/ staying dry on a mountain

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L jayrob84 on 11 Jun 2017
hi guys im new on hear and fairly new to walking up mountains. i walked up snowdon on the weekend and the weather was the worst ive personally experienced . constant rain and really strong wind . i was soaked through and my boots was squelching . i did enjoy it but would like to be better prepared next time .

how can i stay dry ? especially my boots . im presuming they got wet because of the rain going down the top so would waterproof trousers fix that ?
Mark Eddy - on 11 Jun 2017
In reply to jayrob84:

Yes, waterproof overtrousers and gaiters will help.
I had 2 decent waterproof jackets on on Saturday and still got a little wet after a prolonged time in the heavy rain.
L jayrob84 on 11 Jun 2017
In reply to Mark Eddy:

thanks mate. is goretex any good or more hype
Si_G - on 11 Jun 2017
In reply to jayrob84:

One best way to stay dry is to check the forecast.
Waterproofs only do so much, and often trap as much sweat as the keep the rain out.
Cheese Monkey - on 11 Jun 2017
In reply to jayrob84:

UK wet and humid weather is a bloody nightmare to stay completely dry in, so I wouldn't put your expectations too high. Half decent set of waterproofs will keep the worst out.
veteye on 11 Jun 2017
In reply to jayrob84:

Your question of Goretex was side-stepped. Yes Goretex and competitor products are worthwhile, but certainly not perfect. Having a jacket that has underarm vents may help a little w your own moisture.
Gaitors are useful much of the time in Wales, as it is often squelchy/muddy underfoot even when there is no precipitation.
I hate wearing over-trousers, and sometimes if I think that it is not going to be too wet, I don't put them on.
When buying over-trousers, pay more in order to get full length zips. The reason is that I am sure that you are going to get into ice-climbing soon, and then you can put the trousers on over all your other clothing/crampons etc.
Trangia on 12 Jun 2017
In reply to Mark Eddy:

> I had 2 decent waterproof jackets on on Saturday and still got a little wet after a prolonged time in the heavy rain.

What do you mean by 2? One over the other? or a change of jacket half way?

If the former how on earth does that work with regard to overheating and ventilation?

ianstevens - on 12 Jun 2017
In reply to jayrob84:

> hi guys im new on hear and fairly new to walking up mountains. i walked up snowdon on the weekend and the weather was the worst ive personally experienced . constant rain and really strong wind . i was soaked through and my boots was squelching . i did enjoy it but would like to be better prepared next time . how can i stay dry ? especially my boots . im presuming they got wet because of the rain going down the top so would waterproof trousers fix that ?

If it makes you feel better I was also out on Snowdon on Saturday in full goretex (which has served me well in the past!) and also got wet to the skin. It was just one of those days where kit was going to be defeated, the key was to have enough layers that stay warm in the wet and move fast enough to not get cold. Failing that, it would have been better to stay at home, drink tea and go again on a more pleasant day!
GrahamD - on 12 Jun 2017
In reply to jayrob84:

To be honest after 40 years of hill walking in more different types of gear than Cotswold Camping I'm more convinced than ever that there is no majic bullet. If its wet and windy, you will get wet and after a day in it you will get wet through. The best you can hope for is wet and comfortable, which means layers that are warm, not baggy and hold the minimum amount of water.

Although not trendy, gaiters help delay the onset of wet feet really well (over trousers over the top of the gaiters, obviously.
Dorchester on 12 Jun 2017
In reply to GrahamD:
I've found on really wet day, just over trousers work well. Get soaked inside and out but dry quickly if it stops. Keep dry set in rucksack.
RX-78 on 12 Jun 2017
In reply to jayrob84:

next time take the train!
Jenny C on 12 Jun 2017
In reply to jayrob84: another fan of gaiters here as otherwise I find waterproof trousers just channel rain into the boots.

As others say though at best expect to be damp round the edges, keeping warm and comfy is the main priority. Sweat is also a major contributor to being damp under waterproofs, so make sure you don't over dress.

MG - on 12 Jun 2017
In reply to Jenny C:

> another fan of gaiters here as otherwise I find waterproof trousers just channel rain into the boots.

The other option is simply to accept wet feet. Get boots that drain (to avoid squelching), and wear wool socks that are warm when wet.
tripehound - on 12 Jun 2017
In reply to jayrob84:
A decent anorak will help keep you dry, but if its severe weather you will eventually get some ingress of water. Gortex is not hype but I prefer Paramo, as its more comfortable and warmer and breathable.
Its more expensive though and needs careful cleaning and proofing but worth the effort imho.

