Protecting Your Gear
It’s extremely important that essential clothing and gear, including your sleeping bag, be protected from getting wet. This is another truly critical area. It could mean the end of your trip if everything gets soaked. If you’re far from civilization, you could be in a difficult and dangerous situation.
Backpackers should either bring a raincover for the pack, or put important items in securely tied plastic bags inside. Use a plastic bag inside your sleeping bag stuff sack as well for extra protection. Another option for protecting your backpack is to wear a backpack poncho or packframe poncho, which covers the pack while you’re walking. If you’re canoeing or rafting, make sure all luggage is well-protected in case you should capsize.
Whenever you’re away from the campsite, whether for a few minutes or many hours, close everything up in case of possible rain. Remember that even the brightest morning can be followed by heavy afternoon showers, and storms come with very little warning in some mountain areas. Inexperienced campers sometimes leave their campsite for many hours with tents half open, clothing hanging on a line, and even a sleeping bag airing out. Never leave things outside that you wouldn’t want to get wet.
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