If you have been camping before, I am totally sure you have been camping in the rain at least once. If you were lucky or you’re a newbie camper, simply take my word for it, the sky could be sunny and blue once you leave for your camping trip, however, the weather could quickly change. With these easy strategies for camping in the rain, you will have fun anyway.
You don’t have to be an all-weather warrior to succeed in your trip. In reality, preparing yourself for rain camping is not nearly as difficult as you might think. You don’t have to be a hard worker if you have the right knowledge.
Here are our top hacks and tips for camping in the rain
Table of Contents
- 1 Pre-Trip Planning
- 1.1 1. Make sure your rain gear is waterproof
- 1.2 2. Practice pitching your tent
- 1.3 3. Check the weather forecast
- 1.4 4. Get into the right mood
- 1.5 5. Bring your favorite book and a board game
- 1.6 5. Opt for Synthetic
- 1.7 6. Get Few Trash Bags
- 1.8 7. Bring some Food That does not Require Cooking
- 1.9 8. Bring a small camping or backpacking stove
- 1.10 9. Drybags & Ziploc Bags to Keep your Gear Dry
- 1.11 10. Bring a Microfiber Towel
- 1.12 11. Mini-maps your Route and Camping Area
- 1.13 12. Use the Right Gear
- 1.14 13. Don’t forget the waterproof matches or lighter!
- 2 At the camping site
- 2.1 14. Pitch your tent on higher ground
- 2.2 16. Watch the water level in near-by rivers and ponds
- 2.3 17. Bring extra tarps!
- 2.4 18. Tarp #1 over your tent
- 2.5 19.Tarp #2 underneath your tent
- 2.6 20. You can create a dry zone with a tarp
- 2.7 21. Bring sufficient light
- 2.8 22. Zip tent windows during rains
- 2.9 23. Prepare firewood before the rain
- 2.10 24. Keep your firewood dry
- 2.11 25. Prepare some tinder or fire starter
- 2.12 26. Go home
- 3 Post-Trip
- 4 Rainy Day Camping Activities
The best way to make camping in the rain to be less unpleasant is to do it at home.
1. Make sure your rain gear is waterproof
Most campers are miserable because their rain gear isn’t up-to-the-mark. Although kit failures are not always a problem in good weather, they can result in many unpleasant and costly consequences in wet situations.
Your safety and wellbeing are important factors when you travel on wet-weather trips. Make sure your rain gear is ready. Carefully check your tent, seal its seams, check for tears and fix them, check and waterproof your clothes and the backpack. Waterproofing can be done using a special waterproofing spray that creates a protective coating on your tent and stuff.
2. Practice pitching your tent
Many beginners campers underestimate the difficulty of pitching a tent correctly.
Even if an experienced camper, you might lose the ability to pitch your tent quickly and without letting any rainwater into your sleeping space.
Before you head out on your first camping trip, practice pitching your tent at least four-five times in your yard or park. Although it is a tedious task, it is better than trying to set up your tent in the rain.
3. Check the weather forecast
Look at the forecast before you pack and leave for your camping trip to best prepare. Be sure to look at the forecast for the camping destination, not your home location. Also, check for severe weather forecasts. Camping in the rain is one thing, but camping in severe storms should be avoided. I understand predictions aren’t always accurate and a few storms are short-lived, so use common sense.
4. Get into the right mood
You’ve seen and understood the forecast. Being mentally prepared for bad weather is also an important thing.
Remain positive and you will see the things to love in the rain camping. Take the opportunity to slow down and enjoy the company of your friends and family throughout your tent or RV confinement, let the noise of the rain hitting your own tent lull one to sleep during the night, and enjoy the rain scenery – moody forests, foggy mountains, and waves that are racing.
5. Bring your favorite book and a board game
Bring something to amuse you in case you are stuck in your tent, under the tarp or canopy, or at the RV. Do not miss the bonus rainy day camping activities below!
5. Opt for Synthetic
The best sleeping bags available are down ones. This is due to their superior warmth-to-weight ratio and plush, comfy feel. The only problem with down products is that they do not insulate when they get wet.
