The last weeks of summer in Seattle aren’t going to bring beach weather, but that doesn’t mean you should let the season just slip away. Temperatures are still mild and there will be plenty of sun breaks to take advantage of (hello, rainbows!). So pack for the weather and draw out the summer outdoors season just a little longer.
Heavy tree cover and no crowds (hallelujah!) make a drizzly morning the perfect time for a hike. Watch the weather and hit one of the close-in hikes you’ve been avoiding all summer due to the teeming masses.
You’ll need a waterproof jacket, of course, and late summer is a great time to find one on sale. Seattle’s Outdoor Research’s Helium II Jacket ($111–$159 at outdoorresearch.com), for instance, is on sale in several colors. Its treated nylon fabric provides 100% waterproof protection, and it packs down small and light for stowing during breaks in the rain.
Stay light on your feet before switching to heavy winter boots with the new, locally designed Brooks Cascadia 14 GTX Trail Running Shoes ($160 at Brooks Trailhead, Wallingford, and brooksrunning.com). The addition of a waterproof Gore-Tex membrane keeps your feet dry, while a trail-ready outsole provides plenty of traction.
Don’t pull out the beanies just yet — you have all winter for that. Instead, keep your noggin warm with the Filson Cord Logger Cap ($45 at Filson, Sodo, and filson.com), made locally from heavyweight cotton corduroy with a low-profile design in goes-with-anything black.
Can’t get enough camping? It’s a fine time to book a last-minute site as families are back in school and the rain-adverse have packed up their gear for the season.
Be prepared for drizzly mornings with a versatile tarp that can cover your tent and breakfast-prep area, such as the oversized REI Co-op Camp Tarp 16 ($100 at REI and rei.com). It includes six reflective guylines for stringing it up into surrounding trees, and the light color won’t block what little sunshine you might get later in the day.
It’s getting dark earlier, so be sure to hang some string lights for evenings back at camp. BioLite’s SiteLight Overhead String Lights ($20 at amazon.com) can be daisy chained together to cover as much ground as you need. They do require a power source, such as a battery pack or the company’s BaseLantern, but that’s likely to be more dependable than a solar-powered option this late in the season.
And to ensure you’re always warm and toasty, invest in a new sleeping bag, such as the Nemo Kayu (men’s) or Aya (women’s) Mummy Bag ($340–$410 at nemoequipment.com), premium lightweight bags rated to 30- or 15-degrees with clever gills that can let in air on warmer nights. For hanging around the campfire, wrap yourself in one of the new Rumpl NanoLoft Blankets ($149 at rumpl.com), insulated with 100% post-consumer recycled fiber.