When in the backcountry staying dry is absolutely essential. At the very least, getting wet can can be uncomfortable and make the outdoor hiking, trekking, snowshoe experience less enjoyable. At its worst getting wet in freezing temperatures can create a serious survival problem. Follow these 3 tips in order to stay dry on your next outdoor trip when the temperatures drop and the risk of getting wet from rain, snow or even sweat presents itself.
Waterproof clothes must be worn or put on immediately when the rain or snow starts. It's always a good idea to keep (at all times) a poncho, waterproof pocket blanket, mylar blanket, hiking leg gaiters, and waterproof breathable socks packed away in your daypack. Other items can be added but make sure they are as packable and lightweight as possible. Ideally, they will all have their own carry bag (like the items mentioned) to keep your pack organized so that they can be located at a moments notice. Weather can be unpredictable so finding your waterproof gear quickly can literally save your life.
Waterproof gear that doesn't breathe needs to be removed immediately when the rain or snow stops in order to prevent sweating. Beware of impermeable rain gear if you are hiking. Why? Because it sweats - plain and simple. If possible always choose breathable gear or at the least - gear that can be vented by unbuttoning, unzipping or even unvelcroing as with the Pike Trail snow gaiters. Gaiters will keep your feet and calves dry even when crossing streams but remember to open them up to breathe or just remove them if they're not needed.
Cover your body with wet-weather gear from head to toe but remember to only wear waterproof pants if its both wet and cold outside. This will prevent sweating from occurring too rapidly. Also remember to remove your hat if you start to overheat. Your head stores and releases a lot of heat so using a hat properly will help you to regulate your body's temperature quickly and efficiently.