Sunday, June 21, 2009

Backpacking in the Rain

I went backpacking this weekend. Yeah, and just in case anyone forgot it rained a bunchity bunch this weekend. No really, a buh-freakin' bunch. This is what I learned:

1. Cotton pretty much just sucks in the rain. Sucks. By the time we got up to where we decided to camp my cotton pants felt like a big wet diaper that was sagging down to my knees. Oh...cold wet diaper.

2. Rain coats might just have a saturation point and then you get drenched anyway. Though I had a hole in my sleeve.

3. Wrapping a plastic bag around my pack only sort of works. Maybe 4 more bags and a shit-ton of duct tape would have done the job. Needless to say my pack was wet. My spare "dry" socks were wet. My waterproof matches were crumbling with wet. Wet. Wet. Wet. Oh yeah and did I mention that I had brought my cell phone just in case of an emergency? ....It is in pieces drying on my chest of drawers.

4. Even if your tent is absolutely bomber, if you set it up in the rain and then sit your sorry little wet bum down in it there is going to be water in your tent. And the spare "dry" socky that you are using to mop up the tent floor is really only spreading wet all around.

5. Running shoes were never meant for the rain. You know that meshy stuff that is supposed to ventilate your running feet? It isn't waterproof... Just in case you were wondering.

6. Sometimes trails are really dry creek beds, that become creeks when water is falling from the sky. Hiking up a creek. Heh heh. Oh right, with meshy running shoes on. Slosh slosh slosh. Can I just say that putting my feet into my shoes this morning brought high-pitched singing sounds from my mouth.

7. My sleeping bag is officially pathetic. I am pretty sure that it was bought in the 80's. And is not meant for any kind of camping that is below 70 degrees. You know, you have your 15 degrees bags, and negative 10 degrees bags...and 70 degrees bags. That would be mine.

Don't get me wrong though, there were many fun(ny) things about our trip. Hanging out clothes all over the trail to dry. Realizing that hot sauce makes anything taste good. Being in the gorgeous mountains. Going to sleep to the sounds of a rushing river. Kissing my man.

But next time don't be surprised if I look like a marshmallow wrapped from head to toe in plastic bags.


Timecheck said...

Actually, hiking in the rain can be sort of fun if you're prepared for it. We backpack/hike with lightweight synthetic clothes, and trail runners all of which dry quickly. Also, we carry umbrella, rain pants & jacket for extended rain. On our last trip we both used a Packa, which is basically a rain jacket with a big hump in its back. Pack stayed relatively dry. I'm with you on the making and breaking camp in the rain, though. It is miserable at best.

Once we are out on the trail, things look different during the rain. Waterfalls, greens look greener, sometimes neat lighting ...

Did some hiking in France going from b&b to b&b, we had 17 days of rain and snow. One of the best trips we ever had.

P.S. your shoes look like the same kind we use - asics gel nimbus. When hiking in the sierras, we just walk right thru the streams, the water squishes out shortly after, and they are almost dry in a couple of hours.

Anonymous said...

Okay that was an awesome description of your weekend! Time to invest in some backpacking equipment eh? LOL

Dane said...

Tee hee. Funny stuff.

C&D Hayes Family said...

the really important question is how much of this happened in the dark of the night? that would have made it more fun(ny).

p.s. chris had to hike solo one time 12 miles in the dark during a thunderstorm and, with no working flashlight, used the light from lightening strikes. and no rain gear. his survival trick was synthetics and wool and LOTS of prayer. he feels your pain.

PACO said...

Man, that sounds like fun. My backpacking trip isn't until next week, when the forecast is sun, sun, sun. Count your blessings.

You know, you can solve the problem of a wet tent by hammock camping. It keeps you up above the water. Of course, it makes it harder to kiss your man.

I can't wait for my first really rainy backpacking trip. I haven't camped in the rain since I was a kid. I guess it'll have to wait till I move back to Oregon.


Summer said...

Hahee! Someday, you will have the dryest, most frequently changed kids in the world, just because you know how crappy it feels to walk around in a soaked diaper. Sorry bout your poor feet. :(

Glad you came back- I missed your last post because I kept getting disappointed when I came over and there was nothin' new. How fun to hear what was occupying your time! You are forgiven... ;D

Sahara said...

I definitely agree that everything looks gorgeous in the rain...
Chris, that sounds craaaaazy!
Paco, you can't wait to camp in the rain? Oh just kidding it really was fun.
And if my kids could change their own diapers while they were at it...