How to Walk in the Rain

Walking in the Rain Isn't All Wet

Walking Through Puddle in Rain
Walking Through Puddle in Rain. Mike Harrington/Photographer's Choice RF/Getty Images

Yes, you can walk in the rain. Your body is drip-dry. You are not made of sugar and you won't melt in the rain. Most of us had concerned mothers who wouldn't let us step outside without being swathed in all manner of rain gear, and thought we would surely die if we got wet.

You won't. Trust me. There is no reason to stop walking just because the rainy season has arrived. Whether the weather is giving you April showers or autumn drizzle, you can boldly walk among the raindrops and survive.

Rain Walking Tip #1: Walk with an Umbrella

Umbrellas probably work best for standing rather than for walking, especially for walking in rain accompanied by wind. But they are made for the purpose of keeping you dry as you stroll, and they are your best choice if you don't have a waterproof jacket.
Top Picks for Umbrellas

  • Umbrellas are best in moderately-hard rain where even with waterproof gear, you couldn't keep the rain out. An umbrella will keep more water from running down your coat or rain poncho and soaking into your pants.
  • Umbrellas are a poor choice in windy conditions. Often they invert and break in wind gusts. Look for umbrellas that are wind-tested and strengthened against inverting and breaking.
  • A lightweight, compact, telescoping umbrella can be carried in your pack, purse or in your hand while walking. It is a good choice to bring along for intermittent rain showers or "just in case."
  • Umbrellas are useful to have if you need to defend against a dog attack. Open the umbrella in the dog's face to startle him and distract him from the attack. Put the umbrella between you and the dog and he may be deterred from attacking an opponent that suddenly appears to be much larger.
  • A sturdy stick umbrella can be used as a self-defense weapon in a pinch.
  • Rain showers prefer to rain on those who don't carry umbrellas. You will keep the rain away just by carrying an umbrella. It may be superstitious, but my practical experience shows that carrying an umbrella on a 10K, two-hour volkssport walk prevents rain most of the time.
  • If you walk in low light conditions, look for an umbrella that has a reflective canopy or a reflective stripe around it. This will help keep you safer when crossing the street. Visibility will be worse for drivers when it is raining, so if you umbrella doesn't have these features, buy some reflective tape and add it yourself.

Umbrella Walking Etiquette

  • If you are walking with a partner, either both of you should have an umbrella or neither should, to reduce conflict.
  • Take care when passing others that you don't poke them with the umbrella, whether furled or unfurled. I have often been menaced by a wicked-looking stick umbrella jauntily carried on someone's shoulder and swinging around unconcerned for those in the vicinity.

Umbrella Care

  • After the walk, set​ the opened umbrella out to dry in a warm area before rolling it up, to prevent mildew.
  • Check your umbrella for wear and tear after you use it. If you see any rips, bent or broken ribs, etc. it is wise to look for a new umbrella.

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