While it’s wise to make every effort to keep your sleeping bag dry no matter what material it’s made of, if you happen to have a choice between down and synthetic, opt for the latter in wet conditions as synthetic fabrics continue to provide insulation even when well and truly drenched.
6. Get Few Trash Bags
While they might not be the most advanced accessory available, garbage bags are a great option for camping in rainy conditions.
These are used as doormats, ground cloths, temporary repair for ripped clothes or tents, mini-tarps to stash shoes, and other gear.
7. Bring some Food That does not Require Cooking
If the weather is actually nasty, it could be tricky to cook. Take some pre-prepared food that doe not require warming up and cooking. Sandwiches, hot dogs, pizza, any kind of veggies and salads.
Additionally, pre-preparing cold meals can cut down on mess (and cleaning), and help you to pack less weight. Cooked items are usually lighter than uncooked. You can also leave your cooking utensils at the house.
8. Bring a small camping or backpacking stove
A camping stove or small backpacking stove is a lot easier to cook in the rain than trying to cook over a grill or fire. The stoves are simple to make use of beneath a tarp or ribbon.
9. Drybags & Ziploc Bags to Keep your Gear Dry
Despite the fact that you hope the inside of your tent will remain dry, storing gear or clothes in waterproof containers can make sure they won’t get wet. If you don’t have any totes or convenient dry sacks, at the very least fetch some trash bags and large Ziploc bags. Additionally, it will allow you to store dirty or smelly gear safely knowing that it won’t be soaking in other things in your pack.
10. Bring a Microfiber Towel
You will be happy that you have extras if you will get drenched. Most people that are campground camping usually bring a towel for his or her shower. These ultra-modern light, quick-dry towels don’t occupy space so it is easy to pack several.
Use it to wipe down the fly and any condensation before packing your tent away, squeezing out any excess water in the towel as you go and hanging it on the exterior of your pack when you’re done.
11. Mini-maps your Route and Camping Area
Anyone who has been hiking in the rain will have experienced the frustrations involved in trying to use a paper map to keep it from turning wet.
Even if you have a waterproof map holder you will encounter a situation where your trail is too far from the page. At that point, you will need to remove the map, adjust the location to suit you, then seal it in the holder again.
You can solve this problem by printing your route cards at home and taking them to the local store to be laminated.
12. Use the Right Gear
But what gear is the right type? It’s best to get started with all three parts: performance-oriented layer layers (merino wool are the best), which regulate body temperature and wick water; a thicker mid-layer to keep you warm; and a Gore-Tex (or another) rain jacket.
Make sure to pack a rain jacket or poncho. A wide brim hat is helpful or at least bring a baseball cap.
Make sure to pack waterproof boots and a tent with an air-borne rain fly so that you don’t have to go camping in the rain.
13. Don’t forget the waterproof matches or lighter!
At the camping site
Well, you have arrived at your camping site. And even if no rain is expected (remember that the weather can change very quickly!) plan your camp keeping in mind possible rains.
Prioritize setting your tent over other tasks!
14. Pitch your tent on higher ground
Go for an area on higher ground. Do not choose the bottom area on a site or at the bottom of a hill. All the rain will probably run right down and stand in the smallest area.
Should you need to pitch the tent on a designated tent area, attempt to opt for a campsite that won’t endure in water. If you currently have bookings for a certain site and you also arrive to discover it’s low and rain is in the prediction, ask if you’re allowed to improve campsites.
16. Watch the water level in near-by rivers and ponds
Flood areas should be avoided. The two most terrifying things anyone could experience are waking up in a pond of water or being caught in an emergency flash flood. To avoid these, when setting up your campsite be sure to steer clear of river banks, depressions in the terrain, narrow canyons or gulches, dry washes, and river basins when you set up your tent and choose a spot that’s slightly elevated in the terrain just in case.
Watch for rising water in the event that you’re camped next to a creek or pond.
17. Bring extra tarps!
18. Tarp #1 over your tent
Put a tarp over your tent if you’re worried about keeping your tent dry also have doubts about how waterproof it really is. And also this can give you a covered area to enter and leave the tent in the event the tarp is big enough. Just be sure to pack extra rope or para-cord for the tarp.
