Extra Clothes Including Emergency Rain Gear
How to Tame Mother Nature
Having extra clothes, including emergency rain gear, with you on your hike allows you to successfully deal with whatever Mother Nature dishes out. This does not mean that you load your pack down with clothing that you will not need. If you are on a 3-day hike and have packed based on our suggested clothing, you will have everything you need.
However, if you are out for a short day-hike and expect clear weather, you may be tempted to skimp a little on what you take. This is a mistake, especially if you are hiking above tree line.
The Unpredictability of Mountain Weather Systems
Mountains create their own weather systems. Weather forecasters cannot always predict what is coming. Sudden thunder or snow storms seem to come from nowhere. One minute there is not a cloud in the sky and the next thing you know you are in need of emergency shelter to escape a deluge of rain, a sudden white-out snow storm, or worse yet, lightning.
Dress in Layers
Even on a day hike, plan your clothing with layers in mind. Wear either your short or long-sleeve shirt from your wicking layer. Throw the other one into your day pack.
Be absolutely sure to take along rain suit from your windproof layer. Not only can you wear it to keep dry as you are walking back to the trailhead, but in an emergency, it can be rigged to serve as a temporary shelter.
Take a Large Garbage Bag
I recommend that you take along a large plastic garbage bag as well. It can serve so many purposes. You can cut holes in it and wear it as a poncho. You can rig it to make a temporary shelter. You can use it as a pack cover. You can catch rain water in it. It weights only a couple of ounces and definitely “pays its way” in your pack.
Murphy's Law of the Backwoods
I have my own version of Murphy’s Law. It goes something like this….”If I plan for the worst, it rarely happens.” With that in mind, let’s plan for the worst and hike in beautiful weather. With these extra clothes, including emergency rain gear, in your pack, you are ready for nearly anything.
Return from Emergency Rain Gear to Ten Essentials
Return from Emergency Rain Gear to Ultimate Ultralight Backpacking