Before we go over some of the top tips for tent camping in the rain, you need to decide when enough is enough.
If you haven’t already left for the outdoors adventure, is it wise to cancel the trip altogether if you know you are in for some wild weather. If there’s kids involved, the answer is generally yes.
Can you imagine being trapped inside a tent with the not so happy children all day long?. I didn’t think so. In circumstances like this, postponing the trip might be the best solution for everyone.
If you are already on the way and cancelling is not an option, then do the best you can to find a sheltered spot before setting up a tent. Try to enjoy the sound of rain falling on your tent as much as possible because unless you like being out in the rain, there is limited things you can do. But here are a few ways to brighten up a rainy camping trip.
Know When The Wet Weather Is Coming
One of the most important things that you should do when you are looking to camp in the rain is to watch your surroundings. There are different things that can happen just before the heavens open up.
For instance, when fishing, you might notice more bites right before a storm is about to hit. Also, you might notice animals begin to act up. These are hints that are going to let you know that the barometric pressure is changing and that a storm is brewing. By figuring it out early, you should be able to prepare everything to stay as dry as possible. Last resort, use a weather app like Accuweather to determine when the rain is set to unleash on your destination.
Be Sure To Have A Waterproof Tent
It’s commonly misunderstood that when you buy a new tent that it’s already waterproofed. If the label doesn’t specifically state that it is a waterproof tent, then ask the store assistant. Many tents are not waterproof from the get go. So never assume, always find out in advance.
Its also important to have a tent that has enough space inside for every camper to be able to relax in while the rain passes. Too cramped and its going to get heated quite quickly. For a family of 5, these tents here are the ideal size.
If you already have a tent, whether it be new or old you should make sure its safe to use in the event of heavy rain. Existing tents that have been waterproofed will deteriorate and need to be made watertight once again.
If you are concerned that your tent may not keep out the rain, fear not. For a few bucks you can waterproof the tent yourself. It’s a rather simple and quick process. The first step is to buy a quality waterproof spray on bottle. Apply this to the rain-fly and outer tent materials. Allow the tent to dry for a few minutes.
Next it’s time to apply a tents seam sealer to the seams of the tent. This is critical to keeping moisture out. Rain will run towards the seams of your tent, so by applying a sealer application you can keep you and your family dry.
Has Your Tent Got A Footprint?
A tent footprint is basically a waterproof tarp designed to sit under the tent and keep the bottom of your tent dry and away from water. However, don’t be fooled into thinking that having a tent footprint larger than the size of your tent is ideal. This will only cause more water inside your tent.
As the water builds up on the tent footprint that’s exposed to the elements, it will naturally head towards your tent. Inferior tents wont be able to hold out the water. So make sure the footprint is not too large and exposed to the rain.
Before setting up the tent, look for areas surrounding the site which may be on higher ground. Try to prevent as much water from running into your tent as possible.
Tip For Finding Shelter In The Rain
It’s inevitable that you will get wet when setting up base camp in the rain. So be it. But in order to have a more rewarding wet camping experience, set up an external shelter away from your tent.
Whether it be a tarp tied between trees and your vehicle or a pop up gazebo, this sheltered area will be a godsend if rain is relentless. This will get you and the kids outside of the tent without having to get wet. Use this area to play games, cook food, read, socialize etc. It sure beats being cooped up in a tent all day long.
Never cook inside your tent when using firewood as your heating source unless your tent has a stove jack to omit carbon monoxide outside the tent. Carbon monoxide poisoning can be deadly, so never risk it.
If you have a way to vent the fumes produces, a tent stove is the safest option. But never risk carbon monoxide poisoning from using a heat source like this inside an enclosed area with no air vents.
The alternative is to take advantage of the sheltered tarp/gazebo area and use a portable camp fire burner to cook up a feast. Plenty of airflow outside while maintaining a dry work environment. While starting a fire in the wet is possible, it’s not something I imagine too many people want to undertake.
Ways To Keep Your Items Dry
Staying dry is key to enjoying the weather as best you can. Whether it’s your clothes or your camping equipment, dry is better. Trash bags are excellent tools that you can use to keep all of your camping gear as dry as possible throughout your trip. You will be able to throw all of the different things that you want to keep dry in a trash bag because it is so large.
Along with this, you should be able to keep everything else dry including smaller items by bringing other sized Zip-Loc and resealable bags. Having extra bags on hand can be a great way to ensure that you are able to keep things dry. Especially anything that you cant afford to get wet like iPads, smart phones etc.
Keeping your tent/sleeping area as well ventilated as possible is paramount to minimizing a damp sleep area. Try to open windows when rain is blowing the opposite direction so that some fresh air gets inside the tent.
It’s also advisable to bring rain jackets and any weather proof clothing you have. When not in use, keep them outside of your sleeping area to keep the area from producing more condensation.
Use Newspaper For More Than One Purpose
A key tip that you are going to be able to utilize which can help you in wet situations would be to bring a newspaper with you. By bringing a newspaper, you should be able to use it to soak up extra moisture that you want to get rid of.
Having newspaper on hand is a great way to minimize the amount of moisture that gets stuck in your shoes or anywhere else because it is great for absorbing it.
Take Advantage Of The Extra Water Resources
Whenever you are camping, you are going to want to collect as much water as possible no matter how you are able to do it. Luckily, rain is something that can provide you with natural water that you know is safe to drink. For this reason, camping in the rain doesn’t have to be considered all that bad. If it rains, consider it an opportunity to get some much-needed water. You should be able to collect a good amount of water by simply placing a water bottle outside of your tent to catch the drops.
Another good way to do it would be to set up a tarp in order to funnel the water directly into a bucket or even a pot. Doing this will ensure that you are able to collect even more drinking water. While it should be safe to drink, it’s never a bad idea to purify it by boiling it whether using a direct fire or by boiling it with hot rocks. Depending on your length of stay, this water could prove very valuable.
Remember It’s Wet Outside
If you are going to be camping or hiking outside while it is raining, you are going to want to keep a close eye on your footing and the rocks. It can be dangerous enough as it is to deal with loose rocks. However, when you couple that with rain, you can get very dangerous situations. Simply tasks as walking outside the tent to go to the camp toilet can prove very slippery. Take a torch and never run while it’s wet.
Therefore, if you are planning on hiking on steep slopes or rocky inclines, you will want to be sure that it is safe before doing so. Also, you might even want to ask yourself whether or not it is worth the risk.
Wet Weather Camping Tips Start With You
Overall, there is plenty that you can do in order to maximize your time camping even if it were to rain. Rain shouldn’t always stop your trip. This is especially true if you have prepared for the rain prior to leaving.
By bringing extra bags with you of all sizes, you should be able to keep everything as dry as possible. Also, by leveraging the rain and using it as drinking water, you might even view it as an opportunity to hydrate yourself. Don’t forget to set up an external shelter aside from your tent. It can get cramped very quickly inside a tent.