It starts with a drip, followed by another. As time goes on, the drops begin to add up, turning into a downpour. If you are unprepared, then it can be a disaster for your trip, but it can also be the opportunity for a wonderful experience. To stay dry, you just need to understand tent camping in the rain. As a camper reading this article, you will get a complete overview of how to handle the rain.
When camping in the rain, these are your top considerations for having a good time. Following these tips will help to keep you dry and have a pleasant experience.
- Place your tent in the right place. When it comes to the rain, gravity can be your friend or your worst enemy. If you camp on a hill or a place of high elevation, your tent will stay dry. Avoid the bottom of valleys and stay away from depressions or else you risk floating away like a boat.
- Get the right tent. When camping, the gear you get means all the difference on a trip. If you get low quality gear, then it will negatively affect your experience, especially when it comes to tents. A high quality tent is your key to staying dry. Aim to get one that has a good overhang for the water to drip off, rain fly, well sealed, and waterproof.
- Bring a tarp. A tarp adds an extra layer of protection away from the rain. If you have a picnic table or kitchen area, then you can place it overhead. If you just want another bottom layer of protection for your tent, then place it underneath. It can create a buffer zone. If you run one through the washing machine, then it is easier to pack.
- Use plastic zip lock and garbage bags. In nature, plastic does not decompose, but it also works well as a waterproof protector. If you have gear, clothes, or food, then use a bag. You can line the inside of your shoes with a garbage bag to stay dry or use one on your backpack. Plastic bags are excellent for staying dry.
- Avoid cotton clothing. Cotton clothing is good at absorbing water. So if it even gets a bit wet, then it will be next to impossible to dry before your camping trip is over. Stick with nylon and the water will roll right off you.
- Keep your gear out of the rain. It goes without saying that, if you want you and your gear to stay dry, then it helps to be out of the rain. It is worth repeating though, because sometimes it is overlooked even if it is fundamental to staying dry.
- Keep the inside of your tent dry. Before stepping into your tent, you want to remove wet clothing and gear. It will prevent the inside of your tent from getting any more wet.
- Stop mold by drying your gear. After a wet trip outside, your gear can get mold and mildew in storage if it is not dry. That is not good for you or your gear. Take the bit of extra time to dry it out and remove any moisture you find.
When it is wet outside, there is essential gear you need to keep dry despite the moisture outside. This list will be sure to help you prepare for the weather.
- Poncho, this is a clear plastic body bag you drape over your body. It is perfect for those who have work to do despite the weather. It keeps you dry even in the dampest conditions.
- Waterproof matches, when it rains outside, you will still want to stay warm, so these will do that. Even if they get rained on, these matches will still work, keeping you warm despite the chill outside.
- Tarp, this is a versatile tool. With one of these in the rain, you can use it as an extra roof for your tent, a cover for your picnic table, rain and wind walls, or a cover for equipment. If you can think of it, then that is probably a use for a tarp.
- Garbage and zip lock bags, with one of these in hand, you can keep your feet dry. Once you put your socks on, follow it up with a garbage bag. They work wonders. If you have any important electronics or similar valuable gear that fall apart when wet, then store it in a zip lock bag.
- Nylon clothing, nylon keeps the rain off, so you will stay moisture free if you use this kind of clothing. It is well worth the investment.
- Nikwax direct spray, a spray will be sure to help you a lot. You can enhance the waterproof qualities of your tent, backpack, and boots with this spray in hand, keeping you dry. If you do not want to buy rain gear but stay dry, then this is an inexpensive option to consider.
- Stuff sack, these work just like garbage and zip lock bags, but they are a lot more durable. They hold up well even in the harshest of weather. You will be sure to keep your gear dry in the rain with one of these.
- Water gaiters, when it rains outside, the flood waters can rise, turning the nearby stream into a raging river. If you have water gaiters on, then you will be able to transverse through the waters and stay dry.
- Shammy, if your gear or the inside of your tent gets wet, then you can use a shammy to soak up any moisture and put it elsewhere. It is durable and versatile, a great tool for any camper.
6 Ways to Have Fun in the Rain
When you camp in the rain, it can put a damper on your experience if you are unprepared. It restricts hiking, backpacking, mountain biking, and other outdoor activities you would do in dryer weather, but your experience does not have to be miserable. Consider these activities when it rains while you are camping.
- Pick up a book. With a book in hand, you can be taken to another world. You roam through the imaginary world of the novel to read a tale of wonder and awe. A good book sparks your imagination and lets you envision new possibilities, making it a great friend for a rainy day.
- Play a card game. When camping with friends, a card game will keep you sane in the rain. You can play blackjack, poker, speed, rummy, crazy eights, and many more. Use your best friend Google to come up with more if need be.
- Look for wet animals. I live in Santa Cruz, so I see a lot of Banana slugs after a good rain. After a rain, there should be plenty of snails, frogs, worms, and the like near you. This presents the opportunity to learn more about them.
There is more to this world than you realize.
- Tell stories. Everyone enjoys the riveting effect of a good story. The rain gives you the chance to brush up on your skills. Before telling your story, whether made up or true, a helpful tip is to know where you start and where you finish. Your mind will fill in the rest.
- 20 questions, in this game, you think of a person, place, animal, or object and the other player asks you yes or no questions. The aim is to get the answer in under 20 questions. You win if you use the least amount of questions to get the answer.
- Camping trip, this game revolves around the phrase, “I’m going on a camping trip and I’m bringing [fill in the blank].” One player starts with an item. The following player has to come up with another camping item using the last letter of what was previously said. Nothing can be repeated. The last player standing wins.
Tips for Making a Campfire
You can still make a campfire in the rain, but it does require some changes to make it work. In a previous article, I discuss how to make a campfire. Follow the tips below in addition to what was previously written and you will be sure to have a fire in no time.
- Use cotton balls dipped in Vaseline. Oil is very flammable and so are cotton balls. If you have a first aid kit with you, then you should have both of these. Add Vaseline to the cotton ball and you are good to go. It will serve as your fire starter.
- Use a candle and chemical fire starters. When camping in the rain, it helps to use non wood based fire starters because they are less likely to get wet. Most wood around you will be damp, so something like a candle and oil will help you.
- A fire blower will help. One of these will nurse the flame into a fire. Grab a piece of aluminum or copper tubing and attach it to a piece of rubber hose. From there, you can blow into it to help your flame.
- Cut off the wet part of the wood. If you have a damp piece of wood but you still want to use it, then cut off the damp parts with a sharp knife. Unless it is completely wet, the wood should still be useable. If you see a part of the wood you do not like, cut it off and set it aside. There is no requirement to use it.
Camping in the rain is often viewed as something that will lead to a bad trip. It is seen as a detriment to a camping trip, but only if you are unprepared. Nothing can catch you off guard if it were expected. Rain can be quite beautiful in fact. It dampens the noise and generates introspection. You slow down to appreciate the world and what you have. Everything falls silent after a rain, ushering in a new-look on the world.
If you have any thoughts, questions, or think I missed anything, please do comment below and share this article. Otherwise, I hope you make it a great day!