Rain is vital for the environment, for nature, fauna and flora, but it is also vital for our body and mind. Many people associate rainy days with demoralizing days when you should not go outside. However, the benefits of hiking in the rain are numerous.  Let’s discover together the pleasure of a good hike in the rain!

Hiking in the rain: a new experience

When it rains, nature reveals itself in a new light. When hiking in the rain, the grass will seem greener, the smell of trees and plants more pronounced. Even the sound of running water will seem more intense! You will also discover the feeling of tranquility in a huge natural space. If you are quiet and patient enough, you will gradually become one with nature. 

Not convinced? Wait until you discover the whole list of benefits of a good hike in the rain that we have made especially for you! 

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The benefits of a good hike in the rain

At Oxaz we love the rain, we’ll explain why!

Hiking in the rain is no more unpleasant than hiking in the sun. Sure, it’s not a common idea, but any experienced hiker will tell you that with the right gear and a positive attitude, hiking in the rain can be quite enjoyable.

With the right equipment and a positive attitude, hiking in the rain can be a lot of fun. When it rains, your favorite trails will change before your eyes, so take advantage of it!

Hiking in the rain is a sensory experience

When it rains, nature seems different: the landscapes, the smells and the sounds. Despite the humidity, the landscapes are full of life and character. The sound of the drops falling on the leaves of the trees relaxes us!  Then there are the smells which are particular and pleasant, the mixture of water, earth and vegetation gives birth to this scent that we all love “the smell of the rain”.

By the way, did you know that this typical fragrance of rainwater on dry land has a name: petrichor.

To learn more about the “petrichor” effect, click here.

Rain is good for our health

As you probably know, rain is charged with negative ions. Despite this not very nice name, these negative ions are beneficial for our health! They will help us improve our energy level, our concentration and the quality of our sleep. Some also have a de-stressing effect.

Stressed by work, worries? Go for a walk in the rain!

To learn more about the effects of negative ions, click here!

A soothing sensation

Just close your eyes and listen to the soft sound of its trickling, quivering. The rain will create a feeling of calmness and you will experience a moment of serenity. The sound of falling rain hitting the ground, clashing on materials, on plants… The softness of water trickling down its stream, or going down a waterfall, rolling from wave to wave… So many moments that our mind knows how to appreciate because of its soothing effect by nature!

Sense of freedom

The advantage of hiking in the rain is that you won’t run into many people, if any! The rain tends to free up the trails. This way you can enjoy your hike with a feeling of exclusivity and tranquility. The silence and the grandeur of nature in front of you.

But be careful if you have no sense of direction, don’t get lost because there are no other hikers to help you 😉

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Protect yourself in the rain

It’s all very well to want to hike in the rain, but you still need to have the necessary equipment! Hiking in the rain means protection. So we will equip ourselves accordingly:

The jacket:

It is essential to defy all weather conditions, whether rain, wind or snow. The jacket must absolutely be waterproof. When hiking in the rain, it is not enough to take a simple “windbreaker”. Here the goal is not to let even one drop of water through. However, try to choose a jacket that remains breathable. Indeed, nothing is useful to be protected against water if you end up being soaked with sweat afterwards. Once you’ve found this combo, you’ve found the perfect jacket! In our experience, a breathable jacket with a waterproof rating of at least 10,000 mm water column will keep you from getting soaked in most cases. In a deluge only the good old sailor’s raincoat is efficient, but as it is not breathable at all you will end up soaked too, by your own sweat 😉

Looking for more tips? Click here !

The under layers:

Put on warm technical t-shirts and then put on fleece jackets or other warm jackets. But be careful, especially AVOID cotton! It is a material that tends to accumulate moisture and therefore is not ideal for keeping you dry.

The pants:

Let’s face it, the legs are not the most exposed part to the rain, however, it should not be neglected. Walking around with wet pants all day, in addition to not being pleasant, increases your chances of getting sick.  So include in your pack a pair of waterproof pants, in case of very bad weather, it will allow you to keep your legs dry and therefore avoid the cold.

The shoes:

No shoe is perfectly waterproof, except for rain boots. But you can still opt for a model with a waterproof membrane (Gore-Tex, Outdry, Event etc.), to limit the damage! A good choice of footwear is essential to avoid that they macerate and especially to see blisters appear. And don’t forget to also equip yourself with waterproof gaiters to prevent water from seeping inside his shoes.

Headgear:

You could opt for a waterproof hat which has the advantage, unlike the rain hood, to keep a good visibility and to spare the face from drops. However, rain is often accompanied by wind and the hat will not be able to withstand the wind. Moreover, the rain has an annoying tendency to flow downwards, thus to slide in your neck which would have preferred to remain dry…

The semi-rigid Overcap :

This is the essential accessory for your hikes in the rain, it protects you while remaining comfortable.  Overcap resists as well to the wind as to the rain. With it, you don’t risk anything! Wider than a hood, your head stays ventilated and preserves your field of vision. You attach it to the straps of your backpack and off you go!

To learn more about Overcap, click here.

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Protect your backpack

It’s a well-known problem that the bag covers (or over-bags, or rain cover, or rain cape) that are sold with backpacks do not completely protect the backpack. When it rains, the rain flows between the bag and your back. Thus, the backpack gets wet from the inside and so do the contents of your bag. It’s a pity and we wonder why this protection is partial!

Some people opt for rain ponchos, however this can increase the condensation inside and thus wet your clothes by your perspiration. This is the reason why you have to take off your poncho as soon as the rain stops, which can be complicated depending on the situation. In addition to strongly restricting your movements, the poncho cannot be used under all weather conditions. Putting it on when it’s windy is a disaster. The entire poncho will blow away and become a constraint. So yes, rain ponchos can be useful, but again this option has its drawbacks.

The advantage with Overcap is that it has an accessory specifically designed to solve this problem. Overcap’s rain cape attaches directly to the hood, forming a seamless continuum of waterproof fabric from your head to your backpack without interruption. Your backpack is fully protected unlike an ordinary rain cape.

Find the rain cape for Overcap on our online store, here !

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Hiking in the Cirque de Navacelle

If you also want to explore this sublime place, you will find to the north the belvedere of Blandas, and to the south the one of Baume Auriol.

After having equipped ourselves for a good afternoon walk in the rain, we went to observe the panorama of the cirque seen from above. The plateau of Larzac is located at 614m of altitude and is known as a very windy area. It was the case and fortunately we were equipped with our Overcap to resist to the rain and the wind!

We hope to have convinced you and that the practice of hiking in the rain does not put you off anymore. There is no such thing as bad weather, but in order to enjoy nature you need to be properly equipped. You will see that hiking in the rain will give you just as many benefits as long walks in the sun. It’s an opportunity to admire the landscape in a different way and to marvel at the beauty of nature. 

And moreover “after the rain, comes the good weather”!

 

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