Rainy Day Gear

Brevard and the Asheville area are no strangers to rain, since the weather in Pisgah National Forest has often been called a Temperate Rainforest thanks to the annual precipitation levels. It is of course what keeps our forest lush, our streams gushing, and enables great ice climbing when the temperatures are just right. Here are a few tips for handling the rain in your outdoor adventures, from an afternoon shower to a downright deluge.

1. It is never a bad idea to pack a light rain jacket to ensure the most basic rain coverage is nearby. These days you can get an excellent, seam-taped jacket for under $100 from renowned brands like Marmot and The North Face and they are light enough to fit in the smallest of daypacks, but won't cost you your entire savings.

2. Know the forecast. Although the weatherman can often bugger the forecast, it is helpful to know if the forecast calls for a deluge or just the hint of an afternoon shower. The former can be cause to change plans, and the latter may be little more than a minor inconveniencee. Yet, if you are hiking deep in the backcountry or climbing a long route at Whitesides, a deluge can be dangerous.

3. Wear wicking fabrics. Comfy as cotton can be, it does not wick well like technical fabrics. When cloudy skies turn to rain, you will want clothing that wicks moisture efficiently so you can stay dry and comfortable. According to etisurvival.com, "Wet clothing can extract body heat at a rate of 240 times greater than dry." So, choose your clothing wisely! A simple pair of synthetic pants from Arborwear or Prana can keep you from feeling like a wet sponge.

4. Be ready to call it a day. When lightning and thunder enter the scenario, air on the side of caution. Whether half way up a trad route with (metal) gear all around, it may not be worth it to wait until the lightning gets any closer! When in doubt, take cover or head home. If you are on the ground and cannot return to safety, avoid high areas. You can also sit on your backpack to help separate you from the ground, but remove metal objects from the bag and place them 50 feet away from you.

5. If you are quite certain you will be encountering precipitation, consider more of an arsenal of waterproof gear- waterproof pants, a pack cover, & Gore Tex Footwear are excellent items for the wettest of conditions.

When the weather has you stumped, feel free to call us at the shop and we will let you know what we see outside. Or just come on over!


No comments: