You may have seen the weather forecast when you head off camping, or an unexpected downpour catches you out.
What do you do? With some preparation and foresight, there is no reason you won’t have sufficient protection from the rain.
If you are camping with a vehicle, it can solve some of the problems, yet if you are without a vehicle, then it is you against the elements.
These tips for camping in the rain will make sure you stay dry and comfortable, no matter how hard the deluge from above.
1. Before Leaving Home
For any camping trip, you should always be checking the weather for the area where you plan ongoing. If you are in a mountainous area, the weather can change in an instant.
Packing some wet weather camping essentials can be done each time you go, as they take up very little space or weight.
If you are car camping, you will face these challenges a little differently. Either way, make sure all seams on tarps and tents are water-resistant.
This will be more the case if your camping gear has been used a few times already. You can buy sprays that help you achieve this.
2. Selecting the Right Campsite
When you are looking for a campsite where to stay, you should be looking for more than just one, which may have running water and bathroom facilities. The campsite needs elevation away from lakes and rivers.
You can easily fall foul to a sudden flash flood if you are camping close to a river that is situated towards the bottoms of hilly areas.
Erecting your tent under trees should be avoided. If the rain comes with a storm, you don’t want branches falling on you in the middle of the night.
3. Trash Bag Rain Protection
Camping in the rain hacks most often include large trash bags and Ziploc bags. These are light to carry, yet you can use them for multiple uses.
Extra-large garbage bags are a great solution to keeping your backpack dry.
Aside from this, you can easily cut holes in them, and wear them as a rain jacket in heavy rain if you are out without your jacket.
Large garbage bags are suitable for storing wet gear to prevent anything else from getting wet inside your tent.
One final area is for your firewood. If you can build a campfire, then storing your wood in a garbage bag will stop it from getting wet. Once the rain ceases, you can make a fire to stay warm.
Ziploc bags should be taken camping as a matter of course. These you can use to protect your matches, first aid kit, spare batteries, and other lifesaving camping necessities.
4. Create a Drying Area
This is a great camping trip tip even if there is no rain. When you set up camp, one of the best things you can do is string a tarp or two above the outside of your tent doors.
This creates a living room environment, yet if it rains, you still have an area where you can stay dry.
You can use a smaller heavy-duty tarp on the floor so you won’t be walking in the wet. This allows you space to sit outside in a downpour.
The other advantage of this is you can hang a clothesline under your tarp. You can take your wet clothing and hang it to dry overnight.
One pro tip is to place damp clothes inside sleeping bags. As you sleep, body heat will make sure you have dry clothes ready for the next morning.
5. Drying Wet Footwear
There is nothing worse than pulling on wet footwear. While you may have extra clothes, it isn’t often you take extra pairs of hiking boots.
Even if these are waterproof, they can still be damp and uncomfortable if they are left overnight.
To stop poor circulation and make sure your feet are nice and cozy, you can use hand warmers.
If you place a couple in each of your hiking boots overnight, these will be dry and warm ready to slip on in the morning.
6. Stop Your Tent Getting Wet
A tent can prevent you from getting wet, yet for even more protection, you prevent your tent from becoming wet in the first place.
If you continue your overhead tarp, you can set one at an angle above your tent to keep it extra dry.
This camping tip is more useful if you will be in one spot for a couple of nights. One other form of protection are tents, which come with a large rain fly.
These stop the brunt of the rain hammering at your tent fabric.
Adding to this, many campers forget their tent can become wet from underneath. Heavy-duty builder’s tarps can sit under the base of your tent. These stop damp rising inside your tent, and help protect the tent from sharp objects.
7. Food and Drinks
Most of these tips on how to camp in the rain deal with keeping your camp gear and hiking clothes dry.
Many campers never consider themselves when preparing to camp in wetter weather.
When you are wet and cold, there is nothing better than some warm comfort food. This is even more advisable when children are there with you.
Aside from just enjoying hot food, and a large mug of hot cocoa, the body needs more calories when it is cold to keep the body temperature up.
8. Using Layers for Protection
One of the best ways to protect yourself from the rain is to have the right clothing. Using the right layers helps to regulate body temperature.
Adding to this, if you are walking or being active, you need good base layers that will wick moisture away from the body.
Cotton should be avoided because once it is wet it stays wet. Wool or polyester under layers are advisable, and you will need a good rain jacket and rain pants for overall protection.
It is advisable in any weather to hang an extra set of these inner layers and some wool socks in waterproof bags back at camp for when you return.
If you are staying around the camp, it can be easy to wet the bottom of your hiking pants, so a lightweight set of gaiters can keep the bottoms of your legs dry without making you sweat.
9. Sleeping in Wet Weather
As much as you do in preparation for wet weather during the day. The night will be crucial once you climb inside your sleeping bag.
The ground that is hard, cold, and wet is no fun. Doubling up on your sleeping pads adds an extra layer of insulation.
One other way to increase the internal temperature of sleeping bags is to use a bivy bag. These not only keep body heat in, but they also prevent moisture from you seeping into your sleeping bag.
One other pro tip for sleeping while camping is to keep your face exposed. Once you breathe inside sleeping bags, this can create moisture.
Adding to this, synthetic sleeping bags are advisable because if they do become wet, they will dry much faster.
10. Keep Your Fire Burning
If you are staying on a campsite, which allows you to have a campfire, then keeping this burning through the rain can make all the difference.
This not only means you will be warm, but it is easier to keep one going than trying to light one with wet wood.
If you have your wood in garbage bags, this goes a long way, yet it will come to a point when you need to use wood, which is wet.
For starting your fire, you should have some dry wood and your fire lighting tools sealed in a Ziploc.
If you are a serious camper, then flint fire starters will be on your camping gear list. These are all-weather fire starters.
One pro-camping tip is to place large logs on the top of your campfire. As long as there is space for the fire to breathe, it will last through a storm.
One final thing that can make all the difference to camping when wet weather hits are not to let it dampen your spirits.
Using the above tips and hacks, a family can enjoy a rainy day as much as any other. With a few games for the kids, they will be content until the good weather returns.
There is no question that camping in the rain can be inconvenient, yet when you embrace, what nature is dishing up, it adds another element to your hiking and camping trip, and can make some very different memories.