I scoured the sale racks and clearance sections of EMS, REI, LLBean, Campmore, and Outdoor World for all the usual waterproof suspects. Rain jacket. Rain pants. Rain hat. Pack cover. Tent with Rainfly. Waterproof stuff sacks. Garbage bags. So it seems that I have all my basis covered.
Well, yes. And no.
It seems that there is waterproof, and then there is technical waterproof. One is like the yellow slickers we all went to elementary school in. Repels water for sure, but also makes a nice, drizzly April morning like the surface of the sun! Which is where technical waterproof picks up. Through the magic of modern technology, it makes things both waterproof and breathable.
Breathable-waterproof items are apparently made of breathable fabric that is coated with water repellent polymers that bind to the fabric. While I'm sure any one of my nerdy ex-boyfriends could explain in explicit detail the ins and outs of water repellent polymers, the only important thing that sticks in my mind is that after while, the water repellent coating wears off. Which means that the very same tent that ensures the exhaled vapor from my mouth doesn't make the inside of the tent like a tropical rain forest may after time not ensure that the tropical rainforest outside of the tent stays on the outside.
Why does it always seem like hyphens make everything complicated? Breathable-waterproof started out so promising and end up being just another pain in the water repellent polymer!
Enter Nik Wax.
Interestingly, most breathable-water repellent apparel suggests spraying with Nik Wax BEFORE even taking it out the first time! You would think that after forking out the extra money to get hyphenated rainwear (or in my case, scouring in the sales racks and clearance sections to that I DIDN'T have to fork out the extra money) that it would be ready to go. Apparently not.
Which is how last Saturday afternoon, after my training hike, found me waterproofing all my gear.
But now, I'm all good to go.
Now, if I could just find a way to keep the rain from turning my hair all frizzy, I'd REALLY be all set.