Top 7 Rainy Day Hiking Essentials

The rainy season doesn’t need to be a parking break for your outdoor excursions—a little water should hardly even slow you down! With the right gear and knowing how to handle wet conditions, hiking in the rain should be no less fun! And, some might even like it a bit more. But, what are the most essential pieces of hiking gear for your journey? Here are a few items to get you going in the right direction.

Credit: Erinn Vuttim
Credit: Erinn Vuttum

1. Waterproof Boots

Staying dry is key, but also keeping your feet from getting soaked as you splash through puddles, pools of mud, and high-running streams is vital to your hike’s success and comfort. For this reason, I’m a big fan of the Ahnu Montara WP Hiking Boots, which help keep you dry in every season and are lightweight enough to keep you moving quickly down the trail.

2. Gaiters

To further keep puddles and mud from getting you wet, seal off the tops of your boots, and here is where gaiters come in. This garment adds a waterproof layer that overlaps with the top of your boots and your pants, preventing water from getting in and simultaneously protecting your pant legs from the worst of it. The affordable EMS® Spindrift Gaiters have full Velcro with a storm flap, an adjustable knuckle, and a bootstrap to keep them in place.

3. Rainproof Pants

Working your way up, rainproof pants are another essential many won’t leave without. As one example, these EMS® Thunderhead Rain Pants can be worn alone or over your standard hiking pants. Either way, their waterproof and breathable surface will help keep you dry inside and out.

Thunderhead Jacket

4. Rain Jacket

The EMS® Storm Front Jacket offers a ton of features for your rainy day hike. System Three laminate material provides both excellent waterproof protection and high breathability, keeping you dry from from all sides.

5. Moisture-Wicking Shirt

Base layers are extremely important for hiking in general, let alone attempting it in the rain. EMS’ Techwick® collection offers moisture-wicking and fast-drying performance coupled with a soft, lightweight feel.

6. Waterproof Backpack or Pack Cover

A wet pack is a heavy pack. So, as one preventative measure, make sure yours is covered to keep all of your gear dry throughout the hike. As one solution, EMS® Pack Covers fully seal up your pack and keep your essentials dry the entire time. It’s also a good idea to keep your map and water-sensitive gear in dry sacks, boxes, or even Ziplock bags for an extra layer of protection.

7. Waterproof Tent

Don’t let rain stop your backpacking adventure. If you have all this basic wet-weather hiking gear, the only thing remaining is a solid tent to keep you dry at night. The EMS® Velocity 2 is a lightweight but roomy option that does this even in the heaviest of downpours.

Credit: Erinn Vuttim
Credit: Erinn Vuttum

While rain might not make for the most ideal hiking conditions, a little water never hurt anyone. So, don’t let it dampen your spirits, and with these essentials, open up your hiking season to days you might have otherwise called off.