Rain has a tendency to get people down. The energy noticeably drops on campus when fall showers hit. The average yearly rainfall in Oregon is 41.96 inches, 2.8 more than national average. This can be rough for students from drier places like California where the average is about 23 inches per year. When the sun has abandoned the skies and rain is pouring down, it can be hard to get out of bed, let alone walk all the way to class, but Oregon rains almost every month of the year. Residents can’t afford to be down every time the skies look dreary.
It is important to accept and, ideally, come to appreciate Oregon’s weather. The best way to acquaint oneself with the rain is to have fun with it child style by going out puddle stomping.
First, students will need a good pair of rain boots, preferably ones that are knee high or close to avoid wet clothes. It’s important to walk around in the boots awhile before buying them, and the average pair is uncomfortable. It’s possible to spend extra for comfort, and if the plan is to wear them often this might be a good exchange. Boots range in price from $15-$30 for cheaper pairs, $40-$70 for more expensive ones, and can reach the hundred dollar range when looking at top quality brands.
Boots can be found at almost any T.J Maxx, Marshall’s, Kohls, Target or even Walmart. Shopping at secondhand stores like Goodwill, St. Vincents, or Buffalo Exchange is a good way to find cheaper deals, but there’s no guarantee they’ll have the right size.
Second most important to the boots is a nice rain jacket fit for everyday Oregon life. This is where someone might want to spend the extra $130 on Patagonia, $100 on North Face or $60 on Columbia. Sometimes students have to settle for cheaper; if that’s the case, just make sure it’s big enough to wear a sweatshirt underneath for extra cold days.
Hardcore puddle stompers might invest in rain pants. The price range here is about the same as rain boots, but they’re usually an unnecessary expense. Don’t forget to layer up with a long sleeve shirt and an under layer of leggings. Layer intensity can vary depending on how each person’s tolerance to cold.
Once the proper outfit is assembled, it’s time for a puddle-stomping expedition. Stomping, skipping, jumping, and dancing around in puddles is a great bonding activity for friends. Go out on a wet weekend while campus is relatively empty. Find all the biggest puddles around and see how epic a splash you can make by all jumping at once. After stomping to their heart’s content everyone will probably be soaked, so make sure there’s time to take a shower and do laundry afterward.
Scholars are busy people and often don’t have time for whole expeditions. Luckily, puddle stomping can easily be integrated into everyday life. On rainy days when rain boots are already adorned, keep an eye out for puddles on the way to class and give them a good passing stomp. Make a game out of how many you can find on your way across campus. Stay away from anything too deep to avoid sitting in class wet, and remember to lookout for people around before stomping. Nobody wants to be surprised soaked.
Whether it’s with friends on an adventure, or just thrown into day-to-day travels, puddle stomping is a great way to have fun in the rain, feel like a kid again, and shake off weather blues.