3 Must Know Tips for Camping in the Rain

August 22, 2021

3 Must Know Tips for Camping in the Rain

We all dream of the perfect camping experience—gathering around a crackling campfire, relaxing under a clear, star-filled sky as guitar music…and, perhaps, a ghost story or two…fill the air.

Rarely does our imagining of the dream camping excursion include a rain shower.

But if you camp long enough, enduring a storm or two is an inevitability…and it doesn’t have to ruin your outing IF you are properly prepared.

Unsure how to prep for wet-weather camping? Fear not because we’ve gathered 3 tips that will make camping in the rain not only endurable but, dare we say, enjoyable.

The Right Campsite (and Tent) is Key

Let’s start off with the most important tip—make sure your tent is water-resistant or waterproof. Not all of them are and you don’t want to find this out as you’re setting up camp in a downpour. If your tent didn’t come with one, add a rainfly to your list of must-have camping gear and pack it in with your tent so you’re never without it.

Where you pitch your tent when it is raining (or when rain is expected) can make the difference between a miserable and pleasurable camping excursion. When picking your campsite, steer clear of low-lying areas near bodies of water. If possible, pick a location that is out from under trees (storms can knock down branches and wet trees keep dripping long after the rain passes) and slightly elevated to ensure water runs away from your tent.

Bring a Tarp…or Two

Tarps can be your best friend during a rainy camping trip. If you’re setting up camp after a storm, placing a tarp between your tent and the ground keeps the tent floor dry. If it is actively raining, or if you expect rain in the future, consider placing the tarp inside your tent on the floor. If you put a tarp under your tent while it’s raining, you run the risk of the tarp collecting water and pushing it into your tent. Having the tarp inside your tent ensures your sleeping bags will stay dry.

There’s nothing worse than being forced to sit in your tent away from friends during a storm. Assuming it is safe to do so, tarps are great to string up outside near your tents, providing welcomed shelter from the rain and allowing you to keep your fire…and friendly fellowship…going.

Use Waterproof Bags or Pack Covers

If you know it’s likely rain while you’re on the trail, pack the gear in your backpack inside waterproof bags to keep your essentials nice and dry.

Like the rainfly, a waterproof backpack cover is a good staple to keep on hand in one of your pack’s outer pockets. If a surprise storm pops up, you can throw it around your pack and keep your stuff free of moisture.

Honorable Mention

Remember to pack extra base layer clothing and moisture wicking socks. If you know, you know—the moment your feet and body get wet is the moment camping in the rain becomes absolutely miserable. Have extra clothing on hand so you can stay comfy while your wet layers dry out.

Don’t let rain ruin your outdoor adventure. With a little prep, camping in wet weather is just one more adventure to add your list of camping memories. Here’s to making the most of every camping trip…no matter how wet the weather!




The Manual

Backpacker Magazine

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