Even when skies are clear and the sun is shining, it can only take minutes for clouds to roll in and the rain to start pouring. Camping in the rain isn’t preferable, but it doesn’t mean you have to cut your trip short or stop having fun! Rain happens, so here are some great and helpful tips for camping in the rain to make your trip dry and enjoyable!
Take Preventative Measures
If you know that rain is in the forecast or suspect that a shower will hit, you can take some preventative measures to keep your campsite nice and dry! Always be sure to set up on higher, flat ground. Setting up on a slope will allow water to flow directly into your site! It may seem like a good idea to put a ground cloth or tarp underneath a tent for extra protection, but water can actually pool in these seemingly helpful layers. Instead, it is a better idea to lay ground cloths inside your tent for protection from the damp ground.
For ultimate campsite protection, string up a tarp over common areas to provide a nice, dry place to hang out! If you’re staying in a tent or tent-sided pop-up, hang a tarp above for added protection! When camping in an RV, if you get any word of inclement weather headed your way, roll up your awning and secure all equipment immediately to avoid damage.
Bring Appropriate Clothing
It is very important to pack appropriate clothing to prepare for rain, especially if you are tent camping or hiking. Moisture wicking clothing will allow rain to slide off of you easily, but it is also a great idea to pack waterproof or water-resistant coats, pants, and shoes. A sturdy pair of hiking boots will help to keep your feet dry and will make venturing across wet terrain less dangerous.
Pack Plastic Bags
Plastic bags are great for keeping belongings dry, as well as containing wet objects! Trash bags are perfect for several uses, including keeping your backpack dry during hiking, and depositing wet clothing and gear into to avoid getting your tent or RV interior wet. Food storage bags are also great for keeping smaller items dry, like your wallet and licenses, paper items, and a dry change of clothing.
Watch Out For Hypothermia
You might think that just because you’re not out in the snow that you’re not at risk for hypothermia. Unfortunately, this is not true! If temperatures lower and you find yourself in wet clothing, hypothermia could set in. Symptoms include:
- Shivering that lessens as hypothermia worsens
- Increased heart rate
- Slurred speech or trouble speaking
- Confusion or impaired judgment
- Fatigue, dizziness, and/or lack or coordination
If body temperature starts to drop, get the affected person to the hospital immediately. If this is not an option, remove wet clothing and cover the person in dry clothing, blankets, and sleeping bags and keep them warm while monitoring their body temperature.
Get The Fire Going
Just because it is raining doesn’t mean you can’t start a campfire! Bring along newspaper and keep it dry, as it is great kindling that will have your wood catching a spark in no time! Set aside firewood in garbage bags prior to the rain starting so you have dry firewood to use. Some solid logs are great for putting over existing coals to keep water from extinguishing them!
Depending on who you’re camping with, you may need to plan ahead for some rainy day activities! Bring along books, magazines, coloring supplies, board games, and other fun activities you enjoy! If you are staying in an RV, put on a movie and relax! It could also be a good opportunity to get some cleaning and organization done while you wait out the rain! If there is no threat of lightning, there’s no reason why you can’t go out in the rain! Just stay aware of your surroundings and seek shelter immediately if you hear thunder or see lightning.
Air Out Your Equipment
Always be sure to air out all wet equipment after your trip. Set up your tent, pull out your pop-up slides, wash and dry sleeping bags and blankets according to label instructions, and unfold tarps. This will prevent pesky mold and mildew from forming!
Rain doesn’t have to ruin your camping trip! Rain just happens, so use these tips for camping in the rain to stay dry, comfortable, and safe when adverse weather hits! Always use your judgment, and continue to have fun! Have some other tips for staying dry in the rain while camping? Share your insights in the comments!