What you can learn from a really long walk

Rain gets a bad rap—it can cancel hikes, delay baseball games, and make trails too muddy to ride. But that’s only part of the story. With the right gear and a little planning, there are plenty of outdoor adventures that are actually improved by a sprinkle, drizzle, or straight-up downpour. Here are ten activities that get better when the forecast calls for precipitation.

Oncoming rain can alter all your senses in an instant—it can cool you off, cut the harsh glare and UV light, and thrill you with the crashing thunder. And, as anyone who’s experienced a rain shower in the desert knows, it can release a wonderful scent. Certain plants like creosote bushes become more fragrant, and the rise in humidity flushes oils from dry rocks, creating a scent that Australian scientists have dubbed “petrichor.”

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