How To Prepare For Camping In The Rain: The 6 Major Tips To Follow

When camping, it's best to be prepared for all kinds of weather mother nature can throw at you. But we can only bring so much before we get encumbered.

Anticipating some days where you'll be camping in the rain? Here are a few tips on what you should bring, some precautions to take and more importantly, where to place your camping spot.


1. Bring Newspapers and Plastic Bags

Plastic bags, such as Ziploc ones and black garbage bags will be your best friend when it comes to dealing with wet conditions during camp. They're perfect for the job as they're waterproof, very light and don't take up too much space in your bag.

When the going gets wet, you can break out these plastic bags for a lot of things, including keeping your pack dry and storing wet gear (clothes, shoes and whatnot). The Ziploc bags are for keeping sensitive equipment, such as cameras, smartphones and items that get ruined when they're exposed to moisture. Plus, you can keep your food, medicine and necessities in Ziploc bags that can be labeled for maximum visibility.

Plastic bags, like water are worth their weight in gold. Make sure to include them in your checklist no matter the camping situation. Remember to pack a day's worth of newspaper, which can dry your clothes and shoes, or for ground cover when it's damp.

2. Wear Waterproof Shoes

Cotton will be the last thing you'd want to wear when camping in the rain. In the same vein, you will want shoes that prevent waterlogging, because that's the last thing you'll need when dealing with inclement weather.

Invest in a pair of waterproof boots or shoes- they might be more expensive than their non-waterproof counterparts, but they're worth it. You will be on your feet most of the time outdoors and keeping them warm and dry is essential to a happy camp experience.

3. Rain Pants and Rain Jacket- Check!

Same as with plastic bags and waterproof shoes, you should never be caught unprepared and without rain pants or a rain jacket, at the very least.

Invest in a high-quality rain jacket, which are lightweight and can quickly wick out the rain and moisture to keep you dry, warm and comfortable. These should be placed in your pack where it's easily accessible, especially if you're anticipating rainy days ahead.

Remember, the rain can be a pleasant companion that brings a change in camping atmosphere, or it can be your worst enemy, reducing things to a wet and uncomfortable state. Make the smart choice and always include a rain jacket no matter what and stop at the first sign of rain and put it on quickly so your inner clothes won't be soaked through.

old hiker in blue rain jacket

Old hiker in blue rain jacket.

4. Stay Updated with Weather Conditions

One of the best ways to check if there will be any chance of precipitation is to see the weather forecast for the days you'll be spending under the sky. Today, there are many ways you can do this- by turning on the TV, checking online or by using a trusted weather app.

Even if the forecast is sunny, you should bring rain gear just in case there's a sudden downpour. If the weather report says downpour, don't worry- there are a few things you can bring with you to ensure you're protected and comfortable.

5. Think About Where To Set Camp

Location plays an integral role when there's a storm, downpour or inclement weather. Spend a few minutes to get the lay of the land- identify the high places, because those are the best spots to keep you dry when you're setting up camp.

For instance, if you come across a small hill or slope, it will be better to go as high as possible. Rain is water, which goes and accumulates at the bottom and can quickly flood your camp. Then, if it continues you may be forced to re-locate to higher ground.

Hiking a few minutes to explore additional campsite options will be well worth it. Keep away from trees, especially the tall or larger ones as they'll continue to drip water to your site long after the rain has gone.

6. Maximize Your Tarps

Tarps can be used in a variety of ways in wet conditions. You can install a heavy-duty tarp underneath so you can be insulated against the wet ground. If this is the case, make sure that it doesn't extend outside so it won't leach inside.

You can also use tarp to line the inside or the top of your tent for protection against heavy rain.

Sit Back, Relax and Enjoy the Rain

Your camp is located at a strategic spot. It's raining, and you've managed to remain dry and comfortable. What's the next thing you should do? Enjoy nature and the sounds of rain, of course!

There's nothing quite like observing the rain and enjoying a hot cup of tea or coffee while conversing with friends or family under a dry tent. It's truly a wonderful experience!

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