The Monsoon Packing Guide For Trekkers

Prepare for the monsoon's embrace with waterproof gear and unwavering spirit as nature's symphony plays through rain-soaked trails
Tweak your packing list for the rainy season
Tweak your packing list for the rainy season

It might seem counterintuitive, but there are real benefits to travelling somewhere during the rainy season. Because the rainy season tends to be the "off" season for tourism, you'll encounter fewer crowds and pay better prices on everything from hotels to popular activities. Your travel budget will stretch further, and you'll rack up many unique experiences.

If you plan to travel somewhere rainy, you'll need to tweak your packing list to account for sudden downpours, muddy walkways, etc. Whether taking a road trip, camping, or something else, you can weatherize your suitcase and gear with these packing tips for rainy destinations.


A windcheater or poncho is a must-have for any rainy destination. Opt for thin, breathable materials that will pack down and take up little space in your bag, especially if you're concerned about packing light. Ideally, the jacket should include an overhanging hood to keep the rain off your face and be large, so you have room to layer clothing underneath it. While you may also want to bring a travel umbrella, windcheaters will be much more effective for protecting you in windy places where rain whips in from all sides. Plus, many hotels offer umbrellas for guest use. Inquire at the front desk if you'd like to borrow one.

Invest in Quick-Drying Clothing

If you're heading to a rainy area, cotton is not your friend. It soaks moisture like a sponge and takes forever to dry&mdashditto for denim. So leave behind the classic tees and jeans and bring along quick-drying clothing instead. Polyester-based and other synthetic fabrics (and most clothing tailored for exercise) should fit the bill. Bringing these fabrics will reduce the risk of clothes staying damp and mildewing in your suitcase. As a bonus, these materials are much less bulky than cotton and denim&mdashso you'll save room (and weight) in your bag.

Waterproof Boots

Let's cut to the chase If you're travelling somewhere rainy, leave your favourite kicks at home (unless they are waterproof). Travelling typically involves lots of walking outside, potentially on slippery surfaces, so your footwear should be up for the challenge (and you shouldn't be devastated if your shoes get ruined). Opt for waterproof rain boots or hiking boots if you have the room, or pack old sneakers or sturdy sandals that you don't mind getting muddy or wet. While it might be tempting to toss in a pair of flip-flops and call it a day, be aware that they provide no traction&mdashso it's best to opt for something less likely to send you tumbling to the sidewalk.

Microfibre Travel Towel

These handy towels are incredibly lightweight, compact, and quick-drying&mdashwhich means they're perfect for drying off after getting caught in the rain. They're convenient for travellers who stay in hostels (since many hostels charge a towel fee) or plan to camp (since you're responsible for bringing all your necessities with you).


In many parts of the world, the rainy season is accompanied by rolling blackouts, so having your lighting source is immensely helpful. Packing a compact, lightweight flashlight or headlamp (and keeping it on your person at all times) will ensure you're never trapped in the dark. Remember to put in a fresh pair of batteries before leaving for your trip.

In addition to these items, being creative when travelling somewhere rainy is essential. You must devise a plan B (or C or D) when you can't tolerate wandering sopping-wet streets another day. The good news is that following these packing tips will significantly decrease rain's impact on your trip.

Cover photo credit Shutterstock

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