The Scandinavians are famous for saying ‘There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes’. They might have a point. Matt ‘n’ Kat pac’a’mac and put this saying to the test.
Does Rain Really Stop Play?
How many trips have you postponed due to bad weather? You get everything organised, charge all your batteries, plot your route, only to see the dark clouds gathering on your weather app as the ‘predicted precipitation’ grows by the hour.
Or arguably worse is when you ignore the forecast (or forget to check it) and plough ahead anyway but don’t pack the right clothes and end up soaked through, looking for a shortcut to the pub.
If you’re restricting yourself to fair weather exploring due to a lack of good rain gear, you could be missing out on some considerable benefits. We’ve been trialling Stash II raincoats from Aussie outdoor brand, XTM over the last few months. Their lightweight and compact ‘pac-a-macs’ in particular are perfect for throwing in our backpacks when we’ve been determined to get out despite a soggy forecast.
Here’s Why You Should Pack A Stowable Rainjacket
During a recent trip into the Grose Valley we were caught in a thunderstorm but marched on and got chatting about some of the benefits, big and small, a good raincoat can bring beyond keeping you warm and dry.
First things first, when you’re buying a rainjacket (especially a stowable one) make sure that it’ll actually keep water out! A rating above 5,000mm is generally the standard for light waterproofs, but to be honest you want at least 10,000mm to keep out heavy Aussie storms. Luckily the Stash II’s ticked that box. So onto the benefits.
# 1 You Can Get Out More
Even in Australia, the second driest continent in the world, it rains an average of 90 days a year. Some of our more tropical regions like Cairns can have rain on 119 days or more. That’s nearly a third of the year. Many of us live on the Eastern coast and when it rains here, it can really rain! Think how much more exploring you could do if you weren’t limited to the sunny days.
# 2 You Can Dodge The Crowds
Another benefit, and one of our favourites, is rain really thins the crowds. If you don’t like stepping aside every 10 minutes to let another group pass by, or queuing for your turn at a look out, getting out in the wind and rain is a great solution. The majority of people will have canceled their plans and stayed closer to home, leaving you to enjoy some peace and quiet.
# 3 Connect With Nature Not Instagram
If it’s raining, you probably don’t want to get your phone out every 5 minutes to update the world with another Instagram Story. Bad weather keeps your phone firmly in your waterproof pocket and means you can look up and appreciate the wonderful, wet world around you.
While we’re on the topic of nature, it’s important to make sure you’re buying gear from an ethical brand. We were stoked to see that the XTM Stash II’s (and the whole range) are carbon neutral and that the company has a strong policy on social responsibility.
# 4 Enjoy The Waterfalls
The fourth benefit is waterfalls. If your chosen area has been getting some rainfall recently, there’s a good chance any waterfalls are going to be in fine flow. Perfect if you’re a photographer looking for a dreamy, silky smooth long exposure shot, or a hiker looking for some natural majesty.
# 5 Mental Wellbeing
The most interesting benefit comes from the waterfalls and rainstorms themselves. They physically change the air around them. Stripping out particles like dust and pollution, while generating negatively charged ions. The effect of this cleaner, more negatively charged air on the brain is the release of serotonin, a feel good hormone that’s scientifically proven to counteract the effects of depression. The purer air also makes you feel more alert and awake.
Get Outside, Feel Great — It’s That Simple
In fact, improved mental wellbeing is connected to all of the benefits above. More time outside, less bustle, less distractions and a better connection with nature can have a profoundly positive effect on your mental state, including reduced stress, reduced anxiety and a clearer mind, among others.
So next time the weather forecast takes a turn for the worse, don’t be so discouraged. With the right clothing, there are a lot of benefits to getting out in the rain, the biggest being your mental health.
‘There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes’. Maybe it’s no coincidence Scandinavian countries consistently rank as the happiest in the world…
Waterfall chasing, the perfect wet weather adventure