Rain is inevitable at some point. Do you know it's coming and are you all prepared for it?



Few would argue that walking in the dry is normally more preferable to walking in the driving rain. Apart from being more pleasant in the dry, you are exposed to fewer environmental threats to your safety.

Rain is wet, and wet is the enemy of warm, as it can lead to your skin and body becoming wet, leading to conduction of heat away from your body, leading to heat loss from your core, leading to hypothermia.

Good kit can prevent you getting wet, so you must always carry a waterproof jacket, even in summer when you expect it to be a warm day.


Apart from the potential of getting wet, rain will sap morale as well. A chatty group can become quiet and stop communicating with each other. One negative effect of that situation is that others in the party may not notice any initial symptoms of hypothermia in a colleague. Keeping communicating can only be positive, and should be encouraged.

Other Dangers

When things get wet they get slippery. Wet rocks can be lethal, and a slip on one could lead to a bang to the head/concussion or a broken bone. The consequent extra care required when crossing wet rocky ground will increase walking time.

A high proportion of mountain incidents happen in the afternoon, when people are descending the hills. Fatigue & lack of attention are likely to be primary factors of incidents, but combine those with wet ground, grass in particular, and the potential for a slip and injury increases. 

Keep Eating

It becomes more difficult to stop and rest when it's raining, as people tend to become focussed on getting down from the hill and home, or into a nice warm pub, rather than stopping and eating. A consequence of this is that people can become exhausted more quickly, which is another of the factors leading to hypothermia, which is of course linked to wet weather. This is particularly true if there's also a hard wind blowing, making progress difficult and tiring, which should mean that more calories are taken in, not fewer.

A way to encourage people (including yourself) to keep eating is to take refuge in a storm shelter to escape the rain, rest and take on calories. Read more about storm shelters here.


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Other Links

  • Met Office web page on rain

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