Tech Tip – Staying Dry when Backpacking, Part II

tents with alaska tundraWe’ve all felt it. That moment when you look toward the horizon, only to see some dark, ominous clouds heading your way. Rain. As much as you don’t want it to dampen your plans (pun intended), you’ve mentally prepared yourself for a soggy hike into camp, putting up a wet tent, and wishing you were back in the comfort of your own home. We can’t stop the rain, but (working summers outdoors in Alaska), we sure have found a few ways to be better prepared for it.

Here are a few tried and true tips, tricks, and suggestions for the next time your Alaska backpacking trip becomes soggy. Enjoy!

Tips for Staying Dry in Camp:

  • Once in camp, choose a location that drains well (you don’t want to wake up in a puddle!), and set up your tent quickly. As soon as it’s up, toss your rain fly over the tent to keep it protected, before staking it down and guying out all the lines. Guy out your tent well! A taught tent repels water better than one that is loose, keeping you drier throughout the night.
  • If you’re camping in a rainy area (like Alaska), bring along a lightweight, floorless cook tent (we like Black Diamond Mega Light Tents), where you can cook your dinner in the dry.
  • If you’ve got a few damp items by the end of the night (gloves and socks are the common culprits), sleep with them in your sleeping bag! Your body heat will dry them out by morning. Just be careful not to “overload the dryer.” Pro trip from Guide Ryan: if your socks are damp when you get to camp, store them in your pockets (unzipped). That’s the ideal combination of heat and ventilation to dry out soggy socks!
  • If you’re packing up a wet tent, try to be as quick and efficient as possible! Shake off the rain fly well (find a partner and give it a few good shakes), and roll it up on itself (you can even pack it up in a trash bag) to try and contain the moisture. When you get into camp the next night, set it up to dry out!

Like what you see? Check out our other Tech Tips!

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