19.Tarp #2 underneath your tent
You can protect your tent floor by placing a tarp underneath it. This will provide extra insulation and protection against groundwater. Make sure you tuck any fabric under your tent to prevent water from pooling under your walls.
20. You can create a dry zone with a tarp
One of the biggest frustrations of camping in the rain is the potential for claustrophobia and cabin fever caused by the lack of usable space, the amount of time spent inside your tent, and the increased difficulty of taking a little “me-time” away from your campmates.
With a bit of paracord and some trees, you can create an outdoor, covered chill-out zone with tarps, paracord, and trees. This area can be used for many purposes, including cooking, card-playing, drying clothing, and, if the sun is shining, as a shaded area, if things get hot.
21. Bring sufficient light
Cloudy skies and rainy weather can make it darker. Be certain you have enough flashlights, lantern batteries.
22. Zip tent windows during rains
Zip any tent windows closed to keep the interior of your tent dry if it is raining hard. I find it surprising the number of people who state rain flies in the windows of their cabin tents because of smaller rainfly. I am aware ventilation is crucial, but a few condensations is not as awful as actual rain blowing in! I know it will become hot and muggy in the summertime though.
Open the doorway and unzip any windows once the rain ceases. This will allow your tent to broadcast a little.
23. Prepare firewood before the rain
Gather firewood (or purchase it) when you arrive, especially if it isn’t raining then. Bring your firewood when you can- many areas have strict rules against attracting firewood because of disease and pests.
24. Keep your firewood dry
Cover your dry firewood and kindling with a tarp. Lay the tarp on the floor, then place the wood on it, then cover the timber with the remaining portion of tarp, essentially wrapping it up, to keep it dry. You may even keep kindling or a few bits of firewood at a heavy-duty trash bag.
You could well not anticipate trying to start a fire in the rain, however, you will need dry wood for a fire after the rain (preferably ) stops. The flame will warm you up and help warm any clothes that caught wet.
25. Prepare some tinder or fire starter
Make certain that you have some type of tinder or flame starter. Wood shavings, dryer lint, cotton covered with petroleum jelly chunks etc. It is possible to gather pine needles out of under trees. Dig a tiny profound- the needles could be dry under the surface.
26. Go home
At a certain point, camping in the rain progresses from being a valuable experience into something a little more masochistic.
You can enjoy a few days of camping in moderate showers. However, if conditions become extreme and you are unable to leave your tent, it might be time to pack up and move on.
27. Get your gear cleaned and aired out
More work awaits you once you get home after having a rainy camping trip. Please do not dismiss this final hint. It’s very important to take care of your own gear.
To make sure your gear is in good shape for your next wet-weather trip, it’s vital to treat it to a little bit before storing it back when you get home.
This involves washing your tents, tarps, backpack, and sleeping bag with mild, nondetergent soap. After that, you can hang each one to dry at room temperature indoors or outdoors.
Rainy Day Camping Activities
Your camping trip can be fun if it rains. Keep a container stocked with games and supplies that is earmarked for rainy weather. Here is our list of fun activities to keep you happy in the rain.
- Play board games.
- Play titles: Go Fish, Old Testament, UNO Wilderness, Dutch Bllitz, Monopoly DEAL, etc.
- Read your favorite book.
- Sing ‘Rain, rain go away’. Have a great time singing some camp songs or any one of your favorites.
- Tell fun and/or sentimental stories about your life, especially beyond adventures. Decorate it with decals and drawings.
- Pray and write in a youth journal. Use the down time to invest time together with God.
- Create crafts: Leather work, hiking sticks, create jewelry, para-cord creations, color, etc. This may be fun for kids and adults.
- Practice knot-tying skills.
- Take a rest. You do not have to be always entertained.
- Plan your next camping trip.
- Research trekking maps for local adventures after it stops raining.
- Hang outside in the campground clubhouse, if one is available. (It may be crowded!)
- Go for a drive into a neighborhood landmarks.
Share your Camping in the Rain stories and let me know if I missed any tips for camping in the rain in the comments below.