Feet will always get wet as boots have two big holes in the top ( where your feet go) that let in water. Gortex lined boots are too warm I find and the membrane breaks down and fails quite quickly. Wet feet are not going to hurt you, and a well nikwaxed boot is very waterproof anyway.
Post edited at 10:53
mysterion on 12 Jun 2017
In reply to jayrob84:
In summer expect to be warm and wet. In winter expect to be cold and dry. Never be cold and wet.
Post edited at 11:10
purplemonkeyelephant - on 12 Jun 2017
In reply to MG:

> The other option is simply to accept wet feet.

Forget that! Get waterproof trousers with built in gaiters. The only time I've ever had water get through was when knee deep in either streams or bogs, even then only one boot got properly wet.

Generally speaking Goretex is the best of the bunch, doesn't let water in (people that say it does have dodgy jackets or don't understand PTFE) and will do the best job of keeping you alive in worst case scenarios. No membrane will keep all rain out but let all sweat out, so use good synthetic base layers to keep your skin dry. Also trousers with full side zips will mean they are easier to take off on the hills when the Welsh rain does occasionally stop.

Doug on 12 Jun 2017
In reply to purplemonkeyelephant:

or just accept that the UK is wet & opt for pile & pertex - damp, warm & comfortable at a fraction of the cost of goretex
Fuchs on 12 Jun 2017
In reply to jayrob84:
If the water is coming in from the outside, make sure you have the right apparel (waterproof trousers, gaiters, waterproof jacket with a decent hood, i.e. high collar/chin guard, wired peak etc.), and try to seal the points of ingress (pull your sleeves over your gloves and tighten the cuffs, wear a buff around your neck so the water doesn't run from your face down your neck).

If the water is coming from the inside (i.e. sweat), increase the ventilation (open zips, but make sure no water comes in from the outside), and adjust your layering system. Start your walk wearing few layers, even if that means you're cold initially, that way you warm up when going uphill, but don't break into a massive sweat. Put on more layers during breaks. The key is to take off layers BEFORE you run hot, thus trying to avoid sweating (and thus getting wet) as much as possible.

Finally, accept that if you are active in the mountains, you will not be able to stay completely dry. If you walk for hours on end in a Scottish rainstorm, you WILL end up with at least some water ingress around the neck/wrist). If you clamber up a steep slope in deep snow, you WILL sweat, and no breathable jacket on the planet will stop that.
Post edited at 12:34
Deleted bagger - on 12 Jun 2017
In reply to Doug:

> or just accept that the UK is wet & opt for pile & pertex - damp, warm & comfortable at a fraction of the cost of goretex

I've found a buffalo smock, powerstretch leggings and sealskin socks by far the best combination when hill running in winter. For hillwalking, after many years with membrane gear I've settled on Paramo waterproofs. They have good ventilation zips which, for me, means I can keep overheating down to minimum. Like any waterproofs they do need good and regular washing and reproofing.
Mark Eddy - on 12 Jun 2017
In reply to Trangia:

Yes one over the other. I was fairly stationary for a few hours so no issues with overheating, quite the opposite
DancingOnRock - on 12 Jun 2017
In reply to jayrob84:

Without a doubt you would be 90% dryer with waterproof trousers. You can get a very good pair of berghaus ones for around £40.
purplemonkeyelephant - on 12 Jun 2017
In reply to Doug:

> pertex - damp

Sounds great.
Sean Kelly - on 12 Jun 2017
In reply to Deleted bagger:

Yes, sealskin socks are brilliant , they get wet but are still comfortable unlike wool. Often I wear lightweight shorts with O/trousers so legs can be wiped dry if opportune. sometimes quick-drying powerstretch bottoms if it's cold. Again have 2 lightweight jackets if it's a really bad day. And also a change of breathable thermal inner top. Again if it's really bad I'll pack a 2 man shelter so I can change in the dry and also stop for a bite/check bearing etc in relative comfort. All this learned after a lifetime ticking all the Munros.
Lion Bakes on 12 Jun 2017
In reply to jayrob84:

Did you wax your boots beforehand ?

L Darren - on 16 Jun 2017
In reply to jayrob84:

Look at:
Craghopper Aquadry trousers - extremely waterproof.
Boots vary massively, so a good boot with Goretex lining, preferably leather. My Meindl Meran's can be completely submerged into water, repeatedly (momentarily at least) above the laces and they won't leak.
Same scenario for jackets - Good quality with Goretex.
Check out 'Nikwax' for everything, for that extra layer of protection.
L jayrob84 on 21 Jun 2017
In reply to Lion Bakes:

yes with the nik wax stuff . they are not leather boots btw . they are karrimor hot rout boots . ive had the a while
L jayrob84 on 21 Jun 2017
In reply to tripehound:

i am going to get some new boots because mine leak a lot now, ive had them a while . is it work some expensive gortex boots or will i do alright with some leather boots and keep them waxed
L jayrob84 on 22 Jun 2017
In reply to ianstevens:

it was quite bad wasnt it . my first time up there to
GrahamD - on 09:49 Thu
In reply to jayrob84:

