Don’t let rainfall get in the way of fun in your camping trip. Outdoor weather is truly unpredictable - even though you’ve checked the weather forecast, you have to be ready for the rain matter what the weather or season is. The key here is preparedness.
Camping in the rain checklist
- Waterproof rain jacket and pants
- Waterproof boots
- Wool socks
- Extra clothes for layering
- Plastic tarps
- Extra groundsheet
- Extra tent stakes
- Waterproof matches
- Waterproof tinder
- Clothesline and clothespins
- Waterproof Backpack
- Waterproof stuff sacks
- Survival knife
- Camping hatchet
Our Camping Lantern is water-proof (IPX6), very useful for camping in the rain! Check it out here.
Now that you have the gear ready, here are some tips and tricks you can follow to ensure an enjoyable camping experience even when it’s pouring:
Look for a good spot to set up camp
The location where you’ll stay and pitch your tent is important. Choose a spot on higher grounds, preferably with trees nearby (for attaching the tarps to). Don’t set up your tent directly under a tree – water will keep pouring on your tent long after the rain has stopped. There’s also the possibility of falling branches when wind picks up during rainfall.
Avoid areas near a body of water but if you must set up in a river bed or the like, be sure to do so above the high watermark to protect yourself from possible flash floods.
Set up an outdoor living room
When it’s pouring, it doesn’t mean that the fun should stop. Everyone doesn’t have to retreat back to their tents. Create a covered outdoor free space where everyone can eat, bond, listen to music or play games while waiting out the rain.
To create a shaded lounging area, all you’ll need is a tarp (or two) and a roll of paracord. Use nearby trees to set up an overhead shelter.
Tip: Even when there’s no forecast of rain, it’s still ideal to put up a shaded lounging area to protect your kitchen setup and the rest of your gear in case it starts to pour!
Keep warm and stay dry
You’ve got everything set up, everything ready and everything dry. But all of these things won’t matter if you catch a cold or get sick! Remember, hypothermia can be life-threatening when you’re outdoors!
Your goal is to stay warm, dry and comfortable all throughout your trip and everything else will be easy peasy. Layer up to protect yourself. A good layering system hand in hand with the right camping gear is what you need.
It depends on the season and how hard the rain is (extreme rain and cold call for different clothing and gear than warm weather or sprinkling rain), but a breathable waterproof jacket or a rain poncho for a top layer is the way to go.
As for base and mid layers, don’t use cotton – it gets wet and stays wet (not good for your body temperature). Instead, go for wool or polyester clothing.
How to Dry Your Wet Gear
You thought you have your clothes and gear protected from getting wet, especially when you stored them in waterproof bags or sacks and have an overhead shelter for extra protection. But like we said, the outdoors are unpredictable.
The rain could be more intense than you thought, your “waterproof” bags weren’t waterproof after all or your stuff may have gotten wet when you went hiking. No matter what the reason is, here are a few option how you can dry your wet gear of clothing while camping in the rain:
- If you were able to successfully set up a tarp shelter, you could create a string drying line to hang your wet clothes and gear overnight.
- If have a campfire going (or if you will be able to create one), dry your stuff near or above the fire to help it dry quicker. DO THIS WITH CAUTION AND NEVER LEAVE YOUR CLOTHES TO DRY NEAR THE FIRE WITHOUT SUPERVISION.
- If you have no shelter of fire, your best bet is to hang your wet stuff inside your tent. You can also try putting a few damp clothes in your sleeping bag – your body heat will help dry them overnight.
How to Create a Campfire in the Rain
A campfire will give you warmth and comfort (not to mention warm drinks) during rainfall. Having the ability to create a good campfire from scratch by yourself is indeed a feat. But it’s a whole different ballgame doing so in rainy weather.
Here are the essentials you’ll need to be able to create a campfire in the rain:
Ignition – When the weather is wet, your best bet to start a fire whether it’s for a bonfire or for your stove is a waterproof lighter or waterproof matches.
Tinder – Tinder is something lightweight that catches fire easily and burns quickly. If you don’t have waterproof tinder in your luggage (which you should definitely pack next time), you can look around in the woods.
A fallen bark or piece of wood would be a good choice, look for the driest one you can find. Using a knife, peel off the bark and create thin wood shavings from the (hopefully dry) wood underneath. You can also try looking for a thick bed of needles under pine trees, dig deeper to find dry ones.
Kindling – These are things that light easily but burn longer than tinder like branches, pinecones and small twigs, usually found under dense brushes, thick grass or trees. Peel off the bark of wet ones to be usable. Don’t forget to stock up on dry kindling when you find some!
Fuel Wood – These are what will keep your fire burning for an extended period of time. Use wood ONLY from dead or fallen trees. Peel off the bark and split the wood to access the dry center (use your hatchet for this) which will make your campfire going for much longer.
Look at camping in the rain as a challenge and not a nuisance, you’ll learn a lot of new things and have a whole new perspective of the outdoors once you’re through it!
Our Camping Lantern makes a great gift for friends and family who love camping, hiking, fishing, backpacking or any other outdoor activity. Treat yourself to one, too! Shop here now!