Your bag is going to get wet, too, so think about a dry bag. Some bags, like those by Osprey, feature an integrated rain cover that pulls from a hidden compartment. Pretty nifty. My bag: no such thing. I picked up a Sea to Summit dry bag, not only for its water-repellent properties but its compression. It cinches from the top and holds my things in place, so nothing shifts into my bag, and things won’t jangle and collide.
Here’s how the dry bag sits in my pack. It is sitting on my lunch container and a few other waterproof items, like Clif Bars.
Again, you don’t need specialized gear purchases for this. I’ve made do with two plastic grocery bags, usually the heavier type you get from race expos; I’d put one inside the other, mouths opposed, and rain remained at bay. Prepping your dry bag is much like doing so for your pack. Roll your clothes, stuff them carefully inside, and try to keep heavier items closer to where it will rest on your back. I like to put something flat and soft, like a pair of pants, on the back-facing part, to assure I won’t get poked should something shift. You’ll be surprised how much can be compressed into these suckers. Behold, and remember, this excludes my lunch and a few other items:
Jeans; Kindle; pen; wallet; belt and buckle; notebook; long sleeve wool zip; t-shirt; phone; underpants; socks; biscuit sandwich; and extra gloves.
PLANNING, PUDDLES, AND RELISHING RAIN
Rain commuting is little different from regular run commuting, as I have said. Most notably, you’ll be checking the weather forecast routinely. It is not bad practice to keep some plastic bags at the office, in case it is sunny when you decide you’ll run home, but a squall descends. Too, as mentioned above, consider the logistics of dealing with clothes that will be wetter than when merely sweaty. And heading home in the rain is of less consequence. There you have all you need for disposal, cleanup, and squeegeeing.
Here’s where the fun of rain running, and rain run commuting, enters: the chaos. It will completely alter the atmosphere of what sometimes can become a stuffy routine. The sounds, smells, sights are all different: cars humming down roads shimmering with rain; amber street lamps beaming like beacons all around; an added challenge in a downpour, like nature pushing back against you, or refreshing if it is a mist or drizzle. Skipping over puddles, leaping ditches that overflow.
Occasionally a car will hit a gutter or deep puddle, sending a wave crashing up and into you. What can you do then but laugh? From start to finish, embrace a rain commute and reap from it what enjoyment you can.