Sooner or later, the snow is going to stop falling and that which is already on the ground will melt, or so the meteorologists say. Although it is tough to believe them at times, spring is inching closer slowly but surely. Little signs are starting to appear here and there. Even though the horses were shivering when they came in for breakfast this morning, both the horses and cows across the fence line have caught glimpses of an elusive blade of green grass here and there. I know because I've seen them myself, although it sometimes feels like green grass is a mirage.
With spring comes rain for many of us. Rumor has it that April showers bring May flowers, and if you go by that logic, we are soon to be working in the rain instead of snow. While the occasional rain shower may be refreshing, constantly staying wet is not. It can result in illness as well as skin issues and disease. A day of work in flooded boots can wreak serious havoc on your feet and having rain water running down your face can obstruct your vision, which is the last thing you need when operating heavy equipment.
For those that have enclosed cabs on their tractors, working in wet conditions is far less of a problem than for those without cab enclosures. If you do not have a protective shell around your body as you work, you are going to get wet. Even if you can avoid working in the rain, there is always the possibility of getting trapped in a storm away from home and having to make your way back in a downpour.
With rain in mind, certain clothing options can be utilized to make wet weather more tolerable. Water resistant gear will keep you drier, although it may not keep you completely dry. Water resistant gear is rated by the amount of water it can tolerate before failing, so go for something with a high rating to stay drier longer. Also be on the looking for zippers and snaps concealed beneath a water resistant flap; exposed zippers themselves are not water resistant and are a source of leakage. Rain suits are ideal for staying dry and safe as some are available in highly visible safety colors. When choosing a hat, go for something made of oil skin so water will run off instead of penetrate or run into your eyes. For footwear, check out rain or duck boots or even consider waterproofing your own with products such as Nikwax.
The best way to stay dry is to stay out of the rain, but duty calls whether the sun is shining bright or not. If you have to get out there, take precautions to stay dry and avoid being sidelined by illness. A day in uncomfortable rain gear may not be fun, but neither is a week sick in bed.