By Ilan Stein
April Showers bring May flowers, as the old saying goes. April showers indeed, as it has been raining fiercely and decently often recently here in the Mid-Atlantic. Oftentimes, the rain is a sign to stay inside, but it doesn’t necessarily need to be a deterrent from enjoying the outdoors. With good preparation, you too can still have fun even when it's pouring outdoors.
When it’s raining, there are plenty of outdoor activities that can still be done safely, as well as others that should be avoided or done with caution. As far as biking, it is okay to ride while conditions are wet, however it should be avoided if possible, as it can be dangerous. However, if you do find yourself riding in the rain, make sure you wear visible clothing and take descents and corners slower, as traction will be greatly decreased. Additionally, be wary of water and mud flying into your eyes from the wind and from being spun up by the tires.
Another activity, hiking can be an extremely adventurous activity to do in the rain, as long as you are aware of the increased risks of slipping on wet surfaces. Getting muddy and wet while visiting a trail can make the experience more memorable and can shed light on a new type of outdoor experience. Not only that, but pushing through these conditions also builds mental strength and character. The same goes for other activities such as walks or runs, as they are extremely fun in the rain as long as extra precautions are taken to avoid slipping and falling.
With so many fun things to do even with the rain, the question of what gear to bring comes to mind. What is the best gear one should bring to be best prepared for the conditions? First off, a good quality rain jacket that isn’t too bulky can keep you mostly dry even in the worst of downpours. When looking for a solid and trusty rain jacket, seek out something with waterproof fabric, and not just water repellent materials. Additionally, make sure that the jacket is breathable and has a hood that will prevent your head/hair from being soaked. Finally, you’ll want to consider wearing quick-dry socks and bringing an extra pair as it's quite easy for your feet to get soaked in the presence of large puddles. All in all, hopefully these tips serve as a good starting point for taking your next rainy day as an opportunity to experience something new, exciting, and ambitious outdoors.