Inexpensive rain gear?

Old Feb 24th, 2005, 07:39 AM
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Inexpensive rain gear?

Hey Everyone! I have seen alot of suggestions for rain gear, zip off pants...etc We'll be in Arenal and then La Paz the first week of May. I'm not sure how cool it will get, but I can bring short and long sleeved clothes. I'm not too concerned about the temps. My concern is the rain gear. I'm not generally an outdoors person, so I don't want to spend a bunch of money on camping/hiking gear. Any recommendations where I can get some less expensive windbreakers and water proof pants? Also, what sorts of shoes do you recommend for our simple walks (hanging bridges, Lap paz, canopy tour...etc) For rafting, do you think some Teva like sandals will be ok? Or will the hike part be tough in those? What clothes do you all recommend for rafting?

Thanks!
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Old Feb 24th, 2005, 08:05 AM
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Get one or two of the disposable hooded ponchos. They're PERFECT for CR. The thinnest/cheapest are folded up and sold as small as a man's wallet. The next thickness is as big as a paperback book (we bought three of these, used two, never opened the spare). Easy to use if needed. Easy to carry if unneeded.
... a couple dollars at Target, RiteAid, Fred Meyer, etc... I wore a single long sleeve teeshirt and the poncho, and I was just right.

I didn't bother with any waterproof pants. They stayed dry under the poncho.

The ponchos would be a drag with very high wind and miserable weather, but it's doubtful you'll see that.

Hiking boots are best, sneakers with tread work ok too. You'll want traction. Avoid flat bottom sneakers.

For rafting, yes, tevas or beach sandals are fine. Take NOTHING on the raft that can't get soaked, and buy or make a strap for glasses/sunglasses. All the tour companies take your backpack with all your dry stuff to the finish spot.

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Old Feb 24th, 2005, 08:28 AM
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For rafting: bathing suit, t-shirt, sandals, sunglasses, sunscreen!
baseball hat will usually fit under the safety helmet, but i tried it on and decided the helmet alone provided enough sun protection.
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Old Feb 24th, 2005, 08:38 AM
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I have found some relatively inexpensive convertible pants and other clothing on the REI.com website. Within the site is a link to the REI Outlet website which has clearance items - found many things here for $20 and under.
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Old Feb 24th, 2005, 09:12 AM
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Another suggestion for rain jacket. I have one from WalMart, that folds into itself to form a pouch. The pouch has loops, some have a hook, to attach to a belt or belt loop. Not only do I use this for CR, but it comes in handy for a lightweight rainjacket here at home as well as a lightweight jacket for boating.

I agree, don't spend a bunch on things you may never need again. However after this trip to CR you may get addicted!

Bass Pro Shops (they also have a website) also have a good selection. I know we typically think of these type places for hunting and fishing, but they also carry inexpensive clothing for travel. This is also where I purchased my Columbia sandals for $29.

I do recommend the zipoff pants, quite handy for those Cool Mornings - Warm days. Lightweight, easy to pack and dry quick.

Other than the sandals, I normally carry a tennis shoe style hiking/walking shoe.

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Old Feb 24th, 2005, 04:53 PM
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Take a tip from the ticos. You will not see folks who live here in Costa Rica wearing any sort of raingear. An umbrella is all you need, especially in May, when the rainy season is just beginning and the rains come for an hour more or less each afternoon with perfect weather before and after. Raingear is hot and makes you sweat whether it is raining or not.

The only exception I have seen is at a place such as Tortuguero where it can come a deluge at any time. There, folks wear ponchos, or at least keep one handy.

Otherwise, just buy a compact little umbrella (color for women, black only for men), and do as the ticos do.
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Old Feb 24th, 2005, 05:53 PM
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True, Ticos use umbrellas for quick bursts, and good point about the sweating and non-breathing rainwear. Lightweight-thin and open is the ticket, not actual "raingear"

But for visitors (and tico guides) in rainforests and on tours, I asked my tour operator (Tico) about an umbrella prior to our trip. He said "you won't be seeing umbrellas on the tours.. take the lightweight ponchos or light hooded jacket" and he was absolutely right.

I hiked some nice trails in the rain where there was little trail width.. glad I wasn't dealing with an umbrella in one hand.

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Old Feb 25th, 2005, 04:13 AM
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I didn't see anyone, Ticos included, hiking through the rain or cloud forest with an umbrella. It would be very impractical.
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Old Feb 25th, 2005, 09:52 AM
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Where is a good place to get these thin disposable ponchos? What do they cost?
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Old Feb 25th, 2005, 03:13 PM
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You can buy ponchos everywhere in costa rica 3-5 $.
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Old Feb 25th, 2005, 03:17 PM
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All of my environmentally conscious Trekker pals recommend light weight inexpensive hiking boots. I really needed the boot support on many more strenuous trails in CR.
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Old Feb 25th, 2005, 05:36 PM
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I lived in my zip-into-shorts lightweight long pants that are a microfibre that dries quickly. Also a a long-sleeved "T" with moisture wicking fabric that was terrific. Definately good hiking shoes (wear them in first) for rainforest treks. Brought those envelope-sized Ponchos and never used them (got ours at our local drug store for $5). Purchased a small water-proof pouch to carry money, ID, etc., which came in quite handy. My favorite: a glorified fanny pack that held all essentials for a day, plus could clip my water bottle to it, and stayed much cooler wearing it around my waist instead of the rest of our group who were sweating to death under their backpacks. The other thing...if it is very humid when you are going, it will take days to line dry (even in AC hotels) undies, socks, etc. Those miracle fabrics really do dry overnight.
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Old Feb 27th, 2005, 09:54 AM
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Where can I get those nylon pants that zip or snap into shorts? Which stores here? As you may guess, shopping is not my expertise.
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