We all love the rain, well, at least most of the time. It does a lot of positive things to help with our survival. It can make or break an otherwise great camping trip. But if you come prepared rather than letting the drench ruin your entire camping trip, camping in the rain can transform from a minor inconvenience to actually being more enjoyable than you expect and less challenging.
Sometimes, rain may not be in forecast during the days you plan on camping. However, it is always best to go prepared, as it will help you stay dry and happy even when the nature gods send down rain to say hello.
To prevent you from getting caught off guard, here are a few tips to survive rainy camping days:
Embrace the Rain
Yes, if you are an avid camper, there is absolutely no need to avoid the rain. As a matter of fact, some of the most instructive camping experiences can happen in such bad weather, as you get the opportunity to test not just your camping gear, but also your camping skills. Also, you will slowly learn to get comfortable camping in the rain and start to embrace the natural phenomenon. As long as you are prepared, you will survive the rain, happily and comfortably.
Right Gear is Essential
Having the right gear is the first step to minimizing the impact of rain. Some of the basic and obvious items you should pack include: rain jackets, boots, gloves, and beanies. Also pack an extra set of clothing, in a waterproof bag, just in case. Pack some old towels to mop up water that may enter your tent. Remember to wear layers of clothing, and avoid wearing cotton clothes in rainy weather.
Buying a Tent
You have a lot of different options to choose from when it comes to buying a tent. But, if you are ready to brave the weather and don’t want the rains to ruin your camping trip, it is better to go for a waterproof tent. Make sure that the waterproof tent you choose comes with a rain fly and a base that doesn’t let water in, and also remember to test it before taking it for camping. Use the garden hose and spray the tent to see if it’s really waterproof. Yes, you will have to spend a little extra to buy a tent with all these weather-resistant features. But, the comfort you get to enjoy will be completely worth the money you spend.
Tarps aren’t Optional
Even if you buy a waterproof tent, taking a couple of blue or green tarps with you on the camping trip will always prove to be useful. Regardless of whether or not the weather gets better, you wouldn’t want to spend a whole day staying inside your tent, would you? This is where tarps come in handy. Pitch a large tarp just outside your tent to create an outdoor living area and spread one on the ground, where you can play games with friends, have some snacks and a hot cup of coffee or tea while enjoying the cold weather, or simply read a book. You can also pitch the tarp over your tent for an extra layer of protection from the weather.
Another option is to suspend a small tarp on your fire pit to have a cosy, warm place where you can sit, relax and enjoy the rain while sipping a cup of hot cocoa. When you take two or more tarps with you, you can use one inside the tent as well, as an additional layer of protection against water and moisture.
Set Up Campsite Strategically
If you want to avoid waking up in the middle of the night all soaked up, cold, and your teeth chattering, you need to be strategic in choosing the location for your campsite. You could have a tent of highest quality, but if you choose a campsite without proper examination, you will suffer.
Firstly, choose a high ground location, and avoid depressions, sloped, or soft ground. But, also make sure that the location has good drainage; this will prevent the formation of water puddles in your campsite. As mentioned earlier, if the downpour is harder than you expected, pitch a tarp over your tent, and place one underneath the tent to prevent water from getting inside during setup.
Pack a Bunch of Plastic Bags
Plastic bags can be your savior in numerous ways when it rains during your camping days. In addition to the fact that they are available in a wide range of sizes, their ability to keep anything and everything dry is what makes plastic bags a must for rainy camping days. Plastic bags are inexpensive and do not occupy much space in your backpack, which makes packing them easier.
Trash bags will be perfect to cover your backpack, duffel bag, or any other hiking or camping bag you might have during cold nights. You can also use them to store dry firewood and keep them way. If you have valuable items like electronic devices, wallet, documents, money, etc., use zip lock bags or other sealable plastic bags to store them. For clothes and other extras, use large freezer bags.
Protect Firewood from Rain
While you are completely focused on having a good time even in the cold weather, admiring the rain and having a good and relaxed time, you could often end up forgetting about having to protect the firewood from the rain and keep it hot. Remember, once the rain stops, you need fire for your basic needs. Therefore, do not forget to store some in a dry place and go back to enjoying the rain without any stress.
Air Out Wet Items
Airing out basically involves spreading out or leaving wet items in the open to get rid of moisture or odor or both. When you are camping in the rain, you will certainly have things that are wet, including your clothes, shoes, etc. These items are most likely to grow mold, mildew, and also develop odor. To prevent this, all you need to do is let them dry out completely in the open.
When it comes to airing out, your tent is another item you need to think about. When it rains while camping, you will spend a lot of time inside your tent. This automatically leads to water buildup inside the tent, and everything will become damp. You can allow your tent to dry out by opening up all the vents and letting air circulate inside.
Of course you can embrace the rain. Some of you may even prefer camping during rainy days. But, if you see that the downpour is of epic proportions, do not hesitate to cancel your trip and get back home. This is especially important if you are camping with your kids and pets. You do not want to risk a trip to the hospital for hypothermia or any other issue. After all, safety is what matters first.