The first time I got caught backpacking in a serious rain I was an idiot. The—barely there, I admit—sense of potential danger thrilled in a way fair weather backpacking never had. When rain starts, I get a little charge out of donning my rain gear. It’s like a miniature spring in the afternoon, as animals emerge from their bad weather refuges, me included. A little bad weather gives a more complete picture of the backcountry experience than you’d get if you only tramp around in 75-degree perfection.