I check the forecast before I go, but in Scotland the weather is so changeable if your going for more than one night then just pack everything because you're gonna need it.
This time last year I was out for three nights, forecast the day before I left said 60f - 65f, calm and sunny for the duration. It snowed on and off with temps around freezing most of the trip. The journey home was sunny :D
I'm seeing a heck of a lot of variation here, and honestly I'm thinking some of it related to location.
We once got caught in a storm at 6,000'+ feet elevation, which this far north is where the trees peter out*. Came out of the tent to hard sideways rain and frost in the low patches of the sub-alpine/alpine meadow we were staying in. It became apparent very quickly that this is how people can die up here... I say that with zero exaggeration, the heat was just sucked out of your body without extra protection and we were something like 12 rugged miles in, made more complicated by a bad year for blow-downs that hadn't been cleared yet... fortunately we had heavy rain gear and other extra bits to deal with it, but it permanently changed our view on back country adventures.
And that was the last week of July/first week of August. :eek:
So I'm with Rune... it sucks to have to change your plans, but Ma Nature has the final say as far as I'm concerned, and in this neck of the woods one learns to be flexible or gets schooled. Fortunately our topography is such that avoiding the worst of it is usually possible with only adding a little extra east/west shift.
*ETA: the forecast was actually warm and sunny, but that was long before we had off-shore doppler radar which has helped tremendously. We actually walked out of a raging storm back into summer weather just by dropping elevation and moving east by a few miles... it sounds impossible, but I assure you we were looking back on an ominous cloud in the peaks under a kind sun on the way out. Neither of us would have thought such a thing was possible until we experienced it ourselves.
DigitalJanitor, Rune, and some others have it. Sometimes weather is an inconvenience one can prepare for. Sometimes it is something that one cannot carry enough gear to really handle as the possible conditions are very severe to the point of life threatening for the most prepared. Pushing on anyway in those conditions crosses over the line between adventure and stupid. I translate that to having and using a plan B or C and picking as appropriate. That might include changing trip dates depending on time of year and travel distances.
Ive worked outside all my life. The one thing that has been learned is ,if your plan your life around the weather man you will be unprepared 50 percent of the time. Be prepared for all things and enjoy.
I started camping regularly when my son joined Cub Scouts 5 years ago. We always watch the weather to prepare for the worst. Rain or shine, we camp. I remember when we had a fire going and you could see rain water flowing under
the fire. We had to trench around some of the tents to keep water from flowing under then. I hadn't discovered the wonderful world of hammocks yet. No lightning, just rain, lots of rain for hours. :scared:Lightning or dangerous weather is a trip ender:(. Frankly, that was the best camp out my son and I had been on to date. It was a blast! We made some real friends that awesome, rainy night. The next day was absolutely perfect, Cool, clear and sunny.
Watch the weather, Expect the best, Prepare for the worst!
It could be the best time you've ever had.
For the past 13 years all my outings have been Scout related. As a leader we have to be aware and plan for inclimate and severe weather. This doesn't mean not going, but making adjustments as needed. Postponing time on the river when lightning storms are passing thru, battening down when a weather front is coming with extreme winds. But we never cancelled due to weather. As our motto says "Be Prepared"
Since rain is a requirement for a Scout trip, we just learn to embrace it. New moms always ask if we are going to cancel a trip because of predicted rains. I just smile and of course not, thats what makes a trip great. Learn to embrace the rain and it will never bother you. Every year we have our January trip labellec as our Looking for Snow camp out. Unfortunately the last teo years have not worked out so well. :(
You bet I consider the weather. In fact, after the AT, I consider being able TO consider the weather as a huge privilege! I figure if it's going to increase my overall enjoyment...then it needs to be considered. Besides, warmer temps (for me) = less gear = lighter pack weight. I do understand the issues around limited time though, so sometimes you've just gotta take what you get.
Thanks for all the comments. I can handle all weather (should have seen me this winter) but I've decided to change plans and head south to the Deam Wilderness. I mean, this weather is too good to pass up!!
Friday 58° / 38° Partly Cloudy
Saturday 66° / 51° Partly Cloudy
Sunday 61° / n/a 30% chance showers
I'm fortunate to have the flexibility and equally positioned in between some really nice spots. Plus, it will probably be my last chance to head down before the bugs and ticks eat me alive. I am the worlds strongest mosquito magnet!