Northern Waters - Weather
Weather in the Pacific Northwest
If you know anything about Pacific Northwest weather, you should know it rains here and it rains a lot. In the areas where these trips were made, it rains even more. When you look at the pictures, you will think it is sunny a lot of the time. That is only because I don't tend to take my camera out when it is raining. I think every trip we have taken (except Powell River Canoe Route, which is in a rain shadow) it has rained at least a third of the trip. Some trips it rained the whole trip.
So if you are going to this area, you need to be ok with rain and ok with doing outdoor activities in the rain. "But the Pacific Northwest is famous for outdoor activities!" That's right, and people who live here do these activities in the rain. "What about kids? How do they do in the rain?" Like all kids who have grown up here, our kids don't think too much about the rain until it's a downpour.
"How do you stay dry?" Staying dry is an unrealistic objective when you are out for 7-days, it rains 5 of those days, and you are paddling every day. Take all the fancy Gortex you want, but after a week of rain, you will be damp. The objective is to stay warm and keep your sleeping bag fairly dry (though after a week of rain, it will be damp just from the humidity). You need to pack clothing that will keep you warm even when it is damp and enough calories to generate heat when you are damp. When you pack, take nothing cotton and take shoes that are ok to to wear when wet. Tennis shoes and boots are terrible; they just get wet and stay wet. Also you should perfect your tarp skills---British Columbian outdoors men and women are pros at putting up tarps and there is a very good reason for that!
Learning to keep dry and warm while on a 7-day trip in the rain takes practice. You need to have the right equipment (dry bags and good rain gear), be organized so you don't let stuff get wet, and be really good at setting up tarps. Now we can easily do a 7-day trip in the rain and all our stuff will be fairly dry at the end, but 10-yrs ago, we weren't so good at this and we just had to accept being damp. Best to learn wet camp craft on shorter trips and in areas where you'll only get 2-3 days straight of rain max.
So, just keep this in mind. If you need the weather to be all warm and sunny to be happy on an outdoor trip, then you should maybe look into other areas of the world or head to the Sunshine Coast (W side of the BC mainland) where it is a rain shadow.
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12/4/2013 1:27:02 PM