As autumn tumbles upon us the weather begins to take a turn for the worse and the thought of getting out for a walk is less appealing. Getting totally soggy and cold doesn’t sound like a lot of fun and we can become tempted to shut ourselves away indoors.
The best thing we can do though is to keep up our walking through the autumn and winter months, stick with our outdoor adventures but just be a little more prepared for the elements.
If you do physical exercise like walking, running or cycling on a regular basis, suddenly stopping can really affect not just how you feel physically but also mentally. Many studies have shown that exercise and fresh air is just perfect for our mental health and in fact we don’t need to read studies to realise this, we know how good we feel after a brisk walk and some fresh air.
Let’s looks at our top six top tips for walking in the rain.
Be sensible and take your best waterproof jackets, the less wet you get the more comfortable you’re going to be and the more you’ll enjoy your walk.
If it is really wet consider a jacket with taped seams to make it fully waterproof.
Waterproof trousers are also a brilliant option, pick a pair with zips on the outside of the legs which make them so much easier for popping on and off as and when the rains come.
If its not only wet but also cold then definitely get yourself a good pair of gloves, you’ll need your hands for checking the route and generally getting you through the walk and you don’t want them to be freezing cold.
So you’ve sorted your waterproofs out but what are you going to wear underneath them? Layers are the answer and we definitely favour the 3-tier system;
BASE LAYER- a lightweight, comfortable under layer that isn't restrictive. This will wick away moisture caused by the physical exercise and so keeping it away from your skin.
FLEECE - fleece is a great syntehtic insulator that will help retain your heat even when exposed to rain. Natural fabrics tend to become bogged down in the wet and take a long time to dry out.
WATERPROOF - pop your waterproof that we discussed above over your layers and you’re ready to go.
3.PICK YOUR ROUTE SENSIBLY
Choose your walking route according to the weather, there is little point in climbing to the summit of a hill or mountain and being disappointed by the lack of view.
Instead opt for a forest walk, riverside trail or a lake trip, and if you can choose a hike with a waterfall when its wet you’ll be in for a treat since there should be a lot of flowing water to see.
4.PICK THE RIGHT SOCKS & SHOES
When hiking in the rain, go for walking boots that have a sturdy rubber sole. Rubber is great for providing good traction on wet surfaces.
Mesh material is another useful feature to look out for when picking a pair of hiking boots. Made up of fabric with tiny holes, mesh gives moisture an escape route as well as allowing in air to help the boots dry quicker.
Don’t forget to think about what type of walking socks you’re going to wear. Wet socks can rub against your skin and quickly lead to blistering which will stop your walk in its tracks immediately.
You can actually buy socks that have anti-blistering technology which means that even if your feet get wet, you won’t have to worry about sore feet and we would highly recommend this when you are walking in the rain.
5.WATERPROOF YOUR BACKPACK
You can buy fully waterproof backpacks but these are very expensive and so if this isn’t an option just to make sure to fully waterproof yours before you set out.
Cover them in bin bags, dry sacks or ziploc bags to ensure they are completely waterproofed, if everything inside gets wet not only is it really horrible for you, it also means that your backpack will be incredibly heavy.
6.BRING THE RIGHT SNACKS
Stopping to have a leisurely picnic isn’t going to happen on a rainy hike, so bring foods you can eat on the go. Keeping granola bars or nuts on hand are a great little snack on the go and keep water somewhere close so you don’t have to keep stopping in the rain.
It can also be quite nice to pack a thermos flash of tea or coffee to keep you warm along the way.
7.HAVE THE RIGHT ATTITUDE
Try and embrace the rain rather than moan about it. Take a look at how different things look on a rainy day, how the green grass and trees look even greener, rivers flow faster and ponds and lakes are almost bursting.
If you only go out to walk on sunny days then you are only seeing part of the story.
Embrace the rain and you’ll enjoy walking in it much more. ‘