A waterproof jacket serves two functions – to keep you dry and to keep the wind out. Cheaper plastic or nylon raincoats are good for keeping the rain out, but unfortunately they do not breathe meaning that you’ll still get wet from condensation and not really suitable for any walk.
By far the best jackets are made from waterproof AND breathable fabrics such as Gore-Tex. These wick your body moisture through the Gore-Tex material to the outside of the jacket through one-way pores. Goretex and other similar jackets aren’t cheap but most of the quality outdoor equipment stores have sales where prices can often be reduced by substantial amounts. And they last a lifetime!
Your waterproof jacket is a practical item, designed to keep you warm, dry and comfortable in the bush and warm in areas where there is arisk of being cold.
We’re often asked about waterproof clothing in the tropics. If the tropical area is warm to hot then just get wet – you’ll dry out soon enough. However, Auswalk’s Tropical Hiker trip also includes some walking on the Atherton Tablelands. Temperatures can drop quite low here so you will need a waterproof jacket.