Some people are forced to travel during the monsoon season because it is the only time they get holidays or time off from work.
While travelling in the rain is not ideal, you can definitely make it work with proper preparation and planning.
This includes knowing what to pack and how to choose them.
Given below are some packing tips for rainy day travelling.
- Pack A Travel Friendly Umbrella
This is a pretty straightforward tip.
However, you can’t just cram a big umbrella into your backpack or suitcase since it takes up a lot of room. You will also find it hard to drag your bag or suitcase to different places because of the extra weight.
While packing a compact umbrella is always better than packing a bulky one, it is important not to compromise quality for a small size. If your compact umbrella is made out of flimsy materials, it will break easily and won’t handle the strong winds and rains very well.
Choose a good quality, travel friendly and compact umbrella which is windproof.
You want to make sure your umbrella,
- Not only protects you from light rain showers but also from strong winds and heavy rain.
- Is compact (12 inches), lightweight and easy to carry.
- Is constructed from durable materials like fiberglass, aluminium or steel.
An automatic open and close feature is useful to have since you don’t have to waste precious minutes trying to open your umbrella manually.
- Pack A Lightweight Rain Jacket
Trust me, those big, bulky and plastic rain jackets not only take up too much space in your bag but they are also extremely uncomfortable.
If you are going to be on the road all the time, the last thing you want weighing you down is a rain jacket.
The good news is there are plenty of lightweight rain jackets which won’t add too much weight to your pack. You can find some of the best rain jacket recommendations in this article.
Rain jackets come with different degrees of weather protection, so you have to pick the right one depending upon the kind of travelling you are doing.
Casual rain jackets – If you are only going to be experiencing light rain showers or you aren’t going to be outside most of the time, you can consider investing in a casual rain jacket.
It is not completely waterproof but offers a decent degree of protection from the rain.
You can also go for this kind of jacket if your trip is very short.
Hiking rain jackets – If you are going on a long hike or backpacking trip where you will be spending a lot of time outdoors, it is recommended you choose these kinds of jackets.
They not only offer a great degree of protection from the rain but are also available in packable options.
There are also ultra-lightweight rain jackets but they are not very reliable for heavy rain. You can use them for light showers or humid conditions.
- Invest In A Good Backpack Rain Cover
During heavy rain, it is important to make sure you not only keep yourself dry but also your gear.
Nobody wants to have their backpack or travel bag completely drenched in water and find out that all their clothes and other things are soaked.
A rain cover is useful for several reasons,
- It keeps both the inside and outside of your pack dry. All the contents in your backpack including food, clothes and other essential items will be safe from the rain.
Similarly, if you have any other gear attached to the outside of your pack, they will also stay dry.
- A rain cover can act as an extra layer of protection for your bag. In activities like hiking, your backpack might come in contact with sticks, stones and thorny vegetation. In such cases, a cover can help prevent tears and abrasions.
- It helps you stand out more. Some rain covers have reflective strips so drivers can see when you cross the road during torrential downpour.
Make sure you choose a good quality rain cover which doesn’t tear easily. You can also combine it with a waterproof pack liner for extra protection.
- Avoid Jeans And Corduroys
Jeans, corduroys and other clothing items made of similar fabrics are horrible choices for heavy monsoons.
This is because their fabrics soak up a lot of water very fast and take super long to dry.
Wearing extremely wet clothes for long periods of time will not only make you uncomfortable but will also make your body more prone to fungal and bacterial infections. You can even catch hypothermia if you are not careful.
Getting sick is the last thing anyone wants while travelling. Worst case scenario, you get sick hiking or backpacking in the middle of nowhere.
So do yourself a favour and ditch those jeans. Get yourself some clothes which don’t absorb water like a sponge and dry quickly.
- Select Appropriate Footwear
Make sure you choose footwear which is suitable for cold and wet climates.
You don’t want to pack your brand new expensive shoes which are unfit for rain and ruin them by getting them wet.
For general travelling, go for footwear from outdoor adventure companies which offer some kind of weather resistance.
For backpacking and hiking, a pair of good quality hiking boots will do the trick.
- Don’t Forget Antibiotic Cream And Mosquito Repellent
If you are unaware of this, mosquitoes are out in full force during the monsoon season. They can be an absolute headache especially for hikers and campers.
Do yourself a favour and pack some mosquito repellent to protect yourself from these bloodsuckers.
Antibiotic cream can help avoid infections which are caused by mosquito and other bug bites. Having open wounds and cuts in moist weather is not a good idea so don’t forget to pack some antiseptic cream.
- Pack Dry Bags, Ziploc Bags Or Other Waterproof Bags
Having waterproof bags will help you keep all your valuables safe and dry in case your bag gets wet.
If things like your hat, shoes, socks or purse get wet and you don’t have an immediate place to store them, these bags will come in handy.
Res Marty is the founder of resmarty.com where you can find informational guides, product reviews and recommendations all about hiking and camping. He has years of hiking experience and focuses on helping others enjoy hiking to the fullest.