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Mini August Trip -- Should I invest in rain gear?

St. Louis, MO
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3,472 posts
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Mini August Trip -- Should I invest in rain gear?

We'll be doing a little mini trip to YSNP in early August (just four nights / three days) (no hiking due to son's knee / more driving part of the popular loops stopping at overviews, doing some scenic walks, etc. and ranger evening programs) For lodging we are at Mammoth Lodge, then camping at Canyon for two nights (so pretty outdoorsy there), and then staying at OFI. My question is, do you think I should spend the money to get rain jackets and rain pants for DS and me (DH already has this type of clothing, but DS and I don't)? I would be very interested in hearing your opinion.

Normally DS and I have been fine with rain ponchos that we keep in our backpacks and waterproof winter parkas when it's cold and rainy. I was just planning on fleece jackets covered by rain ponchos on this trip for rainy conditions we might encounter, but am second guessing after hearing advice to bring appropriate rain gear for summer trips. We will have waterproof hiking shoes and boots, so feet should be fine. I could probably even bring DSs parka and think I will throw that in. Mine is going to be too bulky, though, and was thinking I'd maybe just bring both of my fleece jackets for an extra layer. We're flying, so have more space restrictions than we would if we were driving.

Just wondering if you would invest the $400 to $600 in rain gear clothing from an outdoor store like REI just for this trip that you might not use again or even use here if weather is nice. // I know we won't use this kind of clothing in 2014, for example, (tropical warm weather vacations planned -- San Juan and cruise for spring break and Kauai, HI for summer trip). This other has worked fine for us for summer trips to Bryce, Zion, Rocky Mountain National Park, etc., but Yellowstone is further north and could be cooler, especially at night I know (That's why we're doing August).

I'd hate to be miserable on the trip due to not having the right clothing. We do consider going to Yellowstone to be a special trip, not something we do very often and are not opposed to chalking up any special clothing that would be a good idea to have as a vacation expense. On the other hand, I hate wasting money if we don't really need this kind of gear and would be fine with fleece jackets and rain ponchos. // Appreciate any thoughts and opinions.

Mystic, Connecticut
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1. Re: Mini August Trip -- Should I invest in rain gear?

I'm subbing and watching for answers too..... I keep reading about afternoon rainstorms...we all have rainjackets and fleeces, I'm thinking wind/rain pants (the nylon wind type) might be a good idea too? I am planning to birng extra shoes,so if one pair gets wet we can dry the other- not sure why rain gear would be 400.00 though as I've seen it for much less-I got a good raincoat thru Sierra tradingpost on sale-I'm planning on each of us carrying our raingear in a backpack daily no matter what

Green Valley...
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for Yellowstone National Park, Seattle
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2. Re: Mini August Trip -- Should I invest in rain gear?

Well, there are umbrellas for the short time you might be in rain.

The nylon shell jacket/pants is a good idea, and it cuts the wind on chilly days/evenings. Good, too, if you will be standing at the viewpoints watching wildlife. It's pretty much all I use over layering (sweater, shirts, etc.).

Otherwise, a simple hooded parka will do fine, at YNP or most anywhere on your travels.

Spery, Iowa
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3. Re: Mini August Trip -- Should I invest in rain gear?

I wouldn't invest big money in rain gear if you aren't hiking. A more inexpensive waterproof layer on top of your other layers should be fine. I do like pants as well as a jacket, but they don't need to be costly ones, just waterproof for rain and wind. Personally, I find a jacket easier to deal with in the wind than a poncho.

Hopefully you won't need it anyway, but the geysers still go and the animals are still out, so best to be prepared to enjoy it!

Albany, New York
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4. Re: Mini August Trip -- Should I invest in rain gear?

We were there last August first week, we invested nothing in any rain gear at all. We needed our fleece and other layers in the early mornings...temp was 26 degrees one morning!!! But never used any rain gear at all. I know that every year is different, but from what you said you'd be doing, just a poncho or shell would do!!! Enjoy every moment!!! Its spectacular!!!

St. Louis, MO
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5. Re: Mini August Trip -- Should I invest in rain gear?

Thanks everyone. You've stopped my second guessing and now I feel better about our original plan. We'll have some fold up umbrellas too. // It's always a treat for us to go our west and it's been over 10 years since we were in Yellowstone. Really looking forward to the trip.

6. Re: Mini August Trip -- Should I invest in rain gear?

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