Camping in the Rain: An Ultimate Guide

Camping in the rain

Camping in the rain? Why not? Whether you plan for it or not, there’s something interesting and special about camping in the great outdoors while rain falls over your tent. The cool breeze, the calming sound of rainfall, and the stillness of the moment – what’s not to love about them?

But camping in the rain can be pretty challenging too. 

From choosing the right clothing and gears to waterproofing your tent, finding the best camping spot, and planning activities, this guide covers everything you need to stay safe, dry and comfortable while camping in the rain… And of course, have lots of fun too!

Bring Waterproof Clothing

Waterproof clothing

Even if you’re not expecting it to rain, it’s important to pack waterproof clothing for your camping trip. Weather can be very unpredictable in some areas so it’s always good to be prepared. For the basic stuff, you need a rain jacket, high-quality outdoor clothing, a rain cap, a pair of waterproof boots or water-resistant shoes. Pack plenty of waterproof socks too, along with waterproof gaiters and a waterproof poncho. 

Wear the right clothes

The best camping clothes are lightweight and easy to wear. When shopping for outdoor clothing, always choose waterproof wear, not just water-resistant clothes (yes, there’s a difference between the two). Select breathable clothing that keeps water from getting through to your skin. Avoid cotton fabrics because they hold water (and sweat) which makes you chilly. Instead, opt for wool or polyester that don’t just have wicking properties but are also warm and comfortable to wear. Don’t forget a waterproof jacket that has synthetic insulation. Standard jackets tend to lose their insulating ability when they get wet.

Bring extra clothes

Even if you’re just camping for the night, make sure to pack extra clothes in case you get wet. The general rule is to bring one top for each day you are camping plus one extra, and half the amount of pants. Ideally, you want to wear waterproof trousers for extra protection and warmth. 

Waterproof Your Tent

Waterproof tent

Most tents used for camping are waterproof. But it isn’t a guarantee that you are fully protected just by bringing one. Follow these steps to effectively protect your tent against the harsh weather:

Clean all parts of the tent

This is in preparation for re-sealing your tent. Of course, if you have a brand new tent, there’s no need to re-seal it because it’s pre-coated with some kind of waterproofing agent. However, if you have an old tent, start by cleaning the seams using disinfectant wipes or sponge dipped in rubbing alcohol. Remove any bits or seam tapes that are peeling off.

Use tent seam sealer and waterproof spray

After cleaning your tent, you’re ready to seal the seams. Make sure you get the right type of seam sealer. For instance, silicone-treated fabrics require silicone seam sealers while tents made from polyester, nylon, and canvas materials require urethane formula. Apply seam sealant on the interior walls of your tent too. Re-sealing your tent regularly is the best way to retain its waterproofing properties. You can check for leaks by spraying water in your tent. If no water beads are formed on the surface or you see it soaking through, it means your tent needs waterproofing.

Pick the best campsite

To minimize potential damage to your tent, select campsites that offer some natural protection against the impact of rain and wind. Set up your tent on higher, drier ground, ideally under a tall tree. Make sure to orient your doors against the wind. Lastly, avoid narrow areas where water can easily accumulate and cause flooding.

Put a tarp over the tent

Pitching a tent in the rain is easy if you have a few basic tools, such as a tarp. A waterproof tent cover does not only provide extra protection against wind and rain. It also gives you extra space to cook your meals or chill outside your tent and enjoy a campfire even when it’s wet. To create a tarp shelter, you need waterproof tarps, poles, ropes, and some bungees.

Use ground cover tarp inside a tent

A ground tarp for tent is essential in keeping your spot dry and warm amidst the pouring rain. Take note that different terrains require different solutions for ground cover so make sure you choose the most suitable waterproof tent floor for your situation. For example, if you’re camping on the beach, you won’t need a ground cover because the sand will absorb the moisture. If you’re camping in the forest, a tarp under the tent will not only provide extra cushion but will also keep moisture out from wetting your belongings.  

Build a Campfire In The Rain

Campfire in the rain

What’s camping without a campfire? Luckily, you can keep up with this camping tradition even if it’s raining cats and cats. Learning how to keep a fire going in the rain is the key. First of all, you need a tarp over a campfire. It doesn’t have to be installed in a pyramid-shape. Just make it flat to avoid water from accumulating on top. Also, place a large log on top of your campfire. This will prevent water from seeping through and watering the fire away underneath.

Bring Camping Food

Campfire cooking is fun. But if it gets too cold outside or cooking doesn’t seem a good idea at the moment, you want to make sure you’ve packed enough camping food. Go for easy camping meals that are filling and nutritious, and doesn’t spoil quickly. These include high-protein sandwiches, trail mixes, energy bars, fruits like apples and pears, dehydrated/dried foods, beef jerky, and some canned goods. Biscuits, chocolates, and bread make great camping snacks for the kiddos too. Don’t forget to bring instant coffee and tea bags to warm yourself on a cold, rainy morning!

Plan Activities For Camping In The Rain

Camping activities

It’s most likely unsafe to hike or explore the great outdoors especially if you’re camping in the rain with kids. So make sure to plan activities that the whole family can enjoy without leaving your tent! Apart from telling stories, other fun camping activities are singing, drawing, and playing games. Cozy up inside your tent with some of the best board games for camping like Hive, Mr. Jack Pocket, Forbidden Island, and Uno Card Game. If your family is up for an adventure, put your weather gear on and go for a walk. Just watch out for muddy puddles and avoid going to sleep, slippery trails.

Conclusion

Camping on a warm, beautiful day is the best thing ever. However, just because it rains all of a sudden doesn’t mean you should just cancel your plans or head back home if you’re already at the campsite. While the rain may ruin your mood, you can still make camping in the rain fun, interesting, and memorable. That being said, if you’re thinking of camping in the harsh winter, you may want to consider bringing your RV so you can always retreat inside and take a kip on a recliner (or if you’re lucky a bed)! Modern RVs are very well equipped! 

Keep in mind the steps discussed in this guide to ensure your safety and comfort. More importantly, always keep a positive vibe throughout the whole journey. It’s not just your waterproof tent or your gears that will predict the success of your camping trip but also your attitude towards various situations, especially the not-so-good ones.

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