Early last December I went out for two days, recognizing that we would be having continuous heavy rains as forecasted. I bush-whacked up The Needles mountain as a test of my minimal emergency (rain) provisions. This extended into the early evening with darkness.
I was wearing eVent jacket and pants over hiking clothing. The hike was about six hours of medium rain exposure; this eventually wetted the inside face but not my inner layers (I endeavoured not to sweat much, and ventilated often). My shelter was merely a I.D. silponcho/tarp (which I did not wear during the hike). My bedding was a W.M. summer rated sleeping bag inside a thin bivy bag over a mattress of evergreen bows. For pajamas, I had a down sweater, toque, and gloves over my inner layers.
- The poncho/tarp with string line was the most essential item for this event.
- The bivy bag was probably more important than the inner sleeping bag, if I had only one of the two. Bivy bag kept me dry and stopped any cooling from convective air.
- Quality hiking boots kept my feet warm.
- Gloves in the rain eventually (and soon) fail. Goretex over-mittens was the remedy.
- Compass and water-proofed map was essential for navigating both during daytime in heavy rain (even paths disappear with the confusing glitter of wet ground) and dark evening.
- Headlamp is essential to continue hiking in the early evening and setting camp.
On the lighter side:
- I tried but had no hope of starting a fire. It was raining!
- What is a pocket knife for ... I bring it but never need to use one.
- I don't need to bring water; just bring a bottle. Rain pours off the tarp into my bottle.