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How to Hike in the Rain

How to Hike in the Rain with Kids

Hiking in the rain can be an incredible experience, but without adequate preparation and the right gear, the rain can leave you in a soggy mood. Over the years, we have been caught in torrential downpours and even headed out intentionally in the rain. There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to rainy weather, especially when hiking with children.

The main goals are to be comfortable and safe. Check the weather forecast to confirm the level of rainfall expected and do not neglect flash floods or the dangers associated with heavy rain. Hiking in the rain in the Swiss Alps, depending on the area, may not be recommended, so please do not put yourself or your family at risk! When in doubt, check the weather forecast and wait it out if you must. If you are, however, open to hiking in a safe location, or if you get caught in the rain, here are a few tips to make the most of your journey.

1. Select the right gear for the entire family

Having the proper rain gear will either make or break your rainy day. Over the years, we have come to realize that not all rain gear is created equal and to be honest, some gear just sucks. Make sure your raincoats and pants are waterproof and not just water-resistant. For kids, we love durable, waterproof gear.

As adults, we are often so hyper focused on our children staying dry and warm, that we often neglect our own needs. Don’t do that! If you are dry, you are apt to be a happy parent and happy parents translate to good times on the trail! Invest in good rain gear!

Don’t forget the rain covers for your backpacks! In addition to the rain covers for your backpacks, we know if we plan to stay overnight and the weather is calling for rain, we place all of our clothes and supplies inside a plastic bag inside our packs. There is nothing worse than arriving at a hut only to find that your rain cover wasn’t as waterproof as you thought. By placing your gear in a plastic bag before you place it into your backpack, you are insured that your clothes will be dry when you need them the most. A final note on rain covers. If your child will be riding in a stroller, don’t forget the rain cover for the stroller!

Tip: We recently discovered the company So Last Seasons. With the mission to reduce clothing waste by providing families with last season’s quality clothes at affordable prices, we are happy to have learned about them! Their rain gear waterproof, windproof and all of the seams are welded to prevent leakage. Yes!

2. Umbrellas can be useful

Hiking with umbrellas can seem a bit ridiculous, but to be honest, when you are caught in a downpour having that extra layer of protection can be quite helpful. To shield yourself from wind and rain, pack a durable, but lightweight umbrella in your bag. Pack an umbrella for your children if they are old enough to manage their own gear.

3. Select a trail through the forest

If you want to hike despite a rainy forecast, select a trail through a mature forest. Forests provide protection from both the rain and the wind, making your time outside in the rain, more enjoyable. Don't, however, select a forest route if there is thunder and lightening. Wait that one out please!

4. Don’t forget your feet!

Warm and dry feet are essential when it comes to comfort. We highly recommend investing in warm, wool hiking socks and quality hiking boots. Sloshing around with wet feet not only opens your feet up to blisters, but it also makes for a long, cold day on the trail. Take care of your feet!

5. Dry clothes for the conclusion of the hike

Do not forget to pack dry clothes to change into once your hike is complete. There is nothing worse than getting into a wet car, or having to sit on a train weighted down by soaking wet clothes. Talk about a miserable experience. Pack dry clothes for everyone in your family to make the end of the day cozy and warm!

While hiking in wet weather may not be everyone’s idea of fun, sometimes we don't have the choice. For those who enjoy the experience, we agree that there is something truly magical about trekking through the rain. Perhaps it’s the gratitude one feels once they retreat to a warm dry place, or a hot shower and the luxury of dry clothes. Whatever it may be, remember time spent in nature is never wasted, even in the rain.


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