When you are travelling as a backpacker in a monsoon area and in a monsoon month, how do you do to "survive" when a heavy rain catches you in the middle of nowhere?

I've heard about people that puts their clothes into bags and put on a plastic cover for the backpack and a raincoat over all this. Is that right?

  • are you talking just about your gear and stuff you have on you, or also 'survival' stuff like finding safe drinking water and the like?
    – Mark Mayo
    Jun 25, 2012 at 21:17
  • Only about my gear and stuff :)
    – Ivan
    Jun 25, 2012 at 22:09

2 Answers 2


There's a great eHow article on this very topic.

But yes, as far as your backpack goes, most backpacks seem to have raincovers these days. I also carry an emergency poncho for myself, although I've only ever used one once (Iguazu Falls).

In addition you can wrap your clothes in plastic bags INSIDE your backpack. Don't forget to double bag your electronics. Clothes can dry, not all electronics can.

You can also put plastic bags around your shoes, if it's really wet, but you may find it hard to walk in them.

Best answer is to seek shelter as soon as possible, and then do what the locals do.

  • Great article!!
    – Ivan
    Jun 25, 2012 at 22:11

You can use one of these solutions, or probably a combination of them if you are very concerned about your gear:

  • Backpack rain cover: simple & can be very cheap. But probably not the best if you have electronic to protect or other sensitive items.
  • aloksak waterproof bags/pouches: they have them in different sizes, from big (welcoming a 15'' computer) too small (for your passport or smartphone). I used these when in Borneo during the mansoon, worked perfectly.
  • Dry bag: coming in different sizes (5L, 10L, 20L & more). Make sure it has a shoulder strap otherwise it's useless.
  • Dry backpack: same as a dry bag, but the backpack version. So 2 shoulder straps, more comfortable to carry, and a few extra pockets.

One other thing, make sure you have a good rain jacket, whatever you put in your pockets will end up completely wet otherwise. I learned that the hard way.

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