It’s only with proper clothing that you can remain warm, comfortable and even safe. The Layered-dressing style that you use for Himalayan treks can be used in Sahyadris as well. The major difference is that the warm layering used in the Himalayas has no work here.
Let’s start from the basic inner liners.
The worst difficulty while trekking in rainy season is getting rashes on your inner thighs. The main reason behind this is the fats on your body. Using rough inner wears and they getting wet while trekking, makes it more difficult, giving you even more rashes. (I have seen trekkers walking with their legs widespread; as if carrying a football between their thighs.) The best way to tackle this is to wear no inner garments as the commandos do. (Not sure about this. But heard it somewhere). Many won’t be comfortable with this; so one can opt for polyester quick dry innerwear, which are easily available these days. You can also get trek pants with joint netted inners to the same.
A regular trekker won’t face such problems. Firstly, because he gets used to this. Second, he has already lost the extra fat on his thighs. Thus, regular trekking is the ultimate way to avoid this. Also, your home remedies of applying oils or powders would help. Microderm/ Candid B are some medical powders which can also help in preventing skin diseases.
Main Clothing: Using quick dry clothes in rainy season is the best option. One has to maintain his body temperature while trekking. And your body is bound to lose temperature because of rains and body wetness. But your wet clothes will also further drain more heat out of your body. Later your body will spend a lot of energy in gaining this lost heat. Thus tiring you out earlier than regular.
“It’s a rainy trek, and so I don’t need a jacket.” Seen many people saying this… boasting about themselves. And then seen many of them getting ill with fever and cold after the trek. So better not to fall for such unwanted heroic acts.
Jackets: Three types of rainy jackets that can be opted for Sahyadris are: Raincoat / Windcheaters, and Ponchos.
Raincoats can be useful to protect you from waters, to such an extent that even one drop won’t enter inside the raincoat. But raincoats will also prevent air from going in. This will make you all sweaty, while trekking. Raincoats are therefore a very good option to be used for your daily city life, but not for treks.
Poncho – is also a nice option. It is big enough to protect you and your bag. But sometimes it becomes inconvenient to walk on narrow paths because of its length. So you have to take utter care of your poncho not getting stuck anywhere.
It still is fun to get yourself drenched in the rain waters while trekking. But do remember to wear your jacket/poncho whenever you take halts. Cause while walking your body generates heat, but when you halt, you will need an extra layer to stop the wind hitting on your wet clothes and decreasing your body temperature.
Cap: It is a scientifically proven fact that the heat from your body gets out mostly from our head and toes. One (especially girls) can wear shower-cap to protect your hair from getting wet. And a cap can be kept handy always. Dry out your hair as much as possible once you are done with your trek.
Shoes and Socks: Keeping your legs dry is a difficult task. Waterproof shoes are available in the market these days. But they are of no use in Sahyadris as the water level is generally higher than your shoe height. And the waters are bound to go in. Now the waters once in, would not come out if the shoes are waterproof. Therefore non-waterproof / water resistant or even netted shoes will work well while trekking in the rainy season. Also, read How to choose your trekking shoes.
A thin pair of socks to be used inside your shoes, which won’t hold more waters. Applying some Vaseline before wearing your socks can be a good idea for rainy treks. Don’t forget to carry extra socks to change after your trekking is done.
That’s it. I hope this article helps you in gearing up with clothing for your next rainy trek in Sahyadris. Do share if you think this can be useful to others.
Original Content: Diwakar Satam, Translated to English by Nilesh Patil.