Thursday, 17 April 2014

How To Stay Dry During A Backpacking Trip

 Rain can destroy your great time while you are backpacking. You are strolling around in the forest, you concentrate only on how great it is to be out there, how beautiful nature is and how awesome your life is. And then suddenly it starts raining and you are wet. You have no auxiliary clothes, so you are forced to carry on hiking in your wet, cold clothes. You are doomed. Suddenly you don't like backpacking that much.

 Don't worry, you can prevent this from happening to you. After all we are living in the twenty-first century, we have learned how to prevent getting wet. There are many ways to avoid this disaster, you can wear a raincoat, or if the weather permits you can wear swimming clothes that get dry quickly, or you can use a waterproof shelter that will defend you against the rain.

A waterproof tent.
Source: Wikipedia
 There are many different types of raincoats out there. The most important thing about them is that you need to choose one that fits you. I prefer to choose a poncho, as it can be used for many other things, for example you can use it as a tarp under your tent, it can give you shade, and you can even build a shelter out of it if you have a fishing line, and a few rocks. In order to build an ultralight shelter out of your tent you need to find a place that has no vegetation or stones, because that place is going to be where you will sit or lay down.

You need to find two trees that are a few meters apart from each other. You need to put up the fishing line and put up the poncho onto the line. After that you need to secure the corners of the poncho by putting stones on the corners of the poncho.

 A nice trick, or life hack if you will, is to wear a pair of swimming trousers. This can only be done if the temperature is hot enough of course, but if it is around 25-30 degrees, you should wear swimming trousers. This way you can be in comfortable clothes, and you can get dry again if you get wet in a quick summer shower. However don't wear swimming trousers if you have to hike in long grass, or areas full of bushes where ticks might live. The ticks will attach themselves to your legs, and start sucking out your blood, not a pleasant experience, not to mention that they might be infected with Lyme disease among others.

 Another great way to stay dry is to have a waterproof shelter. You can make such shelters out of branches, leaves and your own clothes, and there are many survival shows on television that show you how to do it. The easiest way - and the one for people like me, who are not great with their hands - is to have a waterproof tent. You can have a tarp or poncho as I have wrote above, and you can make an ultralight waterproof shelter. However a tent will be more comfortable, and a one or two person backpacking tent takes no more than ten minutes to set up even if you have no idea what you are doing. These tents are quite light to carry as well, so you won't consume much energy by transporting it to where you want to use it. You can just pop it up quickly if it starts raining, and you will be safe from the rain.

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