For summer use I prefer just leather for the breathability. Unfortunately last time I was in the market I couldn't find any unlined ones that fitted ! Having said that lined boots definately stay drier for longer.
ads.ukclimbing.com
ianstevens - on 10:24 Thu
In reply to jayrob84:

Probably about my hundredth, some of the grimmest non-winter weather I've seen
BusyLizzie on 10:45 Thu
In reply to jayrob84:

I've just used gaiters for the first time, for a wet weekend on Skye. They really worked, my feetv stayed dry even when I stepped into water when crossing streams. So impressed!
Fuchs on 18:13 Thu
In reply to BusyLizzie:

I just hate gaiters - they make you all sweaty and look outright silly ... Thankfully at least some winter mountaineering trousers have integrated ones that you don't see.
Martin W on 07:56 Fri
In reply to Fuchs:
> I just hate gaiters - they make you all sweaty and look outright silly ... Thankfully at least some winter mountaineering trousers have integrated ones that you don't see.

I don't see many fashion police patrols in the mountains, thankfully.

I love my nice red Goretex gaiters. I wear them even when it's due to be dry (without overtrousers, obvs) because they keep debris like heather tufts and stones out of my boots. I don't find them particularly sweaty. If it is going to be really hot...I'll make a call on it.

In reply to jayrob84:

As others have said, being wet isn't really the problem. Underneath your clothes, you are waterproof. The real problem is that wet clothes increase the chance of getting cold, which can kill you. Windproofness is therefore as desirable as waterproofness, because it stops high evaporation rates due to airflow from causing chilling (like how a fridge works). So long as you're cozy warm, wetness becomes less of a problem; the extreme example if this probably being a wetsuit, but I wouldn't recommend hillwalking in one.

Wet clothes against the skin can be uncomfortable because they ruck up. Good fit helps here, as does choosing a non-water-absorbent fabric that can transport moisture rather than just sucking it up like a sponge - so don't use cotton as a base layer. Socks can be problematic in this respect: rucked-up socks inside the boot can cause blisters, as can the exacerbated rubbing caused by wet sock fabric sticking to the skin. Again, good fit helps, as can wearing two pairs of socks: a thin liner sock plus the normal cushioning/warmth sock. "Waterproof" socks like sealskinz can also be a good choice if you know that your feet are going to get wet eg you deliberately choose to wear lightweight fabric boots because the ground isn't too rugged and you want to travel light, but the forecast is wet wet wet.

Excellent article on the subject of waterproofs by Andy Kirkpatrick here:

https://andy-kirkpatrick.com/articles/view/the_truth_about_breathable_waterproofs

(As usual with AK, it's best to read the whole article before trying to pick the nuggets of gold out of it. His style is somewhat discursive but pretty much everything he says is sound and/or amusing, and it all goes to build the overall picture he's trying to paint.)
Post edited at 07:57
GrahamD - on 09:36 Fri
In reply to Fuchs:

> I just hate gaiters - they make you all sweaty and look outright silly ...

Which is why climbers look cool and soggy and ramblers look more comfortable. We're really just a bunch of tarts when it comes to image in the hills.
tripehound - on 12:33 Fri
In reply to jayrob84:

I would buy a good quality leather boot with as few seams as possible. Gortex lined boots are hot in warm weather and fail quite quickly. Nikwax is really effective on leather boots and will keep your feet dry in all but the worst weather. Make sure you go to a good dealer and do not get them too small size wise.
Apologies for the late post.
Fuchs on 15:33 Fri
In reply to GrahamD:

> Which is why climbers look cool and soggy and ramblers look more comfortable.

In a rain/storm I have never missed gaiters, waterproof overtrousers + high boots with membrane have always kept me dry. To me gaiters only make sense in deep snow (which pushes the trousers up), and in that case mountaineering trousers with internal gaiters do the job just as well, while being invisible.

So you can be perfectly comfortable without the need to wear these hideous things :P

GrahamD - on 16:17 Fri
In reply to Fuchs:

Assuming you want high boots, or assuming you don't just want the content of the swamp you are walking through to go over the top of your boots. They may not look 'cool' but cheap gaiters are a really useful bit of kit in UK hills.

Next you'll be telling us there's no need for Ron Hills.
Fuchs on 18:28 Fri
In reply to GrahamD:

> Next you'll be telling us there's no need for Ron Hills.

I must admit to having no clue what these are ;)

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