Camping can be a fun-filled adventure when you have picked the right spot, and more importantly - the perfect weather conditions to spend your days and nights outdoors in the wilderness. But when you are out there with your camping gear and it suddenly begins pouring heavy rain, your experience may turn into a miserable one, especially if you are not prepared with the proper clothing, footwear and gear. Many people will hurry up and gather their stuff to quickly head back home, but in some cases, you may be forced to deal with the situation. 2. Always keep in mind that it might start raining when you pick your camping location. Think about things like - where will the water be running to, before you choose the perfect spot to set up your tent. After all, you don’t want to end up having your tent placed in the middle of a pool of water.3. Be careful when setting up your tent footprint. The tarp or camping rug shouldn’t be sticking out from underneath it, because in case it starts raining, the footprint will actually trap the water, and eventually it will get into your tent as well.4. If it is already raining when you arrive at the camping site, you probably should wait for it to stop before setting up your campsite. If there is no prospect of the weather clearing in the foreseeable future, you may need to set up the tarp as high as possible to act as a shelter for all of your gear and belongings, and if your tent is lower - you can set it up underneath the tarp. True, you will get wet while at it, but with the proper clothing and footwear, this shouldn’t be too much of a problem. If you don’t have a tarp or other means of protection, you may have to pull up your tent under the pouring rain. Avoid entering it until it is ready, in order to keep it as dry inside as possible.5. It is highly recommended, that if you have the space for it, to always bring an extra tarp to act as an additional shelter apart from where you are sleeping. You can use it to stay away from the rain and yet not spend hours and hours in the tent. You can also cook underneath it, eat there, and store your camping gear to protect it from the rain. Having extra protection is always a good idea, because leaks and other sort of problems can happen when you are camping. Also, this extra shelter can be used for hanging and drying your wet clothes.6. Remember to bring wet weather clothing and footwear with you. Water resistant jackets with hoods, rain ponchos or raincoats are a must. Just like in hiking, dress in layers. When you pick your clothing for rainy conditions, make sure you look for the following features:
Here are some tips which can help make camping in the rain a tolerable task:
1. Check the weather forecast before you head out to your chosen camping site. Obviously, if it says that heavy rain is expected, you may choose to stay at home or pick another alternative for spending your vacation time.
- Breathability - to allow you to stay dry from the inside, rather than soaking in your sweat.
- Synthetic and quick-drying materials like polyester or nylon. Stay away from cotton
- Seams which are fully taped, so that the water doesn’t soak in through them.
- Zip flaps to keep the rain from entering through the zips.
- Cuffs for the wrists.
- Hoods which have a stiff brim to keep your face dry when it is raining.
7. Water resistant footwear is essential! Wellington boots or other waterproof boots are an absolute must. Your footwear should also be breathable, if possible. Many water resistant boots do need to be impregnated periodically, in order to make sure that they will withstand heavy rain and will keep your feet dry and comfortable even in the worst weather conditions.
8. Ensure that you have a sufficient amount of plastic bags in which you can keep your gear and other stuff to keep them dry. Put your things in garbage bags when transporting them to the tent under the rain. Keep your dry clothes safely tucked away in plastic bags or dry stuff sacks.
9. Keep your phones, cameras and other electronics dry and safe in dry sacks. During the night, you may want to secure their safety by putting them in water proof bags.
10. Ensure that your tent has proper ventilation, because otherwise, there could be a buildup of condensation which will leave you and your things all damp and uncomfortable. Keep your bedding away from the tent walls, to keep it away from any condensation.
11. As for cooking, if you have an extra shelter it should be easy and safe to cook and eat underneath it, if there is enough space between the camping stove and the shelter itself. If not, you could be forced to wait for the weather to clear. This is why, bringing at least one ready meal or snacks which don’t require cooking is a very good idea. Never ever attempt to cook inside your tent!
12. When camping, bringing extra dry towels for you, your family and your pets is always a good idea too.13. Bring board games, playing cards, books, wireless speakers for your music or whatever form of entertainment you enjoy, in order to have something fun to do if you need to spend hours under the tarp or in the tent. This is essential, especially if you are camping with kids, and want to spare yourself from all the moaning and complaining.If you take these precautions, camping in the rain may not be such an ordeal, and can make your camping trip a fun-filled experience. There is a very cozy feeling when you are sitting or sleeping in the tent, with rain drops tapping on the outside.
Written by M. Pierce – Mike is an outdoor enthusiast, footwear fanatic, and coffee-addict. He runs two websites dedicated to quality footwear – MyBootprint.com with special focus on work boots, and Shoematters.com – a site focused on comfortable footwear for different activities. Check out his latest Buying Guide: Best Travel Shoes For The Money for un-biased reviews and comparisons