Author Topic: What's your strategy to stay dry?  (Read 930 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline j1of1

What's your strategy to stay dry?
« on: May 27, 2022, 09:02:14 pm »
I'm taking a multi-day ride.  On the very first day it starts to rain...just sprinkling, but it looks like it's going to get worse.  Few choices:  1) Get wet; 2) Put on rain gear; or 3) Get out of the rain.  The third alternative isn't available because I'm in the middle of nowhere and it looks like it's about to pour.   I don't like to get wet when riding, especially if I have miles to go before I stop for the day, so I reach for my rain gear.  I put on my rain jacket and pants and start riding again.  In a few minutes I'm sweating...it's a sauna inside my rain gear, I'm getting wet inside my rain suit! I'm talking really wet.  I hate riding wet.  I get to my end destination - for the day and it's still raining.  I'm riding again tomorrow.  Oh yea, I'm camping so there is no dryer and the riding gear I'm wearing right now isn't going to dry overnight inside my tent. Yea, I brought some dry clothes - they're in one of my panniers.  I can ride in those tomorrow and stuff the wet clothes in my pannier and pray that it will be sunny day and maybe, just maybe I can get to my destination for the day and hang my wet clothes (that I'm wearing from sweating and the wet clothes in my panniers) up to dry.

So I'm wondering:  Do you wear rain gear or not?  How do you decide?  What do you do with your wet clothes, your wet rain gear on a multi-day ride?  Standing by for your thoughts!

Offline donald.stewart.92

What's your strategy to stay dry?
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2022, 09:16:24 pm »
Depends. On the temperature: really warm or hot- no rain jacket or pants. Cooler- a jacket. Colder - both. It’s all on your preferences. Sometimes you have to experiment to find your way.

I would rather be wet but warm.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2022, 09:18:05 pm by donald.stewart.92 »

Offline staehpj1

Re: What's your strategy to stay dry?
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2022, 06:32:26 am »
I am wet with sweat whether it rains or not a pretty good percentage of the time.  If I I riding hard or it is even a little warm I'll get pretty sweaty.  Staying dry with rain gear on pretty much isn't going to happen.  In many conditions keeping warm will require a wind shell of some sort whether that is rain gear or not.

Dealing with wet clothes is a pain.  It helps if you have clothes that don't soak up much water to start with, are fairly comfortable when wet, and dry quickly.  That is a tall order.  For me that means an old favorite kayaking sweater as my warm layer if it is cool or cold.  That fav is an Immersion Research one that is some tech fabric.  I don't care for wool, I find it soaks up too much water and  dries very slowly.  I also have found the "no stink" claims overstated at least for me.  I find that some synthetic garments are bad in that regard and some are fine and I take the ones that work for me.

Putting on wet clothes in the morning is unpleasant, but a necessity in many cases unless you carry lots of sets of clothing and/or have a dryer available frequently or tour when/where you don't get many consecutive days of rain.

I come from a whitewater kayaking background so putting on wet gear on a cold morning isn't new to me.  I can deal with that.  I don't like to carry a lot of weight so I deal with wet clothes rather than carry lots of spares.  I do tend to choose times and places with weather likely to be at least somewhat favorable when possible.  Obviously when crossing a continent or something I have to accept that there will be bad weather, but I try to avoid the wettest (and hottest) times weather.

Offline John Nelson

Re: What's your strategy to stay dry?
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2022, 05:50:30 pm »
If it’s warm, get wet.

If it’s cold, put on your rain gear.

If you don’t think that it’s going to rain overnight, hang your clothes. If it is going to rain overnight, spread your clothes out as best you can inside your tent.

If your clothes are wet in the morning, and you have dry clothes, and it’s not already raining, put the dry clothes on and attach your wet clothes to the outside of your gear. Never, ever put wet clothes inside a pannier.

If you have no dry clothes, or if it’s already raining, put on wet ones. It won’t kill you.

You don’t like getting wet? You can’t always be comfortable on tour. Take the least bad option.

