Hiking in the rain can be a real challenge for any hiker. Whether you decide to hike in a rainy region or just get caught in the rain by accident, you need to know what steps to take to feel safe and relatively comfortable - this knowledge is essential even for the sophisticated hiker! Once you prepare for rainy weather, you can enjoy a different side of nature. If you are going to hike in the rain, you need to know how to deal with a sudden storm, how to organize a rainy-weather hike and still not get hurt on wet slick roads.
Wear a raincoat or other protective clothing that you took with you. Any hiker should definitely bring at least the simplest raincoat or some other protective clothing. If you don't have anything that will protect you from the rain, try getting creative and using other items such as a garbage bag you brought just in case, or a tarp.
Move. Even if you are hiding from the rain, you need to move while you wait out the rain to warm up. For example, you can march in place or just step from side to side. The body can get too cold if you get too cold, so try to produce as much heat as possible through muscle contraction.
Find somewhere to wait out the rain. Look around and look for a shelter, a cabin, an abandoned house, or hide under the crown of trees. As a last resort, hide in a tent. If you are planning to set up camp, and you have a tent with a waterproof cover, it may be best to set up your tent and hide in it. If you hear thunder, start looking for shelter right away. Staying outside during a thunderstorm is very dangerous.
Be aware of your surroundings. Rains can cause floods, mudslides, and slippery trails, all of which are very dangerous. So look immediately for signs such as flowing water, rising tide lines, shifting soil, and sheen on the trail surface. If in doubt, find a detour.
Stay away from open fields, high ground, and flooded areas. If you're camping in a thunderstorm, the most life-threatening places are open areas, hills, mountains, trees, rocks, and bodies of water. Most likely, the lightning will strike exactly in these areas. Therefore, you should not pitch your tent there.
If you are in the woods, try to find a small grove, a few trees that are surrounded by taller trees. Try to position yourself in the lowlands themselves.
If you are stuck in an open area, find the lowest place, sit down and try not to touch the ground with your body. Ideally, only the soles of your feet should touch the ground.
If you arrive by car, stay inside, but try not to touch the sides of the car.
Remove hiking poles, wedges, and other outstretched objects. During a thunderstorm, hiking poles and other elongated and pointed objects become excellent conductors for lightning, so they are very dangerous. Protect yourself by placing these objects on the ground away from you.
Pay attention to the changing weather. Check the weather forecast in advance and check it as you hike. Watch for signs of a storm. If strong winds pick up and the sky becomes overcast, consider altering your route a bit and finding a safe spot before the storm hits. It is better to shorten your hike and hide during a storm than to be without shelter in such weather.