camping, camping tips, family camping

Camping In The Rain....It Can Be A Beautiful Experience!

Or How To Make Sure Your Camping Trip Isn't A Total Wash

It is inevitable, if you go camping, eventually at some point you will be camping in the rain.

You can choose to be wet and miserable, or you can accept that camping in the rain is a part of camping, make sure you are prepared, set yourself up for staying dry, and enjoy another beautiful side of nature.

I love the rat-tat-tat of the rain on our tent, the rain smell in the air, and sometimes just even sitting under our tarp, watching the water fall. And at night, I love snuggling with my hubby, cozy, warm, and dry in our tent while listening to the rain

Now it is not something I would want to happen on every camping trip...but we are always prepared for it, just in case. Here are some ideas to keep you warm and dry when you are camping in the rain.

Prepare Your Tent For Rain

Whether you are expecting it to rain or not, your tent should be set up as if it WILL rain. You just never know.

  • Choose a high spot on your campground to set up your tent (don't pitch your tent in an indentation which might become a puddle if it rains).
  • Put a waterproof tarp underneath your tent. Make sure you fold the ends underneath so nothing is sticking out. If any part of the tarp is -sticking out, it will funnel the water underneath your tent.
  • Keep your stuff away from the sides of the tent. Water will drip through in spots where there is something making contact with the walls.
  • When we are leaving the site for the day and know it will rain, we make sure the air mattress is in the center of the tent, not touching any walls, and put all of the gear on top of it, then toss a tarp over everything.
  • Set up a tarp over your tent. This will be your best form of rain protection...we do this in addition to the rainfly, sloping the sides down so the rain will run off.

Setting Up Your Tent In The Rain

You don't want to do it...but sometimes you are just going to have to do it. But there is a way to set up your tent and stay relatively dry and comfortable.

First, put on that rain poncho you packed. Then get out the tarp and rope, and set up your tarp, either using the poles or tying it to the trees. Make sure you have some slope on either side so the rain runs off and does not create a pool on top of your tarp.

Then, once the tarp is set up just set your tent up right underneath it. You can work comfortably, the tent will stay dry, and you will have that extra rain protection I spoke of earlier already taken care of.

Packing to Stay Dry

  • When we know we will be camping in the rain, I go a little overboard with the plastic bags to make sure nothing will get wet at the site or when unloading the car.
  • Line the duffel bag or suitcase with a large black lawn trash bag and put all the clothes inside that.
  • Put each sleeping bag and pillow in a large plastic trash bag.
  • Keep at least one set of clothes in a large Ziplock to make sure it says dry.

A Few Other Tips

  • A dining fly is going to be a wonderful treat in the rain. It allows you some freedom to move around the campsite and spend time together, rather than have everybody holed in in their own tents...or everybody holed up in one tent!

    Under a dining fly you can cook, relax, read, play games, or just sit back and watch the rain, while staying dry.

  • If it is raining when you are taking down the camp, you can put your tent away wet or damp but it is imperative that you set up the tent immediately when you get home to dry. If you put away your tent wet, it will mold and will be ruined.
  • Pack rain ponchos for everyone!
  • Your tent must have adequate ventilation when you are in it, or you will get condensation inside the tent. The rain tarp over the tent will usually shield the vent windows enough so you can open them without having the rain come in.
  • The floor of your tent should be a waterproof nylon material. Most newer tents are made tub-style, meaning the floor fabric comes up the wall several inches, even forming a lip at the door, with as few seams as possible. This is ideal as no water will leak into your tent this way. The old-school style of directing rain away from your tent was to dig a ditch all around it. This is no longer an acceptable practice, and due to the style and materials of modern tents, no longer necessary.

For Camping In The Rain Your Outdoor Camping Equipment List Should Include......

  • Tarps, tarps, and tarps! (we pack about 6 or so tarps with us on every trip)
  • Rain ponchos
  • Pole and Rope setup for rain/dining flys

So make the best of the situation.....and the best way to do that is by being prepared! And maybe the next time you go camping in the rain you won't be disappointed or will be DRY!

Don't Know Where To Go Next?
Why Not Play Some Camping Games While It Is Raining

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