Are you a fair weather hiker? It’s totally ok if you’re only comfortable getting outside on nice days and choose to forego pouring rain or freezing temperatures or howling wind. I get it. Completely. It can be intimidating to take your kiddo outside when the weather isn’t perfect. That said, I’m also a fan of the saying, “There’s no bad weather if you have the right gear.”
Don’t get me wrong, you won’t catch me on an exposed trail when it’s raining sideways. (This is actually a thing, and no, it’s not fun.) Nor will I be outdoors in thunderstorm warnings; these don’t often happen in Alaska but they are common other places that I have lived. You also won’t catch me “hiking” outside in below-zero weather – that’s where I draw the line. Sometimes, the weather really is just plain awful, and no gear can make up for it.
Those terrible days are not what I’m writing about today though; I’m talking about the days with a little “weather,” the days that you might get a little more nature on you than others. The days that you should go play outside, but may not want to. Mainly days with a little bit of liquid sunshine, aka rain. I grew up in the northernmost rain forest, so suffice it to say, the phrase “rain or shine” has always played a huge role in my life. I’d like to help you make it an integral part of your life also, so I’ve compiled 8 reasons to hike in the rain. Some might be a little tongue in cheek, but the idea is to help you have fun and get out!
- Bragging rights. As long as you and your kiddo are properly attired, you can share pictures of the totally amazing hike you did in the rain, and feel super tough.
- Clouds and rain keep the heat down. The gorgeous sunny days make for amazing views, but it often gets so hot in the sun.
- Puddles. Your kid in his/her rain suit and waterproof shoes or boots will thank you. Or splash you. Basically the same thing.
- Fresh air is awesome, rain or shine. My friend shared with me on a recent rainy hike that she was glad we were going, because otherwise she would be moping inside. You’ll simply feel better (and you and your little one may also both sleep better)for having gotten the fresh air. Plus there’s still Vitamin D (albeit less), when the sunshine is liquid.
- Mystical mists. Hiking in the rain adds a mystical, surreal and sometimes whimsical quality to your hikes. It’s not everyone that gets to truly experience having their head in the clouds.
- If you wait for the perfect day, you won’t get in a lot of hiking. There’s always something that makes a day less than ideal. I grew up in the northernmost rain forest. If I didn’t hike/run/walk in the rain, I would have grown up indoors.
- Resilience. Your kids will learn how to suit up and have a good time regardless of the weather. This will likely resonate to different areas of their life.
- Glamour. No one can tell how sweaty you are if it’s been drizzling on you. Seriously.
It goes without saying that safety comes first, and a big part of it is having the gear to help you enjoy the outdoors. The temperature outdoors will be a big factor in how you should layer yourself and your kiddo. I love wicking fabrics for both of us, a waterproof suit for my kiddo, and the waterproof fabric of the OnyaBaby Carrier. So get out and hike!
What obstacles have you overcome either to hike or by hiking? Share in the comments below or via this form.
Erin Pennings’ main duty in life is making sure that her sweet, but very busy toddler, Emmett, doesn’t dive head first off the highest thing he can climb. She is also a moderately outdoorsy formerly avid traveler, animal lover, and lifestyle blogger who loves food. Follow her adventures on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram @SalmonAtSeven.