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Camping in the rain

So you’ve planned your next family camping trip and you just learned that it is expected to rain. What should you do? Cancel the trip? Move it to a different date? Go and hope for the best?

Don’t worry, rain does not have to ruin your camping trip. Camping in the rain can actually be a lot of fun. These tips for camping in the rain will help ensure that you don’t have to cancel your camping trip and still have a great time.

Sealers

I’ve had an experience where pre-sealed seams still leak while camping in the rain. You need to make sure that you seal the seams of all your tents regardless of whether manufacturers state that the seams were already sealed.

Trench

No one likes water in their tent so it’s a good idea to take a few precautions to ensure water doesn’t end up in your tent. One good way to help prevent water from running under your tent and slowly soaking through the bottom is to dig a small trench around your tent. Digging a small trench around your tent will catch any runoff from your tent as well as any flowing water near your tent. It is also a good idea to dig an outlet for your trench at the lowest point. This will allow the water to run out instead of simply filling up the trench.

Extra tarps

Extra tarps are some of the most useful things a camper who is expecting rainy weather can bring with them. Whether you use it to simply to cover extra supplies during the day or adding an extra layer to the bottom of your tent, make sure you bring more than one extra tarp. If it does start to rain, you’ll be happy to have a few extra waterproof tarps to cover your gear and keep everything dry. Additionally, along with the tarps, make sure to bring some para-cord or another kind of rope to hang up the tarp with, or to prevent the tarp from blowing away in the wind. You’ll be surprised how often some extra rope or para-cord comes in handy.

Waterproof wear

Bringing clothes that can handle some rain is a must when rain is a possibility. Waterproof shoes are also more important than you may think. It is easy to think that getting your feet wet will not be so bad, but after walking around all day in wet socks and shoes, you will definitely regret it. If you don’t want to get new shoes you can at least pick up some waterproof socks. Some other waterproof clothes that might be worth considering are some cheap ponchos, rain jackets,  gaiters, and a brimmed hat. No matter what you decide to bring, just make sure you have a plan for keeping dry while out in the rain.

Extra clothes 

No matter what precautions you take to stay dry it’s inevitable that you’ll get at least a little wet. It’s important to change into dry clothes as soon as possible to stay warm and dry. Too much time in wet clothes and you’ll just start feeling cold and miserable. Having extra clothes in a dry location is essential for camping in the rain. Beyond just having extra clothes, try to make sure you don’t get any of your cotton clothes wet. When cotton gets wet, it stops acting as an insulator and won’t keep you warm. Additionally, it also takes longer to dry out, especially when there is a lot of moisture in the air.

Hand warmers 

One part of camping in the rain is that often your hands end up cold. Cold hands make it hard to cook, work with small items, or simply have an enjoyable time. Bringing some hand warmers is a great way to keep your hands warm in rainy weather. These small hand warmers can be kept in your pockets and you can quickly stick your hands in to be warmed up or you can even keep them inside your gloves. Bring some of these hand warmers and you’ll be grateful you brought them.

Change before sleeping

Changing into dry clothes before bed is something you should do every night. You don’t want to go to bed in wet clothes. For me personally, socks are the most important. Having wet feet will make things uncomfortable all night and often keeps you cold all night long. Also, you don’t want to get your sleeping bag wet. It is very difficult to get your sleeping bag dry once it is wet. Having a wet sleeping bag will ruin your entire camping trip. We definitely recommend changing into dry clothes before bed if you have gotten wet at all throughout the camp.

Keeping a fire going 

While it might be tempting to put a canopy over your firer, that is actually not a good idea. Your canopy will inevitably melt or catch fire. Once you get a fire going it actually shouldn’t be too difficult to keep the fire going as long as it isn’t raining too hard. Fires can continue to burn in light rain without too much extra effort. If it is a bit windy, setting up a windbreak will ensure that your fire will not be blown out by a strong gust of wind. A windbreak could be as simple as sitting on the correct side of the fire or could be more substantial like a tarp tied between a couple of trees.

Drying your clothes 

Even though it may be tempting to throw your wet clothes in a pile or in a bag, it will be beneficial in the long run to take a few minutes to hang up your wet clothes. Soaked clothes will end up smelling like mildew. Setting up a clothesline using some para-cord when you first set up your tent will make this easier and will save you a headache when you are ready to lay down for the night. Stuffing newspapers in your wet clothes will also help dry them out faster, even in wet weather. The easiest way to create a dry place for a clothesline is to use an extra tarp to create a covered area. You can then set up a clothesline under the tarp where you can dry your clothes. After it stops raining, you can even dry some of your clothes around the campfire. If you don’t need the clothes right away, we recommend setting up a clothesline somewhere where the sun will hit it (if the sun is shining at all). This will allow you to dry your clothes without having to put all your clothes around the fire.

Good attitude 

The best piece of advice we can give you about camping in the rain is to have a good attitude about it. Don’t let the rain ruin your camping trip. It can actually be really fun to camp in the rain. Enjoy the experience and the different aspects of nature. Simply sitting and enjoying the sound of the rain and be very relaxing. If you think positively about the whole situation, everything will end up being a lot better.

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