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Rain Gear

Rain Gear

Staying dry in the outdoors is a big step toward staying comfortable and having a good time. Wearing or carrying rain gear such as a poncho or rain parka, rain pants, gaiters, and a hat can also add to your safety, since dry clothing will keep you much warmer than shirts, pants, and jackets that have become wet.

Poncho—A poncho is a waterproof cape that can protect you and your gear from summer rains. Because a poncho is loosefitting and can flap in the wind, it may not be the best choice for severe weather and for winter travel.

Rain Parka—A rain parka is a long jacket that repels rain, sleet, and snow. It should have a hood that you can pull over your head.

Rain Pants—Rain pants extend the protection of a poncho or parka down to your ankles.

Gaiters—Gaiters can shield your feet and lower legs from rain. During winter hikes, they’ll help keep snow out of your boots.

Hat—A broad-brimmed hat protects your face from sun and from storms. If you wear eyeglasses, the brim of a hat can keep them clear when it’s raining.

 

Fabrics That Breathe and Fabrics That Don’t

Rain gear may be made of breathable fabric or nonbreathable fabric. There are pros and cons to both.

Breathable—Breathable fabrics repel rain and also let body moisture escape—the ideal combination for rain gear. The drawback is that these garments can be expensive.

Nonbreathable—Many ponchos, parkas, rain pants, and gaiters are made of coated nylon and plastic. This nonbreathable gear is waterproof and often inexpensive. The disadvantage of nonbreathable rain gear is that moisture given off by your body may be trapped inside, causing you feel to damp and chilled.

 

If you have a question, comment, or suggestion, please e-mail: Chuck Williams

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