything.  Throw it in your pack so you have peace of mind should any problems occur.

Sol Emergency Blanket - 1 Person

Emergency Blanket - 1 person

Emergency Blanket - 1 person

Heatsheets® material is waterproof and windproof and reflects 90% of radiated body heat.

£ 6.99
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