Camping In The Rain Hacks

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Camping in the rain can be a special experience with the right planning and preparation.

The average American goes camping twice a year, but they don’t prepare well for rainy weather. This results in ruined trips and bad experiences.

My buddy Scott and I are frequent campers. In the fall and spring, we will camp at least every other weekend.

Camping this frequently means we have encountered our fair share of rain.

We now have a rule -if it is going to be heavy rain on the last night or early morning of our camping trip, we pack up and go home early.

We do this because it’s no fun to pack up in the rain or have to dry everything out once you’re home.

These hacks will help you have fun even if it rains on your camping trip!

Setup Before The Rain

If you are expecting rain on your camping trip then prepare your campsite before the rain starts.

Here is what we do to ensure a dry night of camping when it rains.

Prepare Gear Before The Trip

Before you leave for your trip, make sure all of your gear is completely waterproofed or tarps and tents are new and in good condition. If you have any tarps or tents that have started to leak, then replace them before the trip.

Leave Early

To avoid getting caught up in a rainstorm trying to leave your house early.

This way you will be able to beat any storms on your way there and also be able to set up camp in good weather. You might even get lucky enough to arrive in time for a beautiful sunset!

Place tarps or tents over your gear to keep it dry until the rest of your campsite is complete. Tarps are great because they can cover multiple items if needed and be placed on top of each other to create a solid waterproof shield.

Bring Rain Gear

It’s no fun to be soaking wet and worse, in the wrong conditions, it can lead to hypothermia. Bring a rain jacket and pants to be ready for all conditions.

I also encourage people to bring along rubber boots. They’re not as stylish as normal shoes and boots, but they are much more water-resistant.

And will make it easier to traverse muddy territory.

Bring Extra Tarps

The tarps create a dry place from within your tent which will make it more difficult for the rain to penetrate your tent.

The tarps also allow you to keep any cooking gear dry without compromising on your space inside of the tent.

You can even have tarps set up outside in areas where there is room enough, or simply bring tarps and equipment for this purpose into your campsite before any rain has started.

There are various tarps that range from eight dollars to eighty-eight dollars. Some tarps can be folded to fit in your pocket.

If tarps are not an option, you can also use large sheets as curtains between your tent and the outside world.

Invest In A Tarp Canopy Kit

I bring along expanding poles, cordage, and stakes for my tarps. This kit allows me to secure tarps up high and creates a covered area in almost any situation.

I never leave home without it!

It’s important that you practice setting up tarps before going on your trip, so you can set them up during the rain if needed.

A lot of time is saved by having tarps already organized and ready to go.

Bring Things To Do

If the rain is too heavy for you to be outside then you will need to fill the time.

You don’t want kids to get bored and start losing interest in the experience.

Bring games, movies, and podcasts.

Bring things to do that you can do inside of tarps or tents without having to get too wet.

Ways To Cook In The Rain

Perhaps the best benefit of tarps is that they will allow you to cook in the rain without getting wet.

Stoves that burn wood, propane, or charcoal can be placed under tarp canopies to keep them dry and as close to your tarps as possible.

Make sure that you keep the tarp high above any flames and don’t cook in a tent.

Consume No-Cook Meals

You don’t have to cook in the rain. Instead, you can eat things that don’t need to be cooked. Grab some sandwiches, fruits, and other things from the grocery store.

It will help you save on gas or charcoal if you have to cut your trip short due to the weather.

Make sure to bring no-cook snacks for kids as well!

Know Where To Go For Severe Weather

I grew up in Tornado Alley. I have witnessed first-hand the damage these storms can do.

Which is one of the reasons why I prefer to camp at a prepared campsite during storm season.

If there is a severe storm including heavy lightning, hail, or wind, we will head to the storm shelter.

Typically this will be the restrooms.

Pack Up And Go Home Early

If the weather doesn’t improve by your last night, pack up your gear and go home.

There is no sense in risking your life just because you want to camp for a few days.

It’s better to be safe than sorry, ESPECIALLY if you have children or pets with you!

Bring A Radio To Backup Your Phone

I assume as a camper, you have plenty of headlamps, flashlights, and lanterns for camping.

And your phone can give you weather alerts if you have cell coverage.

However, don’t forget to bring a radio that will work without electricity or cell service for backup.

If you’re car-camping, you can use your car’s radio.

Dry Out Tents At Home

Finally, if your gear does get wet while camping, don’t try to dry it while you’re still on the trip.

Try to get home as soon as possible and let your tarps, tarps canopies, and camping gear dry out at home.

Remember, to dry both the top and bottoms of your tents and tarps before storage. Otherwise, mildew and mold may set in.

Camping is a great time to explore nature, but it’s important that you’re prepared for all sorts of weather. If you find yourself camping in the rain and need some shelter from Mother Nature, try using tarps! They’ll make your tent feel like an oasis while keeping everyone dry.

It’s important that you plan ahead and prepare for rain. When you’re camping, tarps can be your best friend!

If you want to learn even more about camping then check out our Essential Outdoor Skills Course.