While some may see rain as a hindrance to camping, others see it as an experience. Picture this: you have just finished a meal cooked over an open fire, the pitter-patter of rain against your tarp mingling with the sounds of wind and wildlife, and you are ready to retreat into your tent. Inside, it’s dry and welcoming, the sound of raindrops now slightly muffled. You feel a sense of ease. Your primal instincts kick in, knowing that, even in the depths of nature, you’re safe and comfortable.
Rainy camping is rewarding. However, this does come with a slight caveat. In order to camp in the rain and reap the full benefits, you must be prepared! So, let’s explore ways in which you can camp in wet weather while also remaining comfortable and satisfied.
Preparation is Key
Anyone passionate about experiencing the great outdoors will be no stranger to the importance of preparation. Now, it may not rain while you’re camping, but it’s important to come packed with the right equipment just in case. Warm clothing, such as raincoats, boots, hats, and gloves are a must. Also, make sure to pack a spare set of clothes. Store these in a waterproof bag, as, despite preparing to the best of our ability, unexpected events can still happen! Knowing that you have a backup plan will bring a lot of comfort.
Alongside your raincoat, bring ponchos. They are quick and easy to put on regardless of your clothing, and great for protecting you from the elements. Also bring old towels, plastic bags, and drawstring bags. These are great in case of emergencies, such as leaks or having to store wet and muddied clothes.
Choose a Smart Location
Particularly when it’s raining, settling on a good location will determine the comfort of your stay. As soon as you arrive, study the area. Keep note of any rises or dips in the land, where puddles of water are, and whether the ground is suitable to support your tent. Once you have decided on the best area, place a tarp beneath and above your tent to be fully covered.
Tarpaulin will prove a great friend during rainy weather. Not only will it protect you from the sodden ground, but it will also provide overhead cover, allowing you some outside space instead of being confined to your tent. It will also help ventilate your tent, as pesky raindrops will be caught before having the chance to crawl through the netted ‘windows’. Keep any camping sleeping pads or items away from the walls of your tent, as this will prevent potential leaks during a heavy downpour.
Prepare Some ‘Indoor’ Activities
While hiking in the rain can be an enjoyable experience, during particularly heavy downpours it can be hard to justify leaving your camping area. That’s why keeping yourself busy is vital! Instead of forlornly gazing out at the crashing rain from the door of your tent, bring board games, books, playing cards, or puzzles - whatever you and your company enjoy doing! These are great ways to occupy yourself and keep morale high. If you’re on a slightly longer trip, you could even bring a notebook, where you could write a journal or plan out the next stages of your trip.
Triple-check That Your Gear and Tent are Waterproof
While we have already covered some of the basics when it comes to preparing the items to bring along, this is worth going over in more detail. If you want to fully enjoy your camping trip, buying a waterproof tent is a must. Ensure that it’s equipped with a rain fly, a base that prevents water from leaking in (although a tarp will still be advised to place beneath), and put time aside to test it out before setting off. While this may be slightly more expensive, it’s more than worth it to provide ultimate comfort.
The same goes for your gear. Do you have a weather-resistant or waterproof bag to store it? There are few things worse than entering a tent, only to find your clothes, electronics, food, and sleeping pads are all soaked through because they haven’t been stored properly. Try and use individual dry bags for your gear, as this will prevent your backpack from filling up with rain. Also, try and bring along high-quality waterproof camping gears, pants, boots, and a waterproof jacket. Underneath your protective, weather-resistant outer clothing, try and wear breathable layers that can regulate your temperature. Cotton isn’t advised, as this will become sodden and uncomfortable quickly. Bring synthetic fabrics that are quick-drying and allow any sweat to evaporate quickly.
Remain cautious when camping during rainy weather. If you’re planning on doing a lot of hiking during your trip, beware of wet land. Falling over because of the slippery ground can put a serious dampener (quite literally) on your experience, as it could be cut short due to serious injury. Fortunately, if you’re careful and well-prepared, you should be fine. Wear boots with a strong grip and trekking poles to give you that added element of balance. When walking over slick rocks or crossing through streams, these will be a great help.
For some, forecasted rain may put a downer on their camping trip. But this doesn’t have to be the case! Rain is simply an inevitable part of nature that we can embrace and, with the correct preparation, actually enjoy. When those first raindrops patter against the ground, try not to groan. Instead, think of it as an added challenge to your adventure. Consider it this way: rainy camping trips are more likely to leave you with stories and memories that you can laugh about in the future.
It could even prove a learning experience, preparing you for future situations that involve downpours. After all, when experiencing mother nature in her full glory, you must be ready to embrace every part of her. So, prepare, prepare, and prepare some more, then your rainy camping trip will be comfortable and enjoyable for all involved.