While it is pretty obvious that we need protection against the sun and rain, some travellers forget that the weather can be way more intense in other countries. Especially when you are travelling equator regions for the first time you should spend some extra time to think about proper protection.
You usually don’t always want to hide from rain when you are on a trip around the world. Time is just too precious to be wasted waiting until the rain passes. Also, it’s not always possible. Sometimes you want to catch a train/bus/boat and you won’t wait for the next one just because it’s raining. Different countries have different methodes:
- Rain jacket and umbrella: While that is usually the choice in moderate climate it is not really good for long or heavy rain. Both just redirect the rain downwards, but not really cover you from it. I have tried many rain jackets that were praised as waterproof. Yes they are, if it’s raining mildly or you are not in the rain for too long. At some point they all get soaked through though, no matter what. Rain jackets should rather be used to protect yourself from wind and mild rain.
- Rain poncho: Especially when you are travelling tropical regions you won’t see anyone wearing a rain jacket. Everybody is wearing a rain poncho since it’s the only real protection from heavy rain. Yes, they don’t look too sexy, but trust me you will love them. You can get a cheap poncho basically everywhere, they are mostly of very poor quality and tend to break quite easily though. It’s probably better to buy a good one in your homecountry.
During a backpacking trip it’s just half the job to protect yourself from rain. Depending on the equipment you are travelling with a wet backpack can be very expensive. Some ponchos may be big enough to cover your backpack aswell, you don’t want to put on your poncho everytime it starts to rain though. The obvious solution would be to buy a water resistant backpack, but that is pretty much the same as with the rain jackets. Yes, it is water resistant, but not forever. Here are some other ways to keep your expensive equipment dry:
- Buy an extra rain cover for your backpack: That has several advantages, besides keeping your backpack dry. It will protect it from dirt and damage aswell. Cleaning or repairing your rain cover is way easier than cleaning or repairing your backpack. It’s also way cheaper to replace a rain cover than a backpack.
- Use plastic bags: You get one pretty much everytime you are in the supermarket. Don’t throw them away, use them again as a moisture protection for vulnerable equipment. It might also help to keep order, since things are not just floating around inside your backpack.
- Freezer bags: There is no better way to protect your documents from moisture. You can reuse them after your trip aswell.
A lot of travellers want to come home with a sexy tan, so I know that’s a rather unwanted topic. I’ll add my two cents anyway. I don’t know why and when it has become such a big trend for pale europeans to lay in the sun for hours, to mimic a snake the next day. In the end their skin only turned red. If your skin is not made to turn brown it won’t. Just be happy with your body. Anyways, I suggest to pack atleast a baseball cap and sun protection with proper SPF for the beginning of your trip. Especially if you are in tropical sun for the first time you can easily get a headache and/or sunstroke.
As always you are very welcome to leave additions/suggestions/opinions in the comments!
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