Man and woman hiking in the rain.
OUTDOOR LIFE

The 5 Best Activities To Do Outside in the Rain

Don’t let the rain keep you inside—here’s a list of fun things to do outdoors
Just because it’s raining outside doesn’t mean you need to be cooped up indoors all day. In fact, as long as you have a high-quality rain jacket and know how to properly layer, splashing around outdoors can be really fun. It adds a sense of adventure to whatever you’re doing and it lends novelty to everyday activities. Plus, if you’re doing cardio-based activities like hiking or trail running, you won’t have to worry about overheating in the sun or feeling hot and sticky.

Below are some of the best activities to do in the rain to give you some ideas for your next wet-weather excursion.
Woman climbing down a rocky slope in the rain.

1. Go for a “Rainy-Day Hike”

Whether you’re exploring lush green forests or trekking through stormy mountain ranges, there’s something magical about hiking in the rain. The leaves are covered in raindrops and the desert canyons are blanketed in a misty fog. Not only that, the fair-weather hikers are all at home, so you’ll have the trails all to yourself. Just be sure to invest in a good pair of waterproof hiking boots. If possible, aim for options with advanced traction features such as Omni-Grip that perform better on slippery surfaces.

For help choosing a hiking boot, check out our guide on How to Pick Waterproof Shoes for Any Outdoor Activity.
Close up of person holding a mushroom.

2. ​Become a Mushroom Hunter

Rainy season is the best time of year for hunting mushrooms. Fungi love wet weather and they tend to proliferate after big storms. Whether you’re foraging for chanterelles, morels, hedgehogs, lion’s mane, or other fungal varieties, you’re bound to reap a plentiful harvest on rainy days. Although you may hear some folks argue that mushrooms need a few days of sunshine after a heavy rain to “pop,” in reality, there are just as many treasures to be found during rainstorms as there are immediately after. If you do venture out, however, be sure to dress properly, and if you plan on consuming anything, consult an expert first.

To better understand different waterproofing types, check out How To Stay Dry: Types of Waterproofing.
Foggy morning in a forested landscape.

3. Snap Some Stormy Shots

Sure, a bright and sunny day generally lends itself to beautiful photographs, but shooting in the rain can create a mystical look that’s hard to rival. On top of all the foggy landscape shots, there are tons of opportunities for close-ups and macro shots that look exceptional in the rain—things like raindrops on leaves, dew-covered insects, and water droplets hitting the ground. Your pictures will be unique and you’ll have an exciting adventure in the process. To prevent water damage, be sure to protect your camera with a rain cover or water housing.

For more outdoor photography ideas, check out How to Shoot Better Sunsets on Your Outdoor Adventure.
Man standing on a street corner in the rain.

4. ​Take a Misty Trek Through Town

If you’re not up for a full-blown adventure into the woods, you can still have a great time outside in the rain around town. Walk through the parks, stroll along the piers, and appreciate how pretty your city looks when it’s covered in water. You can opt for a solo hike to explore your town’s hidden gems or take a romantic couples walk. (Hardcore rain lovers can plan a “wet picnic” with thermoses of hot cocoa.) Or, if you’ve got kids, call it an “adventure walk” and go splish-splashing through the rain puddles.

For tips on finding the right raincoat, check out How To Shop for a Rain Jacket.
Man running down a muddy trail in the rain.

5. Give Muddy Trail Running a Try

Think running on trails is just for summertime? Think again. As long as you have a solid pair of waterproof trail running shoes, you’ll find this type of trail experience extra fun and adventurous. It’s a fantastic workout, and all the mud makes for a messy good time—after your run, you’ll look and feel like a total badass. Just be sure to choose running shoes with good traction such as Omni-Grip or other anti-slip features—and be careful on those slippery trails.

For ideas on how to stay warm, check out these tips for How to Run More When It’s Freezing Outside.
Need some wet-weather gear? Check out Columbia Sportswear's rainwear