Rain on the forecast often scrubs a day of exploration off the calendar. But as Liss and Shannon tell us, rainy days can often be a great time to hike, as long as you’re prepared.


We acknowledge that we hike/explore across many Aboriginal nations and celebrate their cultures and ongoing connection to Country. We thank the Elders and Traditional Custodians past and present for caring for these lands, waters and sky from the beginning. We acknowledge we explore as visitors and commit to treading lightly and respectfully as we hike across unceded Country.

Goodbye lockdown, we’re ready to hike!

After a long Greater Sydney lockdown cooped up indoors, we found ourselves long overdue for hiking adventures. We set ourselves a challenge to find and explore the best hikes in and around the Central Coast and were rearing to get outside and hike in the sunshine. Plot twist – the BOM declared a La Niña summer and we were told to expect many rainy weekends to come.


Embracing La Niña – Why You Should Get Out and Hike in the Rain

After some initial sulking as we said goodbye to our fantasies of sunny days, coastal camps, and freshwater swims in waterfalls, we decided not to let La Niña rain on our parade – and here’s why you shouldn’t let it rain on yours either.

Sure, sometimes wet weather just sucks. If it’s absolutely bucketing down, we don’t want to go outside either. But these are not the kind of days we’re talking about. We’re talking about the days when it’s a bit wet and the sky’s grey and gloomy. Let us share why we still get out and hike.

Read  more: 7 Tips For Rainy Day Hiking


1. Mental Health Benefits

The fresh air feels good, rain or shine. Many of us spend our weekdays indoors in front of the laptop. There are numerous studies on why getting outdoors not only boosts mental health by way of endorphins, vitamin D, (there’s a loooong list of benefits). It also provides the opportunity to connect with other people which another important factor for mental health.

Read more: How to Maintain Good Mental Health During a Crisis


2. You’ll Have the Trail to Yourself

The rain tends to scare people away from the trails. If you wait for the perfect sunny hiking day you won’t be the only one there.

3. The Colours and Textures of the Landscape

The rain transforms the landscape. The colours and textures of nature look brighter in the rain. Even the bark of trees look like works of art! Focusing on these beautiful colours and textures awakens the senses and is an opportunity to practice mindfulness.


4. Resilience Training

Hiking in the rain means you’re not scared to be a bit uncomfortable. You can push your limits without going too far from home. 

Prepare mentally before the trip and manage your expectations – even with your wet weather gear you’re going to get wet. Also, rain often means, leeches. Learn how to deal with them before you head out. 

Read more: Leeches: How To Remove, Avoid, and Appreciate Them


5. The hot shower and feeling of achievement when you get home

Take our word for it, coming back to the comfort of home makes hours of trekking in wet shoes, prying leeches off ankles, rain slipping down the back of your neck, sunscreen melting into your eyeballs and all the other joys of trekking in the rain, worth it.

Keeping Safe

As always, safety comes first and this is no different when hiking in the rain. Getting your hands on some good wet weather gear will help, but there are limits to how much this can make a difference. 

We don’t ever hike when weather forecasts are looking treacherous. For us thunderstorms, high winds, and flash flood forecasts are no-gos. There’s no point risking it, we stay home. These days make for good hike research and planning days.

Read more:  The Best Outdoor Video Games for Lockdown, Injury, or Rainy Days

Wet Weather Essential Gear

  • At a minimum we always bring a rain/windproof jacket – we both have GTX jackets.
  • Waterproof shoes are great (we learnt the hard way that KMART sneakers aren’t waterproof)  
  • Waterproof pack cover
  • Long thick socks – the leeches are out and they love your ankles 
  • Dry bags – to keep your phone/camera dry
  • Layers – take them off as you get hot and if they’re still dry keep them in a dry bag to change into later

Wet Weather Recommended Gear

  • Waterproof pants 
  • Lightweight tarp – if you plan on stopping somewhere for a long period of time during the day. Risk of hypothermia increases when you’re wet and still
  • Extra dry layers in a dry bag
  • Hiking poles can help out when it’s very slippery/muddy
  • Gaiters – when super rainy these can help minimise the water coming into your shoes

Wet Weather Things to Consider

  • Remember to drink water and keep hydrated 
  • Snacks are life
  • Know when to call it. If the weather takes a turn for the worse, head back to your car and call it a day. Hiking in a storm is dangerous and you can always come back another day.
  • Watch how you walk. Rain = mud and slippery rocks. Take extra care to avoid injury.
  • Be aware that you need extra time – the track will be muddier and more slippery in the rain and to be safe you’ll need to take it slower than usual. 
  • Bring some dry socks and clothes to change into in the car for the trip home and jump straight in the shower when you get home.

Read more: A Hiker’s Guide To Lightning Safety


Get Out and Hike

Despite the La Niña, our summer challenge continues and we look forward to sharing some of the best hikes to explore in and around the Central Coast. It’s going to be a bit wetter than we would’ve liked but as they say, a little bit of rain never hurt nobody*…

*To quote Alan Parish in Jumanji – ‘Yeah but a lot can kill you!’