We know how it goes, you’ve been planning your camping trip for weeks and can’t wait to kick back and relax when suddenly there’s rain in the forecast. Instead of calling it quits, why not learn to embrace the rain! Don’t let a little water ruin your camping fun. Our 9 tips for camping in the rain will keep you happy and dry… mostly.
1. Monitor the Weather
A huge part of not hating camping in the rain is to watch the weather. You don’t want to be trying to set up your campsite in a downpour! That’s a sure fire way to get everything soaked. You’ll often just have to wait a few minutes for the rain to pass and then hurriedly set up camp (or at least your tarps)!
Obviously, if it’s a tropical monsoon you’re going to have some issues, but maybe you shouldn’t be camping in that anyways.
2. Pack Smart
Even if rain isn’t in the forecast, it’s always a good idea to pack smart just in case. By protecting your clothing and gear, you’re setting yourself up for success.
Instead of throwing your clothes into any old bag you have lying around, use one made of some sort of waterproof or water resistant material. There are plenty of water resistance bags out there, so take your pick!
If your bag isn’t entirely waterproof, line it with a large plastic garbage bag. The more protection you have, the better. Put your clothing and gear into Ziploc bags or dry sacks inside the water resistant bag for some extra protection.
It might seem like overkill, but water has a sneaky way of finding its way into everything you own. So unless you feel like putting on soggy socks, take lots of precautions!
3. Layer Up & Bring Rain Gear
Unlike some activities, the right gear can make all the difference when you’re camping in the rain. We recommend bringing:
If you’re planning on doing anything other than staying under your tarp all day, you’ll need a nice, lightweight waterproof jacket or poncho to keep you dry! You can always layer up underneath if you’re feeling chilly.
If you want a miserable time, pack cotton. It absorbs water like a sponge and takes forever to dry. We learned this the hard way.
If you’re planning on hiking, rain boots won’t cut it and you’ll want to bring waterproof hiking boots. They likely won’t keep your feet as dry as rain boots, but at least your feet won’t be as wet as if you wore trainers. You can also wear gaiters while you’re hiking to help keep your pants dry.
4. Hang It Out To Dry
Let’s face it, no matter how hard you try, you’ll likely get a little wet when you're camping in the rain. As tempting as it can be to change into dry clothes and throw your wet clothes into a forgotten corner, it’s better to hang your wet clothes up to dry.
If you have to, put a few damp clothes in your sleeping bag with you when you go to bed. Your body heat will dry them overnight.
5. Toasty Warm Clothes
You don’t only have to put wet clothes in your sleeping bag!
You can also put dry clothes in at night so you have nice warm clothes in the morning. It’s a little easier to drag yourself out of bed if you have nice warm clothes to change into.
7. Create an Outdoor Living Room
Don’t retreat to your tent when it’s raining – build yourself a beautiful outdoor living room and keep the fun going!
Set up your tent under the tarps (with your tent rain tarp on, of course!) so it’s easy to make it back to your bed at the end of the night. Also, make sure to angle your tarp away from your campsite. You can control the rain this way! Check out REI’s guide for tips on how to set up your living room.
8. Light Up Your Campsite
A little ambiance can turn your rainy campsite into a fun getaway. String cute LED lights around your campsite and light mosquito-repellent candles in little mason jars for a truly unique night. Always pack a good lantern and flashlights as well.
9. Pick the Right Campsite
Picking the right campsite when it’s raining is vital. You don’t want to suddenly find your tent flooded with water in the middle of the night.
Choose a campsite that’s on level, flat ground and doesn’t lie in any sort of dip or depression. Ensure your campsite is at least 200 ft from any sort of flowing water. A small stream can quickly turn into a fast river if there’s enough rainfall.
If you do find yourself in a campsite with some inclines it’s best to stay on the highest ground you can find. Water follows the path of least resistance, which is down, so high ground is your friend!
If you can, stay away from trees. Even after the rain has stopped, drops of water will continue falling on your head. You also run the risk of branches falling on you if the wind picks up.
How do you keep the fun going when you’re camping in the rain? Share your tips below!