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How to Walk in the Rain

It's Not All Wet


Updated March 07, 2014

Walking in the rain through a puddle

Walking in the Rain

Mike Harrington/Photographer's Choice RF/Getty Images Umbrellas


Wendy Bumgardner ©

Your body is drip-dry. You are not made of sugar and you won't melt in the rain. Most of us had concerned mothers who wouldn't let us step outside without being swathed in all manner of rain gear, and thought we would surely die if we got wet.

You won't. Trust me. There is no reason to stop walking just because the rainy season has arrived. Whether it is April showers or autumn drizzle, you can boldly walk among the raindrops and survive.

Rain Walking Tip #1: Umbrellas

Some walking purists think that umbrellas are for standers, not for walkers. I don't commonly carry an umbrella (and I walk in rainy Oregon), but under some conditions I use one as the best gear for the day.
Top Picks for Umbrellas
  • Umbrellas are best in moderately hard rain where even with waterproof gear, you couldn't keep the rain out.
  • Umbrellas are poor in windy conditions, often resulting in a broken umbrella.
  • Lightweight, collapsible umbrellas can be carried in your hip pack or in your hand.
  • Useful to have if you need to defend against a dog attack. If the umbrella is unopened and the dog is charging you, opening it in his face can startle and distract the dog from the attack, as it faces an unexpectedly enlarged opponent.
  • Practical experience shows that carrying an umbrella on a 10K volkssport walk results in the showers holding off until after the walk a good percentage of the time. Rain showers prefer to rain on those who don't carry umbrellas.
  • If walking with a partner, either both should have an umbrella or neither, to reduce conflict.
  • Take care when passing others that you don't poke them with the umbrella, whether furled or unfurled. I have often been menaced by a wicked-looking stick umbrella jauntily carried on someone's shoulder and swinging around unconcerned for those in the vicinity.
  • After the walk, set the opened umbrella to dry in a warm area before rolling it up, to prevent mildew.

Next page> Waterproof Shoes and Tricks to Keep Your Feet Dry

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