What You Need To Know About The Weather On Bridge Day

Bridge Day happens rain or shine.  Or clouds.  Or cold.  Or whatever. West Virginia's largest festival wouldn't let a little thing like weather get in the way, and this Saturday (October 17th 2009) there will be a 100% chance of some kind of weather.  So come prepared.

The BASE  jumpers?  They're already prepared.  Short of very strong winds, which are pretty rare in the New River Gorge, jumpers can jump.  On Bridge Day, BASE jumpers use their experience and the combined experience of their community to determine when it's safe to leap.

Weather is a concern, and delays can happen.  But Bridge Day BASE jumping has never -NEVER- been canceled due to weather.

For the 90-whatever % of us who aren't jumping, the weather's also a concern.  Here are some tips for proper Bridge Day weather-ization :-)

  • Dress Warm and Waterproof-  As the old saying goes, "It's better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it."   Bring jackets and raingear so you can be comfortable during the event.
  • Layer Up-  The best method of heat retention is to wear multiple layers of clothing.  On the  plus side:  if you get too warm, you can shed layers to adjust.
  • Wear A Hat-  Mom was right.  Always bring a warm hat that covers your ears to help keep that warmth inside.  A warm scaf, balaclava, or neck gaiter to go along with the hat is even more helpful.
  • Cotton Bad, Synthetic Good-  I love cotton.  Unless it's wet and cold.  That's because cotton is a terrible insulator once it gets wet.  That big 'ol hoody sweatshirt?  Once it gets wet, it's going to make you cold.
  • Plan Ahead-  There are no backpacks allowed out on the bridge during bridge day.  Make sure that you're wearing what you need to stay warm if it's cold out, and leave the backpacks behind.
  • Use your head-  If you're out on the bridge and the weather is starting to get to you, find some shelter.  Grab a hot drink.  Go warm up.  It's much easier to prevent hypothermia from happening (dangerous loss of body heat) than to fix it once it happens.

Bridge Day is always the 3rd Saturday in October.  So we always have to factor in weather for the event.  It's just a part of it.  Sometimes it's great, sometimes it's not, but it's always there.