Waterproof gear for C2C - Irish Sea to North Sea - what is best?

What are the best waterproof gear options for hiking in Northern England for the C2C walk?

How do you choose the best clothing to keep warm and dry?

We received an email from Joan seeking advice on what are her best options for rain protection when she undertakes the Coast To Coast Walk from the Irish Sea to the North Sea .

Because we are in Australia, and have no idea what the conditions are like, we decided to post the question here.

So, calling all "Our Hiking Blog" readers, please leave a comment with your opinion so Joan can get as much advice as possible regarding her waterproof clothing choice for this 12 day hiking journey.

Leon, Alan and Frank - Overland Track May 08 - ready for the rain that lasted 4 days! Frank and Leon in Gortex, Alan in more lightweight gear - we all eventually got slightly wet....

Here is Joan's question:


I am planning to hike the C2C (Irish Sea to the North Sea - 190 miles) in England, have gortex boots, gaiters and a pack cover. I am trying to decide what the best, light raingear will be and would appreciate your advise.

I have some older (heavy) gortex gear, i.e., pants & jacket, and I have some lightweight "waterproof" gear (marmot precip jacket and pants). I am leaning toward going with the lighter gear and carrying a poncho to add another layer if the rain gets heavy. What do you think?

Thanks for the great website/blog!

Joan M.

Related Post
Best Hiking Clothes for a Multiday walk

Please drop us a comment so that others, especially Joan, can share in your wisdom.


Maple Kiwi said...

I've done a fair bit of rainy walking here in New Zealand.
My experience is that regardless of how much waterproof clothing you use, if it rains hard enough for long enough you will get wet!
My advice is to absolutely ensure that your pack contents stay dry, so that when you reach your destination you can change out of your wet stuff into warm, dry clothing.
Pack covers are OK, but not as effective as a liner bag. You can use a dry bag, a pack liner, or even a large rubbish bag. Pack everything that needs to stay dry into the liner bag and tie off the top with a rubber band. This works even if you accidentally put your pack down in a puddle, or even slip and fall in a stream and dunk it.

dave hanlon said...

I know the north of england very well. I was born and raised in the north-west and cut my teeth on much of the country the coast to coast passes through. Yes it can be wet but the essential characteristic of the weather in that part of the world is that its changable. The English lakes boasts the wetest location in England (borrowdale) but a quick google will tell you that even neighbouring valleys can be much drier. You shouldn't be preparing for all-out wet but for bits of everything! The key is to use layers and lots of them since it will give you what you most need: flexibility. My set-up for trips including wild camping (i.e. nights out also): Marino wool base layer, Micro fleece, pertex windshirt, goretex paclite jacket, insulating jacket (in my case mostly down but also synthetic-most people would say synthetic is better suited to the Uk since it functions wet but I've always been able to keep down dry and only use it when I'm static). Combinations of these five layers should see you trough eveything. Legs and feet: good quick drying trousers and paclite rain pants. Some would say gortex lined boots get too hot but I like dry feet so I use them. Ponchos are a very bad idea for the UK in my opinion. With a poncho wind is your enemy and we've got plenty of that(again thats subjective some do use ponchos). The marmot shell is all you will need for a summer crossing. I would only use a heavier goretex shell in late season/winter conditions but even then its debatable if its necessary. The previous advice is spot on. Use a good pack liner and make sure you keep your extra insulation dry (eg. down jacket/sleeping bag/dry socks in a dry bag).

Would be happy to have a further exchange if it helps.

Frank and Sue said...

Thanks very much for your valuable input and comments Michelle and Dave.
This blogging stuff can be weird at times, I have not heard back from Joan since I replied to her and said I would "ask a few questions"
Both comments excellent information and I totally agree