The question that is older than you can imagine “Is wind worse than rain?” maybe not specially designed for trekking, but for many various forms of spending time outside, and also for hiking too. When it’s raining and you are far from any good shelter that could save you outside in the woods, you are thinking that this is the worse that could happen, but what if told you that the rain isn’t the worse that could happen to you at that moment? That is why we did the research for you finally end that cycle of speculations and give people the proper answer.
To answer isn’t that obvious and easy because it depends on many factors like how cold is outside or what is the speed of the wind that day, and many other factors which we will talk about later. For now, the short answer is that rain and wind combined are the worst possible case, but in general, the wind is worse than rain due to how fast it can decrease your body’s temperature. If you want to know more then stay with us!
Why wind is worse than rain?
Everything depends on how bad it is right now, if there is only a small drizzle then you should not be scared of anything except the mud. Also, the wind’s speed is below 15 mph then there is nothing to be worried about.
But why is wind worse than rain? The answer is related to the temperature of your body. Heavy wind is more likely to decrease your body temperature, which can lead to sickness on a hiking trail. That’s why planning ahead is the best solution for you. You should check the weather forecast and plan your hiking trail along with it.
If you can see that there is going to be a higher chance of rain in the evening then you should try to make your route shorter to come back home before it happens.
Constant wind blowing up your face will drastically decrease your body’s temperature, almost like a normal cooling fan does. On the other hand, rain is going to make your clothes wet, and that also will drastically decrease your body temperature but most of the trekking gear like coats and shoes are almost 100% waterproof, so if you are prepared decent then your standard clothing will help you prevent any sickness from being wet.
It is harder to protect yourself from the wind than from rain like we said above the clothes are better suited for water protection than for wind protection, and on top of that, your surroundings are also more likely to help you get a cover from rain like trees and small wooden shelters but those shelters and trees won’t protect you from wind, unfortunately.
The clothing designed for wind protection won’t give you 100% of protection like the case of rain.
How to protect yourself from rain on a hike?
There are two possible scenarios, the first is based on your previous experiences and you want to prepare for the possible rain at some point, which is good that you are thinking about before that. The second scenario is when it just started raining and you don’t have anything with you to protect yourself from it.
Let’s focus on the first one. You should take a raincoat with you, that gives almost 100% of protection from rain, also a pair of trekking boots can prevent your feet from getting wet, but make sure that they are waterproof. Also, make sure to check out the weather forecast to get the necessary information.
If you are already on a hike and it starts raining then can find a proper wooden shelter or tree and wait it out. Of course when there is a storm you should avoid tall objects like trees! Try to use your spare clothes as a thing to protect you from rain, the more solid material the slower it will get wet.
When the rain stops make sure to change into dry clothes because wet clothing won’t let your body increase the temperature, and you can end up your journey sick.
How to protect yourself from wind on a hike?
There isn’t a lot you can do to protect yourself from the wind, but if you do all those things then you will be able to hike during windy weather.
The first thing is to take some clothes that won’t allow much air circulation like a trekking jacket. Protect mostly your head with a thick hat and scarf. You can also take glasses with you to protect your eyes and prevent crying, which is also a problem for some of us.
Take a few breaks somewhere near a thick wall that can protect you from the side of the blowing wind, and make sure to stay warm and not travel until you will heat up a bit. Hot tea and warm food will increase the body’s temperature from the inside.
In summary – Is wind worse than rain while hiking?
The wind is worse than rain due to the aspects of protection from those two. It is way easier to protect from rain rather than wind, due to your clothing, and even finding a shelter is easier.
Important thing is to be prepared for rain and wind before they happen, so make sure to check out the weather forecast before you plan your next hike.
If you want more about preparation for hiking then we have recently created a great article about things that can be handy for your hiking journey “Do You Listen To Music While Hiking? – (Is It Safe?)“.