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25939Re: [John Muir Trail] Sun and Rain Protection

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  • John Ladd
    Dec 2, 2012
      On Sun, Dec 2, 2012 at 1:47 PM, Barbara Karagosian <barbara@...> wrote:

      Re rain in the Sierra. It rained very afternoon during my 2 + weeks last August, plus a good couple of thunder and lightning events with downpours. Some say that's unusual, tho I'm in the Sierras every year off and on in July/August/ September, and often get some rain. So, just be prepared! 

      Maybe I'm unlucky, but I also have Barbara's experience. Short afternoon thunderstorms have been frequent (and welcome, because I love how they cool me off).  But I'd say at least half of my Sierra trips have had at least one nighttime rain (some short and some most of the night) and about one out of three have had a multi-hour rain during at least one day. 

      I wouldn't worry that much about an umbrella and lightening. Most (all?) places where you wouldn't want the umbrella up, you don't want to be without the umbrella either.  You just don't want either the umbrella or your head or your tent poles to be the highest point within about a 50 foot radius.  You also don't want to be close to the highest thing within 50 feet as current flows out from the base of anything hit.

      Lots of good lightning advice here:

      Following the advice there is more significant, I think, than the use or avoidance of an umbrella

      I'm a big fan of good raingear, in part because it has additional uses for wind protection and warmth. You can even wear it inside a sleeping bag for a vapor barrier on really cold nights. 


      In extreme cold conditions (which are very dry due to cold air not being able to hold moisture), you should consider a vapor barrier liner or vapor barrier clothing. These can limit the cooling caused by evaporative heat loss and reduce the water needed to stay hydrated, but may feel clammy at warmer temperatures.
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