Offline LouMelini

Re: What's your strategy to stay dry?
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2022, 11:33:02 am »
I think the replies you have received are good. There are some personal variables to consider. I use a rain jacket fairly soon in rain. The jacket has pit zips that help immensely to dump heat yet keep me dry. I put that on much sooner than my wife Julie as she tends to overheat in a rain jacket and would rather get wet (depending on how hard it rains and air temperature). We also use fenders on our bikes that help reduce spraying of water from the road. Since you are already on tour I hope you made that decision.  I agree with steahpji about wool and John Nelson about putting wet clothes in a pannier with the caveat of waterproof panniers. How we carry wet stuff has a "it depends" decision making process. I like to stay warm as Donald Stewart mentioned as I am just over 130 pounds and in my early 70's, so staying warm in soaking rain is not going to happen. Julie and I tend to carry more clothes than most people in the forums so we always have dry stuff.

Offline froze

Re: What's your strategy to stay dry?
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2022, 12:06:01 am »
Even the most expensive Gore Tex rain jacket isn't going to keep you dry unless you're creeping down the road on your bike; what will make you wet is your sweat.

On hot days all you can do is get a water-resistant wind breaker vest, this will at least keep the trunk of your body fairly dry.  On hot days any rain that falls on you will evaporate very quickly as you ride.

On really cold days, sweating is not typically an issue, staying dry is, and a rain jacket is necessary to keep you from dying.  I don't think you need a $400 jacket to to that either, all I use is a $130 jacket with which I layer up under it.

Offline chainring

Re: What's your strategy to stay dry?
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2022, 06:27:20 am »
My wife and I have been using ponchos for several years. Everything beneath the shoulders stay dry, with air circulation warding off the under rain suit sweating issue. Not perfect in windy conditions, but certain objectives must be decided upon.

Offline DaveB

Re: What's your strategy to stay dry?
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2022, 10:34:21 am »
I don't care for wool, I find it soaks up too much water and  dries very slowly.  I also have found the "no stink" claims overstated at least for me.  I find that some synthetic garments are bad in that regard and some are fine and I take the ones that work for me.
The synthetic clothing that had the reputation for smelling bad after a couple of day's wear were made of polypropylene, which seems to have gone out of favor for outdoor wear.  Current polyester clothing doesn't seem to have that much of a problem.

Offline hikerjer

Re: What's your strategy to stay dry?
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2022, 08:59:42 pm »
It's been my experience from touring and backpacking over the years, that regardless of the gear you have and the measures you take, sometimes you're just going to get wet. In a days' long downpour, there is little you can do to say completely dry. The best strategy is to have a set of dry clothes in a dedicated bag to be used only when sleeping and when not in the elements. Take extraordinary steps to protect them. Just the way it is, and we have to accept it.

Offline ray b

Re: What's your strategy to stay dry?
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2022, 10:53:16 am »
Last I checked, the skin's pretty waterproof.

That means the discussion is really about thermal regulation - wind protection and loft of garments. (Of course, dry garments have more loft.)

I'm sure I'm not the only one who has stripped to his shorts in a low-altitude, summer thunderstorm - throwing his jersey and all else into a dry bag with the spare shorts. 

As noted in other threads, unless it's near or below freezing, I usually get by with a superlight, waterproof jacket and a pair of oversized, cut-off plastic rain pants I can throw on without taking my shoes off.
(If I need them, I am usually in a hurry.)
« Last Edit: June 13, 2022, 10:56:46 am by ray b »
“A good man always knows his limitations.”

Offline Westinghouse

Re: What's your strategy to stay dry?
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2022, 02:26:06 pm »
Frogg Toggs from Walmart for $20. Reinforce the inseams and the crotch seems of the pants with Gorilla Tape. That is if you will be doing a lot of cycling wearing the pants. I used Frogg Toggs on a transcontinental ride. They kept me dry all the way with no problem. However, they are not durable. The slightest little rub up against a thorn or a branch might tear them. You have to be careful. They are breathable had very comfortable and waterproof at least for one transcontinental bicycling tour.