Stay Dry

Stay Dry

Staying dry in the hills is more than about not getting rained upon

Stay Dry 

Stay Dry

In the hills and mountains, wet is the enemy of warm. Stay dry to stay safe.

There's more to staying dry in the hills than just wearing a waterproof jacket.


The more obvious one. Rain gets us wet, so having a good waterproof is essential for any trip into the hills, even if the weather forecast is good, you should take some kind of waterproof with you as the mountain weather can change quickly.


The assumption would be that wet clothes are caused only by rain & poor waterproofs, or falling into a river. When you walk, particularly on strenuous sections, you will sweat (yes, even the ladies). If you wear the incorrect type of clothing next to your skin, that moisture stays next to your skin, and not only does it feel unpleasant, it will make you cold when you stop. Clothing worn next to the body is called the base layer.


Having wet clothes next to your skin on a cold day will mean that heat gets zapped away from your body 25 times quicker than if your were dry. The process that does this is called condution. Wet clothes and conduction are your enemies, and you must keep them at bay!


Getting wet leads to heat loss, which can lead to hypothermia, which can kill. Everyone venturing into the hills needs some basic knowledge of Hypothermia so that they can recognise the symptoms in themselves and others, so that quick action can be taken to prevent an emergency.


There are times when you need to stop when walking, whether it's for lunch or because someone's hurt etc. If you stop when it's chucking it down, you're increasing the risk of becoming cold and wetter, but a way to minimise this is to always take with you a storm shelter that can house you and others in your group and keep everyone out of the elements.  

If you don't have a shelter when it's raining hard, you're more likely to press on and skip a lunch stop. That has the potential for depleting your energy levels, and when combined with the poor weather, can lead to exhaustion, thus creating a perfect storm for the onset of hypothermia.